This rare and interesting name is of ENglish origin and is a dialectal variant of the name Nicholls, itself, derived from the ancient Greek "Nikolas", a personal name meaning "victory-people", this name has proved extraordinarily popular for hundreds of years, there are over thirty alternative spellings in the English language alone. "Nichols" is the patronymic form of the name meaning "son of". As a personal name it appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Nicolaus". An interesting bearer of the name was Thomas Nichols (c.1520 - 1570), a merchant who lived in the Canary Islands for six years, and whose descriptions of the Canaries and Madiera were included in "Hakluyt's Principall Navigations of 1589". One Samuel Nockolds the infant son of Isaac and Mary Nockolds was christened on May 5th 1775 at St. Mary's, St. Mary le-bone street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Waleram Nicholai, which was dated 1198, The Curia Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King Richard I, the Lionheart, 1189 - 1199. 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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