Nolan Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


Don’t know which Coat of Arms is yours?

We can do a genealogical research. Find out the exact history of your family!

Learn More

Nolan Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
The last name Nolan is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name O’Nuallain, meaning “descendant of Nuallan”, a personal (first) name derived from the word nuall, meaning “noble” or “famous”. Another source asserts the name translates as “the descendant of the crier”, perhaps referencing the first clan chief who was held the office of the herald to the Kings of Leinster, which was a hereditary position. The chief clan held the barony of Forth. John O’Nolan was granted lands by King Henry II in 1160 AD. One branch of the family went to Connacht in the 1500s where they became land owners in Mayo and Galway, whereas another branch of the Nolan family tree was located in Cork. The family supported the Irish cause and King James II (1689-1690) during the War of the Revolution and lost much of their landed possessions when their side was defeated at the Battle of Boyne in 1690. It is said many Nolans were officers in the Irish Jacobite army. Some went to France and America after the war. The Nolan family motto is Cor unum via una, which translates from Latin to English as “One heart, one way”. The first documentation of the family arms occurred c. 1660 when it appeared on a map of the city of Galway that was presented to Charles II.

The Nolan’s are thought to have descended from a brother of Con of the Hundred Battles, who was the Monarch of Ireland, in the 100s AD. The brother had a son named Nualan from which the family name is derived. The following is an excerpt from “Sometime around the 9th century our Irish forefathers adopted a Gaelic family name , Ó Nualláin, Ó hUllacháin or ni hUllacháin. With the arrival of the Normans in the 12th century the aforementioned three Irish Gaelic family names began to be rendered in English in various forms. The Ó Nualláin family name was predominantly rendered as O’Nolan and some with the Gaelic family names Ó hUllacháin and ni hUllacháin also began using O’Nolan as a surname”.

Surname Spelling variants
Spelling or names with similar etymologies include Noland, Nolen, Nolin, Nollins, Nolens, Nowlan, Nowland, Nowlen, Nolands, Nowlin, Knowland, Nauland, Knollin Newland, and Knowlan.

Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Nolan ranks 705th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following four states: Vermont (283rd), Connecticut (304th), Massachusetts (319th), New York (388th), and Illinois (393rd).

The surname Nolan frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (475th), Scotland (757th), Wales (572nd), Ireland (19th) and Northern Ireland (506th). In England, it ranks highest in Merseyside. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in North Lanarkshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in Leinster. In Wales, it ranks highest in Merthyr Tydfil.

The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (1,054th), New Zealand (625th), Australia (279th), and South Africa (2,370th).

Nolan Family Tree & Nolan Genealogy

John Philip Nolan
Lieutenant-Colonel John Philip Nolan (1838-1912), MP & Irish nationalist landowner

Nolan of Ballinderry
The lineage or origin of the O’Nolans traces back to a man named Conn Ceadh Cathaeh. From one of his brother, named Eochaidh Fionn, descended O’Nuallain, which later became O’Nolan. The chief of the sept of O’Nolan paid homage to King Henry II of England (reign 1154-1189 AD), who granted him lands and rights. One branch of the family tree, known as the Leinster line, or the O’Nolans of Ballykeally, county Carlow, carried on their estate for several hundred years. The ancient family seat was the Castle of Ballinrobe, in Connaught, Ireland. A member of this line was Thomas Nolan, Esquire, who died in 1628, leaving a son named Gregory, his heir. There were two lines of the O’Nolan family tree: one seated at Ballinderry (as we describe below) and one in Loughboy, county mayo. The more immediate ancestry or genealogy of this family begins with Patrick Nolan, Esquire of Ballinderry, son of John, who had land grants in counties Mayo and Galway during the reign of King Charles II (1660-1685). In 1667, he married Anne, daughter of Sir John Browne, Baronet, and had issue with her, including a son named John. In 1709, John Nolan married Ellis, daughter of William Brabazon of New Park, and had a son and heir with her named Patrick. Patrick married a daughter of Martin of Tullyra Castle, and had a son named John. John married Margaret, daughter of James French of Port-a-Carron, and had a son and successor, also named John. This son, John Nolan, Esquire of Ballinderry, in 1809, married Mary, daughter of John Browne of Castle Moyle, and had a son with her named John. The son John married Mary Anne, daughter of Walter Nolan of Loughboy, in 1836, and had issue with her as follows: John Phillip, Walter Raymond (Major of the 17th Lancers), Philip, Sebastian Michael, Edward (Lieutenant in the 18th Hussars), and Elizabeth. His son, John Philip Nolan was an Esquire of Ballinderry, county Galway, Ireland, Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant, Member of Parliament, and Major in the Royal Army who was born in 1838. He was an Irish nationalist. The Nolan coat of arms or Nolan family crest is blazoned in the medieval European art of heraldry as follows: Gules, on a cross or, between four swords erect argent, pommels and hilts of the second a lion passant of the first, between four Cornish choughs sable beaked and legged of the field. Crest: A demi-lion rampant gules. Motto: Cor unum via una.

