Recorded in many forms including Nicholett, Nicholetts, Nicolett, Nicklin, Nickling and the double diminutive of Nicklingson or Nicklinson, this is a surname of medieval English origin. It is however arguably at least ultimately Greek, being a derivative of the personal name "Nicholas". This name which is also a surname in its own right, is itself derived from the Greek verb "nikan", meaning to conquer, and "laos", people, and was a popular personal name among Christians throughout medieval Europe. This was largely due to the fame of a 4th Century bishop of Lycian origin, about whom a large number of legends grew up. He was venerated in the Greek Orthodox as well as the Roman Catholic church. The personal name is first recorded in England in the Domesday Book of 1086 but it was Crusader knights of the 12th century, returning from their various attempts to free the Holy land from the Muslims, who gave real impetus to the name. Early examples of the surname recording include Robert Nykelin in the Staffordshire Assize Rolls of 1387, Mary Nicholetts, the daughter of Gabriel Nicholetts, who was christened at St Giles Cripplegate, in the city of London, on March 4th 1619, and Thomas Nicklinson, a christening witness at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on June 1st 1788. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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