Nolan Family Stories

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Families in CT, ME, MA, NH, RI & VT

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1843 : Andrew Nolan : New Haven, CT

[115] Andrew Nolan (1819-1895) – from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, IE
[116] Anna Burke (???? – 1875) – from Unknown
Children: William H. (1852), Mary Ann (1853), Matthew James(1856) all born in Connecticut; Christopher T. (c.1858), Julia T. (1862), Alice L. (1865), Stephen Andrew (1868) and Edgar Benjamin (1871)
[117] Maria A. Haas (1845 – ????) – from Unknown
Children: Peter B. (1877) and Nellie G. (1879) both born in Wisconsin

A few years before 1843, Andrew, son of a Matthew and Honora Nolan of Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, emigrated to North America and found work in the New England states. A younger brother John followed in his footsteps and joined him in America in 1843.

In 1851, Andrew married Anna Burke in New Haven, CT, and in 1852, when their first child was born, they were living in the nearby Meridian township.

In May 1856, Andrew and and his younger brother John jointly purchased farmland in Ridgeville township, Monroe County, WI, and the family moved west like so many were doing at the time.

A little less than a year into the Civil War, in March 1862, Andrew enlisted and saw action in several battles in Virginia. Shortly after the end of the war, in August 1865, he was released from service and returned to civilian life.

In 1875, Anna died, and Andrew remarried, marrying Maria A. Haas. The war, however, had ruined his health. Suffering from bouts of chills and fever, rheumatism, and back problems for the rest of his life, Andrew died in 1895. He was buried in St. John’s Cemetery near the family farm in Ridgeville, WI.


  • William H. Nolan (1852-1880) m. Huldah Jennie Magee; 2 children
  • Mary Ann Nolan (1853-1900) m. Patrick DORSEY BURKE, a railroad man; 5 children; one of their sons, EDWARD R. BURKE, became a US Congressman and later a US Senator from Nebraska.
  • Matthew J. Nolan (1856-1912) m. Margaret, a Canadian, and later moved to Calgary, Alberta, where he died; 4+ children Christopher T. Nolan (c.1858-c.1950) m Margaret ????; railroadman; 9 children
  • Julia T. Nolan (1862-1940) m. George Albert HOFFMAN, a butcher; 5 children
  • Alice L. Nolan (1865-1930); homesteaded an entire section of land in Beach, ND
  • Steven Andrew Nolan (1868-1916); railroadman
  • Edgar Benjamin Nolan (1871)


  • Peter B. Nolan (1877-c.1898); died in Cuba during the Spanish American War
  • Nellie G. Nolan (1879-1977) m. Homer A. LANDT; 6 children

1843 : John Nolan : New Haven, CT

[118] John Nolan (c1821-1871) – from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, IE [119] Bridget Reynolds (1831-1895) – from Ireland Children: Mary A. (1858), Andrew F. “Fred” (1860), John F. (1862), Christopher U. (1864), Levi J. “Lee” (1866) and Lewis Elmer (1870)

In the summer of 1843, John Nolan, son of Mathew and Honora Nolan of Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, set sail from Liverpool, England, bound for New York on the ship “Delia Walker”. At 20 years of age, like many in his generation, he was anxious to make a better life for himself in America. He arrived in New York harbour on August 10, 1843, and, after spending some time in Patterson, NJ, moved on to the area of Meridian township, New Haven, CT, where he joined his older brother Andrew who had preceded him. The two brothers stayed on in this area for quite some time, Andrew marrying there in 1851, but, as for many in their day, the call of the west was strong and , eventually, the two brothers joined the western migration of the 1850s. In May 1856, the two jointly purchased farmland in the area of Ridgeville township, Monroe County, WI, becoming two of the earliest settlers in the area, near present-day Norwalk, WI, less than an hour’s drive from La Crosse.

