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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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


The surname Nowlin 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.

Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Nowlin family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Nolan, O'Nolan, Nowlan, O'Nowlan, O'Nowland, Knowlan, Noland and many more.


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


More information is included under the topic Early Nowlin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Nowlin family in North America:

Nowlin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Robert Nowlin, aged 31, arrived in Maine in 1812
  • Christopher Nowlin, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
  • William Nowlin, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1831
  • Dennis Nowlin, who landed in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1846
  • Kate Nowlin, aged 19, who landed in America from Cork, in 1893

Nowlin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Herman Nowlin, aged 19, who emigrated to America, in 1919
  • Mabel Ruth Nowlin, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1921
  • Lucia S. P. Nowlin, aged 58, who emigrated to the United States, in 1922
  • Warren Nowlin, aged 24, who settled in America, in 1924

  • Charles Nowlin (b. 1962), American professional football player
  • Kiara Nowlin (b. 1995), American gymnast, World Champion Power Tumbler and Nationally Ranked Cheerleader
  • James Robertson Nowlin (b. 1937), United States federal judge
  • Rickey L. "Rick" Nowlin (b. 1948), American Natchitoches engineer and businessman
  • Vaughn Nowlin, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1972
  • T. W. Nowlin, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1912
  • A. E. Nowlin, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Indiana, 1896

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    Other References

    1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    2. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
    3. 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).
    4. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
    5. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
    6. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
    10. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
    11. ...

    The Nowlin Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Nowlin 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 18 May 2016 at 14:52.

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