Niles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Strathclyde-Briton people of ancient Scotland were the first to use the name Niles. The Niles family lived in Ayrshire. The Niles family name is also a Scottish patronymic name created from the personal name Neill. It is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Néill meaning "descendant, or son of Niall."

Early Origins of the Niles family

The surname Niles was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Niles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Niles research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1474 and 1654 are included under the topic Early Niles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Niles Spelling Variations

The variation in the spelling of Medieval names is a result of the lack of spelling rules in the English language prior to the last few hundred years. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound, often varying the spelling of name within a single document. Niles has appeared as Neilson, Nielson, Nilson, Nylson and others.

Early Notables of the Niles family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Niles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Niles family to Ireland

Some of the Niles family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Niles migration to the United States +

As the persecution of Clan families continued, they sailed for North America in increasing numbers. In most cases, they found the freedom and opportunity they sought. Land was often available and the American War of Independence allowed Scots an opportunity to solidify their independence from the English crown. These settlers and their ancestors went on to play essential roles in the forging of the nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Niles Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Niles, who arrived in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1639 [1]
Niles Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Rebecca Niles, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [1]
  • William Niles, who landed in Tortola in 1790 [1]
Niles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Niles, aged 22, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Paul S Niles, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1849 [1]
  • A C Niles, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855 [1]

Canada Niles migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Niles Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Niles, aged 13, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834

Australia Niles migration to Australia +

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

Niles Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John W. Niles, (b. 1839), aged 40, Caribbean sugar planter, from West Indies travelling aboard the ship "Blair Athole" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 4th March 1879 [2]
  • Mrs. Jane A. Niles, (b. 1849), aged 30, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Blair Athole" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 4th March 1879 [2]
  • Miss Bertha A. Niles, (b. 1875), aged 4, Caribbean settler, from West Indies travelling aboard the ship "Blair Athole" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 4th March 1879 [2]

New Zealand Niles 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:

Niles Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William C. Niles, (b. 1856), aged 23, Cornish carpenter departing on 25th April 1879 aboard the ship "Orari" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 26th July 1879 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Niles (post 1700) +

  • Nathaniel William Niles (1886-1932), American figure skater
  • Henry Clay Niles (1850-1918), United States federal judge
  • William E. Niles (1867-1936), American Major League Baseball player
  • Wendell Niles (1904-1994), one of the great announcers of the American golden age of radio
  • Ken Niles (1908-1988), American radio announcer
  • Herbert Clyde Niles (1880-1953), American outfielder /infielder in Major League Baseball
  • John Milton Niles (1787-1856), American lawyer, editor, author and politician
  • Richard Niles, American composer, arranger, producer, guitarist, broadcaster and journalist
  • Steve Niles (b. 1965), American comic book author and novelist
  • Addison Cook Niles (1832-1890), American Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of California
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Niles 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: His regi servitium
Motto Translation: With these we render service to the king.


Suggested Readings for the name Niles +

  • 3404 Sixteen Couples: Stories about the Lives and Times of Thirty-Two People by P. Parker.

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 19). Emigrants to Australia NSW 1860 -88 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/nsw_passenger_lists_1860_88.pdf
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf


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