With land to his name, John could now think of marrying and settling down and so it was. On October 12, 1857, John married Bridget Reynolds who, like him, had also emigrated from Ireland. Not quite four years into their marriage, the American Civil War broke out. His older brother Andrew enlisted in 1862 but John stayed behind, probably to take care of of the farmland and the growing families, however, towards the end of the war, in March 1865, he too enlisted. From his enlistment papers we know that he had blue eyes, brown hair, dark complexion and stood 5 feet 6 1/2 inches tall. At the end of the war, he returned to his farm but suffering from “chronic gatrites”. He and Bridget had two more children and his stomach problem eventually developed into stomach cancer. On July 10, 1871, John died and, after a long struggle with the Government bureaucracy, Bridget was finally awarded a military widow’s pension. After John’s death, Bridget raised the younger children in the Protestant faith. This accounts for there being both Catholic and Protestant branches in the family tree. John and Bridget, and their daughter Mary, are buried in Conger Cemetery near Norwalk, WI.


  • Mary A. Nolan (1858-1899) never married.
  • Andrew F. “Fred” Nolan (1860-1925) married twice; 2 daughters and 1 son
  • John F. Nolan (1862-??) m. Susie ????; 2 daughters
  • Christopher U. Nolan (1864-c.1930s) m. Lena ????; he worked as a railroad engineer.
  • Levi J.”Lee” Nolan (1866-1946) m. Mamie L. McGary, 1900; 4 children; Lee was an entrepreneur with a`cartage company in Sparta, WI.
  • Lewis Elmer Nolan (1870-1939) m. Bertha Orpha Miller; 4 children; he worked as a railroadman.

1849 : Daniel Nolan : South Lawrence, MA

[224] Daniel Nolan (???? – ????) – from Ireland(?) [225] Catherine Devereux (???? – ????) – from Ireland Children: Daniel Patrick (c1841)

According to family tradition, Daniel is believed to have been a plumber by profession, possibly born in Ireland. In the late 1840s, he was married and living with his family in a shanty town near South Lawrence, MA, where he was employed as a mason, working on the construction of the Great Dam across the Merrimack river. Daniel and his family were affiliated with St. Patrick’s church.


  • Daniel Patrick Nolan (c1841-1897) who married Ellen Matteson/Matthison, a native of Scotland, and settled in the area of South Lawrence; the couple seems to have remained in the area of south Lawrence, MA, and is buried there. Their children were: Daniel Nolan, b. Lawrence, MA, who died as a child George Patrick Nolan, b. Lawrence, MA, who also died as a child John Thomas Nolan (1871-1946) who married Elizabeth V. Barry (1884-1971), a native of Scotland, like his mother; John and Elizabeth lived in Lawrence, MA, and are buried there. Daniel Winslow Nolan (1873-1927) who was born in Lawrence, MA, and married Henrietta Whipple Mary Nolan who, according to family tradition, married a Patrick DEMPSEY and moved back to Ireland.

NOTE: On some early records, the family name was also spelled “Nowlan”.

1849 : James Nowlan : Montpelier, VT

[381] James Nowlan (c1827 – 1887) – from Co. Longford, IE [382] Catherine Donoughue (???? – 1913) – from Co. Tyrone, IE Children: Lewis (1850), Margaret (1852), Daniel (1854), Mary (1856), Patrick (1858) and Ann (1859)

James seems to have emigrated to the United States sometime around the time of the Great Famine, marrying his wife, Catherine Donoughue/Donahue on July 6, 1849 in Montpelier, Vermont. Given that Montpelier is very close to the Quebec border, it is likely that James entered the U.S. via Lower Canada (Quebec). James was the son of Daniel Nowlan and Mary Lee of Co. Longford in Ireland. It is also known that he had two brothers, John and Patrick and a sister who died young.

After their marriage in 1849, James and Catherine stayed on in Montpelier, Vermont, and this is where their first son, Lewis, was born in 1850. However, by 1852, they had moved to Michigan. This is where their next three children were born. Sometime before 1858, they again moved, this time to Illinois. This is where their 5th child was born.


