Nolan Family Stories

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1840s : James D. Nolan : Wilson County, TN

[389] James D. Nolan (???? – 1844) – from South Carolina
[390] Mary (1805?-1851) – from United States
Children: William H. (1822), Temperance (1822?), Patience C. (1833), Lydia A. (1838), Robert Arthur (1841) and James Tyre (1842)

Family rumor says that the first Nolan in this line was an indentured servant.

James D. Nolin/Nolan or his father, is believed to have come to South Carolina from the James River area in Virginia.

Sometime after 1815, in SC, James married a “Mary”. In 1822, they had their first child, William, who was described in a census as deaf and dumb. About this time they may also have had Temperance. After this they moved to Wilson County, Tennessee, and Lydia, Patience, Robert and James were born there.

James Nolan died in 1844 and Mary in 1851. This meant that most of their children were already orphaned by the time they were in their teens. The two younger boys, Robert and James, are believed to have gone to live with their older brother William. They later became Texas Rangers, and fought together in the Civil War as part of Company I of the 6th Texas Cavalry Regiment.

Children of JAMES D. NOLAN and MARY:

  • William H. (1822-1862) married someone named “Mary” and is believed to have taken in his two younger brothers, Robert and James, after the death of his parents. His side of the family is known to have been involved with farming and stone masonry. William himself died in 1862 possibly as a result of the Civil War.
  • Temperance (1822?) …
  • Patience C. (1833) …
  • Lydia A. (1838) …
  • Robert Arthur (1841-aft.1903) was a Texas ranger and later a sharpshooter in the 6th Texas cavalry Regiment during the Civil War. After the regiment was paroled in May 1865, he married a Sarah, a Creek/Cherokee Indian, in north Mississippi (perhaps in Winona) and had two children with her, Oceola (Otis, Asa, Ose) and Argozona (Ida, Anna, Onna). By 1871, Sarah seems to have died and Robert remarried, marrying a Lucy Frances Newman, a part Cherokee native. Their first child was probably Edmond/Edward Arnold Nolan born in 1874. Two other children, Collie and Eunice, would also be born to the couple by 1880 when the next census was taken. That same year Robert moved with the family to Winona, Mississippi, and from there, in 1882, on to Florida, where the family got into the Orange Business and two more children were born, Harold and William Francis. At various times the family lived in Bartow, Tampa, Ocala and near Lake Weir, while Robert worked in orange growing or construction. Robert died sometime after 1903 and, according to family tradition, is buried in a Baptist cemetery in the Micanopy or Redrick area, Marion county, Florida. Robert’s second wife, Lucy Frances, remarried after his death, marrying a Lawrence Noble. In 1910, they were living in Tampa, Florida.
  • James Tyre (1842-1906), like his brother Robert, was also a Texas Ranger and fought alongside his brother Robert for most of the Civil War. After their regiment was paroled in May 1865, he married that same year Lucy Ann Cates in Elkton (south of Spring Hill), Giles County, Tennessee, and based upon later records, they seem to have had at least two children, Lawrence Baird, who died and was buried in the Cates family cemetery in Giles county, and Mary E. A. who married a Doctor Carr and lived in Georgia. Lucy Ann died and was buried in the Cates’ family cemetery in Giles county while James died in 1906 at his daughter’s residence near Cave Springs, Georgia.

1849-1855 : Thomas Nolan : Newport, KY

[317] Thomas Nolan (c1820 – c1880) – from Co. Roscommon?, IE
[318] Bridget White (c1820 – c1880) – from Co. Sligo, IE
Children: Patrick and Malachi born between 1846 and 1849

On April 9, 1844, a Thomas Nolan and a Bridget White were married in Creggs Parish, Co. Roscommon, Ireland. They had two children between 1846 and 1849 and then emigrated to the US sometime between 1849 and 1855.

