Nolan Family Stories

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1604 : Roger Nolin : St. Croix Island (NB-ME border)

[76] Roger Nolin (???? – ????) – from Honfleur, France
[77] unknown (???? – ????) – from Unknown
Children: ???

In 1604, Samuel de Champlain set up the first French settlement in America on St. Croix island in the middle of the river of the same name forming the border of the present-day province of New Brunswick and the state of Maine.

In order to expedite the setting-up of the settlement pieces of lumber for the main buildings had been pre-cut and numbered already in France, most likely at Honfleur, France, the point of departure for the voyage, sitting on the English Channel, close to the mouth of the Seine. One of the carpenters who would have assisted in setting up the “pre-fabs” on St. Croix river, was one Roger Nolin/Nolen/Nolan, a carpenter from Honfleur, Normandy, possibly the first Nolan to set foot on American soil. It is not known if this Roger Nolin had a family back in France but we do know that he died in America.

By the spring of 1605, several of the men on St. Croix island had died of scurvy and the severe winter conditions convinced Champlain to look for another place to settle. Thus during the spring and summer of 1605 Champlain scoured the Atlantic seaboard for an alternate place of settlement. After a bit of search Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia was chosen but Champlain’s men continued to explore the Atlantic seaboard. It was on such an outing that Roger Nolin died falling victim to American natives as he tried to retrieve a copper kettle which the crew had brought ashore to fetch fresh water.

A likely relative of Roger Nolin/Nolen/Nolan would be Françoise de Nollen (1612) who married Jacques LeBlond (1602) and was living in Honfleur in 1637 when her son Nicolas was born. He was baptised in the St. Catherine church, Lisieux diocese, Normandy, and, as a young man, Nicolas went to New France (Quebec). On October 13, 1661, at the Château Richer in Montmorency, near Quebec city, he married Marguerite Leclerc who also hailed from Honfleur. Nicolas and Marguerite had ten children, all born between 1662 and 1676. All were baptised at the Ste. Famille church on Île d’Orléans. Their names were: Jean (1662), Jacques (1663), Catherine (1664), Marie-Madeleine (1665), Nicolas (1667), Jean-Baptiste (1668-1669), Jean-Baptiste (1670), Joseph (1672), Marie (1674) and Martin (1676).

The origin of this branch of Nolans is uncertain but a strong possibility is that Françoise was the daughter of Guillaume de Nollent, Seigneur de Bombanville and Canappeville, an area located to the southwest of Honfleur. This particular line of Nolans traces its ancestry back to Isambart de Nollent (Nollen), a Norman knight, who was born in the mid to late 1200s. Given the timeframe in which the first known ancestor of this line lived it is possible to further speculate that Isambart, his father or grandfather may have come from Ireland having been recruited for service in the crusades. Starting in 1169, the presence of Norman knights on Nolan ancestral lands is well documented and the Church did indeed recruit for the crusades in Ireland. This is certainly an interesting possibility but does require further research before a definite link back to Ireland can be established.

In France, from the late 1200s, the “de Nollent” family thrived and, at the time of the French Revolution, they still held substantial lands in Normandy.

1783 : James Nowlan : Escuminac/Bay-du-Vin, NB

[25] James Nowlan (c1743-c1848) – from Ireland
[26] Anne Caissie (c1779-1829) – from Bay-du-Vin area, NB
Children: Charlotte (1801-1857), Catherine (c.1801-bef 1853), James (1806- aft.1881), Thomas (c.1808-1877), Andrew (1810-aft.1881), Jean-Baptiste (1814-1815), Martin (c.1816-1894), Mary (c.1818), Anne (c.1819), Daniel (1820), Margaret and John

James Nowlan was born in Ireland sometime around 1743. As a young man, he went to England and joined the 22nd Regiment of the British Army. At the onset of the American Revolution, his regiment was sent to America and saw limited action. At the end of the war, in 1783, when New York, the last British stronghold was evacuated, his regiment was sent to Shelburne (then Port Roseway), Nova Scotia, where he was discharged from military service. For services rendered to the Crown, James was given a grant of land in Escuminac, New Brunswick, then still part of Nova Scotia.

Around 1800, in his late fifties, James Nowlan married Anne Caissie, the grand-daughter of an Acadian who had escaped deportation in 1755 by hiding out on Boishébert Island (Beaubears Island), an island situated in the middle of the nearby Miramichi river but a bit upriver.

James and Anne lived in the Bay-du-Vin area, probably around Eel River Bridge, where their youngest son, Daniel, was living in 1866. Given the absence of permanent local church facilities in the area, their first child, Charlotte, was baptized in 1801 at a mission church in Kouchibougouac, NB. After Charlotte, ten or more children were born to the couple, the last one being born sometime around 1820. Anne died in 1829 while James lived on for many more years. In 1843, at the ripe old age of 100, he was still living in the Bay-du-Vin area and collecting a “Relief” of 10 pounds per year as “an old Revolutionary War soldier”. However, by the time his son Daniel married Mary Nash in October 1848, he had passed away.


