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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German

The name Nickell reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Nickell family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Nickell is based on 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]


The surname Nickell 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]

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Nickell has been recorded under many different variations, including Nicholl, Niccolls, Nichel, Nichol, Nicholls, Nichols, Nickel, Nickle, Nickles, Nicolls, Nicol, Nycol, Nuckles and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nickell research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1307, 1500, 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 and 1756 are included under the topic Early Nickell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 301 words (22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nickell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Nickell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 245 words (18 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Nickells were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Nickell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Jean Nickell, who arrived in Charles Town, South Carolina in 1782

Nickell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Herm Nickell, who landed in Arkansas in 1884


  • Francis M. Nickell (1843-1913), American contractor, builder and politician, Member of the Los Angeles City Council (1890-1984), (1896-1898)
  • Matt Nickell (b. 1983), American professional soccer player
  • Joe Nickell (b. 1944), American prominent skeptic and investigator of the paranormal, Senior Research Fellow for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
  • William Nickell, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Philadelphia County, 1893-96
  • Wheeler Nickell, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1956
  • Vernon Lewis Nickell (1891-1969), American Republican politician, Illinois Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1943-59; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1952
  • S. Monroe Nickell, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1916
  • James D. Nickell, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1960; Candidate for U.S. Representative from Kentucky 7th District, 1968
  • Stephen John Nickell CBE (b. 1944), British economist and former Warden of Nuffield College, Oxford


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.


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  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)

Other References

  1. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  5. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  6. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  7. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  8. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  10. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  11. ...

The Nickell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Nickell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 11 December 2015 at 10:22.

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