McNichell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The story of the McNichell family stretches back through time to the Viking settlers who populated the rugged shores of Scotland in the Medieval era. The name McNichell was derived from from the personal name, Nicholas. McNichell is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. The surname McNichell 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 McNichell lived on the Isle of Skye, which is located on the western coast.

Early Origins of the McNichell family

The surname McNichell 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 McNichell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNichell 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 McNichell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McNichell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations are extremely common among Scottish names dating from this era because the arts of spelling and translation were not yet standardized. Spelling was done by sound, and translation from Gaelic to English was generally quite careless. In different records, McNichell has been spelled MacNichol, MacNicol, MacNicoll, Nicolson, Nicholson, MacNicholas, MacNickle, MacNickel, MacNickell, MacNiccol, MacNychole and many more.

Early Notables of the McNichell 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 McNichell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McNichell family to Ireland

Some of the McNichell 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.


Australia McNichell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

McNichell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Patrick Mcnichell, (b. 1808), aged 30, Irish soldier born in Antrim who was convicted in Tiruchirappalli (Trechinopoly), Tamil Nadu, India for 7 years for assault, transported aboard the "Caledonia" on 20th August 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [2]


The McNichell 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)
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 1st December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/caledonia


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