A Danish surname, Nielsen refers to the son of Niels. The name Niels is a form of Nicholas. The spelling variations for Nielsen include Nelson, Nielson, Neilson, Nilsson, Nilsen and Nelsen. In Denmark the Nielsen surname is the second most common name. It is also common in Sweden and Norway. On the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic, which are part of Denmark, many families also have the Nielsen surname. In England the primarily location for the Nielsen families is in the northern counties and along the eastern coast. The greater populations live in Yorkshire, Northumberland, Durham, Lancashire, Gloucestershire, the city of London, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. In Scotland the Nielsen family name is located mostly in Lanarkshire, Midlothian, Fife, Renfrewshire, Banffshire and West Lothian. Within the United States by the mid-1800s the Nielsen families were starting to resettle in the country from Europe. Most lived in Wisconsin, Utah, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Illinois. Famous: Carl Nielsen (music composer from Denmark), Alice Nielsen (singer), Brigitte Nielsen (actress from Denmark), Gunnar Nielsen (a Faroses footballer from Faroe Islands), Leslie Nielsen (actor), Kurt Nielsen (professional tennis player from Denmark), Kai Peter Nielsen (musician), Sanna Nielsen (signer from Denmark), Frans Nielsen (professional ice hockey player) and Christopher Nielsen (artist for comics from Norway).