The John Nolan who lost his Enniscrone estate in Sligo as a result of the Cromwellian confiscations is thought to have neen the John Nowlin in Isle of Wight, Virginia in 1643. These Nowlins later became Nolens. Pierce Nowland also lost his estates, this time in Tipperary, at the time of Cromwell. Six of his sons emigrated to Maryland in the 1670's. James Nowlin from Carlow was in Virginia by about 1700.
The best-known early Nolan was probably Philip Nolan from Belfast, the man who came to Spanish America in the 1790's and made three trading expeditions into the territory that was later to become Texas. In 1801, however, he was captured and killed by the Spanish authorities.
More Nolans arrived in America during the 19th century. Many stayed in the Eastern cities, some ventured West. Among the latter were:
- two Nolan brothers from Wexford, Matthew and Patrick, who came to America in the 1840's. Both worked in the coal mines in Pennsylvania. Patrick later headed west to Minnesota to farm. But he died young because of black lung disease incurred in the mines.
- two more Nolan brothers, Andrew and John from Galway, who arrived around the same time. In the 1850's they headed west and settled in Wisconsin.
- and James Nolan from Galway who came in 1851. James first moved to Ohio but later settled to farm in Illinois
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