Nolan Family Stories

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1656 : Jacques Nolin : Île d’Orléans, QC

[144] Jacques Nolin (c1641 – 1729) – from St. Jean-du-Perrot parish, La Rochelle, France
[145] Françoise Chalifour (1657 – 1697) – from Quebec, QC
Children: Gabriel (1676), Louise (1678), Françoise (1680), Pierre (1682), Jeanne (1685), Marie-Madeleine (1690), Guillaume (1693), Jacques, Marie Anne and Michelle (c1693), possibly others

Jacques Nolin dit Deschâtelets hailed from the parish of St-Jean-du-Perrot, La Rochelle, Aunis, France, having been born there around 1641, the son of Jacques Nolin dit Deschâtelets and Marguerite Gaillard. He was an armour maker (“armurier”) by trade and, according to Nolin family tradition on Île d’Orléans, Jacques had two brothers who also settled in the Quebec city area, one of whom was killed by a bomb blast. These may have been the Pierre and François Nolin mentioned in local records of the time but who do not seem to have had any descendants in the area.

Pierre Nolin dit Lafougère hailed from Longèves, France (Charente-Maritime). He along with several others had been amongst the first settlers of Île d’Orléans and, in 1656, they received official grants for their land from Charles de Lauson (sic. Lauzon); these grants of land, in the Beauport area and in the fief of Lirec, were recorded by notary François Badeau on April 2, 1656.

François Nolin dit Boncourage hailed from Consac, France (Charente-Maritime) and arrived on June 10, 1665, on the ship “Le Vieux Siméon”, as part of the Petit regiment. It is believed that, upon his discharge from the army, François settled in the Quebec city area.

Jacques and Françoise were married in Notre-Dame church in Quebec city on 18 November, 1671. They settled on Île d’Orleans in the area of St-Pierre and had at least 8 children:

  • Gabriel (1676-1719) …
  • Louise (1678-1754), …
  • Françoise (1680-1724) …
  • Pierre (1682-????) …
  • Jeanne (1685-1733) …
  • Marie-Madeleine (1690-1748) …
  • Guillaume (1693-1759) …
  • Michelle …

1663 : Pierre Nolan : Quebec, QC

[142] Pierre Nolan (c1637- ????) – from St-Germain de l’Auxerrois, Paris, France
[143] Catherine Houart (sic Howard) (c1632 -1712) – from Torcy-le-Grand (St-Ribert), Seine-Maritime, F
Children: Marie-Michelle (1664), Jean-Baptiste (1666), Catherine (1668), Thierry (1671) and Anne (1674)

Pierre was born in the heart of Paris, in the parish of St-Germain de l’Auxerrois, sometime around 1637, the son of Nicolas Nolan and Michelle Perrier who had married sometime around 1624. Given the timeframe, location and the obviously Irish surname “Nolan”, Pierre is likely to have been the grandson of an Irish emigrant who fled to France around 1603 as part of what came to be known as the “Flight of the Earls” following the defeat of the Irish at the Battle of Kinsale.

In 1663 when we find Pierre in Quebec city he held the post of Artillery Commissioner in the French military and had business interests in both France and New France, i.e. in Paris as a merchant and in Quebec city as a “cabaretier” (cabaret owner). He must also have distinguished himself militarily since he bore the title of “Chevalier” (Sir/Knight).

Pierre Nolan married Catherine Houart in Quebec city on January 18, 1663, and later that year seems to have sailed back to France with her. The following Spring, their first child, Marie-Michelle, was born on March 30, 1664, in La Rochelle and baptized a few days later in the St. Bathélemy church. Given that Pierre and Catherine’s second child, Jean-Baptiste, was born on July 6, 1666, onboard a ship bound for Quebec city, it would appear that Pierre and Catherine spent their first couple of years together in France before returning to Quebec city.

Like Pierre, Catherine Houart seems to also have been a descendant of an Irish emigrant who fled to France after the Battle of Kinsale. Both her parents, Thomas Houart (sic Howard) and Nicole Guerout, were born in Rouen, France, around 1605 and she herself was born in Torcy-le-Grand (St-Ribert), Seine-Maritime, France. Catherine had also previously been married to a Guillaume Legeay-Desmares.

Pierre and Catherine appear to have lived most of their married life in the lower-town area of Quebec city where they had an inn. All their children married into fur-trading families and in time their grandson, Charles Nolan Lamarque, son of Jean-Baptiste, became one of Montreal’s most important fur merchants, reputed to have sent the most voyageurs to the west and the farthest.


