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Beannachtaí do gach duine a fhaigheann an teachtaireacht seo. Guímid gach rath oraibh do Lá Fhéile Pádraig.

St Patrick's Day Greetings

from Clann O'Nuallain - Clan O Nolan

Dedicated to create and maintain, for current and future generations, an archive of historical and anecdotal information of interest to Nolans everywhere - a goal set by the Clann O Nuallain - Clan O Nolan in 1995

A member of  Finte na hÉireann ~ Clans of Ireland

We are happy to announce the 14th biannual Gathering and General Meeting to be held on 9 September 2023 at the Harbor Hotel in Galway Ireland. 
The weekend will be full of visits to places of interest to Nolans from around the world.  The draft program was sent out a few weeks ago.  An update will be circulated soon. We look forward to welcoming everyone there.
While the ancient records indicate that Carlow is the traditional homeland of Nolans, over the centuries historical forces have led to migration within Ireland as well as worldwide. 
Our 2023 Gathering on 9 September in Galway celebrates the strong history of Nolan families in the West of Ireland and around the world.  In addition to the biannual dinner and award ceremonies, during the day we will: Visit Parc Ui Nualláin / Nolan Park, GAA playing fields, to lay a wreath in memory of recently deceased Patrick Nolan; Visit the gravesite of Sebastian Nolan, the influential Galway merchant at the turn of the 19th century; and take a walking tour of old Galway with Brian Nolan, the highly respected Galway tour guide.  AND MORE!
About surnames and spellings - from the Irish Genealogy website:
In Europe, the adoption of hereditary surnames began in the Middle Ages, over the period between about 900 and about 1300 and continued at very different paces in different locations.  

Ireland was one of the first places in Europe to adopt hereditary surnames, with some evidence from around the early 900s. The reason is simple. Medieval Irish society was organised around the extended family. Who you were related to determined what you could own, what work you could do, who you fought with and against.  Hereditary patronymic surnames were wonderful badges of allegiance, showing everyone immediately who 'your people' were.  After the collapse of the old Gaelic order in the seventeenth century, public administration was in English. So if administrators wanted to identify people, they had to make English-language versions of their surnames. In the process, extraordinary changes were forced on these names. First, Uí, Ní, O and Mc were treated as almost entirely optional. Then the stems of the names would be phonetically transcribed, or (mis-)translated or simply turned into already-existing English surname.
So if Irish surnames are misspelt (ie Nualláin, Nowlan, Nolan, Nolen, Nolin, Noland, Noling, Knowland, etc) and mangled in English-language records, you know why.

With the revival of interest in Irish at the end of the nineteenth century, individuals began to reclaim the O and Mc prefixes. After 1916 and Independence in 1922, that reclamation accelerated dramatically. So the surname you have today might not be the same one your great-grandparents are recorded under. Search with an open mind.

Help further knowledge of Nolan families by taking a DNA test.  You can order a test kit by mail from,, or another of the genealogy websites.  After you receive the results, upload the data to  Instructions to upload are on that site's homepage.


