The Nankivell surname was taken on from a place name in the Parish of St. Mawgan, Pyclar,
. The place name is derived from the Cornish "nans," meaning "valley," and the
, where early records show that lands at St Columb Major were granted to Odoni de Nanscuvel and Rose his wife, in 1324.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nankivell research.Another 73 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1495, 1499, 1602, and 1620 are included under the topic Early Nankivell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
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.