Category Archives: Blog

NolanFamilies.org Update – Sept. 2019

You are receiving this Email,  as someone on the Email list for the Nolan Clan (Clan O Nolan) Newsletter as of March 2017 when I  retired as newsletter editor for the Clan.

Since that time the  Clan has shifted to using social media (Clan O Nolan Facebook group) and a new mobile-friendly eNewsletter (Clan O Nolan Email list) to communicate up-to-date information about current and upcoming  Clan activities such as the biannual gathering.

However, the NolanFamilies.org website still remains the focal point for research into early Nolan family history and the archiving of Nolan-related historical information.  To that end, since retiring as newsletter editor for the Clan, I have been focusing my attention on enhancing the archival and research capabilities of the website Continue reading NolanFamilies.org Update – Sept. 2019

Nolan Book – 2021

2021 will mark roughly 100 years since the time when Fr. John Nolan of Kirkcubbin began documenting in manuscript form his understanding of Nolan family history. This is essentially the understanding reflected in the Nolan book “O Nolan – The History of a People” published in the Millenium year.

Recognizing the value of Fr. Nolan’s contribution in the 1920s and the need for a repeat of such an effort today, I am challenging myself to document for future generations the current – 2020s – understanding of Nolan family history in a freely-accessible online Nolan family history book.

A tentative title for the new book is ” A Fresh Look at the Nolans – a People from most Ancient Times to the Present” and you can already view online the outline and draft of the new book . You can also Email me to provide comments or to offer assistance.

Continue reading Nolan Book – 2021

Family Treetops – 2021

In order to complete the first seminal version of the new online Nolan history, I would need more family treetop stories in order for me or someone else to get a good understanding of early Nolan presence in all parts of the world where Nolans are found today.

Through this website and through my own effort I have collected early Nolan family treetop stories since 2004 and you can view the current collection of Nolan family treetop stories in the Archives section of the NolanFamilies.org website.

If you have researched your Nolan family tree to its earliest known beginnings or if you have a distant Nolan ancestor in your family tree I invite you to Submit your early Nolan family Story. If you are relatively new to genealogical research, I invite you to read the introductory information accessed via the “Family Treetops > Research Links” webpage.

Continue reading Family Treetops – 2021

Archives – 2025

In 2017 when I retired from my position as Newsletter Editor for the Nolan Clan I redirected my energies towards the re-implementation of the NolanFamilies.org website using the more popular WordPress development platform thereby making the website more easily manageable and maintainable.

All parts of the 2004 legacy website have now been re-implemented except for the Archives section which currently provides a Family Stories database, a Nolan Memorials database and a few reference files of interest to Nolan researchers .

As a retired senior with multiple commitments and obligations I will be slowly improving the Archives section until 2025 or thereabouts when I hope to transfer management of the website to a new webmaster.

Continue reading Archives – 2025

2000 Nolan Book – available

For anyone interested in obtaining a copy of the first Nolan book I am happy to report that Print-On-Demand copies of the first Nolan Book entitled “O Nolan – the History of a People”  by Art Kavavanagh and Fr John Nolan  are available via Amazon.com.  Just enter “”O Nolan – the History of a People” in the search field.

Roger Nowlan,
Nolan Clan Newsletter Editor
& NolanFamilies.org Webmaster

1916 Easter Rising

1916 EASTER RISING – NOLAN INVOLVEMENT
Simultaneous with the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland were several
other world events that still reverberate today: World War 1, the Russian revolution, the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, etc.

This traumatic era split families and friends, allegiances. Nolans were no exception with members on all sides of the questions.

The Nolan Clan reaches out to the worldwide Nolan diaspora and asks anyone reading this Blog posting and having information about a Nolan family member during the troubled 1916 time period to submit it for inclusion in the Clan’s historical archives.

Many Nolan families have connections to events related to the Rising. We hope to hear from Nolans at home in Ireland or wherever else the winds have taken us.

Many thanks to David and Orla Nowlan of Dublin for suggesting this project and for the fascinating story of David’s great, great uncle James Nowlan, first president of the Gaelic Athletic Association which played a significant role in the events leading up to the 1916 Easter Rising.

You may add to the collection of 1916 era anecdotes by sending any information you might have either directly to myself (Chris Nolan ).

Chris Nolan, Nolan Clan Chief (March 2016)

1922-1923 Civil War Casualties

James Nolan of Kenyon Street, Nenagh, an anti-Treaty soldier was killed on Monday August 14, 1922, when a mine he was planting at Nenagh Barracks exploded prematurely. The dead man was a 32 year old father of one.

Patrick Nolan of Rathbride, Co. Kildare,
member of an anti-Treaty guerrilla-style cell was captured with 6 other members in Kildare on December 13, 1922 and taken to the Curragh Military Detention Barracks in Co. Kildare for trial.

1922-Patrick-Nolan

Sentenced to death, Patrick and the others captured with him were duly executed by firing squad at 8:30AM on December 19th at the Curragh Barracks.

The day before their execution, the men were allowed to write letters to their families. Thirty-four year-old Patrick Nolan penned a final letter to his mother and father. He hoped that they would
bear his death with “the Courage of an Irish Father & Mother.