  • CHARLOTTE b. 1801; d. 1857, Cocagne, NB
    m. Michael HARRIS, 1821, Richibucto-Village, NB.
  • CATHERINE d. Bef. 1853
    m. George NASH, 1836 in Richibucto-Village, NB
    Children: Anne (c1836), Norah (c1840), James (c1842),
    John (c1844), Catherine (c1846), Patrick (c1848).
  • JAMES b. 1806; farmer in Bay-du-Vin area; d. Aft. 1881.
    m. Élizabeth Savoie, 1835, in Richibucto-Village, NB.
    Children: Ann (c1836), Henriette “Harriet” (c1838), James (c1839),
    Urban “Reuben” (c1843), Thomas (1846), John (c1847),
    Mary-Jane (c1849), Catherine (1851), Jeremiah (c1856).
  • THOMAS b. Abt. 1810; farmer in Escuminac area; d. 1877.
    m. Anastasia Walsh, 1849 in St. Louis, Kent Co., NB.
    Children: James (1849-1915), Edward (c1852), John (c1853),
    Patrick (c1856-1856), unknown-child (1857), Margaret (1858-1921), Thomas (1860), Patrick (1861-1903), Andrew (1863), Bridget (1865).
  • ANDREW b. Abt. 1810; carpenter, Escuminac; d. Aft. 1881
    m. Jane Preston
    Children: Clementina (c1848), James (c1851), James-A. (1855-1939), Anne “Annie” (1857), Mary-Jane (1859), Sarah (1862)
  • JEAN-BAPTISTE b. 1814; d.1815.
  • MARTIN b. Abt. 1815; farmer in Côte Ste-Anne; d. 1894.
    m1. Appolonie Robichaud, 1837 in Buctouche, NB
    m2. Marie-Blanche Landry, 1884, in Ste. Marie de Kent, NB.
    Children of Martin and Appolonie, first marriage:
    Catherine (1837-1919), Marguerite (1840), Daniel (1841-1921),
    Olive (1843), Aimé (1845-Bef.1869), Agnès (1847), Appoline (1849),
    Hadelin “John” (1851), Martin (1854).
  • MARY b. Abt. 1818;
    m. John NASH, 1845, St. Charles, NB.
  • ANNE
    m. Michael MARTIN, 1851, Pointe-Sapin, NB.
  • DANIEL b. Abt. 1820; farmer, Eel River Bridge.
    m. Marie Nash, 1848, in St-Louis, NB
    Children: James (c1851), George (c1856)
  • MARGARET b. Aft. 1820;
    m. Clément CAISSIE, 1859, Richibuto-Village, NB.
  • JOHN b. Aft. 1820;
    m?. Mary;
    Children?: Helen (1840); bapt. 13-Dec-1840 in Buctouche, NB;
    godparents: “Margaret Nolen, Peter McPhelim”

1798 : Michael Nowland : Smith’s Creek, NB

[66] Michael Nowland (???? – ????) – from Waterford, Co. Waterford, IE
[67] unknown (???? – ????) – from Unknown
Children: James (1787), Mary E. (c1788), Richard (c1795), Thomas Dorsey (1797)

Michael Nowland, a carpenter by trade, was born in Waterford, Ireland, and first went to the “Colonies” sometime before the American Revolution but seems to have gone back to Ireland after the war before returning to the “Colonies”. Supporting the latter is the fact that his first son, James, was born in Waterford, Ireland, on July 21, 1787.

Michael belonged to the Church of England and, as a carpenter, took the contract to build Trinity Church which stands today in Sussex, NB. He, however, does not appear to have completed the project, possibly succumbing to illness. He was likely buried in the family’s small private cemetery on the family farm in Smith’s Creek where the tombstone of his son James and his grandson James-William “James W.” are still visible today but where also many other stones lie half-buried. In 2002, the property where the small family cemetery is located was owned by Harold Crowe.

Returning to the “Colonies” sometime after the birth of his first son, James, in Waterford, Ireland, in 1787, Michael and his young family settled in Nova Scotia where there was a high demand for skilled carpenters to build homes for the displaced Loyalists. As the family was growing, he must have been anxious to obtain land of his own and so it was that, around 1796, joining with others, he “located” on land in the area of Sussex, NB. In 1798, he and the other settlers like him who had “located” in the area petitioned the New Brunswick Government for a grant of the land they had improved. By 1800, when a tax assessment was done for the area, Michael was listed as having improved 3 acres of land and was in possession of 4 cows. Unfortunately, a creek, appropriately named “Mistake Creek” (most likely a branch of Smith’s Creek) ran through Michael’s property and caused the land to flood in the springtime. As a consequence, Michael chose to improve the land on the other side of the creek which was on higher ground and, in 1804, requested that he be allowed to retain this land. In 1808, he petitioned for a further 200 acres of adjoining land, stating that he and his son needed it to meet their needs for “firewood” and “fencing timber”.


