Nolan Family Stories

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1660s : Pierce Nowland : Fethard, Co. Tipperary

[354] Pierce Nowland (c1628 – ????) – from Dublin, IE
[355] Unknown (???? – ????) – from Unknown
Children: Henry, Darby, Pierce (1655), Philip (1656), William (1658) and Thomas

As best as can be determined, Pierce Nowland was born in Dublin, Ireland, sometime around 1628, probably the son of a Catholic merchant with Royalist ties and family roots in the barony of Gowran, Co. Kilkenny.

His first name, i.e. Pierce, is of Norman origin and derives from “Piers”, a medieval spelling for the modern-day name of Pierre. For those bearing the Nolan family name, the choice of Pierce as a first name is believed to have started in the 15th century with the rise to prominence of Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormond, whose mother had previously been married to the chief of Forth O’Nolan in Co. Carlow.

During the Irish civil war of the 1640s, Pierce is believed to have gone to Fethard, a royal charter town and centre of trade and commerce in South Tipperary where Piers Butler, a presumed distant cousin and descendant of the first Piers Butler, was Governor not to mention one of the chief commanders for the Irish rebel forces in Ireland. By 1650, however, the tide had turned. The king, Charles I, had been executed and his son Charles II had gone into exile. On February 3, 1650, Fethard surrendered to Cromwell’s army. Pierce Nowland is believed to have married shortly thereafter.

Having taken an active part in the Irish civil war, under the terms of an Act of Resettlement passed in 1652, Piers Butler was forced to forfeit his vast lands in south Tipperary in exchange for less desirable lands in counties Clare, Galway and Mayo, where he, his tenants and retainers could resettle. Pierce Nowland, his wife and their young children, most likely Henry and Darby at this point, are believed to have gone to Co. Mayo sometime around 1654 where Pierce Jr. was born sometime around 1655. It is not known exactly where they lived but it was most likely in the Barony of Tirawley where Pierce Butler is known to have received lands.

After the death of Cromwell in 1659 and the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Piers Butler’s family did regain some of their lands in Co. Tipperary and took up residence in a former Grace castle in Ballylinch parish. Pierce Nowland, the defeated royalist rebel, probably also returned with his family, establishing himself in Fethard. Pierce Jr., born around 1655 in Co. Mayo, named his land in Maryland “Fethard” and it can be reasoned that he would not have had such a strong attachment to the name unless he grew up there.

It is not known who Pierce Nowland married or how many children they had altogether. What is known, however, is that, by the end of the 1670s, six of their children, sons, had emigrated to British North America.


  • Henry who, prior to emigrating, married Lettice ???? and had two sons;
    he settled with his two sons in Kent Co., Maryland, around 1679.
    Children: Henry Jr. and Richard

  • Darby who, in America, around 1680, married Ann Browning and settled in Cecil Co., Maryland.

  • Pierce (1655-1714) who, in America, around 1680, married Katherine ????; he initially settled in Cecil Co., Maryland but later resettled to Charles Co., Maryland, where he spent most of his life; he died in 1714 in Stafford Co., Virginia.
    Children: Stephen (1682), Philip (1684), Pierce (1696), Charles (1698), William (1703)

  • Philip (1656-1733) who, in America, around 1685, married Bridget Nelson; he settled in Loudoun Co., Virginia; he died in 1733 in Stafford Co., Virginia; in the mid 1700s, his son Philip Jr. initiated the Noland’s Ferry service across the Potomac river just downriver from Noland’s Island, joining Loudoun Co. in Virginia to Frederick Co. in Maryland.
    Children: Philip Jr., …

  • William “Shillam” (1658-1719) who, in 1677, arrived in Virginia from Waterford, Ireland, with his brother Thomas on the ship St. George; he married around 1680 and died in St. Mary’s Co., Maryland, in 1719.
    Children: William (1682)

  • Thomas (????-1728) who, in 1677, arrived in Virginia from Waterford, Ireland,
    with his brother William on the ship St. George;
    he married Mary Parrish and settled in Anne Arundel Co. , Maryland.
    Children: Daniel, Sarah, Edward, Thomas

1760 : Patrick Nowlan : Baurnadomeeny, Co. Tipperary

[373] Patrick Nowlan (???? – ????) – from Co. Tipperary
[374] Mary Wade (???? – ????) – from Unknown
Children: ???