Noland from Tullow to Virginia
Daniel Nowland was born in Tullow, Carlow, Ireland c. 1574 AD. He married Anastase O’Brien, and had a son with her named Thomas. This son, Thomas Charles Nowland, was born in Mayo, Ireland in 1608. He went to colonial America where he passed away in Stafford, Virginia in 1690. It is believed he was a Catholic merchant with Royalist ties. He married Sarah Awbrey and had issue with her as follows: Pierce I, Philip, Charles, Gregory, Thomas, and Elizabeth. His son, Pierce Nowland I, was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1632 AD. He married Bridget, daughter of Anthony Cian Carroll, and had children with her as follows: Darby, Pierce II, William I, Philip, Henry Sr., and Shillman. During the Irish civil war in the 1640s, Pierce went to Fethard, a royal charter town in South Tipperary, but the town surrendered to Oliver Cromwell’s Army in 1650. states the following: “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.” He died in Maryland in 1724. Three of his sons are discussed below:
1) Pierce Noland II was born in Mayo, Connaught, Ireland in 1655. He came to colonial America with his father. He married Katherine Darrell and had issue with her as follows: Philip, Pierce Jr., Thomas, James, Darby, Henry, Joshua, Daniel, William, and Stephen Sr.
2) William Noland I was born in Mayo, Ireland in 1658. He had two issue: William II and Elizabeth. He died in St. Mary’s Maryland in 1719.
3) Henry Noland Sr. was born in Ireland in 1652. He married Lettice (surname not known) and had issue with her as follows: Henry Jr. and Richard. He died in Kent, Maryland in 1706.

Marriages of Nolans
1) Daniel Nowland married Margery Allcock in Ireland in November 1757
2) Daniel Nowland married Margaret Cranley in Cheshire, England in November 1775
3) Charlotte Nolan married Thomas Murray Esq. in Cork, Ireland in February 1869
4) Thomas Nowlan married Mary Wilson in Cheshire, England in August 1756
5) Polly Knowland married Amos Wakefield in Oxford, Massachusetts in August 1783
6) William John Nolan married May Dixon in Manchester, England in January 1897
7) Martin Nolan married Ann McGarry in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England in June 1849
8) Thomas Nolan married Sarah Strowser in Vermillion, Indiana in January 1838
9) James D. Nolan married Jane Doule in Gardner, Massachusetts in October 1872
10) James C. Nolan married Sarah Higgins in Weymouth, Massachusetts in April 1873
11) William H. Nolin married Alice M. Henne in Fremont County, Iowa in February 1880
12) Dennis Nolan married Liddy Gentry in Little River, Arkansas in October 1885

Early American and New World Settlers
Some of the earliest settlers in colonial America bearing this name include:
1) Catherine Nolan came to Maryland in 1655
2) Philip Nowland came to Maryland in 1677
3) Shillman Nowland came to Maryland in 1678
4) Henry Nowland came to Maryland in 1679
5) Lettice Nowland came to Maryland in 1679
6) Moses Nowland came to Maryland in 1679
7) Richard Nowland came to Maryland in 1679
8) Thomas Nowland came to Maryland in 1679
9) Darby Noland came to Maryland in 1687
10) James Nowland came to Virginia in 1701
11) Henry Nowland came to Maryland in 1706
12) James Nolan came to Massachusetts in 1711
13) Eleanor Nolan, age 12, came to Maryland in 1736
14) Jean Baptiste Nolan came to Louisiana in 1726
15) Patrick Nolan, age 25, came to Maryland in 1775
16) Sarah Nolan came to Boston, Massachusetts in 1754
17) Bridget Noland came to Virginia or Maryland in 1718
18) Andrew Noland came to Annapolis, Maryland in 1731
19) Roger Noland came to New Jersey in 1751
20) Joseph Noland came to South Carolina in 1780

