The Nolan Family

Nolan family crest

(Crest No. 65. Plate 46.)

THE old Leinster family of this name, variously spelled Nolan, Nowlan, Nowland, and Noland, is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The ancient name O’Nuallain or Nowlan signifies “Champion” and was adopted from Nuallain, a chieftain of the Clanna Rory.

The Nolans were in the direct line of descent from a brother of the renowned Con of the Hundred Battles, who was Ard-Righ, or Monarch of Ireland, in the second century. He was named Eochy Finn Fohart. From his son, Nualan, the Nolan family derives its name.

The Nolans were chiefs of Fogarth Feadha, so called from their ancestors above named, and comprising the present baronies of Forth in the Counties of Carlow and Wexford. They were marshals of Leinster and presided at the inauguration of the MacMurroughs. They retained considerable possessions down to the seventeenth century.

The Nolans were noted for their bravery and hospitality and they have attained and held honorable positions down to our days. During the War of the Revolution of 1688 in Ireland, the Nolans were stanch adherents of the cause of King James the Second and contributed many brave officers to the Irish Jacobite army. After the success of the Williamites the Nolans suffered severely both in their person and property. Many of them went to France, where they entered the ranks of the Irish Brigade; and their names are found in that body down to its dissolution on the outbreak of the French Revolu-tion, some of them being honored with the rank of Chevalier of the Order of St. Louis. Michael Nolan, a distinguished Irish lawyer of the last century, was the author of many excellent works, mostly on legal subjects.

The name is still numerous in the Counties of Carlow and Wexford and throughout the United States.