  • Marie Michelle Nolan (1664-1730) m. Louis de LAPORTE de LOUVIGNY (c1657-1725), a fur trader, in Quebec city in 1688; they had the following children:
  • Marie Anne Nolan (c1695) m. Jacques TÉTARD de MONTIGNY
  • Marie Louise (c1700) m. Didace MOÈTE dit MORASSE
  • Jean/Jean-Baptiste Nolan (1666-bef.1717) m. Marie Anne LAMARQUE (c1668-1744) in Montreal in 1688 and became a well-known fur merchant; Marie Anne was the daughter of Jacques and Marie POURNIN de LAFAIX, a fur-trading family, and seems to have followed her husband on his fur-trading expeditions. After Jean-Baptiste died sometime before 1717, she remarried at Fort Detroit, marrying the Captain of the Company that had built the fort, that is Alphonse de TONTY de Paludy (1650/59-1727). Children of
    1. Charles Henri (Urbant) Nolan (1694-1754) m. Marie Jeanne LEGARDEUR de St-Pierre de Repentigny in Montreal in 1727; Marie-Anne was the daughter of a fur trader, Jean-Paul Legardeur, Sieur de St-Pierre, and Marie-Josephe Leneuf de Lavallière. In time, Charles became one of the biggest financiers of the French fur trade in the decades preceding the takeover of New France by the English in 1759.
      • Charles-Urbant (bet.1728-1730)…
      • Jacques-Marie (bet.1728-1730)…
      • François-Amable(bet.1728-1730)…
    2. Jean-Marie Nolan, sieur de Lamarque, a younger brother of the better known Charles Nolan, joined the French military becoming a lieutenant in 1717, then a captain in 1719; in 1720, he was the French commander at the Battle of Pensacola. By 1725, he had switched his interests to the fur trade and we find him at Fort Detroit on his way out west as a voyageur in the company of his wife Marie Navarre. In the late 1730s, we also find him accompanying his brother Charles and the French explorer Sieur de LaSalle on their expedition to Mandan country in present-day North Dakota.
    3. Marie-Louise/Louise-Suzanne Nolan (c1701-1782) m. Charles François de MÉZIÈRES de L’ÉPERVANCHE at Fort Detroit in 1727
    4. Nicolas-Augustin Nolan (1705-????) went on fur expeditions to the west.
  • Catherine Nolan (c1668-1746) m. Mathieu François MARTIN de LINO in Quebec city in 1685; they lived in Quebec city and had the following children:
    1. Catherine(c1688-1740) m. Jean François HAZEUR in Quebec city in 1708
    2. Jean François m. Marie Angelique CHARTIER de LOTBINIÈRE in Quebec city in 1712
    3. Geneviève (c1699-1738) m. Gaspard ADHÉMAR in Quebec city in 1720
    4. Jean Marc m. Marie Anne PEYRAN in La Rochelle (St. Jean-de-Perrot), France, in 1721
    5. Charles m. Rose PEYRAN in La Rochelle (St. Barthélemy), France, in 1717/1722
  • Thierry Nolan, born in Quebec city in 1671, is believed to have gone on fur-trading and exploration expeditions to the west. In 1725, at Fort Detroit, we find a Louis Thierry Nolan, born in 1695, who was on his way out west as a voyageur. The latter may have been a son of Thierry.
  • Anne Nolan (1674-1703) m. François DEJORDY (c1666-1726), a fur trader, in Montreal in 1696; they had the following children:
  • Catherine (1702-1755) m. Michel MOÈTE dit MORASSE in Trois-Rivières in 1726
  • Marie Anne m. Louis Hector LEFOURNIER DUVIVIER in St-Sulpice, Quebec, in 1720

1813 : Maurice Nowlan : Montreal, QC

[211] Maurice Nowlan (???? – 1813) – from Dublin, Ireland
[212] Agathe Perreault (???? – 1871) – from Unknown

Maurice was the son of William Nowlan of Dublin, Ireland. In the early 1810s, he and his brother “W.” (assumed to have been William) enlisted in the British Army and were sent to British North America to defend the Colonies against the threat of an American invasion. Maurice was the lieutenant of the grenadiers of the Prince Regent’s County of Dublin regiment (the 100th), a regiment formed almost entirely of Irish soldiers).

Agathe was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Perreault who lived on rue St-Vincent in Montreal. Maurice and Agathe were married in Montreal on February 10, 1812, but soon afterward Maurice was called back to duty. and, by November 1813, his regiment was in Stoney Creek on the Niagara Peninsula. On December 18th, Maurice reported by letter that they were preparing for a surprise attack on Forth Niagara and, a few days later, their plan did indeed succeed with only 6 men losing their life. Unfortunately Maurice was one of the casualties and he would never again see Agathe, his “Dearest Jewel”. In a letter dated January 1, 1814, “W. Nowlan”, a lieutenant adjutant clerk stationed in St-Philippe, just south-east of Montreal, reported the death of Maurice, his “most affectionate and beloved brother” and her husband. Agathe never remarried but devoted herself to charity and was a prime benefactor for the Order of Grey Nuns (“Soeurs Grises”), an order founded by Émilie Tavernier-Gamelin, a step-sister who had been adopted by her parents when she was only 4 years old.

1829 : William Nolan : Montreal, QC

[181] William Nolan (c1800 – ????) – from Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow, IE
[182] Valinda Webster (c1803 – ????) – from Unknown
Children: Edward (1827), John (1829), possibly others

William and Valinda were married on August 6, 1826 in St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, Bagenalstown, County Carlow, Ireland. The witnesses at the wedding were Peter Cummins and Bridget Lyons. Their first son, Edward, was born in Ireland in 1827 and at his baptism his godparents are recorded as Anne Nolan and George Webster, no doubt close relatives to William and Valinda respectively. Shortly thereafter they immigrated to Canada.


  • Edward (1827) …
  • John (1829) m. Sara Granville (1837) of Newfoundland in Montreal in 1855. A few years later, around 1860, after the birth of their first few children, they emigrated to the United States. By 1865, they were living somewhere in Maine or Massachussetts and, by 1867, they had moved again, this time to Pennsylvania where John worked as a shoemaker. By 1871, the family had settled in Media, Pennsylvania.
    1. Sarah A. (1857) …
    2. William Joseph
    3. and ?Richard (twins) …
    4. Valinda (1859)…
    5. Edward P. (1863)…
    6. Catherine E. (1867)…
    7. John Jr.(b. 1870)…
    8. Dora M. (1873-1952)…
    9. Francis P. (b. 1877)…
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