Nowlan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Throughout history, very few Irish surnames have exclusively maintained their original forms. Before being translated into English, Nowlan 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 Nowlan family

The surname Nowlan 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 Nowlan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nowlan 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 Nowlan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nowlan Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Nowlan 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.

Early Notables of the Nowlan 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 Nowlan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Nowlan 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 Nowlan or a variant listed above:

Nowlan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eloner Nowlan, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766 [5]
Nowlan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Danl Nowlan, aged 21, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1804 [5]
  • Christopher Nowlan, who landed in New York, NY in 1815 [5]
  • Charles Nowlan, who arrived in New London, Connecticut in 1816 [5]
  • Patrick Nowlan, aged 23, who arrived in New York in 1817 [5]
  • Michael Nowlan, aged 27, who landed in Missouri in 1844 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Nowlan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Nowlan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Nowlan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1808
  • Elizabeth Nowlan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1818
  • Bridget Nowlan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1822
  • Margaret Nowlan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1829
  • James Nowlan, aged 34, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the schooner "Jane" from Galway, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Nowlan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Nowlan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Nowlan, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 4th December 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mrs. Mary Nowlan, (nee Burke), (b. 1822), aged 27, Irish servant who was convicted in Wexford, Ireland for 7 years for burglary, transported aboard the "Earl Grey" on 17th December 1849, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), she died in 1897 [7]
  • Lawrence Nowlan, aged 37, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett" [8]
  • Michael Nowlan, aged 40, a mason, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Hyderabad" [9]
  • Bridget Nowlan, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Lord Raglan" [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Nowlan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Nowlan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Nowlan, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship " Dublin Packet" arriving in Cloudy Bay, South Island, New Zealand in 1838 [11]
  • Miss Mary Nowlan, Canadian settler travelling from Prince Edward Island aboard the ship "Prince Edward" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 13th May 1859 [12]
  • Miss Anne Nowlan, Canadian settler travelling from Prince Edward Island aboard the ship "Prince Edward" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 13th May 1859 [12]
  • Miss Bridget Nowlan, Canadian settler travelling from Prince Edward Island aboard the ship "Prince Edward" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 13th May 1859 [12]
  • Miss Margaret Nowlan, Canadian settler travelling from Prince Edward Island aboard the ship "Prince Edward" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 13th May 1859 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Nowlan (post 1700) +

  • Philip Francis Nowlan (1888-1940), American science fiction author
  • Kevin Nowlan (b. 1958), American comic-book artist
  • John T. Nowlan, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1956 [13]
  • James D. Nowlan (b. 1941), American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1972 [13]
  • James A. Nowlan (1873-1942), American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Illinois, 1920; Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1928 [13]
  • Hume K. Nowlan, American Democratic Party politician, City manager of Hinton, West Virginia, 1934 [13]
  • Gurdon Nowlan, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Livingston County 1st District, 1848 [13]
  • Edward G. Nowlan, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Tioga County, 1880-81 [13]
  • James Nowlan (1855-1924), Irish President of the Gaelic Athletic Association from 1901 to 1921
  • Patrick Nowlan (1827-1896), Newfoundland merchant and politician who represented Harbour Main from 1859 to 1865 and from 1873 to 1882
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel-and-experiment
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 18th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-grey
  8. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARSHALL BENNETT 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/marshallbennett1852.shtml
  9. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 15th March 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Hyderabad 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/hyderabad1854.shtml.
  10. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 25th October 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Lord Raglan 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/lordraglan1854.shtml
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 16) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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