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Nova Scotia NICHOLSONs of Spryfield

The NICHOLSONs of Spryfield, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada

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[ Descendants of William NICHOLSON of Spryfield, Halifax County, Nova Scotia ]
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Crest Badge:  A hawk’s head erased, gules.
Motto:  Sgòrra Bhreac
Gælic Name:  MacNeacail
Origin of Name:  (Gælic) MacNeacail (son of Nicol, conquering people).
Plant Badge:  Trailing azalea

    In the old Statistical Account, the Rev. William MacKenzie, in his description of the parish of Assynt, writes : “Tradition and even documents declare that it was a forest of the ancient Thanes of Sutherland.  One of these Prince Thanes gave it in vassalage to one Mackrycul, who in ancient times held the coast of Coygach, that part of it at the place presently called Ullapool.”  Mackrycul has been identified as the Gregall mentioned in the genealogy of the MacNicols in the MS. of 1450, and on the marriage of Torquil MacLeod to the daughter of the last of the MacNicol chiefs, the lands of Assynt passed to the MacLeods.
        When Assynt passed to MacLeod, the Clan MacNicol appear to have emigrated to Skye, where the MacLeods had extensive possessions, and the lands of Scorrybreck near Portree were in possession of MacNicols or Nicolsons for several centuries.  The clan played an important part in the history of Skye and from time to time their names appear in local records.  The Rev. Donald Nicolson, who was chief of the Scorrybreck family at the end of the 17th century, was minister of Troternish for over thirty years.  He was a strong Episcopalian, and resigned his charge in 1696 only because of his opposition to Presbyterianism which had become the established church.  Norman, the last chief of Scorrybreck, emigrated to New Zealand.
        There was also a strong branch of the MacNicols resident in Argyllshire.

Reprinted from:
Published by Collins. London and Glasgow
Fourth Edition, 1959, Revised, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1966
©1964 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd.

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