The source of the information below is University of Galway website Landed Estates
As the title suggests, those pages describe land-owning Nolan families from the 1500s onwards.  Use of the term ownership is generic and ignores the fluctuating legal structures of the time.  It is important to note that Nolans lived in many stations of society and may not be represented by these Landed Estates.
In the mid 17th century the Nolans owned a large estate in county Mayo and resided at the Ballinrobe Castle. They lost much of their property to the Cuffs at the time of the Cromwellian confiscation (1652) and were transplanted to Ballinderry, near Tuam, county Galway, although they still retained some land in county Mayo. John Nolan of Ballinderry had 2 sons Patrick and Andrew from who descend the Nolans of Ballinderry and Ballybanagher respectively. At the time of Griffith's Valuation (1847-1864), this house was occupied by John P. Nolan when it was valued at £20. In 1894 it was recorded in Slater's directory as the seat of John Phillip Nolan who was M.P. for North Galway, 1870-1895, 1900-1906.  The building complex was accessed through a stone archway dated 1843.  Significantly destroyed in a 1920 fire, there remains a medieval tower converted to a residence and foundations of other buildings.
Further description available HERE
Built in the 18th century, this house was the residence of Deane esq in the late 1770s and 1780s and occupied in 1814 by Thomas Browne. It was held by Edward Blake in fee in the mid 1850s when it was valued at £8. Sebastian Nolan bought it from the Blakes and lived there until the late 1880s. It is now a substantial ruin.
Seamount Lodge
The Clanmorris family had a residence in the Salthill area of Galway at Pollnarooma East parish of Rahoon, leased from Richard Sloper. It was valued at £21 at the time of Griffith's Valuation (1847-1864). A house named Seamount Lodge is marked on the first Ordnance Survey map in this townland. Seamount was the home of Sebastian Nolan of the Ballinderry family in the late 19th century. It was in use as a nursing home in the twentieth century before being demolished to make way for the housing estate of the same name.
Over 1,300 acres at Ballybanagher in the parish of Cummer, barony of Clare, county Galway, were granted to Patrick Nolan by patent dated 20 Aug 1677. From Ballinrobe, county Mayo, this branch of the Nolan family held a much smaller estate than their cousins at Ballinderry. It amounted to 1,186 acres in the 1870s. A Nolan family home, now a ruin. It was held in fee by Andrew Nolan at the time of Griffith's Valuation (1847-1864) when it was valued at £12. In 1894 Slater recorded it as the seat of Christopher R. Browne.
Martin J. Blake wrote in ''The Tuam Herald'' that this family were descended from the Frenchs of Monivea and that they bought their estate in the parish of Kilcummin, barony of Moycullen, county Galway, from the persons who had been granted it by the Cromwellian Commissioners. Their residence was at Portacarron, close to the shore of Lough Corrib. James French of Portacarron married Helen Daly and died in 1760. He was succeeded by his son Francis who married Sarah Roche of Rye Hill, county Galway, but they had no children. Francis had a sister Margaret who married John Nolan of Ballinderry, near Tuam, and through this marriage the estate passed to the Nolan family in the early 19th century. At the time of Griffith's Valuation (1847-1864), there was no house with a substantial valuation in this townland, then in the possession of Marianne Nolan. There is no visible sign of the house now, some walls and parts of the stable yard remain.

An estate comprised of nine townlands amounting to almost 1400 acres in the parish of Annagh, barony of Costello, county Mayo, and almost a thousand acres in the parish of Killasser, barony of Gallen, owned by the Nolan family. Their estate was advertised for sale in the Encumbered Estates' Court and it was all bought by John Nolan-Ferrall, a nephew of the former proprietor. In 1876 Nolan-Ferrall owned 9731 acres in county Mayo. The representatives of D.H. Ferrall of Lugboy, Ballyhaunis, also owned 869 acres in county Roscommon. Ó Muraíle writes that the Nolan-Ferralls left Lugboy to live in Dublin following the shooting of an estate bailiff in 1881. The Contested Districts' Board took over the estate in May 1906. Home of the Nolan family and the Nolan-Ferrall family, this house no longer exists. The only feature still visible is a well in what was once part of the yard.

Clan members will recall the informative 2015 presentation by Michael Kelly of his book Struggle and strife on a Mayo estate, 1833-1903: The Nolans of Logboy and their tenants (Maynooth Studies in Local History)

A Rutledge family home in the 19th century, there is a lithograph of the house included in the sales advertisement of the Oranmore and Browne estate 1854. At the time of Griffith's Valuation (1847-1864), William Rutledge was leasing the property, valued at £10, from John Nolan Ferrall. Wilson describes it as "a country seat belonging to Henry Browne" in 1786. This house now offers farmhouse accommodation to guests.

The OS Name Books record John Nolan, of Prospect, Gort, as a proprietor in the parish of Ardrahan in the 1830s. Andrew O'Kelly Nolan is recorded as the owner of over 600 acres in county Galway in the 1870s. He was a medical doctor. In 1906 Andrew B. Nolan held about 200 acres of untenanted demesne land at Bullaunagh together with a mansion house valued at £17.
The Ordnance Survey Name books state that in the 1830s the townland was the property of John Nolan of Prospect, Gort . The house appears to have been built after that time. At the time of Griffith's Valuation (1847-1864), this property was leased by John Nolan to Andrew Nolan. In 1906 it was still the property of Andrew Nolan and was valued at £17. It is no longer extant.
Occupied by A. Nolan in 1814. Lewis records Prospect as belonging to a Nolan in 1837. By the time of Griffith's Valuation (1847-1864) it appears to have been part of the estate of the representatives of Vicesimus Knox and leased to William Mulville. The house is still extant and occupied.
This Nolan estate was in the parishes of Cloonfinlough, Kilcooley and Killukin, barony and county of Roscommon in the mid 1850s. In the 1870s Robert Nolan of Lisnaneane, Tulsk, owned 569 acres in the county. Gormley writes that Robert Nolan was the nephew of Catherine Lavinia O'Conor, widow of Dominick O'Conor Don and inherited Lisnaneane in the 1830s following her death. The father of Robert Nolan was a Nolan from Queensfort, near Tuam. No demesne is marked on the first Ordnance Survey map (1846). At the time of Griffith's Valuation (1847-1864) the house was valued at £5 and was held by Robert Nolan in fee. A house still exists at the site.
Queensfort Lodge
Located in Tuam, County Galway, the old building is extant and still appears behind a large modern house.
John Burke, a gentleman, was living at Newtown in 1749. In the mid 19th century Michael Nolan owned the townland of Newtown, parish of Ballynakill, barony of Ballymoe, county Galway. Valued at £4 in the mid 1850s he advertised his estate of 494 acres at Newtown for sale in 1863. The property seems to have disappeared by the time of the 25-inch Ordnance map of the 1890's.