A shorter letter to his younger brothers and sisters asks that they remember him and his comrades on Christmas only a few days away.

1922-Patrick-Nolan-letter

A memorial to the men executed on December 19th is located in Market Square in Kildare town with their names listed as follows:

  • Patrick Nolan (34), Rathbride, Kildare
  • Stephen White (18), Abbey Street, Kildare
  • Joseph Johnston (18), Station Road, Kildare
  • Patrick Mangan (22), Fair Green, Kildare
  • Bryan Moore (37), Rathbride, Kildare
  • James O’Connor (24), Bansha, Tipperary
  • Patrick Bagnall (19), Fair Green, Kildare.

Private John Nolan of the Railway Protection Corps was shot dead on Bride Street in Dublin on March 15th 1923. Aged 29 years, married and with5 young children, he was stationed at Wellington
barracks.

Martin Nolan, Ballywilliam, New Ross, of the Kyle Flying Column, was one of four members of his group killed on March 23rd 1923 after being pursued.

Galway, St Francis Abbey – John Nolan (c1733-1793) – of Loughboy??

Recently James F. Nolan of Wisconsin and his wife (see earlier Post) found in the courtyard of St. Francis abbey, Galway city,  an old Nolan tombstone dating back to the 1700s reading as follows: “Lord have mercy on the soul of  John Nolan who died August 26, 1793 aged sixty years.”

Based upon the writings of James Hardiman in the early 1800s (History of Galway),  we also know that an older Nolan memorial is known to have existed on the grounds of St. Francis abbey, having been refurbished sometime before that by a Michael O’Nolan of Loughboy.  To my knowledge, for reasons unknown, no recent visitor to the abbey has been able to locate this memorial which presumably existed in the early 1800s when Hardiman wrote about it.  Could the tombstone inscription for  John Nolan (c1733-1793) have been etched unto the older existing Nolan memorial?  Based upon my experience this would certainly be a possibility, perhaps using another side of the stone.  I would therefore suggest that the headstone found by Jim (James F. Nolan of Wisconsin) be more closely inspected to see if traces of earlier inscriptions can be found.

Putting this possibility aside and reflecting upon who the John Nolan who died in 1793 might have been,  a promising lead is found at the website documenting Galway’s Landed Estates.  From the information found at the website it is evident that  a John Nolan of Loughboy existed in the 1700s but one generation earlier than the “John Nolan” buried in the abbey courtyard.  Could the John Nolan (1774-1820) of Loughboy documented on  a webpage at the Galway Landed Estates website have been the son of the John Nolan buried in the St. Francis abbey courtyard?

Circumstancial evidence pointing in this direction certainly exists! Recall that it was a “Michael O’Nolan of Loughboy” who erected the older, now lost (?), memorial to the Nolans of Loughboy.  That the John Nolan buried on the grounds of the St Francis abbey be of the Loughboy Nolan family would be consistent with the fact that Nolans of Loughboy had already been buried there in earlier times.

A review of the sources cited at the Galway Landed Estates webpage (see link above)  may help to confirm or refute this conjecture.  Following is the relevant excerpt from ta page found at the Galway Landed Estates website:

BEGINNING of EXCERPT

Nolan/ Ferrall (Lugboy) Estate

  • Reference #3380: Deeds re. estate of
    John Nolan of Loughboy, Co Mayo, 1774-1820.
    D. 16,536-16,538
    (RN:  available at the National Library of Ireland )
  • Reference #5110: Agreement between
    John Nolan of Cloonaville, county Sligo & John Nolan of Logboy, county Mayo re repayment of loan, 1810.
    D. 16,537   
    (RN:  available at the National Library of Ireland )
  • Reference #12375: Westport Estate Papers, Collection List 78. Details of Lord Oranmore and Browne’s lands sold in the Encumbered Estates’ Court, including  8 lots purchased
    by John Nolan Ferrall, May 1855.
    MS 40,966/34
    (RN:  available at the National Library of Ireland )

END of EXCERPT

For anyone interested in the Nolans of Loughboy, Lugboy or Lugboy (current spelling) , Co. Mayo, an article entitled “The Nolan Chantry” and relating to a descendant of the Nolan-Ferrall family,  a Monsignor Edmond Nolan, son of John Nolan of Logboy,  was published in the March 2015 edition of the Nolan Clan Newsletter.
From this article and other sources it would appear that this line of Nolans was of the Roman Catholic persuasion as would have been the John Nolan buried on the grounds of the St. Francis abbey.

At this point I would also like to express my sincere thanks to Jim Nolan of Wisconsin and his wife for bringing to our attention the old Nolan tombstone in the courtyard of St. Francis abbey in Galway city.

With best regards,
Roger Nowlan,  webmaster and Nolan Clan Newsletter editor.

Headstone of John Nolan

In the Courtyard of the Abbey of St. Francis in Galway City Center is a tomsbstone whose inscription reads as follows:

“Lord Have Mercy on the Soul of John Nolan
who died August 26th 1793 Aged Sixty Years”.

From which Nolan line this John belongs is yet to be determined. The picture appearing below was taken September 26, 2015 by Jim Nolan.

20150926_114948