Around 1760, three Nowlan brothers, John, Patrick and a third unknown brother, fled from their home in Co. Tipperary to escape arrest. According to family tradition, they fled from the Woodford townland, located southwest of Thurles, near Clonoulty, and headed west in the direction of Co. Limerick. Once near the border, they decided to split up each seeking a new home for himself. One settled in the area of Doon, Co. Limerick, another on the nearby townland of Cahernahallia (pronounced “Carnahalla”), Co. Tipperary. Patrick settled a bit further in the townland of Baurnadomeeny (pronounced “Barnadomeny”), Co. Tipperary.

In Baurnadomeeny, Patrick got work as a labourer, working for a farmer named Wade, and eventually married his daughter Mary. A grandson of Patrick and Mary, named David Nowlan, was convicted of involvement in a secret agrarian group, active in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and transported for life to Australia arriving in 1817. A relative of David, a John Nowlan from the Doon area, was also transported to Australia at about the same time.

1796 : James Nowlan: Thurles, Co. Tipperary, IE

[305] James Nowlan (???? – ????) – from Ireland
[306] N/A (???? – ????) – from ???
Children: ???

In 1796, a James Nowlan obtained a lease for 3 lives on a highly improved Thurles town field and meadow (acreage: 1,3,37) in the area of the Castle Meadows area. In 1819, when a survey was done, he was still living there.

He is also believed to be the James Nowlan who, in 1817, obtained a tillage garden for 3 lives (acreage: 1,2,34) in the Commons area of Thurles.

REFERENCES: Thurles Estate Tenants in 1819

1807 : James Nolan : Thurles, Co. Tipperary, IE

[307] James Nolan (???? – ????) – from Ireland
[308] N/A (???? – ????) – from
Children: ???

In 1807, a James Nolan obtained a lease for life or 21 years on a thatched house and small garden on Pudding lane (acreage: 0,0,13).

REFERENCE: Thurles Estate Tenants in 1819

1812 : William Nolan : Gortcurreen, Listowel, Co. Kerry, IE

[153] William Nolan (???? – c1860) – from Gortcurreen towland, Listowel, Co. Kerry, IE
[154] Johanna Buckley (???? – ????) – from Ireland
Children: Catherine “Kit” (1812), Denis, Patrick (c1825), James (1828), Margaret (1830) and William (c1828)

William was born in the area of Gortcurreen, Listowel, Co. Kerry, and likely belonged to a Nolan sept which is well represented in county Kerry and which, according to MacLysaght, was originally part of the Corca Laoidhe (i.e. the Tribes of Leinster).

William Nolan and Johanna Buckley most likely married in Listowel in the early years of the 1800s. They lived on a 3 acre lot rented from the Earl of Listowel and located in Greenville in the townland of Gortcurreen, on the northern bank of the old course of the River Feale, just west of Listowel. In 1851, the Nolan homestead and property was evaluated at $2.65. Based upon valuation records William died sometime before 1860. Johanna seems to have preceded him, since the property immediately passed on to their son Patrick.


  • Catherine “Kit” Nolan (1812-????) m. William “Bill” COSTELLO of Trieneragh, Duagh, Co. Kerry; Catherine and William had four children: Thomas “Tom Billy” (c1836), John William “John” (c1844), William Nolan “W.N.” (c1848), and Johanna (c1849). In 1862, Catherine’s son, John, a hedge schoolmaster in Ireland, emigrated to Canada and took a position as a school teacher in Renfrew, Ontario. In 1874, at Fitzroy, Quebec (sic Fitzroy Harbour, Ontario; not far from Renfrew, Ontario), John married Elizabeth Copps. Shortly thereafter, his sister Mary, his brother William “W.N.” and his family joined him in Canada landing in Quebec city sometime around 1875. Also around this time John seems to have explored job opportunities out west, reaching the Calgary area even before a police outpost had been set up there (1877) and before the first passenger train had arrived (1883). In the 1881 census, John’s sister, Mary is shown living with John’s family in Renfrew Village but it is not known where William “W.N.” and his family were living at the time. However, in 1883, on the first passenger train to arrive in Calgary, were John’s wife and children, his brother William and his family. William’s wife, who was pregnant at the time, soon gave birth (in November) to a baby boy named John Calgary COSTELLO who is recorded as the first white baby born in Calgary. John stayed on and made a life for himself in Calgary while William only stayed on for a while. He is still listed in the 1891 census for Calgary as a merchant but by the turn of the century he had moved on. In 1904, William was working for a mining company in Washington state and had settled in Everett, just north of Seattle, WA. He died in 1918.

