Category Archives: Anecdotes

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.

Nolan Motto

The Nolan Motto  “Cor Unum Via Una”. was established in the late 1500’s or early 1600’s by Thomas Nolan of Ballinrobe.

The motto used by Thomas Nolan of Ballinrobe “Cor unum via una” is the Cecil family motto.  It is probable that Thomas changed the given old O’Nolan motto “Semper Fidelis” given to them for their known fidelity to the Kings of Leinster for the Cecil motto. If Thomas was by any chance a Carlow Nolan the fact of his taking office with Elizabeth would make him anxious to forget his old connection for many reasons and to cement his friendship with his new allies.  Thomas Nolan  was in direct communication with the Cecils through Sir Richard Bingham and perhaps in more direct correspondence.   Sir Thomas Cecil (second Lord Burleigh) visited Connaught and was a great friend of the Binghams with whom Thomas Nolan was much allied.  A kinsman of Cecil, Barnaby Goore held an office in Connaught either with Thomas Nolan or only a few months before Thomas Nolan was appointed Clerk of the County of Mayo.

Has anyone ever heard of the motto Semper Fidelis” or can anyone supply a reference to this motto as we are researching for a newsletter article and would like some help.

Thanks Wayne Nolan

1869 – Nurney Evictions (Patrick Nolan, …)

In August 1869, on the townland of Cloneen in Co. Carlow (near Nurney and adjacent to the Ballytarsna townland), “Two bailiffs, a sheriff, and eight police, armed with rifle, bayonet, and crowbar, made their appearance one morning about eleven a.m., tore off the roofs of the cabins, and forced out the unresisting and defenceless inhabitants, without giving them time or place to prepare or partake of dinner. Many poor Creatures were compelled to locate themselves in ditches, sheds, or under covered planks. Several families found refuge in an old cowshed on a neighbouring gentleman’s land, with a roof extemporised from the thatch, of the levelled cabins. In this hovel there harboured every night, for a considerable period, Patrick Nolan, with wife and six children, of both sexes; Ellen Kinsella and son, 21 years old ; Johanna Neale and daughter, 22 years old; Kate Tuite (born on the property), 55 years old, with two children, a boy and a girl, from 11 to 13 years old; and Kitty Byrne, a young woman of marriage able age.”

Following are the names of the families evicted from the townland of Cloneen in 1869 when the landowner, for reasons of his own, refused to renew the tenant leases and evicted all tenants:

  • Patrick Nolan, six in family
  • Kate Byrne, no children
  • Ellen Kinsella, one son
  • John Brien, four in family
  • Patrick Kinsella, two
  • John King, four
  • Daniel M’Lean, three
  • Patrick Murphy, five
  • T. Murphy, two
  • Kate Joyce, Anne Moor
  • M. Rogers, two;
  • Margaret Storey and son
  • John Tuite, wife, and daughter
  • Thomas Walshe, five
  • John Carey, wife, and two children
  • Anne Clarke, James Tuite, three
  • Gregory Byrne, two.

The above information was brought to my attention by someone named Anne  in Australia who, despite  not having any Nolan family connection, responded to the website’s appeal for information on early Nolan families.

You can read here the full Newspaper Accounts of the Nurney Evictions which appeared in “The Freeman’s Journal” on 28 August 1869 and on 23 October 1869.  These transcriptions were found online within the “Trove” database maintained by the National Library of Australia. Click here to view the Trove search results for “Nurney Evictions” .

With best regards,

Roger