Nankervis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Nankervis surname was taken on from a place name in the Parish of St. Mawgan, Pyclar, Cornwall. The place name is derived from the Cornish "nans," meaning "valley," and the personal name Cuvel.

Early Origins of the Nankervis family

The surname Nankervis was first found in Cornwall, where early records show that lands at St Columb Major were granted to Odoni de Nanscuvel and Rose his wife, in 1324.

Early History of the Nankervis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nankervis research. Another 73 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1495, 1499, 1602, and 1620 are included under the topic Early Nankervis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nankervis Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Nankivell, Nankevill, Nankivel, Nanskevell, Nankivel, Nankevell, Nancekievill and many more.

Early Notables of the Nankervis family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was John Nankivell of St Mawgan, who was listed as a supporter of Perkin Warbeck in 1495. Warbeck, pretending...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nankervis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Nankervis migration to the United States +

In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Nankervis were found:

Nankervis Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. James Nankervis, (b. 1868), aged 32, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 11th February 1900 en route to Red Jacket, Michigan, USA [1]
  • Mrs. Ellen Nankervis, (b. 1869), aged 31, English settler travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 31st August 1900 en route to Calumet, Michigan, USA [1]
  • Mr. Samuel Nankervis, (b. 1874), aged 26, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 11th February 1900 en route to Red Jacket, Michigan, USA [1]
  • Mr. Samuel Nankervis, (b. 1874), aged 29, English miner travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 26th April 1903 en route to Calumet, Michigan, USA [1]
  • Mr. John Nankervis, (b. 1882), aged 21, Cornish miner, from Penzance, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 24th May 1903 en route to Houghton, Michigan, USA [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Nankervis migration to Australia +

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

Nankervis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Nankervis, (b. 1807), aged 18 born in Cornwall, UK convicted in Exeter on 11th August 1825, sentenced for 7 years for stealing a watch, transported aboard the ship "Woodford" in 1826 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [2]
  • William Nankervis, aged 24, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "William Money" [3]
  • Elizabeth Nankervis, aged 57, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "William Money" [3]
  • Charles Nankervis, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Pakenham" in 1849 [4]
  • Elizabeth Nankervis, aged 57, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Money" in 1849 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Nankervis 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:

Nankervis Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Ann Nankervis, (b. 1853), aged 21, Cornish settler departing on 7th May 1874 aboard the ship "Eastern Monarch" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 22nd July 1874 [5]
  • Mr. James Nankervis, (b. 1847), aged 27, Cornish labourer departing on 7th May 1874 aboard the ship "Eastern Monarch" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 22nd July 1874 [5]
  • Mr. James Nankervis, (b. 1852), aged 23, Cornish farm labourer departing on 12th October 1875 aboard the ship "Caroline" going to Marlborough, New Zealand arriving in port in 1875 [6]
  • Mr. William T. Nankervis, (b. 1858), aged 21, Cornish farm labourer departing on 29th May 1879 aboard the ship "Famenoth" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th September 1879 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Nankervis (post 1700) +

  • Colin Nankervis, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Texas 18th District, 2000
  • Ian Nankervis (b. 1944), Australian rules footballer who played from 1964 through 1966
  • Victor Alfred Percival Nankervis (1893-1973), Australian rules footballer who played from 1915 through 1918
  • Victor Andrew Nankervis (1918-1985), Australian rules footballer who played from 1941 through 1946
  • Bruce Nankervis (b. 1950), Australian rules footballer, Geelong Football Club captain (1976- 1977)
  • Ian J. Nankervis (b. 1948), Australian rules footballer who played from 1967-1983


  1. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  2. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/tasmanian_convicts_cornish.pdf
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) "WILLIAM MONEY" 1848-49. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849WmMoney.htm
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The PAKENHAM 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Pakenham.htm
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Auckland 1872-80 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf


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