  • Denis who is presumed to have never married

  • Patrick (c1825-before 1886) m. Margaret Dee (c1839-c1908); Patrick succeeded his father at Greenville where he and Margaret had two daughters: Julia (1860) and Catherine “Katie” (1862).

  • James (1828-1888) m. a widow, Mary Hough, née O’Rourke, circa 1854
    James moved to Limerick where he established a successful “bread stuffs and feeding stuffs” store at 43 William Street. James and Mary had six children: William Michael (1855-1941) who married Ellen Mary Murphy (????-1941); Michael James(1859-1944) who became an M.D.; Johanna (before 1862-1891); Patrick James (1862-1913) who became a lawyer, emigrated to Canada and married Mary Elizabeth Lee in Calgary, Alberta; Mary (c1864) who died young; James Joseph (1869-1897) who became a journalist and married Charlotte (Harriett) Russell

  • William (1828-1905) m. Mary Kett (1846-1876) at Six-Mile-Bridge, Co. Clare, in 1864; William moved to 3 and 4 Cornmarket Row in Limerick where, by 1865, when his first child was born, he and his wife Mary had established a successful pawnbroking business. Seven more children would follow but two died at a young age in 1871 and the last child born before Mary’s death in 1876 would also die within the year. Stricken with grief after the loss of his wife after less than 12 years of marriage, William was unable to care for his remaining 5 children. Polly, the oldest and aged about 11 at the time, went to live with her maternal grandmother and the boys, ranging in age between 2 and 7 were “farmed out”. For the next 15 years William’s whereabouts are unknown but, eventually, he seems to have decided to settle in Alberta, Canada, where his sister Kit had already settled with her family in the mid-1880s. In the 1891 census for Alberta, William is listed as a farmer living in Pine Creek, Alberta. By the time of death in 1905 he had moved to Calgary where his sister and family lived and worked as a porter for Calgary’s Holy Cross Hospital. To staff and patrons of the hospital he was affectionately known as “Dad”. William and Mary’s children were: Margaret Mary “Polly”(1865-1953), Denis William (1866-1871), Mary (1867-1871), Patrick James (1869), Michael William (1871), Martin William (1872-1910), James William (1874-1906) and Bridget Mary (1875-1876). Of William’s children, Patrick James (1869), Michael William (1872) and Martin William (1872) went to the United States. Polly (1865), the oldest, and James William (1874), the youngest, remained in Ireland. The latter married Anne Nolan but they did not have any children.

  • Margaret (1830-????) m. circa 1850 Thomas MOLYNEAUX, publican and grocer, of Church street, Listowel, Co. Kerry; Margaret and Thomas had 5 children: Margaret, Catherine (c1855), Patrick, Hannah and William B.

1813 : Patrick Nolan: Thurles, Co. Tipperary, IE

[311] Patrick Nolan (???? – ????) – from Ireland
[312] N/A (???? – ????) – from
Children: ???

In 1813, a Patrick Nolan obtained a lease for life on a cottage and plot (acreage: 0,0,26) on Pike Road (Lognafulla townland).

REFERENCES Thurles Estate Tenants in 1819

1815 : John Nolan : Co. Tipperary

[280] John Nolan (1815 – ????) – from Co. Tipperary, IE
[281] Mary Gelston (???? – ????) – from Unknown
Children: Patrick (c1860), Maria and unknown daughter

John and Mary seem to have married in the late 1850s, probably in the area of Nenagh, and had at least 3 children. They were buried in the Ballinahinch cemetery.


