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

Throughout history, very few Irish surnames have exclusively maintained their original forms. Before being translated into English, Nolen appeared as O Nuallain, which is derived from the Irish Gaelic word "nuall," meaning "shout."


The surname Nolen 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 held a family seat from ancient times.

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Nolen were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Nolan, O'Nolan, Nowlan, O'Nowlan, O'Nowland, Knowlan, Noland and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nolen research. Another 412 words (29 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early Nolen History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Nolen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Nolen family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Nolen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Georg Nolen, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1744
  • James Nolen, who arrived in America in 1785

Nolen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Nolen, who arrived in America in 1807
  • J Nolen, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Ellen Nolen, aged 19, who settled in America, in 1892
  • Karl W. Nolen, aged 39, who landed in America, in 1894
  • Hanna Nolen, aged 11, who emigrated to the United States, in 1895

Nolen Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Jesh Nolen, aged 18, who landed in America from Listowel, Ireland, in 1900
  • Anna Nolen, aged 29, who emigrated to America, in 1903
  • Annie F. Nolen, aged 40, who landed in America from Dublin, in 1903
  • Leona Otrich Nolen, aged 29, who settled in America, in 1904
  • Will P. Nolen, aged 32, who landed in America, in 1904


  • Gabbie Nolen (b. 1982), American country music singer/songwriter
  • William A. Nolen M.D. (1928-1986), American surgeon and author, best known for his syndicated medical advice column that appeared in McCall's
  • Terrence "Terry" Nolen, American theater director
  • Truly Wheatfield Nolen, American founder of Truly Nolen, a family-owned pest control company
  • Timothy Nolen (b. 1941), American actor and baritone
  • Jimmy Nolen (1934-1983), American guitarist
  • John Nolen (1869-1937), American landscape architect
  • Luke Nolen, Australian jockey, best known for riding mare Black Caviar to 22 of her 25 consecutive wins
  • Stephanie Nolen (b. 1971), Canadian Governor General's Literary Award nominated journalist and writer, South Asia bureau chief for The Globe and Mail


  • The Nolen Story by Jewell Nolen.

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  1. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  2. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  4. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Nolen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Nolen 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 30 December 2015 at 15:23.

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