  • Lewis (1850-1923) b. Montpelier, VT; d. Bevier, MO
  • Margaret (1852-1922) b. Bronson, MI; d. Sterling, IL; m. ???? O’CONNER
  • Daniel (1854-1924) b. Bronson, MI; d. Frankfort, IN
  • Mary (1856-????) b.Cold Water, MI
  • Patrick (1858-????) b. Camp Point, IL; m. Elizabeth Anderson
  • Ann (1859-????) m. James McGOWAN

NOTE: Additional information on this family is available at the website reference given below.

1855 : Mariah Nolan : Fall River, MA

[272] Mariah Nolan (1832 – ????) – from Ireland
[273] James Knight (???? – ????) – from Unknown

Mariah Nolan was born somewhere in Ireland in 1832, the daughter of Bryan and Mary Nolan. She is believed to have emigrated to the US via the port of Liverpool, England, arriving in New York city on the ship SS Ticonderoga on April 19, 1851.

In July 1855, Mariah married James KNIGHT in Watertown, MA. James served in the Civil War after which the family settled in Fall River, MA.

1872 : John J. Nolan : Boston, MA

[466] John J. Nolan (1825 – 1903) – from Waterford area?, Ireland
[467] Johanna O’Neil (c1822-1898) – from Waterford area?, Ireland Children: Teresa Mary (1849), James (c1852), Michael H. (1855), Agnes B. (c1855), Fannie (c1860), John J. (1861), Josephine (c1862) & Frederic H. (1864)

John J. Nolan was born on September 18, 1825, in Ireland, possibly somewhere around Waterford, the son of Michael Nolan and Catharine Henneberry. John J. Nolan married Johanna O’Neil, daughter of Hugh O’Neil and Bridget Quinlan, in Ireland sometime around 1847. Both John J. and Johanna are believed to have come from the Waterford area and, by 1872, when they emigrated to the US they had 8 children.

After arriving in New York city on April 18, 1872, aboard the RNMS Batavia, they are believed to have proceeded to the Boston area where they likely had friends or relatives since this is where we find them in 1880.

Johanna died in January 1898 in Boston and John followed some 5 years later, on November 9, 1903, also in Boston MA. Both are buried in Holyhood Cemetery, Brookline, MA.


  • Teresa Mary (1849-1927) m. Jonathan BROWN in April 1872; lived in Lancashire, England, & their children emigrated to Boston
  • James (c1852-????)who did not marry
  • Michael H. (1855-1932)who did not marry
  • Agnes B. (c1855-1926) m. William Tracy; no children
  • Fannie (c1860-????)
  • John J. (1861-????) m. Mary Caroline Tiernan; 9 or more children
  • Josephine (c1862-????; nothing further is known
  • Frederic H. (1864-1908); nothing further is known

1879 : Francis Nolan : Gloucester, MA

[349] Francis Nolan (1859 – ????) – from Salmonier, NF
[350] Margaret Fewer (???? – ????) – from Unknown

Francis, born on 12 June 1859, the son of Michael Nolan and Alice Meaney of Salmonier, NF, emigrated to the US with his brother Simon Peter entering the US on May 1, 1879, in Gloucester,MA, where they both worked as fishermen. In Gloucester, Francis married Margaret Fewer.

Francis, born on 12 June 1859, the son of Michael Nolan and Alice Meaney of Salmonier, NF, the emigrated to the US with his brother Simon Peter entering the US on May 1, 1879, in Gloucester,MA, where they both worked as fishermen. In Gloucester, Francis married Margaret Fewer.

1879 : Simon Peter Nolan : Gloucester, MA
[351] Simon Peter Nolan (1861- 1916) – from Samonier, NF
[352] Emma Hathaway (???? – ????) – from Unknown Children:
[353] Elizabeth Ann Linehan (???? – ????) – from Unknown

Simon Peter, born on 20 July 1861, the son of Michael Nolan and Alice Meaney of Salmonier, NF, emigrated to the US with his brother Francis entering the US on May 1, 1879, at Gloucester, MA, where they both worked as fishermen. In 1885, Simon married Emma Hathaway but later divorced. Sometime later, he remarried, marrying Elizabeth Ann Linehan. With Elizabeth, Simon had 5 daughters and 1 son. He died on August 19, 1916.

