The modern-day Nolan Clan (aka Clan O Nolan or Clann Ó Nualláin) includes the families of O’Nuallain, O’Nolan, Nolan, Nowlan, Nowland, Nowlin, Noland, Nolin, Knowlan, Knowland and a multitude of variants thereof, and, owes its current embodiment largely to Tom Nolan of Slyguff, Muine Bheag, Co. Carlow, the clan’s first modern-day chief.

In 1995 Tom and fewer than a dozen other Nolan descendants, sharing a common interest in ancestral history and seeking to re-establish bonds of kinship and friendship with the rest of the world, banded together and established the Nolan Clan family association. These early pioneers mostly from County Carlow, the ancestral homeland of many Nolan families, met frequently at places such as the “Fighting Cocks” pub in Co. Carlow and, in 1996, applied for their group’s membership in the “Clans of Ireland”. At the clan’s first gathering in 1996 Tom Nolan of Slyguff was officially inaugurated as clan chief and soon afterward the clan formulated a plan to complete by the Millenium year (2000) the writing of a Nolan family history book first started in the 1920s by a Fr. John Nolan of Kilcubbin but left uncompleted. The author had died prematurely and a box with his notes and manuscripts had been passed on to the next generation for completion.

With the help of a well-known local author (Art Kavanagh) and fund-raising by the clan, the new Nolan history was published in the Millenium year as envisaged. In the meantime clan membership grew and clan gatherings kept being held yearly. After the Millenium year the clan switched to biannual gatherings as we have it today.

At its core the Nolan Clan is a voluntary, non-profit family organization and relies upon its membership for fund-raising, undertaking initiatives beneficial to the clan and organizing clan activities.

Membership in the clan is open to anyone around the world who supports the clan’s goals and aspirations, these being:

  • to organize a Clan Gathering every second year
  • to publish a Clan Newsletter at least once a year
  • to create and maintain, for current and future generations,
    an archive of historical and anecdotal information of interest to Nolans everywhere.

To join the Nolan Clan, all that is required is to fill-out a Membership Application Form and to mail it in to the clan treasurer with payment (currently set at 10 Euros or its equivalent per year).

The next clan gathering is planned for the weekend of September 8-10, 2023, in Galway city (for further information see the Gatherings webpage).