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February 2012 edition
Index to my genealogy pages


NIX, a generic history of the surname

According to MacLysaght's, "The Surnames of Ireland":
(Mac) Nix. MacNiocais (Irish spelling). An Irish patronymic assumed by some families in Woulfe in County Limerick. The two names were used synonymously till recently.(when that is I don't know).
The Irish surname Nix is based on the personal name of the father of the original bearer of the name (i.e. 'patronymic'). It is an orthographical variant contraction of "Nick's"(a diminutive form of the English personal name Nicholas plus the genitive saxon " `s " which here indicates "son of".) Thus, "son or descendant of Nick or Nicholas." The given name Nick/Nicholas derives from the Latin name "Nicholas," meaning "people's victory." This name was very common during the Middle Ages and this is shown by the numerous forms that existed in diminutive and pet forms. The vernacular form was Nicol and the feminine form, Nicholas, were also quite common.

Early references to the name/surname or to a variant date as far back as the eleventh century when 'Nicholas' is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. Some other early instances include a record of John Filius Nicholai who appeared in the "Hundred Rolls" of Shropshire in 1273 and one William Nicholas from Bedfordshire who was recorded in the "Catalogue of Ancient Deeds" in the year 1311. In the Assize Rolls of Oxfordshire there are records of one Henry Nix and one William Nix, both residents of that county in the year 1273. We also find a record of one Margerita Nikeson who is registered in the Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire in 1379. Other records mention one Thomas Nyxsan who married one Johanna Scachyn in London in 1527.

Blazon of Arms: Or, a chevron between three leopards' faces gules. Translation: Or (yellow) denotes generosity and elevation of mind. Gules (red) signifies magnanimity.

Crest: On a mount, a skag lodged proper.

Motto: Semper fidelis. Translation: Always faithful.

Origin: Ireland

Search date: March 23, 1999

  • The Nixes were Nordic, referred to as Danes, principally coming in about 1100 A. D. from what is known as Norway.
  • Family lore says in the 1940's Nix relations lived on Long Island, New York.
  • There is persistent family lore that a Henry Nix played pro football in New York City for the Giants in 1940-41 and was a relative. In Oct-December 1999 I checked football data via the net and received a reply on that there was no 'Nix' on the 1941 N.Y Giants and that 'Total Football' which records any player who ever played in a professional game listed the following 'Nixes'; Kent Nix, Doyle Nix, George Nix, Jack Nix, another Jack Nix, Emory Nix and Roosevelt Nix.
  • When I checked the Giants All Time Roster the only '40's era Nix name appearing was their 1943-46 quarterback, Emory Nix. After some inquiries there is no indication he is related.

  • NEXT are my clues and links for Nix & Forde in County Clare

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