MacNicol History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Viking-Scottish name MacNicol is derived from from the personal name, Nicholas. MacNicol is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. The surname MacNicol arose out of the religious naming tradition. In Christian countries, the name Nicholas was popular, owing to the legends surrounding the 4th century Lycian bishop of that name. In Catholic countries in particular, this religious figure was revered. This accounts for its popularity as a surname in Scotland. The name Nicholas came from the Greek, Nikolaos, which means conqueror of the people. In Scotland, the earliest bearers of the surname MacNicol lived on the Isle of Skye, which is located on the western coast.

Early Origins of the MacNicol family

The surname MacNicol was first found in on the Isle of Skye, where the first on record was Ottar Snaekollson who was the Chief of the MacNichols and attended the Council of Chiefs, held by MacDonald, Lord of the Isles, at Finlaggan on the Island of Islay about 1240. One of the first records of the name in Scotland was Maucolum fiz Nicol, who rendered homage to King Edward I of England in 1296 and the Nicholsons of Skye have Englished their name from Macnicol. [1]

Early History of the MacNicol family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacNicol research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1263, 1500, 1607, 1645, 1718, 1694, 1718, 1655, 1727, 1655, 1728, 1694, 1698, 1698, 1705, 1713, 1720 and 1725 are included under the topic Early MacNicol History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacNicol Spelling Variations

The spellings of Scottish names dating from the medieval era often bear little resemblance to those seen today. They vary enormously because scribes in that time spelled according to their ears. Some spelling variations of the name MacNicol include MacNichol, MacNicol, MacNicoll, Nicolson, Nicholson, MacNicholas, MacNickle, MacNickel, MacNickell, MacNiccol, MacNychole and many more.

Early Notables of the MacNicol family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was James Nicolson (d. 1607), Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland & Bishop of Dunkeld; Thomas Joseph Nicolson (1645-1718), a Roman Catholic bishop, Vicar Apostolic of Scotland (1694-1718); William Nicolson (1655-1727)...
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacNicol Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the MacNicol family to Ireland

Some of the MacNicol family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States MacNicol migration to the United States +

The farms of Scottish settlers soon dotted the east coast of the colonies that would become the nations of the United States and Canada. Many of those migrants and their children went on to play important roles in the founding the great nations of North America. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Scottish name MacNicol or a variant listed above, including:

MacNicol Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Charlotte MacNicol, aged 42, who immigrated to the United States from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1913
  • Helen MacNicol, aged 20, who landed in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1913
  • Jsa MacNicol, aged 11, who settled in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1913
  • Julie MacNicol, aged 11, who landed in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1913
  • Mary H. MacNicol, aged 56, who landed in America, in 1915
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name MacNicol (post 1700) +

  • Robert MacNicol (b. 1972), American professional football player
  • Peter MacNicol (b. 1954), American Emmy Award winning actor, best known for his role as Janosz Poha in Ghostbusters II
  • Donald MacNicol (1735-1802), Scottish clergyman, Minister of Lismore in Argyll
  • John Ritchie MacNicol (1878-1950), Canadian politician, Member of the Canadian Parliament for Davenport (1935-1949)

The MacNicol Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Generositate
Motto Translation: By Generosity.

  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3) on Facebook
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