  • James Nowlan(1787-1840) m. Mary Crawford (c1778-1850)
    Children: a son James William (1818-1900) and possibly a daughter named Nancy who married a Charles Doyle in nearby Sussex in 1842. James William married three times: 1) Miriam Hayward in 1839, (2) Leah Gillis in 1845 and (3) Abigail Hayward, a sister of Miriam, in 1851, and was a well-respected member of the local community, being a Justice of the Peace and also once running for political office.
  • Mary E. Nowlan married John Herrington in 1819 in Sussex, NB.
    Children: Mary-C. (c1819), Martha-Jane (c1824) and James Herrington (c1826)
  • Richard Nowlan (c1795-1847) married Anna Bean (c1800) in Read Head, NB, in 1824; he is assumed to be a son of Michael because of strong circumstantial evidence: he was a painter by trade, a trade closely associated with that of his assumed father Michael Nowland; a Richard Nowlan witnessed the marriage of Mary E. in Sussex, NB, in 1819; he was of the same faith.
    Children: Anna-Martin (1825), Mary, Eleanor (c1829), William, Thomas and Richard Jr.
  • Thomas-Dorsey (1797-1879) married Margaret Sinnott (1796-1878) in Sussex, NB, in 1818. After their marriage and the birth of their first two children, twins Elizabeth-A. and Samuel-James, in 1822, Thomas and Margaret moved away to Ohio, perhaps having caught what was then referred to, in the area, as “Nigary fever” i.e. the urge to resettle to the Niagara region where work was plentiful for those willing to work. By 1825, Thomas was working as a carpenter on the Canals in eastern Ohio. He first settled in Union township, Jefferson County, but, by 1839, he had re-settled to Hancock county. The 1875 Atlas for Ohio indicates that he owned 40 acres of land north-west of Rawson, Ohio.
    Children: Elizabeth-A. (1822), Samuel-James (1822), William-Thomas (1825), Mary-Jane (c1829), George-Howard (1831), Catherine-M. (1834) and David-Robert (1836)

1818 : John Knollin : St. John, NB

[109] John Knollin (c1785- ????) – from Kingsteignton, Devon, England
[110] Hester Eustace (c1781 – 1854) – from (?)Newfoundland
Children: ???

John, the son of Richard Knollin, a potter, and Joan Mortimer of Kingsteignton, Devon, England, arrived in St. John, NB, in 1818, having spent a few years in Newfoundland before moving on to New Brunswick. His brother, James, a shoemaker, followed him to St. John arriving in 1820 but, after his marriage in 1827, he resettled to Hampton, NB, and, around 1840, to the area of Sussex, NB.

A third brother, “Richard Mortimer Knowling” also emigrated to America landing in New York and then making his way to the interior of New York state via the Hudson River and Erie Canal. In time, he settled in the area of Sandy Creek, NY.

Judging from the birth of their first child in St. John’s, NF, John and Hester seem to have met and married there sometime around 1811. Their first four children were born there but, perhaps seeking more favourable living conditions after the death of a child in 1817, they moved on to St. John, NB, arriving there in 1818. Five, possibly seven more children would be born to the couple in St. John, NB, while John established himself as a carpenter. James-Eutace, the eldest son, and at least one other son, Goerge-Thomas, would follow in their father’s footsteps working as carpenters. William became a printer.

John and Hester lived on Duke Street and were of the Wesleyan faith.

Children of John KNOLLIN and HESTER:

  • Jane (1812-1902) m. Thomas McGEE in 1830;
    they went to Australia in 1852 but Thomas died after only 7 years;
    Jane lived on for may more years dying in 1902 in Essendon, Australia.
  • James-Eustace (1813-????) married Sarah-Anne Parker and, like his father, worked as a carpenter in St. John,NB; their children were: Elizabeth (c1846), Richard (c1847), George-T. (c1850) and possibly John (c1856-1898).
  • Richard-Mortimore (1815-1817) died in St. John’s, NF.
  • Hester-Ann (1817-1847) m. Edward SANCTON in 1837
  • Eliza-A. (1819-????) m. Benjamin-Bishop BUSTIN in 1837;
    Benjamin was captain of the Brig Kentville
  • ?Maria (c1829-????) m. William-H. SCOTT in 1839;
    William was an employee of the Company of New York.
  • ?Catherine (c1831-????) m. John H. BUSTIN in 1840
  • Sarah-Grace (1823-????) …
  • William (1825-1891) m. Jeanette DYER in 1846 in St. John, NB;
  • they seem to have been already living in Boston, MA, when they married and, over time, would eventually settle in the area of Malden, MA, where he became a prominent public official. William worked in printing and advertising and, in later years, was editor of a Labor newspaper.
  • John-Wesley (1828-????) …
  • George-Thomas (c1830-1879), like his father, also worked as a carpenter in St. John, NB.

1818 : Peter Nowlan : Buctouche, NB

[1] Peter Nowlan (1796-1878) – from Ballon area, Co. Carlow, IE
[2] Modeste Jaillet (1800-1883) – from Buctouche, NB
Children: Thomas (1831), John (1834), William James (1837), Pierre (1840)

According to family tradition, two brothers, Peter and Edward Nowlan, both Roman Catholics, sailed out of Cork sometime around 1818, most likely on lumber ships bound for Canada, likely jumping ship in Charlottetown, PEI, and then finding their way to Richibucto, NB, where they spent their first years.

Peter and Edward’s parents were James Nowland and Mary Clory/Clowry (possibly née Shortall) who were married in Ballon parish, county Carlow, Ireland, in 1793. They also may have had an older brother named John born in 1794.

Peter seems to have stayed around in Richibucto in 1828. Soon thereafter, Peter seems to have moved with his wife Modeste to the Buctouche area where his father-in-law, Jean-Pierre Jaillet (alias “John Shayer”) had land along the south side of the Little Buctouche river. This his where Peter and Modeste’s four children were all born (between 1832 and 1840) and, in 1845, possibly anticipating the need for land for his sons, Peter obtained a 200 acre piece of land in the Coates Mills area, along the upper reaches of the Buctouche river and not far from his younger brother Edward’s land in the area of Kent Boom.