  • Patrick (c1860-1888)

  • Maria who married Edward Ryan on February 29, 1879, in Newport, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary; they had 8 children, the oldest being John “Jack” and Edward; other known children were Nora, Mary and Annie; Maria and Edward are known to have lived in the area of Killoscully south of Nenagh and the Silvermines in northwest Tipperary.

  • a third child, a daughter, who married someone with the last name BENTON; their first son was named John and their only daughter named Nora.

1817 : unknown Nolan, Ulla, Co. Limerick, IE

[333] unknown Nolan (???? – ????) – from Ireland
[334] unknown (???? – ????) – from Unknown
Children: Mary Jane (1817)

Mary Jane was born around 1817 in Ulla, a small town in Co. Limerick, close to the Tipperary border and, around 1840-1842, she married John BURKE. Shortly thereafter the couple emigrated to Australia, settling in Geelong, Victoria, a small community just south of Melbourne. Their son Joseph was born there in 1843. By 1868, the family had moved to San Francisco, California, and from there they moved on to Washington state.

1820 : John Nolan : Thurles, Co. Tipperary, IE

[236] John Nolan (???? – ????) – from Co. Tipperary, IE
[237] Bridget Whelan (???? – ????) – from Co. Tipperary, IE
Children: Michael (1828), Pat (1830), Edmund (1835), Philip (1838), Catherine (1841), John (1844) and Thomas (1846)

Around the mid 1820s, John Nolan and Bridget Whelan were married in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. They remained in the area and had least 7 known children.

On July 20, 1877, in the civil parish of Moyne, a grand-daughter, named Mary CARROLL, was born. Some of her descendants settled in Ohio in the US.

1824 : James Nowlan : Ballingarry, Co. Tipperary, IE

[313] James Nowlan (???? – ????) – from Ireland
[314] N/A (???? – ????) – from Unknown
Children: ???

In 1824, a James Nowlan was teaching in a “hedge school” in Ballingarry parish just east of Cashel. He was teaching 60 children in a “waste house” on the Gragaugh townland and was paid 12 pounds a year.

REFERENCE: Ballingarry Parish Schools in 1824

1827 : Daniel Nolan : Kilcarra More, Duagh, Co. Kerry

[474] Daniel Nolan (???? – ????) – from Unknown
[475] Elizabeth Dore (???? – ????) – from Unknown
Children: Michael (1827), Mary (1830-infant), Mary (1833), Catherine (1836) & Daniel (1839)

Daniel and Catherine appear to have married in the mid 1820s in Co. Kerry and, by March 1827, they were living at Kilcarra More, Duagh, in Co. Kerry, Ireland, when their first child, Michael, was baptized. The next child, Mary, was born in 1830 but died soon thereafter. Then followed another Mary (1833), Catherine (1836) and Daniel Jr. (1839).

In the late 1850s and early 1860s, their three youngest children, Mary, Catherine and Daniel Jr., emigrated to Canada.

In 1861 in Dundas, near Hamilton, Upper Canada (ON), Mary (1833-1921)married a John LYNCH, a worker with the Great Western Railway. She initially lived in Copetown, a small town near Hamilton but eventually moved on to the larger center of Hamilton, ON, where she resided until her death in 1921.

In 1864 in St Catherines, Upper Canada (ON), Catherine (1836-1912) married a Patrick FARMER and from there they moved on to the area of Clyman, Wisconsin, where they raised a large family and lived until their death.

In 1868 in St. Catherines, ON, Daniel Jr. (1839-1928), married a Bridget Kelly, daughter of a James Kelly and Alice Fallon of Elphin, Co. Roscommon, and they settled in London, ON, where Daniel had started work with the Great Western Railroad the previous year. Daniel and Bridget raised six sons in London, ON, and by the time Daniel retired in 1918 he had been working for the railroad more than 50 years.

1835 : Thomas Nolan : Aglish, Co. Tipperary

[335] Thomas Nolan (???? – ????) – from Ireland
[336] Bridget Mackey (???? – ????) – from Unknown
Children: Thomas (1852)

Thomas and Bridget were married in 1835 in Borrisokane, in northwestern Co. Tipperary. A son named Thomas was born to them in 1852.

