Tolan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Throughout history, very few Irish surnames have exclusively maintained their original forms. Before being translated into English, Tolan appeared as O Tuathail, which is derived from "tuathal," which means "people mighty."

Early Origins of the Tolan family

The surname Tolan was first found in County Kildare (Irish:Cill Dara), ancient homeland of the Kildare based Uí Dúnlainge (Kings of Leinster), located in the Province of Leinster, seated at O'Toole's Castle, where they were descended from Tuathal, King of Leinster who died in 950 A.D.

Early History of the Tolan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tolan research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1327, 1590, 1128, 1180, 1225, 1327, 1670 and 1722 are included under the topic Early Tolan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tolan Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name Tolan revealed spelling variations, including Toole, Tool, O'Toole, O'Tool, Tooley, Toile and many more.

Early Notables of the Tolan family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was St. Laurence O'Toole; Lorcán Ua Tuathail, also known as St Laurence O'Toole, (1128-1180), Archbishop of Dublin, canonized in 1225 by Pope Honorius III; and Adam Dubh Ó Tuathail, died 1327...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tolan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Tolan migration to the United States +

A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the Tolan name:

Tolan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Tolan, who arrived in America in 1865 [1]

Canada Tolan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tolan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Tolan, aged 18 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Free Trader" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [2]
  • Mr. James Tolan, aged 22 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Lady Campbell" departing from the port of Dublin, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [2]
  • Ms. Margaret Tolan, aged 24 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Yorkshire" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [2]
  • Miss. Mary Tolan, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Sisters" departing 22nd April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 20th June 1847 but she died on board [3]

Australia Tolan migration to Australia +

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

Tolan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Tolan, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Susannah" in 1849 [4]

New Zealand Tolan 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:

Tolan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Neal Tolan, (b. 1850), aged 20, British ploughman travelling from London aboard the ship "Monarch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1870 [5]
  • Neal Tolan, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Tolan (post 1700) +

  • John Harvey Tolan (1877-1947), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from California 7th District, 1935-47 [6]
  • Thomas J. Tolan (1830-1883), American architect, father of Brentwood S. Tolan
  • Stephanie S. Tolan, American author of children's books, perhaps best known for her book Surviving the Applewhites which received a Newbery Honor in 2003
  • Peter Tolan (b. 1958), American two-time Primetime Emmy Award winning television producer, director, and screenwriter, known for Analyze This (1999), Analyze That (2002) and Bedazzled (2000)
  • Michael Tolan (b. 1925), born Seymour Tuchow, an American actor, known for his work in All That Jazz (1979), Presumed Innocent (1990) and The Doctors and the Nurses (1962)
  • Johnnie Tolan (1917-1986), American racecar driver, inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1988
  • John Tolan (b. 1959), American historian of religious and cultural relations between the Arab and Latin worlds in the Middle Ages
  • John Harvey Tolan (1877-1947), American politician, U.S. Representative from California (1935-1947)
  • Thomas Edward "Eddie" Tolan (1908-1967), American athlete and sprinter, nicknamed the "Midnight Express"
  • Brentwood S. Tolan (1855-1923), American architect, best known for his courthouse designs including the Allen County Courthouse and the Whitley County Courthouse
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 58)
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 97)
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SUSANNAH 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Susannah.htm
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, October 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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