  • Thomas (1832-1908) married Rachel Roy on 25 June 1860 in Buctouche. They settled in the Coates Mills area, up-river from Buctouche, and had at least 7 children: Henriette (1861), Modeste (1863), Thorsilla (1865), Alfred (1867), Marc (1869), Célina (1873), Peter (1875), Rachel (1877) and Richard (1878).
  • John (1836-1905/1913) married Henriette Bastarache on 26 November 1866 in Buctouche. They too settled in the Coates Mills area and had at least 8 children: Élizabeth ( – 1901), James (1867-1907), Albert (1871-1939), Wilfred (1873-1874), Daniel (c. 1876), François (1879-1885), Robert (1882) and Matilde (1884).
  • William James (1837-1921) married Madeleine Landry on 25 October 1864 in Buctouche. They originally settled in the Coates Mills area but later re-settled to St. François-de-Kent, closer to Buctouche. They had at least 7 children: Marie Émilie (1867), Marie-Anne (1871), Thomas (1874), Alexandre (1876), Wilfred (1879-1921), Aimée (1880) and Joseph Alex (1880-1881).
  • Peter (1840-1900) married Olive Cormier on 27 October 1862 in Buctouche. Peter and Olive lived in the Buctouche area and had at least 12 children: Jane? (c. 1862), Marie-Anne (1865-young?), Sylvie (1866), Sara (1867), Édouard (1869), Jean/John (1872), William (1875), Wilfred (1877), Marie (1879), Élizabeth (1880), Marie-Anne (1883) and Emma (1886-1887).

1818 : Edward Nowlan : Buctouche, NB

[3] Edward Nowlan (1798-1872) – from Ballon area, Co. Carlow, IE
[4] Isabelle LeBlanc (1794-1861) – from Buctouche, NB
Children: Marie-Marthe (1822), Ursule (1824), Scholastique (1826), Pierre (1827), Jacques (1832)

According to family tradition, two brothers, Peter and Edward Nowlan, jumped ship in Richibucto around 1818 and soon afterward settled in the Buctouche area, marrying into the French Acadian community. Peter and Edward’s parents were a James Nowland and Mary Clory/Clowry (née Shortall) who were married in Ballon-Rathoe parish, Co. Carlow, in December 1793.

Edward married Isabelle LeBlanc in 1822 in Richibucto-Village, NB. Soon afterward, they appear to have resettled to the upper reaches of the Buctouche river (present-day Ste. Marie) where he and his brother-in-law, Olivier LeBlanc, both applied for a piece of land, each obtaing 200 acres in 1824.


  • Marie-Marthe (1822-1866) married Philippe Landry. They lived in the Buctouche area and had at least 6 children: Marguerite, Élisabeth, William (1856), Alex, girl (name unknown) and Marie (c. 1866).
  • Ursule (1824) …
  • Scholastique (1826) …
  • Pierre (1827- after 1870) married Marguerite Robichaud on 9 April 1853 in St. Louis-de-Kent, NB. They appear to have lived in the Buctouche area, later moving up-river to the Ste. Marie area. They had at least 8 children: Jean/John (1854), William (1856), Alexis (1857), Isabelle (1859), Édouard (1861), Geneviève (1865), Marie (1868) and Henriette (1870)
  • Jacques (1833-1904) married Madeleine Bastarache on 6 February 1860 in Buctouche. Jacques and Madeleine had at least 12 children: Suzanne (1860), Édouard (1863), Louis (1866), Clovis (c. 1867), Claire (1869), Élizabeth (1871), Collette (1875), Lévite (1877), Albert (1880), André (1881), Maximilien, and Amédée (1884).

1820 : James Knollin : St John/ Smith’s Creek, NB

[84] James Knollin (1790 – 1866) – from Kingsteignton, Devonshire, UK
[85] Eliza-Abigail Perkins (1808- 1873) – from Unknown
Children: ???

James followed his brother John, a carpenter, to New New Brunswick, arriving in St. John in 1820. John had arrived already two years earlier in 1818 with his family and worked as a carpenter in St. John. James, on the other hand, was still single and worked in St. John as a shoemaker.
In 1827, James married Eliza-Abigail Perkins in nearby Hampton,NB, on the Kingston peninsula where his in-laws lived. Sometime after 1828, James and Eliza moved from St. John to Hampton and had their first five children there.

In 1840 James acquired a 100 acre lot near Sussex, located somewhere between Newtown and Sussex Creek, and the family moved there. In succeeding years, James established himself as a farmer and local shoemaker while four more children would follow. James and Eliza lived out their days in the area and were buried in the nearby Gosline cemetery, along with two of their sons, Loyel-P. and Richard.