Several thousand members of the Nolan family came to the United States through Ellis Island, during the nineteenth century, including:
1) James Nolan came from Newcross, Ireland aboard the Umbria in 1907
2) William Nolan came from Kilkerrin, Ireland aboard the Oceanic in 1907
3) Martin Noland came from Kilmeena, Ireland aboard the Umbria in 1907
4) Thomas Nolan came from Ballingarry, Ireland aboard the Teutonic in 1907
5) Wesley H. Noland came from Sydney, Australia aboard the Eturia in 1908
6) Ellen Nolan came from Bally Hahill, Ireland aboard the Majestic in 1907
7) Hugh Noland came from Normanton, England aboard the Teutonic in 1907
8) Mary Nowland came from England aboard the SS Canada in 1873
9) James Nowland came from Ireland aboard the Oregon in 1849
10) Alma Nowland came from Norway aboard the Scythia in 1888
11) Anna Nowland came from England aboard the Spain in 1880
12) George Nowland came from Scotland aboard the City of Chicago in 1889

Some of the earliest settlers in Canada bearing this name include:
1) Pierre Nolan came to Montreal in 1661
2) Charles Nolan came to Quebec in 1662
3) Martin Nolin came to Quebec in 1662
4) Jacques Nolin came to Quebec in 1671
3) William Nowland came to Nova Scotia in 1750
4) John Knowland came to Nova Scotia in 1783
5) Patrick Knowland came to Nova Scotia in 1795
6) John Nowland came to Halifax, Novia Scotia in 1824
7) Cornelius Knowland came to New Brunswick in 1841
8) Catherine Nolan came to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1830

Some of the earliest settlers in Australia bearing this name include:
1) Pat Nowlan, age 46, came to New South Wales aboard the Atlas in 1802
1) Eleanor Nolan, age 20, came to New South Wales aboard the Tellicherry in 1806
2) John Nolan, age 23, came to New South Wales aboard the Prince Regent II in 1821
3) Richard Nolan, age 20, came to New South Wales aboard the Hadlow in 1820
4) Michael Knowlan came to New South Wales aboard the Charles Kerr in 1837
5) James Nolan, age 31, of Scotland came to Sydney aboard the London in 1856
6) Mathew Nolan, age 30, came from Cork, Ireland to Victoria aboard the Agostina in 1841
7) Niel Nolan, age 31, came to Victoria aboard the George Fyfe in 1841
8) William Nolan, age 19, came from Kilkenny, Ireland to Brisbane, Queensland aboard the Duchess of Northumberland in 1851
9) John Nolan, age 30, came to Tasmania aboard the Commodore Perry in 1855

Some of the earliest settlers in New Zealand bearing this name include:
1) John and Honora Nolan came to Nelson aboard the John Masterman in 1857
2) James Nolan came to Auckland aboard the Maori in 1864
3) Laurence and Ann Nolan came to Auckland aboard the Reiherstieg in 1864
4) James Nolan, of Galway, Ireland, a carpenter by trade, came to Lyttleton aboard the Indian Empire in 1864
5) Edward Nolan came to Canterbury aboard the Atrato in 1874
6) John Nolan, of Limerick, Ireland came to Canterbury aboard the Waitangi in 1876

There are hundreds of notable people with the Nolan surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include:
1) Christopher Edward Nolan (1970) is a director, producer, and screen writer born in Westminster, London, England, known for movies such as Memento, Inception, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight
2) David Fraser Nolan (1943-2010) is an American politician who is considered one of the founders of the Libertarian Party of the United States, born in Washington, D.C.
3) William Ignatius Nolan (1874-1943) was a member of the US House of Representatives from Minnesota from 1929-1933 and was the state’s Lieutenant Governor from 1925-1929
4) Bernadette Therese Nolan (1960-2013) was an Irish-English singer, actress, vocalist, and TV personality, best known for her work with the girl group The Nolans who had seven hit songs in the UK Top 20, born in Dublin
5) Ricard Michael Nolan (1943) served as a member of the US House of Representatives from Minnesota from 1975-1981, and was again elected in 2013, having previously served in the state’s House of Representatives
6) Patrick J. “Paddy” Nolan (1881-1941) was the Mayor of Ottawa, Canada from 1934-1935, born on St. Patrick’s Day
7) Owen Liam Nolan (1972) was a professional Irish-born Canadian hockey player, born in Belfast, who played in the NHL from 1990-2011, starting his career with the Quebec Nordiques
8) Mary Nolan (1902-1948) was an American stage actress, film actress, dancer, and singer, born in Louisville, Kentucky, active in the 1920s and 1930s
9) Mae Ella Nolan (1886-1973) was a member of the US House of Representatives from California from 1923-1925, born in San Francisco, the fourth woman to ever serve in the United States Congress
10) Dennis E. Nolan (1872-1956) was an officer in the US Army, born in Akron, New York, whose service (1896-1936) spanned three wars: Spanish-American, Philippine-American, and World War I, achieved the rank of Major General
11) Kevin Anthony Jance Nolan (1982) was an English football (soccer) player, born in Liverpool, who played from 1999-2018 for several different teams including the Bolton Wanders and Newcastle United
12) James Ellsworth Noland (1920-1992) was a member of the US House of Representatives from 1949-1951, born in La Grange, Missouri, who also served many years as a US District Judge