At the time of Griffith's Valuation (1847-1864) Edmond/Edward John Nolan was one of the principal lessors in the parish of Achonry, barony of Leyny, County Sligo. In November 1859 some of his lands in the area were offered for sale in the Landed Estates Court. A portion of the estate of John Nolan was sold in the Landed Estates Court in July 1870. The Irish Times reported that the purchaser was Hugh H. McDermott.  In 1873 further lands were offered for sale. At the time of Griffith's Valuation he held over 1500 acres but in the 1870s his estate amounted to over 900 acres in county Sligo.  No houses were found for this estate.
Sir John Phillip Nolan MP of Ballinderry

Roger Nowlan Webmaster for has brought into one place an easy-to-use information resources archive

  • to help in the writing and continual updating of the Online Nolan Family History website
  • to help  Nolan descendants in their quest to elucidate their own Nolan family history

In time, we hope this website will become the #1 online research archive for Nolan family researchers everywhere. If you are a Nolan family researcher:

  • Submit a short story/note regarding your Nolan family origins
  • Submit transcriptions of Nolan Tombstones, memorials, etc
  • Submit short articles and/or research notes related to Nolans for inclusion in this website's knowledge base.

Contact Roger directly 

And join Roger's monthly online ZOOM chat sessions of the Nolan Family Research Group. Held on the third Tuesday of each month at 2pm Eastern Time (Montreal-Toronto-New York) or alternatively 7pm Greenwich Mean Time (London).  Contact him for the link.

The book O'Nolan - The History of a People is available online from Amazon.  
Written by Fr John Nolan and Art Kavanaugh, this book was published in 2000 and explores the history on Nolan families.  An important selection for your library.

We have invited some historians from the University of Galway to discuss aspects of Galway history as it applies to Nolans of all economic groups. 

Here is a brief note about the late faculty member Labhrás Ó Nualláin, Chair of the Economics Department from 1970-1982


Memoirs are a dime a dozen in this varied world of modern print. Initially, many glitter in the glow of television lights, attract attention, and die a death of indifference on a lonely bookshelf – their purchase, the popular thing to do at the time.

Not this one. At first sight, the main title, “Memoire of an Irish Economist” might suggest a similar fate. If the truth is told, economists, even in the crazy world of ‘boom and bust’ are often seen as a bore. Their subject matter is for a parallel world, far removed from that of sport, music and the dail y scandal.

Yet the subtitle of this intriguing memoir, “Working Class Manchester to Irish Academia” makes us look again. This fine work, edited by Niamh Ó Dochartaigh, is different. Today, as millions flee their homelands from war or economic degradation, this book tells the story in reverse. Labhrás Ó Nualláin (1912-2000) was born Laurence Nolan in Manchester - the Gaelic version of his name gives a clue to why his story upsets the normal migration pattern.  

Joining the UCG faculty in 1953, Professor Ó Nualláin was appointed to the Chair of Economics in 1970. He held the post until his retirement in 1982.  A long university career at University of Galway.

Read the full story HERE

It's time to renew your membership in Clann Ó Nualláin - Clan O'Nolan
Stay informed of our activities and future meetings.

Please print copy the form and print it out.  After you have completed the information please scan it and email it back to
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2023 Membership Form

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To help support your Clan organization, we suggest an annual dues contribution of 25 EURO or 25 GBP / 30 USD, AUD, CND 


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Or by check (preferably in EURO) to: 

Pa Nolan, Treasurer, Nolan Clan 

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a member of Finte na hÉireann - Clans of Ireland
Copyright © 2023 Clan O'Nolan, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Pa Nolan, Treasurer,  Nolan Clan
c/o Mopoon Villa, Sydenham Road
Dundrum, Dublin 14, D14 X7P9. Ireland

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