  • William-Mortimer (1828)
    m. Rachel-Agnes Wayman and they had 3 children;
    William-M. was a minister and he lived for a time, with his family, in the Yarmouth, NS, area.
  • Clara (c1830) …
  • James-C. (c1832)
    m. Margaret-A. and they had 4 children;
    James-C. moved with his family to New York then on to Illinois.
  • Lionel-Perkins (1833)
    m1. Hannah-E. Coates and they had 4 children;
    m2. Emma-Louise Walker and they had 2 children
  • Richard-J. (1836)
    m. Frances-Jane Mercer and they had 8 children
  • Mary-Jane (c1841) …
  • Eliza-A. (1844)
    m. Thomas-L. COATES and they had 7 children
  • Sarah-Matilda (1847)
    m. Albert-Samuel MACE and they had 2 children
  • Elizabeth-C.-P.
    m. John A. GOSLINE

1820s : John Nolan : Halcomb, NB (Miramichi area)

[54] John Nolan (???? – ????) – from Ireland
[55] Ann (???? – ????) – from Ireland
Children: Michael (1802), Patrick, Catherine, Ann (1814) and Mary (1816)

John was born somewhere in Ireland and immigrated to the Miramichi river area of New Brunswick sometime in the early 1820s, bringing with him his wife Ann and at least 5 children.

John and Ann Nowlan eventually settled in the North Halcomb area on the Little Southwest Miramichi river where they obtained 200 acres of land in 1830.

Children of JOHN NOLAN and ANN:

  • Michael (1802-1878) married Mary Maddock
    and they had, at least two children: Patrick (c.1845) and Thomas (c.1847)
  • Patrick (dying after 1842) is not known to have married.
  • Catherine (dying after 1844) married James Dunn, then James Barron.
  • Ann (c.1814-1890) married George Sutton.
  • Mary (c.1816- after 1834) married Daniel Phelan.

1824 : Richard Nowlan : St. John/Pisarinco, NB

[62] Richard Nowlan (1795-1847) – from Unknown
[63] Anna Bean (c1800 – ????) – from Unknown
Children: Anna Martin (1825), Thomas N., Richard M., William M., Mary and Eleanor

For now, Richard is presumed to have been born in Ireland in 1795. Another yet unexplored possibility is that he was born in Nova Scotia of Irish parents.

Richard Nowlan married Anna Bean on May 19, 1824, in Red Head, St. John, N.B.


  • Anna Martin Nowlan (1825-1883) married Robert Dean (1816-1887) on August 13, 1842, in Lancaster. Robert had been born in Ireland and he and Anna ived in the Pisarinco area of St. John.
  • Eleanor Nowlan married Charles E. Sulis on October 29, 1853, in St. John, N.B.
  • Richard M.; it is not know if he had any descendants.
  • William M.; it is not known if he had any descendants.

1824 : Moses Nowlan : Pokemouche/Inkerman, NB

[36] Moses Nowlan (1797 – bef. 1871) – from Prince Edward Island
[37] Margaret Finn (1808 – ????) – from Pokemouche, NB
Children: Michel (1829), Hélène (1833), James (1839), Mary-Ann (1843- young), Thomas (1846), Mary-Ann (1847) and John (1852)

Moses was born in 1797 most likely on PEI in the Egmont Bay area (Brae Harbour). His parents, Edward Nowlan and Margaret Devereux, were both born in Ireland and had most likely come to PEI via the Newfoundland fishery, choosing, like many others at th time, to resettle to other parts of the Maritime Provinces to avoid harassment by the French fleet which was quite active in Newfoundland waters at the time. This was certainly the main reason why Moses’ future father-in-law, Michael Finn, a fisherman, had resettled to the Pokemouche-Inkerman area in northern New Brunswick around 1800. Moses himself seems to have settled in the Pokemouche-Inkerman area sometime shortly before his marriage to Margaret Finn on February 26, 1824 in Inkerman.

In his early days in the Pokemouche-Inkerman area, like his father-in-law, Moses seems to have been involved in the fishing industry choosing to leave unimproved a lot on the “North Bank of the South Branch of [the Pokemouche] river” which he had acquired from his brother-in-law John Finn sometime before 1830 and seemingly visiting by sea the Irish emigrants from Cork who, starting around 1825, had settled in the New Bandon area further up the New Brunswick coast.

In time, however, Moses and Margaret seem to have turned to farming and possibly lumbering. In any case, by 1861, Moses had become ill to the point that he could no longer run the farm. Luckily, Moses had a bachelor brother, Peter (c1809), who could help run the farm and continued to do so after his death sometime between 1861 and 1871. Moses most likely also had another bachelor brother and itinerant worker, William (bef. 1805), who had initially acquired a 200 acre lot in the area in 1821 but who, by 1861, had either died or left the area.


  • Michael Nowlan, b. 01 May 1829, Inkerman, NB; d. Aft. 1848
  • M. Nowlan, b. 25 Feb 1831; d. Mar 1831
  • Helen Nowlan, b. 23 Feb 1833, Pokemouche, NB; d. Aft. 1846
  • Edward Nowlan, b. Apr 1837, NB
  • James Nowlan, b. 1839; d. Bet. 1871 – 1881
    m. Ellen “Nellie” (McGraw?) b. 21 Feb 1832 in NB
    By 1881, James had died and his two eldest sons, Edward and Michael, twins aged 17, seem to have taken over the farm work. Besides his widow, Nellie, there was also an elderly widow, Nancy McGraw (“McGraha”), aged 63 , who may have been Nellie’s mother.
  • Moses Nowlan, b. 11 Apr 1840
  • Thomas Nowlan, b. Mar 1846, Pokemouche, NB; d. Abt. Jul 1873, Pokemouche, NB
  • Mary-Ann Nowlan, b. Oct 1847, Pokemouche, NB
  • John Nowlan, b. Abt. 1852, NB, a journeyman
    m. Émilie “Minnie” Savoie/Savoy, a teacher, b. circa 1834
    Children: John, Marguerite, Patrick

