Motto: Generositate (By generosity)

The name Nicolson derived from the Gaelic ‘MacNeacail’, meaning ‘son of Nicol’ which in turn is from the Latin ‘Nicolas’ meaning ‘conquering people’.  It may be of Viking origin, signifying ‘the daughter of Olsen.  Their first known possessions were in Ross-shire.  They were descended from one Mackrycul who, as a reward for having rescued from some Scandinavians a great quantity of cattle carried off from Sutherland, received from one of the ancient thanes of the province, the district of Assynt. 

This Mackrycul held that part of the coast of Coigeach, which is now called Ullapool.  In the 14th century the family of the Chief became extinct in the male line.  The Chiefs only child was a daughter, who married Torquil MacLeod of Lewis.  Torquil obtained a Crown Charter of the District of Assynt and other lands in Ross, apparently in right of his wife.  

Subsequently to this the Macnicils/Nicolsons followed the MacLeods of Lewis and most of them moved to the Isle of Skye, where their Chief residence was at Scorrybreac, near Portree.  David Nycholl was a frater of Cambuskenneth Abbey in 1546.  In 1592 John Nuckall and Alex Nuckall were ‘guhyt fisheris’ in Futtie, William Nuccal was a tenant in the Barony of Cannegarloch in 1640 and in 1650 James Nickle petitioned the Kirk of Session in Auchterhouse.  

In addition to the many tartans linked to the name, the MacLeod of Lewis and Campbell of Argyll are also connected to the name.