The surname is one of the oldest family names to came from that French region known as Brittany
. It is derived from the Latin personal name
Nicolaus, meaning victory people.
Early Origins of the Nicolais family
The surname Nicolais was first found in Brittany
where they held a family seat
in the seigneurie of Trévidy. They were members of the nobility since the year 1497. In Brittany
they also branched to Champgèrault, Fardelière, Kerviziou, and Lézernant.
Early History of the Nicolais family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nicolais research.Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1820, 1501, 1516, 1598, 1617, 1682, 1625, 1709, 1625 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Nicolais History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Nicolais Spelling Variations
French surnames were subject to numerous spelling alterations depending on the region and time it was used. The early development of the French language relied heavily on borrowing elements and grammar from other languages. For example, Old French was infused with Germanic words and sounds when barbarian tribes invaded and settled in France after the fall of the Roman Empire
. Middle French also borrowed heavily from the Italian language during the Renaissance
. As a result of these linguistic and cultural influences, the name Nicolais is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations
of the name include Nicolas, De Nicolas, Nicolis, Nicolaz, Nicolais, Nicolai, Nicola, Nicolay, Nicolau, Nicolaud, Nicolaus, DeNicolai and many more.
Early Notables of the Nicolais family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst this name at this time was Louis Nicolas (died 1682), French missionary in Canada, author of the books "Histoire Naturelle des Indes Occidentales" and the "Grammaire algonquine"; Gabriel Nicolas... Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nicolais Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Nicolais family to the New World and Oceana
French settlers came early to North American, following in the wake of the explorers, and creating New France. Quebec City, founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain is said to have been the first American site founded as a permanent settlement, rather than as just a commercial outpost. But emigration was slow, in 1643, 109 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 French people in Quebec, and by 1663, when the region was officially made The Royal Colony of New France, by Louis XIV, there still only around 500 settlers. Over 2,000 would arrive during the next decade. Early marriage was desperately encouraged amongst the immigrants. Youths of 18 took fourteen-year-old girls for their wives. The fur trade was developed and attracted immigrants, both noble and commoner from France. By 1675, there were around 7000 French in the colony, and by that same year the Acadian presence in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had reached 500. In 1755, 10,000 French Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance to England
and were deported to Louisiana. Despite the loss of the Colony to England
, the French people flourished in Lower Canada. Among settlers to North America of the Nicolais surname were Etienne Nicolas who arrived in Quebec in 1750 from Aunis near Bordeaux, although this is thought to be his port of embarkation rather than his home region..
Contemporary Notables of the name Nicolais (post 1700)
- Mario Nicolais, American Republican politician, Candidate for Mayor of North Pelham, New York, 1957 CITATION[CLOSE]
The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
The Nicolais 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: En bon espoir
Motto Translation: In good hope.