1824 : James Nowlan : Nelson South, NB (Miramichi area)

[78] James Nowlan (c1791-c1845) – from Co. Westmeath, IE
[79] Bridget (c1791-c1855) – from Ireland
Children: Patrick (c1811)

In the spring or summer of 1824,a group of Nowlans arrived in New Brunswick having emigrated from Co. Meath, Ireland. From an analysis of New Brunswick land petitions and census records for 1851, 1861 and 1871, it is conjectured that the group consisted of a Michael Nowlan, aged 26, single and a cobbler by profession, his older brother James, his wife Bridget and their teenage son Patrick. By August 1824, Michael, James and the younger Patrick had petitioned the New Brunswick government for 200 acres each located on the south side of the southwest branch of the Miramichi river. However, perhaps hearing of the foundation of a new Irish settlement further north (New Bandon) on the shores of Bay des Chaleurs, they did not actively pursue their land petition until 1832 and then they received 200 acres each in the Nelson South area (present-day Nowlanville). Michael remained a bachelor working as a cobbler and farmer in the Nelson South area dying in 1859 by which time the area had been renamed “Nowlan Settlement” (today Nowlanville).

James and Bridget were already married when they arrived in New Brunswick with their son Patrick and do not appear to have had any further children once in New Brunswick.


  • Patrick (c1811-c1845) seems to have met his future wife Mary in Chatham immediately upon her arrival from Ireland in 1828 since their first son, Peter, was born around 1828-29. Patrick, however, died relatively young, probably before his 40th birthday, leaving Mary to raise several small children.
    Children of PATRICK NOWLAN and MARY:
    1. Peter (c1828) married a PEI native named Catherine and, in 1861, was working as a constable in Chatham. By 1871, he seems to have moved back to the Nelson area where he was a labourer. Peter and Catherine’s children were: Margaret-Anne (c1855), Ellen-Bridget (c1857), William-James (c1859), Henrietta-May (c1866) and James (c1872).
    2. Patrick (c1829) picked up the shoemaker trade from his bachelor uncle Michael and, like him, he also remained a bachelor. By 1871, his health, however, was failing and he was living with his older brother Peter’s family in Nelson.
    3. Ann (c1835) …
    4. Francis (c1836) …
    5. Mary (c1839) …
    6. Bridget (c1841) …
    7. James (c1844) …

Based upon Irish naming conventions and the names of Patrick and Mary’s children, it is possible to deduce that Patrick’s grandparents, i.e. James’ parents, were likely a Francis and Bridget Nowlan.

1831 : Matthew Nowlan : Chatham, NB (Miramichi area)

[56] Matthew Nowlan (c1811 – ????) – from Ireland
[57] Johanna (???? – ????) – from Ireland
Children: Ellen (c1836), Pierce (c1839), Michael (c1841), Joseph (c1848) and Mary (c1851)

According to the 1851 census, Matthew, born around 1811 in Co. Westmeath, Ireland, arrived in New Brunswick in 1831 and, only married after his arrival, his future wife having arrived in New Brunswick already some 6 years earlier in 1825. He is believed to have been a brother of the James and Michael Nowlan who came to the Chatham area in 1824 and who were likely still living there when Matthew arrived. His assumed brothers James and Michael resettled to the nearby Nelson South area around 1834 after obtaining land grants there (current-day Nowlanville) .

Matthew and Johanna lived at the corner of Hill and Pleasant Streets in Chatham, NB, and then, after Matthew died, sometime between 1861 and 1866, Johanna seems to have opened a dress shop. In the 1866 Hutchison directory, we find “Mrs Johanna Nowlan” listed at Hill & Pleasant streets and, in 1871, her daughter, “Helen Nowlan, dressmaker”. Since Johanna is not listed in the 1881 census it is quite likely that she died sometime between 1866 and 1871.


  • Helen (c. 1836) m. unknown “Lai…”
  • Pierce (c. 1839) m. Martha and they
    had 3 children: Johannah (c1877), William (1881) and Lilly (1883)
  • Michael (c1841)…
  • Joseph (c1850)
    m. Catherine and they had 1 child: Annie (1882)
  • Hannah (c1853) …
  • Mary (c1855) …

1832 : Michael Nowlan : Aldouane, NB (St-Louis area)

[60] Michael Nowlan (c1787 – 1856) – from Co. Wexford, Ireland
[61] unknown (???? – ????) – from Unknown
Children: ???

In 1832, a Michael Nowlan applied for a land grant of 300 acres along the “Aldoine” (St. Charles river) commencing at “The Forks” and extending “upwards between the branches”. He obtained the grant a year later for the sum of 300 pounds and a rent of “one peppercorn” per year. He died on March 12, 1856, aged 69, and on his tombstone (St-Louis-de-Gonzague cemetery extension, next to the Petite Aldouane river), his name appears as “Michael Nowlin”.

