Nolan Book – 2026

In the 1920s, shortly before his death, Fr. John Nolan of Kirkcubbin began documenting in manuscript form his understanding of Nolan family history. Under the auspices of the Nolan Clan, Fr. Nolan’s book was completed posthumously in the Millenium year by Art Kavavanagh, a prominent author and historian at the time. The book (“O Nolan – The History of a People”), however, largely reflects Fr. Nolan’s understanding of Nolan family history in the 1920s and, given the many new discoveries which have surfaced in recent years due greater information sharing facilitated by Internet technologies there is a real need for an up-to-date Nolan family history book.

Recognizing the value of Fr. Nolan’s contribution in the 1920s and the need for a repeat of such an effort today, I am challenging myself, hopefully with your assistance, to document for future generations the current – 2020s – understanding of Nolan family history in a freely-accessible online Nolan family history book.

A tentative title for the new online book is ” The Nolans, a People from most Ancient Times to the Present” and you can already view the online draft of the new book via the “Nolan History” top-menu selection. You can also Email me to provide feedback or to offer your help.

Besides marking the publication of the first Nolan book, the year 2000 was also aa turning point within the family research community. Nolan family historians everywhere now began to access traditional historical records, books and documents which, until then, had been largely inaccessible. This has resulted in a flurry of new discoveries which have significantly improved our understanding of Nolan family history and now, some 20 years onward, the time has come to document for posterity this improved understanding in a new Nolan family history book.

Prior to the advent of COVID-19 in 2019, having written and published several articles on Nolan family history (Nolan Clan Newsletter, Ballon-Rathoe Chronicle, Carloviana) and collected many early Nolan family stories from around the world (see Family Stories), I felt up to the challenge of writing an up-to-date Nolan family history book. Despite the obvious magnitude of the task I felt that if we were of one one heart (Cor unum, via una) it could be done, fixing 2021 as the target year for the completion of the book.

Today humbled by Covid-19 and advancing age I have fixed a new target date for the completion of the online Nolan Family history book, that being 2026, when we will celebrate 30 years of existence for the modern-day Nolan Clan and also commemorate the centenary of Fr Nolan’s epic quest to pull together the first Nolan family history book in the 1920s.

In the new book I hope to:

  • shed light on the ancient origins of all known Nolan families (O Nuallain, O hUllachain, Nolan,Nowland, Noland, Nolins,  Knollin, Naulin,  …)
  • provide an improved understanding of the forces and historical events which drove many Nolan families to immigrate
  • provide an improved understanding of the forces and historical events which drove many Nolan families to immigrate
  • document the story of many early Nolans who left Ireland and resettled in other parts of the world

Roger Nowlan, Webmaster
and long-time Nolan Clan Member

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