The Nolan Clan may be spread far and wide around the globe but our forefathers in Ancient Ireland first created homelands where Nolans were dominant and held seats of great power. Our clan may now extend across continents now but our origins lie deep within the heart of Ireland.
The surname Nolan is among the forty most frequently found in Ireland and is derived from the 12th century Gaelic O’Nuallain sept who were located in County Carlow. Nolan is an anglicised form of O’Nuallain, ‘nuall’ meaning ‘famous’ or ‘noble’. In pre-Norman times the sept held power in the barony of Forth, in County Carlow, where they were known as Princes of Foharta and held high hereditary office under the Kings of Leinster. But that power was greatly diminished after the arrival of the Normans, although their surname is still strongly linked with the area to this day. In the 16th century a branch of the family secured large amounts of land in counties Mayo and Galway and there was a major migration to that area, in which counties the name is not uncommon to-day. A smaller branch settled in Corca Laoidh (south-west Cork) and here the name appeared as O’Huallachain meaning ‘noble’. This name was noted as Knowlan and Knowland in the census of 1659 in Longford and in the adjacent baronies of Westmeath. Today the great majority of people with the Nolan surname are to be found in the province of Leister and County Carlow in particular .
CarlowNolan Homelands
Carlow makes an ideal base for a holiday break and offers a whole range of tourism attractions and activities as well as highlighting the county’s great reputation for good food, great shopping and a full range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and tastes from fine hotels with fully equipped state-of-the-art conference and banqueting rooms that provide the perfect setting whatever the occasion. Carlow guesthouses and welcoming B&Bs, farmhouses, self-catering and historic houses are ideal for touring the entire South East of Ireland. With mountains, glorious countryside and river valleys all close at hand, Carlow is a county worth discovering and exploring. Against a beautiful landscape visitors will uncover a great holiday experience – exhilarating outdoor adventure, traditional rural life, vibrant shopping and a rich cultural heritage. Home to three of Ireland’s national key walking routes – The South Leinster, The Barrow and The Wicklow Ways – the county is blessed with hundreds of miles of excellent and varied walking. There is an impressive variety of golf courses to suit all levels. The Rivers Barrow and Slaney provide exciting activities for the passive and active water enthusiast. The county is steeped in historical and archaeological artefacts from pagan sites to ecclesiastical settlements, many of which are of national significance. The Carlow Garden Trail is another gem for visitors to enjoy featuring a collection of 16 gardening attractions. On the arts and culture front the VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art and the George Bernard Shaw Theatre is a dynamic multi disciplinary arts facility presenting the best of local, national and international art.