Cover & Preface

Already as a young child I was fascinated by the stories passed down by my Nolan ancestors and wondered about my relatives left behind in Ireland those many years ago.

In 1997 I joined the Nolan Clan family organisation (then Clann O Nuallain, now Clan O’Nolan, a modern-day family association)  and began in earnest to research my Nolan family ancestry.   That same year I also began building a repository of information (the early beginnings of this website – “”) which could assist other Nolan family researchers like myself.

In 2004 I assumed the duties of Clan secretary and, as Newsletter editor. Two years later, having digitized all earlier Nolan Clan newsletters, but still kept the job of newsletter editor seeing the potential for eventually writing a follow-on book to the Millenium year Nolan book (O Nolan – the History of a People).

In 2017, having edited the Clan newsletter for nearly 15 years while at the same time producing article after article on Nolan family history,  I felt ready to tackle the task of writing a new updated Nolan history book.

However, my many years of doing research into the Nolans had also taught me that there would never be a “definitive history book”. This was true for any subject, be it history, medicine or any other subject you care to name. Taking a lesson from mathematics where we are taught that “the limit” can only be approache but never reached, I decide that the best approach to tackling this problem would to build an online knowledge base which would be continually updated as Nolan family researchers made new discoveries and gained new insights, in essence a “living book”, a set of webpages which would be continually updated based upon new information as it came in or was discovered.

In 2018 I relinquished my position as newsletter editor for the Nolan Clan and began the process of converting my old “” into something which which would support theconcept of a “living book”.

By February 2020 most of the old website had been re-implemeted using the open source Worpress website development platform and three Knowledge Bases implemented (“early family stories”, “memorials” and “historical anecdotes”) to support the continual updating of the Nolan family history book (i.e. set of webpages).

Between now and the end of 2021 I expect to finish the first printable version of the new “living” Nolan family history book, tentatively entitled “The Nolans, a People – from Ancient Times to the Present”.

Roger Nowlan, webmaster (EMAIL me)