NICHOLS-L Archives

Archiver > NICHOLS > 2004-06 > 1088397518

From: herb nichols <>
Subject: Re: Nichols Surname Y-DNA Project Update
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 00:44:03 -0400
References: <><015101c45bff$0544f590$0d00a8c0@DD9D0N41><00ec01c45c4e$e57b8b20$6c01a8c0@oemcomputer>
In-Reply-To: <00ec01c45c4e$e57b8b20$6c01a8c0@oemcomputer>

It seems there is an implied BRITISH or U.K. preceeding each occurence of the
surname "Nichols" in the post to which you are responding.
A brief scan of the free 1880 on-line U.S. census makes it ridiculously
clear that
people with the surname "Nichols" have immigrated from all over the world. From
Greece & Albania and South Africa & Russia etc. There are Catholics and
and Jews JUST among the westerners. I'll just bet one can _EVEN_ find some
named Nichols as well. e.g. from countries in the southern Balkans?
However, when focusing on pre-Revolutionary -that is to say, Colonial-
America, even
including the odd German, low-lander and Hugenot (sp?) immigrant isn't it
appropriate to
think of ourselves as of western European blood (excluding the black
Nichols of course who
neither wanted to be here, nor _certainly_ wanted their slavemasters' very
And if it is, then talking about the anglo-saxon and/or celtic and/or
nordic origins of OUR
name(s) is quite meaningful. And it is my understanding that one of the
principal purposes
of this study is to find the trans-atlantic origins of the (largely)
Colonial Nixxxxs immigrants
(and therefore western/northwestern Europeans)

By the way, the spelling variations are of ZERO significance.
Each time I bump into a Brit, which is a coupla times a week in my work, I ask
about spelling. And each time, they tell me the most common spelling BY FAR
is Nicholls.
Very UNcommon here. But of more consequence ...

Reading, Middlesex, Mass is one of the very early homes of a significant
population of
the Nic***s clan., whose first representative moved there from Ipswich Mass
in 1661.
And there was a birth there as early as 03 Jul 1677. The name wasn't even
"Nichols" the first time until 1741 a full 80 years after the Nic***s
settled there.
We were a largely illiterate colony for much more than one hundred years,
much much more. The spelling of our surnames was up to the personal
of the town clerks, and the spellings would change with the changing of the
Similarly, just look at the early Vital Records of
Wakefield,Middlesex,Mass. They
were ENTIRELY church records. The first church of Reading was in that portion
of Reading (south Reading) that became Wakefield. So when NEHGS sponsored
the publication of Vital Records they "gave" the baptismal records to
Wakefield since
otherwise it wouldn't have had ANY records.
Anyway, the clerics were JUST as inconsistent as the town clerks in their
and the damn clerics were MOSTLY trained at Hahvard for gosh sakes!
(Never DID trust those Mathers)!

The multi-volume "Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the
has almost 400 entries for various spellings of Nichols. Some of these are
multiple entries
for the same man of course.
The various spellings are:

At 09:58 AM 6/27/04, David Kearney wrote:

> >>>----- 3) Out of the 14 participants so far, it appears that there
> are 12 unique
> Nichols Y-chromosomes! Besides the Richard Nichols example shown above, the
> next closest match at 25 markers is 20/25, which means their common
> paternal/YDNA ancestor was before the Nichols surname originated. The data
> in the above link indicate that large numbers of genetically different men
> adapted the Nichols surname, either by choice or by force, since the
> Nichols
> name likely originated from a Norman Viscount in around 1000 AD. Most of
> these Nichols men have YDNA signatures consistent with a Celtic origin,
> although some have signatures that appear more like Anglo-Saxon or of
> Nordic
> origin (ask me for more details).<<<
> _______________________________________
> At the risk of being seen a quibbler, I thought I should respond to
> your statement that "the Nichols name likely originated from a Norman
> viscount in around 1000 AD."
> I don't know much about the believed linguistic origins of the word,
> "Nichols," as a surname, but I would caution caution in subscribing to a
> single "origin" of the name. Many American names have come through a
> number of corruptions, often as a result of "anglicizing" (ironic and
> misleading as THAT term can be) and I think it often is perhaps
> misleading to think in terms of a single origin for a surname. Some
> American immigrants (to say nothing of Native Americans and enslaved
> African-Americans) "selected" (or were "given") a given "new name" from
> names pre-existing. Others gained their name by adoption or birth, but
> not by their paternal genes. For others, the process was more due to
> spelling differences, and "ear" differences among the many American
> immigrant origins. Often names from different languages sound, and
> appear, very similar to the Norman/English "Nichols," but I imagine came
> from different roots. Maybe, at least.
> As the early Nichols DNA study might bear out, and as you point out,
> one can find names similar to the Nichols name from early Celtic (see, e.
> g., concerning the Clan MacNicol,
>, Nordic,
> and Angle-Saxon origins. Similar names appear from the Palatine (see, e.
> g.,, and the name can be
> associated with Russia. I'm confident that other national origins
> exist. Possibly the similar-appearing and similar-sounding names from
> these various lands and cultures and languages derive from the Norman
> viscount in 1000 AD (or have identifiable common origins), but it seems
> likely that the various forms also represent separate origins.
> My point is largely that "other" origins of the Nichols name are
> legitimate origins of the name also, and not less so because they have
> evolved to their present form. I appreciate the importance of
> determining the first person identified with the exact spelling of
> "Nichols," if such identification is possible, but I would not want to
> read too much into it.
> I think that DNA study provides a very valuable, new and exciting
> tool for researching our backgrounds, and I think even the origins of
> some of the names themselves. The Nichols DNA study to date supports
> such enthusiasm ... I look forward to your continuing reports and success!
>Dave Kearney
>(Great-grandson of Nelson Elijah Nichols, born in 1821, Sackets Harbor,
>Jefferson County, New York)
>Gain access to over two billion names including the new Immigration
>Collection with an free trial. Click to learn more.

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