Introduction

This book picks up on the quest for a better understanding of Nolan family history first undertaken by Father John Nolan of Kirkcubbin in the 1920s. Unfortunately, dying prematurely his manuscript notes lay dormant for nearly a century until they were finally rediscovered and, under the auspices of the newly-formed Nolan Clan family association (aka the Nolan Clan or Clan O Nolan) they were fashioned into a book by Art Kavanagh of Bunclody.

The book entitled “O Nolan – the History of a People” by Fr. John Nolan and Art Kavanagh was published in the Millenium year and is still the chief source of information on Nolan family history, especially for Nolans with roots in Co. Carlow. However, despite its valuable contribution in promoting a better undertstanding of Nolan family history, it fails to enlighten the reader on several fronts.

In this new book, I hope to:

  • shed greater light on the ancient origins of all known Nolan families (O Nuallain, O hUllachain, Nolan,Nowland, Noland, Nolins,  Knollin, Naulin,  …)
  • provide an improved understanding of the forces and historical events which drove many Nolan families to emigrate
  • provide an improved understanding of the forces and historical events which drove many Nolan families to emigrate
  • document the story of many early Nolans who left Ireland and resettled in other parts of the world

Over the course of the last 20 years, thanks in large part to an exponential growth in the sharing of information over the Internet, Nolan family researchers have made many new discoveries and gained a better understanding of Nolan family history than the 1920s version reflected in the year 2000 Nolan book.

Since 2004, having written and published several articles on Nolan family history (Nolan Clan Newsletter, Ballon-Rathoe Chronicle, Carloviana) and collected many early Nolan family stories from around the world (see Family Stories Knowledge Base), for the benefit of the growing multitude of Nolan family historians, I feel up to the challenge of documenting for posterity the improved understanding of Nolan family history which has emerged since the year 200n when the first Nolan history book was published.

In publishing this online version of Nolan history, my hope is that it will inspire current and future generations of Nolans to for ever seek a better understanding of who we are as a people and where we come from “united in heart on one path” (family motto: Cor unum, via una).

Despite the benefits of an online “living book”, continually updated as new discoveries are made, it will not meet the needs of all within the Nolan diaspora and to meet this need I paln to complete the first printable version of thios book by the end of 2021.

Roger Nowlan, webmaster (Email)

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discovering the history and origins of Nolans everywhere