The family lived in northern Kentucky, across the Ohio river from Cincinnati, Ohio. Bridget died in Newport, Kentucky, but is buried in Cincinnati, OH. No one seems to know what happened to Thomas, but it is known that he died before her since she was a widow at the time of her death.

Thomas and Bridget’s children and grandchildren lived on both sides of the Ohio river in northern Kentucky and in the Cincinnati area.

1860s: Patrick Pierce Nolen and Mary Dever, Hardeman Co., TN

Ref: Family Notes about “Patrick Nolen and Mary Dever Descendants” supplemented with new circumstantial evidence pointing to the family’s arrival in America being via the Newfoundland fishery.

Based upon the inscription on Patrick Pierce Nolen’s tombstone he was born in Ireland in 1802. The inclusion of “Pierce” in his full name makes us suspect that his branch of Nolans had close association with the Butler family whose famous son “Pierce Butler” of Ballintemple, Co. Carlow, was one of the signatories to the US Constitution (1787). This conjecture is further supported by the fact that Y-DNA test results at the wesbite indicate that the family belongs to the “R-M269#01 (County Carlow)” grouping of test results.

According to family lore Patrick Pierce Nolan/Nolen (1802-1898) is believed to have been orphaned in his early teens. This would have been around 1815-1816 at the close of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) when jobs were scarce in Ireland due to soldiers returning home from the war. In fact, it is quite possible that his father was a victim of war. At 14 years of age he would have been eligible to work as an indentured servant in the Newfoundland fishery and this is likely what a did for a few years sailing out of the port of Waterford for two-year stints in Newfoundland until he had saved enough to lease land in the Waterford area.

He is believed to have been the Patrick Nowlan who, according to the Irish Tithe Applotments, was leasing 14 acres of the Garryfalam (sic Garryphelim) townland in County Wexford in 1825 along with an assumed brother named Pierce Nowlan who was leasing 12 acres in the same townland.

The latter is assumed to be the same Pierce Nowlan who married Ellen Devereux on July 21, 1828 in nearby Enniscorthy.

By the 1850s when Griffiths land valuations were done, the only Pierce Nowlan in the records is one with a house and 3 gardens (a little over an acre) on the Ballydarmody townland in the parish of Reisk near Waterford. Next to him we find a James Nowlan also with a house but with two gardens (less than an acre). It is believed that this Pierce and James were father and son, and that the son was named after the grandfather as per Irish custom. This would also lend credence to Patrick Pearce Nolen, James’s supposed uncle, being the son of a James Nowlan and an Ann Redmond baptized in the Enniscorthy church on September 19, 1802 (sponsors: James Welsh, Ann Quirk).

Finding Patrick’s assumed brother, Pierce, in the early 1850s, living in the area of Waterford lends further lends credence to he and “Patrick Pearce” having worked in the Newfoundland fishery.

There is no evidence that Patrick married in Ireland before going to America and, even if he did, she may have been a victim of the famine.

In any case, what is known is tha by the mid-1850s he was working along the Mississippi likely having found passage between Newfoundland and the port of New Orleans.

On February 19, 1860, at the age of 57 he married Mary Dever in Tippah county, Mississippi, and, that year, they moved to Hardeman county in Tennessee where they settled down.

Patrick Pearce Nolen and Mary Dever had:

  • two children Robert Pierce Nolen and William Neal Nolen, settled in Crockett County, Tennessee

  • three children, Thomas Jefferson Nolen, Gertrude Lee Nolen Watkins Nelms, and Sarah Matilda Nolen Stewart, who settled in Tipton County, Tennessee

  • one child, James Allen Nolen, who settled in Lauderdale County, Tennessee.

The last years of his life, Patrick Pierce Nolen lived in the home of his son, William Neal Nolen. Patrick Pierce Nolen was born, 17 Mar 1802, in Ireland, and died, in September, 1898. in Crockett County, Tennessee. He is buried in Cypress Cemetery in Crockett County. The death date and burial place of Mary Irene Dever is not known.)

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