Nicholl History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought the Nicholl family name to the British Isles. Nicholl comes from the given name Nicholas. Nicholas derives from the Greek Nikolaos, which is made up of the words nikan, meaning to conquer, and laos, meaning people. [1]

Early Origins of the Nicholl family

The surname Nicholl was first found in Cheshire, where Nicholas D'Albini, who was of the junior line of the Dukes of D'Albini in Normandy, settled in 1054, and his successor William became Baron of Malpas. Waleram Nicholai was listed in Suffolk in 1198 and Nicholaus was listed in Lincolnshire in 1147-1166. [1] By the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the name was scattered as seen by: William filius Nicoll in Shropshire; and John Nicole and Stephen Nichole in Oxfordshire. [2]

Some of the family were anciently found in the parish of St. Kew, Cornwall. "Trewane or Trewarne in this parish, was formerly a seat of the Nicholls family. The heiress of Nicholls, whose mother was a daughter of Sir Joseph Tredenham of Tregonan in St. Ewe, married Nicholas Glynn, Esq. and dying in 1771 without surviving issue, bequeathed her mansion and barton of Trewane to Thomas Glynn, Esq. of the borough of Helston." [3]

Continuing our quest for family in Cornwall, we found this interesting geneological record: "Trereife [in the parish of Madern] has been the family estate of the Nicholls's from time immemorial. Dr. Nicholls, physician to George II. who opened the body of the king for the purpose of ascertaining the cause of his death, which he described in a paper addressed to the Royal Society, was second son of John Nicholls. This family intermarried with the families of Godolphin and Foote. William John Godolphin Nicholls, Esq. the last survivor of the elder branch of the family, died May 9, 1815, and bequeathed all his estates to his mother." [3]

Early History of the Nicholl family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nicholl research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1307, 1500, 1542, 1658, 1678, 1550, 1589, 1555, 1584, 1559, 1616, 1590, 1668, 1587, 1642, 1619, 1683, 1624, 1672, 1630, 1687, 1672, 1673, 1699, 1778, 1681, 1727, 1727, 1658, 1640, 1640, 1648, 1664, 1712, 1756, 1850, 1779 and 1818 are included under the topic Early Nicholl History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nicholl Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Nicholl, Niccolls, Nichel, Nichol, Nicholls, Nichols, Nickel, Nickle, Nickles, Nicolls, Nicol, Nycol, Nuckles and many more.

Early Notables of the Nicholl family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Blessed George Nichols (c. 1550-1589), an English Catholic martyr; John Nicholls (1555-1584), a controversial author; Sir Augustine Nicolls (1559-1616), a judge; John Nicoll (c.1590-1668), a Scottish chronicler; Sir Francis Nicolls, 1st Baronet (c. 1587-1642), Member of Parliament for Bishop's Castle and Northamptonshire; Sir Edward Nicolls, 2nd Baronet (c. 1619-1683); Richard Nicolls (1624-1672), the first English colonial governor of New York province; Matthias Nicoll (1630-1687), American politician, 6th Mayor of New York City...
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nicholl Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Nicholl family to Ireland

Some of the Nicholl family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 129 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Nicholl migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Nicholl or a variant listed above:

Nicholl Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Nicholl, who settled in Virginia in 1663
  • John Nicholl and Daniel Nicholls, who both immigrated to Virginia in 1663
Nicholl Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William J. Nicholl, who sailed to New York in 1862

Canada Nicholl migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Nicholl Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Nicholl, who settled in Prince Edward Island in 1838

Australia Nicholl migration to Australia +

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

Nicholl Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Ellis Nicholl, British Convict who was convicted in York, Yorkshire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 25th June 1838, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • William Nicholl, aged 21, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Isle of Thanet" [5]

New Zealand Nicholl 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:

Nicholl Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Nicholl, aged 47, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • Janet Nicholl, aged 35, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • John Nicholl, aged 18, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • William Nicholl, aged 16, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • Charles Nicholl, aged 13, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Nicholl (post 1700) +

  • Samuel "Sam" Anderson Nicholl (1869-1937), American Major League Baseball player
  • Margaret Suzanne Nicholl (1897-1983), American missionary in the French colony of Ubangi-Shari
  • Louise Townsend Nicholl (1890-1981), American poet and editor
  • Don Nicholl (1925-1980), English-born, American screenwriter and producer
  • William Nicholl (1868-1922), English rugby union footballer
  • Terence John "Terry" Nicholl (b. 1952), English football midfielder
  • John Nicholl (1790-1871), English antiquary
  • Charles Nicholl, English historian and biographer
  • Christopher John "Chris" Nicholl (b. 1946), English-born former footballer and manager
  • Miss Elizabeth Joan Nicholl O.B.E., British Wing Commander for the Royal Air Force was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 17th June 2017
  • ... (Another 13 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Donald W Nicholl (b. 1918), Welsh Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy Special Reserve from New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [6]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. George Nicholl, English 2nd Class passenger residing in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [7]


The Nicholl 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: Fide sed cui vide
Motto Translation: Trust, but in whom take care.


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel
  5. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 25th October 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Isle of Thanet 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/isleofthanet1854.shtml.
  6. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  7. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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