This uncommon and intriguing name is of early medieval English origin, and is a patronymic form of the surname derived from a short, pet form of the male personal name Nicholas. The ultimate origin of the given name is from the ancient Greek "Nikolaos", from "nikan", to conquer, and "laos", people; this was a very popular name among Christians throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, mainly through the fame of St. Nic(h)olas, a 4th Century Lycian bishop, about whom a large number of legends grew up, and who was venerated in the Orthodox Church as well as the Catholic. The given name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Nicolaus", while the short form appears in Yorkshire in 1316, when "John son of Nyk" is listed in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield. The modern surnames formed from patronymics of "Nick" include: Nix, Nicks, Nickes, Nixon, Nixson, Nickinson, Nickisson and Nickerson. The following entry appears in the Register of St. Peter's, Cornhill, London, in 1586: "Married - Benedict Nix, bacheler, and Elizabeth Cathron, a mayden". A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name depicts a red chevron between three red leopards' faces on a gold shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Nix, which was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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