1836 : Catherine Nolan : Trienerargh, Duagh, Co. Kerry, IE

[151] Catherine Nolan (c1812 – 1872) – from Greenville, Listowel, Co. Kerry
[152] William Costello (???? – bef. 1881) – from Trieneragh, Duagh, Co. Kerry
Children: Thomas William “Tom Billy” (c1836), Michael, John William “J.W.” (c1844), William Nolan “W.N.” (c1848), and Johanna (c1849) and Mary (c1851)

Catherine was born in the area of Listowel, Co. Kerry, Ireland, the daughter of William Nolan and Johanna Buckley of Greenville, Gortcurreen, Listowel, Co. Kerry.


  • Thomas “Tom Billy” (c1836-1914) m. circa 1862 Mary O’Connor (c1843-1939);
    Tom Billy succeeded his father in Trieneragh and and had no less than 13 children, although some of these died in infancy.

  • Michael

  • John William “J.W.” (c1844) m. Elizabeth Copps; in 1862, “J.W”., a hedge schoolmaster in Ireland, emigrated to Canada and took a position as a school teacher in Renfrew, Ontario. In 1874, he married an Elizabeth Copps, a girl from Renfrew, at nearby “Fitzroy, Quebec” (likely Fitzroy Harbour, Ontario). After their marriage, perhaps in connection with the arrival of John’s brother and sister, they seem to have gone to Montreal for a time since Michael William, their first child was born there in 1875. Shortly thereafter, most likely on an assignment for the newly created Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), he went west reaching the Calgary area even before the creation of a police outpost(1877) and before the arrival of the first train (1883). For a time he seems to have travelled back and forth between Calgary and his home in Renfrew Village, Ontario, where, in 1881, we find him listed as “John Castelle”, aged 39, storekeeper with his wife, Elizabeth and children: Michael William (1875), William Alphonse (1877), Catherine Mary (1878) and Thomas Joseph (1880). On August 11, 1883, John was in Calgary and welcomed his wife Elizabeth, his children, his brother William and his family who all arrived in Calgary from the east on the first passenger train to the area. Elizabeth was pregnant at the time and on December 15, 1883, gave birth to the first white girl in Calgary. She was name Elizabeth Lillian “Lillie”.

  • William Nolan “W.N.” (c1848); around 1872, after the death of their mother Catherine, William and his sister Mary emigrated to Canada. According to family tradition they landed in Quebec city sometime around 1875. It is not known where William lived in the first few years but we do know that he eventually resettled to Calgary arriving there on the first train to the area on August 11, 1883, his wife being pregnant with child at the time. She, however, soon gave birth to a baby boy which they named “John Calgary Costello”. He was recorded in medical records as the first white baby born in Calgary. A Dr. Andrew Henderson was present at the birth. In 1891, William was still living in Calgary, listed in the census of that year as a merchant. However, by the turn of the century he had moved on. We next pick up his trail in Washington state where, in 1904, he was the secretary for the Washington and International Mining Company. He is believed to have settled there with his family in Everett, just north of Seattle, WA.

  • Johanna (c1849) m. Timothy DILLON (????-1922) of Knockaneoun, Listowel and Duagh, Co. Kerry; they had three sons and three daughters.

  • Mary (c1851), as already mentioned, emigrated to Canada around 1875 with her brother William landing in Quebec city. In 1881, she was living with her brother John in Renfrew Village, Ontario.

A brother of Catherine, William Nolan, a Limerick merchant, also eventually ended up in Calgary but only after several years of wandering following the death of his wife in 1876.

In 1892, a nephew also joined Catherine’s sons in Calgary. He was Patrick James “P.J.” Nolan, son of her brother James Nolan, a flour and feed merchant in Limerick. Arriving there in 1892, he married one of the local belles and soon made a name for himself as a frontier lawyer.

1837 : Daniel Nolan : Thurles, Co. Tipperary

[191] Daniel Nolan (1815 – 1903) – from Ireland
[192] Catherine Morrissey (???? – ????) – from Ireland
Children: John (1837-1915), James (1840-1927) ), Mary Bridget (1843-1910), Thomas (1845-1853), Catherine (1848-1920), Daniel (1851-1930) and Thomas (1854-1935)

Daniel and Catherine lived in the parish of Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Daniel was buried in Borris, Parish of Twomileborris, Co. Tipperary. Two of their children emigrated to the US.

