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MacNichol Clan

Believed to have been of Norse descent, the name MacNicol is derived from the name “Nicail” or “Nicholas“, a popular name in Scandinavia in the mid thirteenth century.

This appears to explain why the clan were originally found in the Hebrides and Western Highlands, which remained part of the Scandinavian kingdom of Man and the Isles until 1266. It is believed that the early MacNicols (at that point using the name Neacal) would have lived here and would serve under Norse rulers during this period before going on to establish a clan of their own in later years.

The first MacNicol clan chief to appear in records was John, son of Nicail, who appeared in the company of the MacDonalds, MacDougalls and MacRuaris – the leading Hebridean Chiefs at the start of the 14th century – and it is thought that John was the most prominent clan chief in Lewis at the time.

Despite this, the clan would soon move to the Isle of Skye after their lands on the peninsula fell into the hands of the MacLeods of Lewis and they would then settle in Skye at their traditional home of Scorrybreac.

The clan chief would live at Scorrybreac until the start of the 19th century before emigrating to Tasmania following the Highland clearances and the family would then disappear until the 1980s when Ian Nicholson, an Australian, petitioned the Lord Lyon to be recognised as the rightful chief. He would receive this recognition in 1988, only a year after he had been instrumental in the purchase of the Ben Chracaig estate, a portion of land which makes up part of the clan’s original Scorrybreac home. Ian sadly passed away in 2003, however, his son John assumed his duties and still serves in the role to this day from his home in Ballina, New South Wales, Australia.

 

Clan products

Details

Septs: MACNEACAIL, MACNICHOL, MACNICOL, MCNEACAIL, MCNICHOL, MCNICOL, NICHOLSON, NICOLSON, MACPHAIL
Motto: SCORRYBREAC
Translation: GREY RIDGE
Crest: A hawk's head erased Gules
scottish macnicol hunting ancient tartan

MacNicol Hunting Ancient Tartan

scottish macnicol hunting modern tartan

MacNicol Hunting Modern Tartan