Nicholas History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name of the Nicholas family is derived from The surname Nicholas is a patronymic surname, belonging to the category of surnames known as hereditary surnames. Nicholas is derived from the personal name Nicholas. It was a popular given name in the Middle Ages. This surname came to England with the Bretons, who accompanied Duke William of Normandy when he invaded England in 1066. The Bretons were from the peninsula of Brittany in the northwest of France. Formerly known as Armorica, a possession of the Roman Empire, this land consists of a plateau with a deeply indented coast and is broken by hills in the west. However, the region was renamed Britannia Minor by the Romans, following the emigration of six thousand Britons across the English Channel, an event which took place at the behest of the Roman Commander in Britain.

Early Origins of the Nicholas family

The surname Nicholas was first found in Cornwall; although in early times another branch of the family was established at West Horsley in Surrey. "The east window contains some very ancient stained glass; and there are two handsome monuments to the Nicholas family, one of whom, Sir Edward, was secretary of state to Charles I. and II." [1]

Early History of the Nicholas family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nicholas research. Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1525, 1611, 1658, 1657, 1594, 1661, 1593, 1669, 1595 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Nicholas History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nicholas Spelling Variations

Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. 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. Therefore, 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 after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Nicholas, Nicholl, Nichol, Nicholls, Nicolas and many more.

Early Notables of the Nicholas family (pre 1700)

Notable of this family during the Middle Ages was Matthew Nicholas (1594-1661), English Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, London; Sir Edward Nicholas (1593-1669), an English office holder and politician...
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nicholas Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nicholas World Ranking

In the United States, the name Nicholas is the 1,384th most popular surname with an estimated 22,383 people with that name. [2] However, in Australia, the name Nicholas is ranked the 561st most popular surname with an estimated 6,821 people with that name. [3] And in New Zealand, the name Nicholas is the 426th popular surname with an estimated 1,564 people with that name. [4] The United Kingdom ranks Nicholas as 698th with 9,585 people. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Nicholas family to Ireland

Some of the Nicholas family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Nicholas migration to the United States +

Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Nicholas:

Nicholas Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Austin Nicholas, who arrived in Plymouth in 1621
  • Austin Nicholas, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621 [6]
  • Jon Nicholas, who landed in Virginia in 1636 [6]
  • Walter Nicholas, who landed in Massachusetts in 1636 [6]
  • Richard Nicholas, who arrived in Virginia in 1639 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Nicholas Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Nicholas, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1703 [6]
  • Edward Nicholas, who landed in Virginia in 1711 [6]
  • Sarah Nicholas, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1714 [6]
  • Lodwick Nicholas, aged 34, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1738 [6]
  • Jacob Nicholas, who settled in Philadelphia in 1741
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Nicholas Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel R Nicholas, aged 23, who arrived in Louisiana in 1812 [6]
  • Dn Nicholas, aged 27, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1820 [6]
  • Robert Nicholas, who landed in New York in 1834 [6]
  • Robert H Nicholas, who arrived in New York in 1837 [6]
  • Jean Nicholas, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Nicholas Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Nicholas, Cornish settler, from St Ives, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Majestic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 25th July 1900 en route to Calumet, Michigan, USA [7]
  • Mr. William Nicholas, Cornish miner, from St Ives, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Majestic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 25th July 1900 en route to Calumet, Michigan, USA [7]
  • Mr. Charles Nicholas, (b. 1881), aged 22, Cornish smith, from Hayle, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 2nd August 1903 en route to Ishpeming, Michigan, USA [7]
  • Mr. Thomas Nicholas, (b. 1881), aged 22, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 26th September 1903 en route to Quinnesec, Michigan, USA [7]
  • Mrs. Mary Ann Nicholas, (b. 1839), aged 64, Cornish settler, from Penzance, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Oceanic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 20th August 1903 en route to Granite City, Illinois, USA [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Nicholas migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Nicholas Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • James Nicholas, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Mrs. Ruth Nicholas U.E. born in Newport, Rhode Island, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 listed as a passenger on Union Transport, she had two children [8]
  • Mr. Samuel Nicholas U.E. who settled in Parr Town, Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he was Secretary at Saint John's Lodge A.F & A.M from 1805 to 1806 [8]
Nicholas Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Michael Nicholas who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Horatio" departing 18th July 1847 from Limerick, Ireland; the ship arrived on 3rd September 1847 but he died on board [9]

