Nivison History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
In ancient Scotland, Nivison was a Strathclyde-Briton name for someone who lived in Ayrshire. The surname Nivison was also regarded as derived from the Gaelic patronymic Mac Naoimhin, which is derived from the word "naomh," meaning "little saint." The name was a favorite personal name in Galloway and Ayrshire.  
Another source claims the name "points to an early but forgotten personal name,"  but the lion's share of sources point to the aforementioned "little saint" origin.
Early Origins of the Nivison family
The surname Nivison was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, where the first record of the family appeared in the Latin form Nevinus, who was parson of Neveth and witnessed grant of a saltpan in Rosneath to the monks of Paisley, c. 1230. 
"Patrick filius Nevyn mentioned in 1284 is doubtless Patrick fiz John Nevyn or Neivin of Lanerkshire who rendered homage, 1296. Thomas filius Neuini served on an inquest in 1295, another Thomas filius Nyuini or Niuini was a tenant in Garvalde, 1376, and Crunyhatoun was leased to Robert filius Niuini in the same year." 
Some of the family ventured south into England where as a forename Neuyn filius Ade was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland in 1332 and Thomas filius Neuini was listed in 1295. 
Early History of the Nivison family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nivison research. Another 372 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1230, 1400, 1296, 1386, 1538, 1590, 1635, 1635, 1675, 1793, 1539, 1594, 1680, 1715, 1700, 1639, 1684, 1686, 1744, 1686, 1634, 1703, 1725, 1695, 1707, 1711, 1720, 1721, 1722 and 1650 are included under the topic Early Nivison History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Nivison Spelling Variations
In Medieval times, spelling and translation were not nearly so highly developed as today. They were generally carried out according to the sound and intuition of the bearer. For that reason spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Nivison has been spelled Niven, Nevin, Nevins, Nivens, Navin, Newin, Nevane, Niffen, Nifen, Niving, Neving, Newing, Neiven, Nivine, Nevison, Niveson and many more.
Early Notables of the Nivison family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was Kate McNiven (died 1715), also called Kate Nevin, a young nurse who served the House of Inchbrakie in the Parish of Monzie, near Crieff in Scotland in the early 1700s, she was one of the...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nivison Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Nivison family to Ireland
Some of the Nivison family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 221 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Nivison migration to the United States +
Unrest, poverty, and persecution caused thousands to look for opportunity and freedom in the North American colonies. The crossing was long, overcrowded, and unsanitary, though, and came only at great expense. Many Strathclyde families settled on the east coast of North America in communities that would form the backbone of what would become the great nations of the United States and Canada. The American War of Independence caused those who remained loyal to England to move north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the 20th century, Strathclyde and other Scottish families across North America began to recover their collective heritage through highland games and Clan societies. Among them:
Nivison Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Catherine S. Nivison, aged 32, who settled in America from Markinch, Scotland, in 1907
- Jessie Nivison, aged 30, who landed in America from Markinch, Scotland, in 1908
- Thomas Nivison, aged 29, who settled in America from Markinch, Scotland, in 1908
- Thomas Nivison, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States from Scotland, in 1909
- John Nivison, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States from Penicnik, Scotland, in 1909
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Nivison (post 1700) +
- David Shepherd Nivison (b. 1923), American sinologist
- Robert Nivison (1849-1930), 1st Baron Glendyne, Scottish stockbroker
- John "Jack" Allen Cowell Kennedy Nivison CBE, JP, British President of the Legislative Council of the Isle of Man
- James Nivison McArdle (1899-1960), American illustrator and cartoonist, best known for his Davy Crockett comic strip (1957-1960) which appeared in many newspapers across the nation
Related Stories +
The Nivison 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: Vivis sperandum
Motto Translation: Where there is life there is hope
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Supplement to Irish Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Book Company, 1964. Print.
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)