Nowlen Surname History

Throughout history, very few Irish surnames have exclusively maintained their original forms. Before being translated into English, Nowlen appeared as Ó Nualláin, which is derived from the Irish Gaelic word "nuall," meaning "nobler, famous." [1] [2]

"Ó Nualláin, this name is numerous in all the provinces, especially in its homeland, south-east Leinster. " [3]

Early Origins of the Nowlen family

The surname Nowlen was first found in County Carlow (Irish: Cheatharlach) a small landlocked area located in the province of Leinster in the South East of Ireland "where they were chiefs of Fotharta Feadha, now the barony of 'Forth.' From Eochaidh Fionn-Fohart descended O'Nowlan or Nolan or Fowerty (or Foharta), in Lease (or Leix.) " [4]

Early History of the Nowlen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nowlen research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1793, 1837, 1793, 1804, 1811, 1784, 1864, 1784, 1796, 1803 and 1832 are included under the topic Early Nowlen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nowlen Spelling Variations

Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Nowlen dating from that time include Nolan, O'Nolan, Nowlan, O'Nowlan, O'Nowland, Knowlan, Noland and many more.

Early Notables of the Nowlen family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Rev. Edward Nolan (1793-1837) , Bishop of Kildare. He was born in Tullow, Co. Carlow in 1793. He was educated at Carlow College from 1804 until 1811 when he went to Maynooth College. Frederick Nolan (1784-1864), the Irish divine was born at Old Rathmines Castle, co. Dublin, the seat of his grandfather, on 9 Feb. 1784 and was third son of Edward Nolan of St. Peter's, Dublin, by his...
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nowlen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Nowlen migration to the United States +

A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Nowlen or a variant listed above:

Nowlen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Nowlen, who landed in Virginia in 1695 [5]
Nowlen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Nowlen, aged 38, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1812 [5]
  • Michael Nowlen, aged 29, who arrived in America in 1821 [5]

Canada Nowlen migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Nowlen Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ann Nowlen, aged 26, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833

Contemporary Notables of the name Nowlen (post 1700) +

  • Ralph Nowlen, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Tennessee, 1948, 1956 (alternate) [6]


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  4. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 16) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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