Nihill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name Nihill is Ó Néill, which means descendant of Niall, a personal name of Irish origin, thought to mean "champion." [1]

"Of the very great antiquity of this distinguished name and family there can be no doubt." [2]

Early Origins of the Nihill family

The surname Nihill was first found in County Tyrone (Irish: Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, and County Clare where O'Neill was chief of Clan Dalvy and of Tradree, a district in the barony of Inchiquinn. In the 10th century, a branch of this family went to Limerick to assist in the expulsion of the Danes.

After one victorious occasion they wore green boughs in their helmets and on their horses' heads signifying their victory.

Early History of the Nihill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nihill research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1480, 1559, 1530, 1567, 1550, 1616, 1612, 1664, 1694, 1689 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Nihill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nihill Spelling Variations

The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Nihill were encountered in the archives: O'Neill, Neal, Neale, Neales, Neil, Nihill, Niell, O'Nail, O'Neil, O'Niel and many more.

Early Notables of the Nihill family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Sir Niall O'Neill who distinguished himself at the Battle of the Boyne; Conn O'Neill, 1st Earl of Tyrone (c.1480-1559) King of Tir Eogain; Shane O'Neill (c.1530-1567), Irish king of the O'Neill dynasty of Ulster; Hugh O'Neill (c. 1550-1616), Earl of Tyrone, also known as the Great Earl...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nihill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Nihill migration to Australia +

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

Nihill Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Nihill, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo" [3]
  • Patrick Nihill, aged 28, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Australia"
  • Bridget Nihill, aged 26, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Australia"
  • Daniel Nihill, aged 28, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "North"

Contemporary Notables of the name Nihill (post 1700) +

  • Vincent Paul Nihill (1939-2020), British race walker who competed in the 50 km event at the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympics


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 23rd November 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Dirigo 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/dirigo1854.shtml.


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