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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Where did the Irish Dolan family come from? What is the Irish Dolan family crest and coat of arms? When did the Dolan family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Dolan family history?

Throughout history, very few Irish surnames have exclusively maintained their original forms. Before being translated into English from Irish Gaelic, Dolan appeared as O Dobhailen or " Dubhshláin," which combines the Gaelic elements "Dubh," meaning dark, with "shláin," meaning challenge or defiance.

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The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Dolan were encountered in the archives: Dolan, Doland, Dooley, Dowling, Doolin, Doolan, O'Dooley, O'Dolan, O'Doolin, Dollan, Dolland, Dooland, Dowlling, Doolley and many more.

First found in Leinster, where they are believed to be descended from Eochaidh, King of Leinster, and became one of the "Seven septs of Leix.".


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dolan research. Another 356 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1834 are included under the topic Early Dolan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 20 words (1 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dolan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Dolan family came to North America quite early:

Dolan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Peter Dolan, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745
  • Michael Dolan, who arrived in America in 1793

Dolan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Martin Dolan, who arrived in Virginia in 1813
  • Hugh Dolan, aged 23, landed in Missouri in 1843
  • Nicholas Dolan, aged 31, landed in Missouri in 1844
  • Frances Dolan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1846
  • Walter Dolan, aged 36, arrived in Missouri in 1847


Dolan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Charles H Dolan, who landed in Mississippi in 1903

Dolan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Hannah Dolan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1812
  • Ann Dolan, aged 19, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo
  • Bryan Dolan, aged 13, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway
  • John Dolan, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway
  • Mary Dolan, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway


Dolan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • James Dolan, aged 21, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Harry Lorrequer"
  • Eleanor Dolan, aged 19, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Harry Lorrequer"
  • Mary Dolan, aged 18, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Harry Lorrequer"
  • John Dolan arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harry Lorrequer" in 1849
  • Charles Dolan, aged 24, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Confiance"


Dolan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Margaret Dolan, aged 27, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1840
  • David Dolan, aged 35, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875
  • Bridget Dolan, aged 35, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875
  • Phillip Dolan, aged 7, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875
  • John Dolan, aged 5, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875


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  • Mr. Burtis J. Dolan (1890-1937), American Vice President for Perfume Importer from Chicago, Illinois, USA, who was a passenger on board the Hindenburg LZ-129 and died in the Airship Fire on May 6, 1937
  • James L. Dolan (b. 1956), American businessman, President and CEO of Cablevision Systems Corporation
  • Tom Dolan (b. 1975), American swimmer with two Olympic gold medals
  • James H Dolan (1885-1977), American educator, 2nd President of Fairfield University
  • Michael J Dolan (d. 1953), outstanding Irish actor in the Abbey Theatre
  • Mr. Paul Dolan, British Trimmer from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Matthew Alexander Dolan (b. 1993), English footballer
  • James Dolan (1969-2008), Scottish former professional footballer
  • David Dolan (b. 1979), British gold medalist professional boxer at the 2002 Commonwealth Games
  • Joe Dolan (b. 1980), English semi-professional footballer

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  • The Dolan Family, 1811-1983 by Ellen Urness.
  • The Seeds of the Planter: Our Family Story from 1636-1975 by Geraldine D. Gallagher.
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  1. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  2. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  3. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  4. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  6. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  7. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  8. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  9. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  11. ...

The Dolan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dolan Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 December 2015 at 19:30.

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