James (1840) emigrated to the US the sometime around 1860, settling in the area of Troy, NY. He married there in 1870 and around 1875 moved with his family to San Francisco, CA.

Mary Bridget (1843) also emigrated, settling down with her husband, John Corcoran, in the area of Syracuse, NY, where they raised 11 children.

1845 : Thomas Nolan : Co. Tipperary?, IE

[195] Thomas Nolan (c1845- ????) – from Co. Tipperary?, IE
[196] Julia (c1845- ????) – from Co. Tipperary?, IE
Children: ???

Thomas and Julia Nolan were both born circa 1845. They are believed to have been from Co. Tipperary and, at one point in their life, either before or after marriage, moved to England.

1849 : unknown Nolan : Co. Tipperary, IE

[331] unknown Nolan (???? – ????) – from Ireland
[332] unknown (???? – ????) – from Unknown
Children: Ellen (1825), Jerome (1832), …

Sometime before 1849, Ellen Nolan, born around 1825 in Co. Tipperary, married a John MAHAN. Around 1849, they emigrated to the US bring with them two young children, Timothy and Mary. Accompanying them was also a Jerome Nolan, born around 1832, believed to have been a brother of Ellen.

1867 : Timothy Nolan : Templemore, Co. Tipperary, IE

[329] Timothy Nolan (1867 – 1950) – from Templetouhy, Co. Tipperary
[330] Bridget Brown (1865 – 1915) – from Templemore, Co. Tipperary
Children: John (1892), Mary (1894), Nora (1896), James (1900), Catherine (1903), Timothy (1905), Michael Joseph (1907) and Bridget (1911)

Timothy Nolan was born on November 29, 1867, in Barnalashee, parish of Templetouhy, the son of James Nolan and Mary “May” Tracy. Templetouhy is just a bit east of the better known town of Templemore along the road leading from Templemore to the city of Kilkenny further to the southeast.

Bridget was born on March 25, 1865, the daughter of John Brown and Mary Flannery of Templemore, Co. Tipperary.

On June 5, 1891, Bridget married Timothy Nolan. After their marriage, Bridget and Timothy lived in Templemore where they raised their 8 children.


  • John (1892-1915);
    he died as a soldier in France on July 7, 1915,
    during the early stages of the Great War (1914-1918).

  • Mary (1894-????)

  • Nora (1896-1959)

  • James (1900-1960)

  • Catherine (1903-????)

  • Timothy “Tim” (1905-1987)

  • Michael Joseph (1907-1989); he went to England in the 1920s/30s and joined the Army, and later married Gladys Ansell.

  • Bridget “Bridie” (1911-1961)

1877 : John Nolan : Waterford city, Co. Waterford

[486] John Nolan (???? – ????) – from Ireland
[487] Catherine Britt (???? – ????) – from Ireland
Children: Mary (1877), John (1880), Patrick (1885), Bridget and James

John and Kate were likely married around 1875 and lived in Waterford city where they raised a family of six.

Mary, their eldest daughter, married William Aldridge in 1904 and in 1906 they moved to Swansea in south Wales where they too raised a family of six.

1900s : Walter Nolan : Garnavilla, Cahir, Co. Tipperary, IE

[347] Walter Nolan (???? – ????) – from Co. Tipperary, IE
[348] Unknown (???? – ????) – from Unknown
Children: Richard, Leonard, Hallum, Muriel, …

Walter was a sollicitor and had his offices in Tipperary town.

Walter had 7 sons (incl. Richard, Leonard and Hallum) and a daughter Muriel who married a Church of Ireland minister during WWI.

1921 : John Nolan : Cork, IE

[455] John Nolan (1921-1986) – from Armagh, Northern Ireland
[456] unknown (???? – ????) – from Unknown
Children: ???

In 1921, John Nolan was born in Armagh, Northern Ireland. As a young boy he and his sister were given up for adoption. John ended up in Cork where he grew up and got married.

John always wanted to find his family and, now that he has passed away, his grandson, Henry Delaney, the submitter of this information, is picking up the quest for the family’s Nolan roots.

If anyone can shed light on John’s parents who would have lived in Armagh around 1920 please contact the webmaster.

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