Nolan Coat of Arms, Family Crest and Nolan Family History

Nolan Family History

The family history of the ancient name Nolan was found in the archives.

Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.

Variants of the name Nolan include O'Nolan and Knowlan. Meaning 'Descendant of Nuallain', this Sept is of great antiquity being associated with that part of Ireland which lies around the Barony of Forth, in County Carlow. Their Chiefs held high hereditary office under the Kings of Leinster in pre-Norman times and were known as Princes of Fohafta. After the invasion their power declined but they still retained considerable influence. In the sixteenth century a branch of the Nolans migrated to Counties Mayo and Galway where they became extensive landowners. It is in these Counties where the name is most popular today. A most notable person of the name was Philip Nolan, who was a notorious frontiersman in America, 1771-1801.The Nolan family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Nolan descendants.

Meaning of Symbols & Colors on the Nolan Coat of Arms

Argent/White or Silver Denotes Peace and Sincerity.
Gules/Red 'The Martyr's colour', signifies Military Fortitude and Magnanimity.
Crosses Often representing Faith or Christian beliefs, possibly relating to the Crusades
The Lion Emblem of Deathless Courage
Martlet One who has been disposessed of land. Sign for fourth son. In Ireland the Martlett was the bird of perpetual movement
Sword Symbol of Government and Justice

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