Nolan America Civil War Veterans
There were several soldiers with the last name Nolan who served in the American Civil War, including the following:
1) James I. Nolan of the 27th Regiment, Michigan Infantry (Union)
2) Henry C. Nolan of the 153rd Regiment Indiana Infantry (Union)
3) Charles Nolan of the 66th Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry (Union)
4) Cornelius A. Nolan of the 117th Regiment New York Infantry (Union)
5) Michael R. Nolan of the 1st Regiment New Jersey Cavalry (Union)
6) Thomas R. Nolan of the 113th Regiment Ohio Infantry (Union)
7) Andy Nolan of the 5th Regiment New Hampshire Infantry (Union)
8) Thomas Nolan of the 39th Regiment Alabama Infantry (Confederate)
9) James Nolan of the 14th Regiment Louisiana Infantry (Confederate)
10) Patrick Nolan of the 1st Regiment South Carolina Infantry (Confederate)
11) John Nolan of the 2nd Regiment Florida Infantry (Confederate)
12) Benjamin Thomas Nolan of the 9th Regiment Kentucky Mounted Infantry (Confederate)
13) Joseph T. Nolan of the 30th Regiment Georgia Infantry (Confederate)
14) Richard Nolan of the 1st Battalion Virginia Infantry (Confederate)

Private Ledstone Noland
Private Ledstone Noland (1750-1839), great-grandson of Pierce Noland II

Nolan America Revolution Veterans
There were several soldiers with the last name Nolan who served in the Revolutionary War, including the following:
1) Lieutenant Piece Nolan of Virginia
2) Sergeant James Nolan of Virginia
3) Sergeant Joshua Nolan of Virginia
4) Private Abraham Nolen of Connecticut
5) Private Simeon Nolen of Connecticut
6) John Nolens of New York
7) Private Patrick Nolin of Maryland
8) John Nollins of New Hampshire
9) Private John Nowlan of Pennsylvania
10) Jonathan Nowlen on Virginia
11) Thomas Nolands of Virginia
12) Michael Nowlan of Maryland
13) Private William Knowland of Massachusetts
14) Richard Knowland of Masschusetts
15) Private Griffith Noland
16) Private Moses Nowland

Popular products with your Coat of Arms

View All
Shop Now
Shop Now
Shop Now
Shop Now

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Ballinderry Castle
remains of Ballinderry Castle

1) (co. Galway; Reg. Ulster’s Office). Ar. on a cross gu. betw. four swords erect of the last, pommels and hilts sa., a lion pass. betw. four martlets of the first. Crest—On a mount vert a falcon close ppr.
2) (Ballinderry and Portacarron, co. Galway; descended from the ancient Irish Sept of O’Nowlan or O’Nolan. Patrick Nolan, Esq., of Ballinderry, had several grants of land in cos. Mayo and Galway, temp. Charles II.; his representative, John Philip Nolan, Esq., of Ballinderry, is M.P. co. Galway, since 1874). Gu. on a cross or, betw. four swords erect ar. pommels and hilts of the second, a lion pass. of the first betw. four martlets sa. Crest—A demi lion ramp. gu. Motto—Cor unum via una.
3) (Bedford Square, London). Az. on a bend betw. two- fleurs-de-lis or, a lion pass. guard. gu. holding in the dexter forepaw a fleur-de-lis of the first. Crest—A demi lion ramp. gu. holding a fleur-de-lis or.
4) (Nowland’a Fort, co. Carlow; Reg. Ulster’s Office). Az. on a bend betw. two fleurs-de-lis ar. a lion pass. gu.
5) (Chiefs of Fotharta-Tea, now the Barony of Forth, co. Carlow, a Sept of the same race as O’More, of Leix, deriving their surname from Nuallain, Chief of the Sept). Ar. on a cross gu. a lion pass. betw. four martlets of the first, in each quarter a sword erect of the second. Crest—A martlet ar. Another Coat bears the swords points down, and the hilt of each surmounted with a martlet. See Nolan.

Share your history