The Nelson Family Crest….oh yes

nelson-crestWell, well. I think its time that I traveled back to my homeland, my native United Kingdom, and head up to the highlands of Scotland to reclaim my family land and rebuild the family castle. Next, head back down to England and check out some of the tributes to some of the great Nelsons’ in the family, such as Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson. I’m in a cynical mood this evening….

Where did the English Nelson family come from? What is the English coat of arms/family crest? When did the Nelson family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the history of the family name?

The name Nelson is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from Nell, an Irish name. Nelson means “the son of Nell.” It came to England by a rather circuitous route. Adopted by Norse Viking settlers in Ireland in the first millennium, it traveled to Scotland and Norway. From there it traveled to France with the Normans who settled there in the 9th century after dispossession of their lands in Norway and Scotland by the respective kings of those realms. Eventually, of course, the Normans, led by Duke William of Normandy, invaded England and defeated the Saxons at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. At this point the name entered England proper.

via Nelson Family Crest.

4 thoughts on “The Nelson Family Crest….oh yes

  1. Greetings from New Zealand. I have been tracing my ancestry. My Great Grandfather, Edward, was born in Norway and that’s where I can’t seem to trace my lineage further back. I also have the family tree of Haratio Nelson. Funnily enough Haratio’s family are John Edward Nelsons. I met the eight John Edward. My father’s name was Edward John Nelson. I’d appreciate what you have discovered.


    Brennan Nelon, PhD

  2. My Great-grandmother’s name was Nelson, and my father moved to New Mexico in 1955 or 1956 because he detested the cold in North Dakota (Williston to be exact). My Great-grandmother moved down here and lived right next door in 1972 and died in 1977. That’s all I really know about my dad’s family.

  3. The Nelson name was common amongst clans Mc Neil ,Mc Kay , Gunn and Mc Gregor in Scotland . When the ban was enforced against the Mc Gregors , many of them are believed to have lived as Nelsons . The name is often derived from Mc Neil and thence O Niell in irish surname books , certainly one Scottish grant of arms includes the O Niell red hand , One Norwegian shield is identical to an Irish one except that it is blue and white where its Irish relative is black and white .

  4. I have traced my family back to colonial virginia, in fredrick county. Mathias Nelson is the farthest I have been able to find. He married Catherine Renner, any help would be appreciated.

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