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

Origins Available: English, German


The name Nicol was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. It 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]

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The surname Nicol 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]

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Nicol family name include Nicholl, Niccolls, Nichel, Nichol, Nicholls, Nichols, Nickel, Nickle, Nickles, Nicolls, Nicol, Nycol, Nuckles and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nicol 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 Nicol History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Nicol 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.

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To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Nicol family to immigrate North America:

Nicol Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Nicol, who arrived in New Jersey in 1685

Nicol Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Johanees Nicol, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1739
  • Johannes Nicol, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1739

Nicol Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Alexander Nicol, aged 26, landed in New York, NY in 1822
  • James Nicol, aged 23, arrived in Missouri in 1848
  • William Nicol, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1853
  • Georg Heinr Nicol, who arrived in America in 1854
  • Henry Nicol, who landed in St Clair County, III in 1857


Nicol Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Catherine Nicol, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834

Nicol Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Peter Nicol arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • John Nicol arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Platina" in 1839
  • Isabella Nicol arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Platina" in 1839
  • John Nicol arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duncan" in 1849
  • John Nicol, aged 30, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Nugget"


Nicol Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Charles Nicol, aged 25, a milwright, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842
  • Ann Nicol, aged 27, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842
  • Margaret Nicol, aged 11 mths., arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842
  • James F. Nicol, aged 35, a labourer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1849
  • Elizabeth Nicol, aged 31, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1849


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  • Hugh N. Nicol (1858-1921), Scottish-born, American Major League Baseball player who played from 1881 to 1890
  • Alexander Livingston "Alex" Nicol Jr. (1916-2001), American actor and director who appeared in many Westerns including The Man from Laramie (1955), Daniel Boone (1966) and The Wild Wild West (1967)
  • William M. Nicol, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for New York State Assembly from Kings County 10th District, 1919
  • Jessie R. Nicol, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1924
  • Henry G. Nicol, American Republican politician, Circuit Judge in Michigan 3rd Circuit, 1936-41; Defeated, 1941, 1947
  • Frank D. Nicol, American politician, Member of California State Assembly 17th District, 1883-85
  • Donna K. Nicol, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1996
  • Alex L. Nicol (b. 1895), American politician, Member of Wisconsin State Assembly from Monroe County, 1939-50
  • Simon John Breckenridge Nicol (b. 1950), English guitarist, singer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer, founding member of British folk rock group Fairport Convention
  • Mr. Thomas Enright Nicol (1917-1941), Australian Wireman from Glebe Point, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

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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. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  2. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Nicol Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Nicol 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 10:24.

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