This interesting surname is a diminutive of the Latin personal name Nicolaus meaning "victorious people". The surname dates back to the late 12th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one John Nichole (1270), "Unpublished Documents" in the Essex Record Office, Chelmsford, and William Nicholas (1311), "A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds of Bedfordshire". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Nicholl, Nickal, Nickel, Nickle, Nickol, Nickol, etc. One Margaret Nicoll was christened at Harrow on the Hill, London, on December 26th 1579. Sarah, daughter of John and Elizabeth Nickall, was christened on February 3rd 1705 at St. Botolph without Aldersgate, London, and Elizabeth Nickell married William Rickerby at St. Lukes, Old Street, Finsbury on June 3rd 1794. Thomas, son of John and Mary Nickell, was christened on January 4th 1818 at St. Mary, Rotherhithe, London. One George Nickel, a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the Ocean-Queen bound for New York on August 10th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Waleram Nicholai, which was dated 1198, Curia Regis Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King Richard 1, "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.