The origin of the distinguished Nilson family can be traced to the historic Scandinavian country of Sweden. The surname Nilson is derived from the Scandianavian personal name Njáll. This name is in turn derived from the Gaelic name Niall, which was adopted by Scandinavian settlers in Ireland. Over time, the forms Niels and Nils developed. The suffix -sson and its variants are translatable as son of.
^ 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)