1889 : James, Bernard & Annie Nolan : Rhode Island

[240] James, Bernard & Annie Nolan (???? – ????) – from Co. Cavan, IE [241] N/A (???? – ????) – from Unknown

In 1889, three children of Thomas Nolan and Julia McGovern of Co. Cavan, James, Bernard and Annie emigrated to the US via Canada. Remaining in Ireland were their 4 siblings, Rose, a twin sister of James, John, Bridget and Maggie.

James, Bernard and Annie first went to Pennsylvania but eventually moved on to Rhode Island.

1916 : Edward James “Ned” Nowlan : Bridgeport, CT

[30] Edward James “Ned” Nowlan (1888-1971) – from Pokemouche, NB [31] Brigitte Marie Robichaud (1890-1972) – from New Brunswick Children: Anthony Joseph (1918)

Edward James “Ned” Nowlan was born in 1888 in the Pokemouche area of north-eastern New Brunswick, Canada, the son of Edward Nowlan and Marie Lanteigne. As a young man Edward worked at shoeing horses, making wagon wheels and fixing wagons.

In November 1914, Edward married Brigitte Robichaud but not before having built a house for them to live in, using trees he had felled on his own property and brought to a saw mill. Brigitte, one of eleven children, was the daughter of Charles Robichaud and Phoebe Paulin. At the time, local economic conditions in New Brunswick were very poor and like many of their generation Edward and Brigitte emigrated to the US, entering the country on September 5, 1916.

Edward and Brigitte initially settled in the area of Bridgeport, CT, where Edward worked at the Remington Arms factory, machining rifle barrels for the war effort (WWI). It was during this time that, Anthony Joseph, their one and only child was born, on August 29, 1918.

The war over, the family moved from place to place, basically moving to wherever work could be found. In January 1919, the family moved to Berlin, NH, and then, in the fall of 1920, to Berlin, NH, and finally in 1922 to Lawrence, MA, where Edward found more stable work making wooden water wheels for the textile mills. By 1925, the family had bought a home in Cambridge, MA, and Edward had established himself as a carpenter, joining the capenter’s union.

During his career as a carpenter, Edward built several houses and commercial buildings, including some of the buildings at Fort Devens in Ayer, MA. In Cambridge, MA, Edward and Brigitte belonged to the French-Canadian parish of Notre-Dame-de-Pitié. On February 10, 1971, Edward died in his sleep at home in Cambridge, MA. Brigitte followed the year after dying on July 10, 1972. Both are buried in St. John’s Cemetery in Cambridge, MA.

1927 : Peter James Nolan : Swampscott, Lynn Co., MA

[409] Peter James Nolan (1892-1984) – from Ball’s Creek, NS
[410] Katherine Ann Campbell (???? – ????) – from Ball’s Creek, NS
Children: Peter (1927), Florence (1929), Katherine, Patricia and Margaret “Peggy”

Peter James was born in the area of Ball’s Creek, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, on May 7, 1892, the son of Patrick (1853-1914) and Catherine (1865-1907) Nolan. His siblings were: Bridget (1885), John (1886), Jennie (1888), Sadie (1891), Emily (1894), Christie (1897), Ann and Joseph (1903).

In 1907, shortly after his 15th birthday, his mother Catherine died and, a short time later, his father, Patrick, a coal miner, remarried, marrying Flora McPherson. In 1914, some 7 years later, his father Patrick died putting additionnal strain on the family.

Peter James and Katherine Ann both hailed from the area of Ball’s Creek in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and likely married there before moving to Lynn county, Massachussetts, where their first child, Peter James Jr., was born in the area of Swampscott on September 15, 1927.

In September 1944, Peter James Nolan Jr. found work at the Boston auto park in Franklyn, MA, and worked there until January 1945 when he enlisted in the Navy becoming a seaman second class. For his services during the war, he received the WW2 victory medal and was discharged from the Navy on July 24, 1946.

After WW2, Peter James Nolan Jr. worked as a truck driver delivering gasoline for Gulf Oil. He died at his home in Quincy, MA, on October 20, 1984, and was buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in West Roxbury, MA.

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