McNicol History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

McNicol is an ancient Viking-Scottish name derived from from the personal name, Nicholas. McNicol is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. The surname McNicol 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 McNicol lived on the Isle of Skye, which is located on the western coast.

Early Origins of the McNicol family

The surname McNicol 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 McNicol family

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

McNicol Spelling Variations

Scottish names from the Middle Ages vary enormously in their spellings. This is a result of the fact that there were no universal standards like dictionaries for scribes to judge by. The recorded spelling variations of the name McNicol include MacNichol, MacNicol, MacNicoll, Nicolson, Nicholson, MacNicholas, MacNickle, MacNickel, MacNickell, MacNiccol, MacNychole and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the McNicol family to Ireland

Some of the McNicol 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 McNicol migration to the United States +

Settlers found farms all along the eastern part of what would become the United States and Canada. They provided a base and a backbone that would strengthen two great nations in the making. In the 20th century, the ancestors of those brave Scots have rediscovered their heritage through highland games and Scottish historical societies. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Scottish name McNicol or a variant listed above, including:

McNicol Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Angus, Ann, Archibald, Jean, John, and Robert McNicol, who all, who arrived in Wilmington North Carolina in 1774
  • Archibald McNicol, aged 2, who landed in North Carolina in 1774 [2]
  • Duncan McNicol, who landed in North Carolina in 1774 [2]
  • John McNicol, aged 24, who arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1774 [2]
  • Nicol McNicol, aged 4, who landed in North Carolina in 1774 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
McNicol Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel McNicol, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1825 [2]

Australia McNicol migration to Australia +

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

McNicol Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John McNicol, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Peter McNicol, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" in 1839 [4]
  • Miss Susannah McNicol, (Thomson, McNichol, Susan) who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for 7 years , transported aboard the "Aurora" on 22nd April 1851, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • Nicholas McNicol, aged 26, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Standard" [6]
  • Ann McNicol, aged 20, a dairy servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Europa" [7]

New Zealand McNicol migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McNicol Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Rev. McNicol, Scottish settler travelling from Leith aboard the ship "Strathallan" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 8th January 1858 [8]
  • Miss Mary Mcnicol, (b. 1843), aged 20, British domestic servant travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship " Lancashire Witch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th October 1863 [9]
  • Archibald McNicol, aged 26, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1874
  • Janet McNicol, aged 25, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1874
  • James McNicol, aged 1, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name McNicol (post 1700) +

  • William Montgomery McNicol (1896-1973), American Democrat politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Griswold, 1919-20
  • Donald McNicol, American Republican politician, Mayor of Roselle Park, New Jersey, 1929-30
  • David Williamson McNicol CBE (1913-2001), Australian public servant and diplomat, High Commissioner to Pakistan from 1962 to 1965
  • David McNicol (b. 1833), Scottish-born, Canadian farmer and politician who represented Grey South in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1894 to 1898
  • Archibald McNicol (1878-1933), Reform Party Member of Parliament in New Zealand (1919-1922)
  • Iain McNicol (b. 1969), British Labour politician and trade unionist, General Secretary of the Labour Party (2011-)
  • Ross McNicol (b. 1979), English photographer and contemporary artist
  • Donald McNicol Sutherland (b. 1935), prolific Canadian actor with a film career spanning over 40 years. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1978 and was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2000

The McNicol 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. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1826 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) KATHERINE STEWART FORBES 1837 arrived Holdfast Bay, near Adelaide, on October 17, 1837. . Retrieved from
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from
  6. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STANDARD 1852. Retrieved
  7. ^ South Australian Register Monday 14th May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Europa 1855. Retrieved
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook
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