Connaught – Michael O’Nolan of Loughboy

I have been researching my Nolan family ancestry for about fifteen years and have found a direct lineage back to Thomas Nolan C1560-1628 of Ballinrobe.

James Hardiman in his History of Galway refers to a Michael O’Nolan who rebuilt a family tomb of his Kilkenny ancestors in 1473. To date I have found little other information about Michael O’Nolan and am wondering if other Clan members can assist me in my research, which is being done for an article in the Newsletter..

Thanks Wayne Nolan

4 thoughts on “Connaught – Michael O’Nolan of Loughboy”

  1. I recently spent 2 weeks in Ireland with my wife Pattie (Roche, Co. Cork), and we had the opportunity to visit the Abbey of St. Francis in the Center of Galway City.

    After attending Mass at the Abbey, we had the opportunity to visit with the Pastor who gave us a tour of the courtyard and showed us the head stones and monuments that had been preserved from those buried at the Abbey.

    While hoping to find the monument to the Nolan’s of Logboy erected in the 1300’s by Michael Nolan, we unfortunately had no luck at all.

    However, we were able to locate a headstone erected in memory of John Nolan with the following inscription; “Lord have mercy on the soul of John Nolan who died August 26, 1793 age sixty years.”

    Being buried at the Abbey would certainly indicate a position of some prominence.

    My question would be if any one would be able to identify this man, and from what line of Galway Nolan’s he may have descended?

    I do have photos of the headstone and courtyard if they would be at all helpful.


    Jim Nolan

    1. Jim,
      I would have provided feedback on your comment much earlier but was delayed by more pressing matters (illness and death in the family). That being said you now you have my full attention.

      Aside from the Ballinderry line of Nolans in Connaught I am aware of what I believe is another line which, at this point , seems to have roots going back to Co. Carlow. You will find information on this line in an article appearing in the latest issue of the Nolan Clan Newsletter (see ).

      For your benefit, here is the relevant genealogical information from that article:

      “… Andrew O’Nowlan (c1772-1814) of Loughrea … married Eliza Daly and they had two sons, John Daly Nolan (1804-1892), a solicitor in Dublin, and Martin Daly Nolan, (c1806-1858), a doctor in Gort during the famine years and also [the] great-great-grandfather [of the article’s author]..”

      My belief that this line is descended from the Carlow Nolans is based upon three pieces of information:

      1) The oldest family name associated with this Nolan family is “O’Nowlan” which, in O’Hart’s book of pedigrees is associated with Co. Carlow.

      2) The O’Nowlans of Carlow were related to the chief line seated at Ballykealey which is known to have used the “Nowland” family name starting in the mid 1600s. The interchangeability of the family names O’Nowlan and Nowland in the Co. Carlow historical context suggests that the “Andrew O’Nowlan” of Loughrea mentioned in the recent Nolan Clan newsletter article may be descended from the “Andrew Nowland” who was a captain of infantry in King James II’s army under Colonel Dominick Browne of Galway. ( see King James’s Army List 1689, page 669 ). Supporting the Co. Carlow connection is the fact that the Browne family of Galway (of which Dominick Browne was a part) also had land holdings in Co. Carlow (for example the land on which is found the Browneshill dolmen). “Andrew Nowland”s military connection would also be consistent with the fact that the chief of the Carlow Nolans seated in recent historical times on the Ballykealey townland (next to Ballon village) was the heriditary stewart for the Kings of Leinster, the McMurrough-Kavanagh family.

      3) Reviewing the recently published DNA results for a person believed to be descended from Andrew O’Nowlan of Galway I recognize that this person is amongst those whose DNA results most closely match my own, strongly suggesting that Andrew O’Nowlan of Galway had Co. Carlow roots. My own ancestor, Peter Nowland and his brother Edward, emigrated from the long-recognized heartland of the Carlow Nolans, namely the area around Ballon village in Co. Carlow.

      To summarize, I believe that there is another Nolan line associated with Galway, seemingly descended from the Carlow Nolans but with a shorter history in Galway than the Ballinderry line. Based upon other research done so far it also appears that there may be other Nolan lines which have yet to be identified and documented. I will Email you, Wayne and the author of the article mentioning the Nolans of Loughrea a write-up which I prepared for the recent Nolan Clan Gathering held September 19-20 in Co. Carlow. Among other things, it outlines my current thoughts on the various Nolan lines and calls for more research into the Nolans of Connaught.

      With best regards,
      Roger Nowlan,
      Webmaster and
      Newsletter Editor for “The modern-day Nolan Clan”

  2. Hello Jim,
    John Nolan is a common name in the Ballinderry line of Nolan’s but I can’t spot a John Nolan C1727 – 28 Aug 1793 in the records I have of the Ballinderry Nolan’s. Post you photo of the grave for all to see. Is there any other detail on the grave stone that could give an indication or connection to other Nolan’s?

    Wayne Nolan

  3. Hi Jim, Wayne and Roger,

    According to a YDNA test of a Nolan cousin, my O’Nowlan/Nolan family did originate in County Carlow, Barony of Forth.

    Records show that my John Nowlan had land in and around Loughrea and died c1790. His son, Andew O’Nowlan (c1772-1814) was in the Loughrea Clanricarde Infantry (1804) and after his marrige to Eliza Daly, lived in Prospect near Gort.

    Andrew O’Nowlan , his wife Eliza Daly, his mother-in-law Margaret Bellew, his son Martin Daly Nolan and Martin’s wife Maria O’Kelly (Crearaun) are all buried in the family tomb in the ruins of the old Carmelite Abbey in Loughrea. I assume that my John Nowlan who died c 1790 in Loughrea was buried at the Carmelite Abbey too, so the Galway John Nolan is yet another family.

    Margaret McKeown

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