He appears to have been single and likely worked as a logger on his 300 acre property, supplying the shipbuilding industry in nearby St-Louis. However, he likely had as a helper an assumed younger cousin named Hugh Nowlan, born around 1797, who died four years after Michael and who is known to have been born in Co. Wexford, Ireland.

From New Brunswick probation court records, it is further known that Hugh also had links back to Little Placentia, Newfoundland, since a person from there, a Thomas Freeman, is named in his will.

1839 : John Nolan : Clair, NB

[72] John Nolan (c1803-1891) – from Co. Cork, Ireland
[73] Mary Whitten (???? – ????) – from Ireland
Children: John (c1839), William (c1839)

According to his death certificate John Nolan was born in county Cork, Ireland. It is believed that he came to New Brunswick in the mid 1820s perhaps as part of the Irish contingent of Cork emigrants who squatted on land along the shore of northern New Brunswick in the area of New Bandon, Gloucester county. Finding life difficult in the New Bandon area, many Irish who initially settled there moved on to more suitable areas of settlement. The mid 1820s was also a time when the forests of northern New Brunswick and northern Maine were being vigourously logged in anticipation of the border dispute settlement with the US which saw the Aroostook river area in northern Maine ceded to the US. This is likely what initially drew John Nolan to the area.

John Nolan and Mary Whitten were likely married in the late 1830s shortly before having their assumed children William and John who, according to later census records, lived in the same area i.e in the Clair/St-François area.


  • John Nolan (c1839-1886) married Annie Douglas (1858-????) and the couple resided in Clair.
    Children: William, Mary (1881), John/Jack (1883), and Helen
  • William Nolan (c1839-1890s) married Ellen Douglas (1863-1897), a sister of Annie Douglas, and the couple also lived in the Clair area.
    Children: John/Jack (1881), Mary, Martha, Catherine (1885), James Daniel, Helen and Agnes
    Grandchild: Jack, the eldest son of William and Ellen, married Agnes Dionne of Baker Lake and they lived in the Fort Kent area in Maine. They had seven children: John A. (1901), Mabel (1903), Laura(1904), Joseph Sylvio, Jeannette B., William Hedrick and Agnes Marie.

1840 : Thomas Michael Nolan : St. John, NB

[64] Thomas Michael Nolan (???? – ????) – from Ireland
[65] Mary Birmingham (???? – ????) – from Ireland
Children: Margaret (1834)

Thomas Michael “Michael” Nolan was born in Ireland and was married when he first came to New Brunswick sometime around 1840. Accompanying him weere his wife Mary and young daughter, Margaret, born in 1834.


  • Margaret was born in Ireland on November 25, 1834,and accompanied her parents on their journey to New Brunswick. While the family was living in St. John, on September 19, 1863, she married James C. McLaughlin in the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception. The newly married couple first lived in St. John but then moved on to other locations in New Brunswick, namely Clarendon, Bath and Johnville, located along the upper reaches of the St. John river. James and Margaret had altogether 3 sons: James, Daniel and Maurice McLaughlin.

1841 : Simon Nowlan : Chatham, NB

[82] Simon Nowlan (c1812-1892) – from Dublin, Ireland
[83] Sarah O’Rourke (c1822- 1893) – from Co.Clare, Ireland
Children: Edward (c1856)

Simon arrived from Dublin, Ireland, in 1841, and sometime before 1856 married Sarah O’Rourke, an Irish emigrant like himself who had arrived in 1834. He seems to have worked mainly in the lumbering industry as a sawyer, a surveyor and, in his old age, as a labourer.Simon and Sarah lived at the corner of Water and Frost street in Chatham, NB, and had one son, Edward, who became a seaman. In their old age, Simon and Sarah lived in the County Alms House and passed away in 1892 and 1893 respectively, within one year of each other.

1850 : John Nowlan : North Esk/ Sunny Corner, NB (Miramichi area)

[58] John Nowlan (1827-1904) – from Prince Edward Island
[59] Mary Matchett (1830-1913) – from New Brunswick
Children: Joanna (1851), John (1852), William Henry (1855), Margaret (1855), Jane (1855), John (1858), Alfred (????), Louise (1864), James (1865), Hannah May (????) and Francis Allan (1870)

John seems to have left his native province of PEI to work in the woods of New Brunswick sometime around 1850.

On June 29, 1851, John married Mary Matchett of Sunny Corner in North Esk, N.B.


  • Joanna (1851-1891>1901)
  • John (1852- young age)
  • William Henry (1855-1937)
  • Margaret (1855-1925)
  • Jane (1855- young age)
  • John (1858-same year)
  • Alfred (c1860-1913)
  • Louise (1864-1940)
  • James (1865-1924)
  • Hannah May (????-????)
  • Francis Allan (1870-1964)

Even though John is known to have been born on PEI, there are currently no documented links between his branch in New Brunswick and any known PEI Nowlan/Nolan branches. However, in the early to mid-1800’s, in the age of sailing ships, there was much travel between PEI and New Brunswick.

1850 : Daniel Nowlan : Chipman, NB

[70] Daniel Nowlan (c1816-1883) – from Prince Edward Island
[71] Margaret (???? – ????) – from Unknown
Children: John (c1851), Dorothy (c1855) and Margaret (c1861)

Daniel Nowlan was born on Prince Edward Island around 1816 and seems to have immigrated to New Brunswick in the early 1850s where he acquired land in the Chipman area and became a farmer. He is also known to have belonged to the Church of England.

