McNicholas Family History
The ancient origin of the name McNicholas
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name McNicholas
include Nicholas and Clausson. This name in Irish is MacNioclais and the latter variants are the anglicized forms of this. This sept came from Mayo.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
They are a Gaelicized branch of the Norman de Burgos. The inquisitions of James I's reign show that they held extensive estates around Bohola, in the barony of Gallen and the Book of Survey and Distribution records them as proprietors in the adjacent barony of Clanmorris in the year 1641. The name became prominent again in the nineteenth century in the person of Reverend Patrick MacNicholas, Bishop of Achonry from 1818 to 1852. In the 1659 Census it is found as one of the principal Irish names in County Waterford.The McNicholas
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including McNicholas