Australia Nicholas migration to Australia +

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

Nicholas Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr.Nicholas Bourke, (b. 1779), aged 40, Irish black smith who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for perjury, transported aboard the "Bencoolen" on 24th April 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia before being transferred to Tasmania via the "Admiral Cockburn" [10]
  • Mr.Nicholas Collins, (Michael, Wood, Woods), Irish convict who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bencoolen" on 24th April 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia before being transferred to Tasmania via the "Admiral Cockburn" [10]
  • Mr. John Nicholas, (Nichols), Welsh convict who was convicted in Anglesey, Wales for life, transported aboard the "Caledonia" in 19th June 1822, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • Mr. Nicholas Smalley, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 13th March 1828, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [12]
  • Mr. Cyprison Nicholas, (b. 1811), aged 29, Cornish gardener from Penzance, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Earl Grey" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 20th February 1840 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Nicholas 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:

Nicholas Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Nicholas (Nichols), British settler arriving as Detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 [14]
  • Mrs. Ann Nicholas (Nichols) née Mckenzie, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 [14]
  • Alexander Nicholas, aged 16, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1850
  • Mr. James Nicholas, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Royal Albert" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 6th March 1853 [14]
  • Mr. Edwin Owen Nicholas, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Harkaway" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 2nd June 1857 [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Nicholas (post 1700) +

  • Albert O. "Ab" Nicholas (1931-2016), American chairman, CEO, and portfolio manager of Nicholas Company, Inc
  • Brigadier-General Richard Ulysses Nicholas (1890-1953), American Engineer, 2nd Army (1945-1946) [16]
  • Wilson Cary Nicholas (1761-1820), American politician, governor of Virginia from 1814-1816
  • Samuel Nicholas (1744-1790), American Marine Corps officer
  • Fred Nicholas, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Mexico, 1932. Interment somewhere in Albuquerque, New Mexico [17]
  • Elmer H. Nicholas, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives from Newaygo District, 1950 [17]
  • Elizabeth Nicholas, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California 8th District, 1940 (Communist), 1942 [17]
  • E. G. Nicholas, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oklahoma, 1960 [17]
  • Connie Nicholas, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from North Dakota, 2004, 2008; Member of Republican National Committee from North Dakota, 2008 [17]
  • Cheryl A. Nicholas (b. 1952), American Republican politician, Engineer; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 2004 [17]
  • ... (Another 33 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. C Nicholas, British Leading Cook, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [18]
Prince of Wales colliery
  • Mr. Charles Nicholas (b. 1860), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [19]
  • Mr. Henry Nicholas (b. 1864), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [19]
Triangle Waist Company
  • Miss Annie Nicholas (b. 1893), Russian Jewish garment worker who was working at Triangle Waist Company factory at the Asch building in Greenwich Village on the 25th March 1911 when fire broke out; she died in the fire [20]


Suggested Readings for the name Nicholas +

  • The Nicholases of Pennsylvania in the Civil War 1861-1865 by Jerry F. Peter.

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  4. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  5. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  8. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  9. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 91)
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bencoolen
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/caledonia
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  13. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  16. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) Richard Nicholas. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Nicholas/Richard_Ulysses/USA.html
  17. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  18. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  19. ^ Entombed in flood and flame (retrieved 3rd August 2021). Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20120603025705/http://www.crosskeys.me.uk/history/prince.htm
  20. ^ Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (retrieved on 3rd August 2021.) Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle_Shirtwaist_Factory_fire


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