Daniel seems to have married his wife Margaret sometime before 1851 when their first child, John, was born. By 1856, when he applied for a grant of 100 acres of land just below Newcastle Creek (on the northwest side of Grand lake), a second child had been born, Dorothy born sometime around 1855. A third child, Margaret, was born around 1861.


  • John (c1851-????)
  • Dorothy (c1855) married Robert Henderson.
  • Children: Hazel (1898) and William (1900) Henderson
  • Margaret (c1861);
    she is believed to have been the same Margaret Nowlan who, in 1881, was also listed as working in the Sussex area for the widower, Isaac Bunell (scottish and Church of England), and his family as a “servant, aged 19, scottish”.

1864 : Jacob Nowlan : Sussex-to-Elgin area, NB

[74] Jacob Nowlan (c1837 – 1908) – from PEI
[75] Margaret Laughy (c1839- ????) – from Unknown
Children: James (c1864), Eleanor (c1866), Samuel “Sam” (1867), Peter (1868) , Mary-Ann (1872), Sarah-Jane “Sadie” (1874), Joseph-Winslow (1878), Catherie “Kit” (1881), Peter-Heber “Heber” (1890) and Anna-Teresa “Annie” (1897)

According to family tradition, Jacob was supposedly an itinerant labourer. He is known to have dug wells in Albert county and Kings county, NB, fished at Herring Cove/Matthews Head along the Fundy coast (between Alma and Point Wolfe on the Fundy coast) and harvested dulse at Martin Head (just west of Point Wolfe). No details are known about his arrival in New Brunswick but is is assumed that he arrived shortly before 1864 when he married Margaret Laughy in Norton, Kings Co, a small community near Sussex.

Margaret Laughy was born in New Brunswick sometime around 1839 but her parents had been born in Ireland. While Jacob worked mostly away from home as an itinerant labourer, Margaret seems to have managed the home front and in one census is listed as “farm manager”.

In 1871, the family was still living in the Sussex area and, sometime before 1881, moved on to the Waterford area probably to be closer to where Jacob has acquired a 100 acre wood lot in 1878. This logging property situated in the Mechanics Settlement area was known locally as Nowlan Hills and was likely worked by Jacob and his young sons in the early 1880s.

Between 1891 and 1901, as the children in the family were reaching adulthood and setting out on their own, the Nowlan family seems to have gone through an extended period of turmoil. According to family tradition, Samuel (Sam) supposedly had a child out of wedlock as did Sarah Jane (Sadie). However, both children were adopted by Margaret who raised them as her own. Peter-Heber (Heber), born in 1890, is believed to have been Sam’s child whereas Anna-Theresa (Annie), born in 1897, is believed to have been Sadie’s child. In this period, the family also moved to the Gowland Mountain area near Elgin, Albert County.

By 1901, only the adopted children, Heber and Annie, were left at home and Margaret had moved in with her newly married daughter Catherine who was living nearby with her husband Joseph Kyle. It was around this time that the Nowlan house in Gowland Mountain was moved and attached to the Kyle house to make one larger house.

Jacob died in 1908 and was buried in the St. Isidore (St. Agatha’s mission) cemetery in South Branch. His iron cross marker is still visible but the original lettering has fallen victim to the ravages of time. Margaret died in 1916 and was buried in the Gowland Mountain cemetery. Separated in life, Margaret and Jacob remained so in death, he lying in South Branch, Kings County, she in Gowland Mountain, Albert County


  • ELEANOR, b. Abt. 1866; died as a teenager
  • SAMUEL “SAM”, b. 1867; millman; d. 1920, St. John, NB
    m. Margaret Lair, 1892, Roxborough, AL Co. (now in Fundy Park)
    Children: James John “Jim”, William Forest , Estella, Georgina Patricia
  • PETER, b. 1868; labourer; d. 1902, Gowland Mountain, AL Co., NB
  • MARY-ANN, b. 1872; d. Saddleback, KI Co., NB
    m. George LAIR
    Children: Bazil, Sandford
  • SARAH-JANE “SADIE”, b. 1874; d. 1962, Seattle, Wash.
    m. Clarence SWAGNER, attorney
  • JOSEPH-WINSLOW “JOE”, b. 1878; d. 1970, Elgin, AL Co., NB
    m. Mercy-Jane Bannister
    Children: Louise Mildred, Russell Walter, Irene Elizabeth, Catherine, Josephine, Merle, Morris, Shirley
  • CATHERINE “KIT”, b. 1881; d. 1947, Elgin, AL Co., NB
    m. Joseph KYLE, farmer
    Children: Margaret Ann, James Hamilton, Clement Edward,Ellen K., William Henry, Catherine Jane, Frederick Palmer, Clara Ethel, Franklin Leslie, Beulah Bernice, Everett Lawrence, Emma Allegra, Joseph Arnold, Mary Augusta
  • PETER HEBER “HEBER”, b. 1890; d. 1967, Amherst area, NS; Adopted
    m1: Catherine Thorne, 1911, Sussex, NB; child: Lee
    m2: unknown Anderson; child: Carol
  • ANNA THERESA “ANNIE”, b. 1897; d. 1983, Seattle, Wash.; Adopted
    m. Clarence HUDSON

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