Nilsson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origin of the distinguished Nilsson family can be traced to the historic Scandinavian country of Sweden. The surname Nilsson 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.

Nilsson Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Nielsen, Nielson, Nielssen, Niellsen, Nilsen, Nilson, Nilssen and many more.


United States Nilsson migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Nilsson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Miche Nilsson, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1627 [1]
  • Michel Nilsson, who arrived in Delaware in 1643 [1]
  • Nils Nilsson, who landed in Delaware in 1655 [1]
  • Michael Nilsson, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1693 [1]
  • Jonas Nilsson, who landed in Delaware in 1693 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Nilsson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Anders Peter Nilsson, aged 18, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1848 [1]
  • Carl Johan Nilsson, aged 21, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1848 [1]
  • Swen Nilsson, aged 66, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1848 [1]
  • Lars Nilsson, aged 67, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1849 [1]
  • Sven Nilsson, aged 18, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1850 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Nilsson 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:

Nilsson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Jens Nilsson, (b. 1828), aged 44, Scandinavian labourer travelling from Hamburg aboard the ship "Palmerston" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 12th December 1872 [2]
  • Mrs. Anna Nilsson, (b. 1833), aged 39, Scandinavian settler travelling from Hamburg aboard the ship "Palmerston" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 12th December 1872 [2]
  • Miss Nils Nilsson, (b. 1863), aged 9, Scandinavian settler travelling from Hamburg aboard the ship "Palmerston" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 12th December 1872 [2]
  • Mr. Peter Nilsson, (b. 1865), aged 7, Scandinavian settler travelling from Hamburg aboard the ship "Palmerston" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 12th December 1872 [2]
  • Miss Johanne Nilsson, (b. 1872), aged 9 months, Scandinavian settler travelling from Hamburg aboard the ship "Palmerston" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 12th December 1872 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Nilsson (post 1700) +

  • Nils John Nilsson (1933-2019), American computer scientist, the first Kumagai Professor of Engineering (Emeritus) in Computer Science at Stanford University
  • Katharine Nilsson, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Florida, 1972 [3]
  • Joe Nilsson, American Democrat politician, Presidential Elector for Washington, 1996 [3]
  • Buck Nilsson, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Florida State Senate 11th District, 1978 [3]
  • Ivar Bengt Nilsson (1933-2019), Swedish speed skater who won a bronze all-round medal at the 1962 World Championships
  • Jens Bertil Georg Nilsson (1948-2018), Swedish politician, Member of the European Parliament (2009-2018)
  • Lennart Nilsson (1922-2017), Swedish photographer and scientist
  • Fritz Roland Nilsson (1924-2014), Swiss Olympian who competed at the 1948 and 1952 Summer Olympics
  • Monica Emma Josefin Nilsson (1969-2016), Swedish singer and actress
  • August Nilsson (1872-1921), Swedish Olympian who won gold for tug of war during the 1900 games
  • ... (Another 33 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Sigfrid Nilsson (1887-1914), Finnish Third Class Passenger from Helsingfors, (Helsinki), Finland who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland [4]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. August Ferdinand Nilsson (d. 1912), aged 21, Swedish Third Class passenger from HorbyHörby, Skåne who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [5]
  • Miss Berta Olivia Nilsson, aged 18, Swedish Third Class passenger from Lysvik, Värmland who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking in collapsible D [5]
  • Miss Helmina Josefina Nilsson, aged 26, Swedish Third Class passenger from Ramkvilla, Småland who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived in the sinking in life boat 13 [5]


  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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  4. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  5. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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