A town full of Nowlans and Foleys in Ireland, Arrrgghhh!

+8 votes

I am kind of stumped.  My third Great-Grandfather's name was John Nolan after his father (Nolan-1625), and his grandfather's name was (and please don't ask me where I got this, I haven't nailed it down yet) James Nowlan, mother Mary Shortall.  They hailed from a town called Tullow, in County Carlow, Ireland. Third GGfather married an Ann Foley.  She also hailed from Tullow.  I am thinking these were probably poor farming folk, and Cathlolic, so they never moved too far from home, for generations.  I am trying to build out the Nowlan families and the Foley families in order to suss out who belongs to whom.  The problem herein is that the town was hopping with Nowlans and Foleys all with the same first names, likely cousins. I thought if I graphed it out on paper it would be easier but nay, I just end up with a long pile of gibberish ***Am I going to have to build that tree all the way back to creation in order to figure out who belongs to whom? ***  And to make matters even more complicated, the name Shortall appears to come from Kilkenny (or maybe Wexford), a good 12 hours' walk from Tullow.  I'm hopelessly addicted.  I'm going to die in front of this darned computer lol.

Thanks for your help. 

in The Tree House by Alycia Keating G2G6 (9.5k points)
My great great grandmother was Mariah Shortall and her sister was Catherine Mary Shortal--also spelled Shortell, Shortle.  who came from Kilkenny both were born in the early 1800s.

Catherine Mary was the mother of Georgia O'Keeffe, the famous female painter.

2 Answers

+2 votes
Haven't got an answer but have a look at this - Fair Day Triangle based on a 12 mile radius of a market town - interesting !!


Good luck !!
by Maria Maxwell G2G6 Pilot (194k points)
+1 vote
Good day from Canada,

Sorry for the delay in sending these comments, in case they might at least be of interest if not any use, but I just came across the question you posted about the Nowlans in Ireland. My third great-grandfather was also named John Nowlan b.1796 and baptised in what is recorded as County Armagh.  He was married to a Mary (Fitzpatrick) b.1799 from Barenasltown? Ireland.  All I understood was that his father was also named John Nowlan (possibly spelt at one time Nowland).  Their son, my second great-grandfather was James Nowlan born August 21, 1821 in County Cork.  He immigrated to Canada in 1847 and continued working as a farmer through his life raising several generations of James and John Nolans, down to and including me.  For some unknown reason, between the time he immigrated and the time he died (1911), he dropped the "w" from his surname so from then on the family name became Nolan instead of the original Nowlan it was in Ireland.  I just found it a coincidence that they were Johns and James Nowlan, about the same time, farmers and Catholics and that John's wife was Mary.  How certain I can be that the Fitzpatrick is correct I don't know for sure.  There is also mention of a Mary Donaly in the records of James immediate ancestors (grandmother?).  I'm not sure and haven't tried yet to make the connection.  I also wondered why John in 1796 would have been baptized in Armagh, which according to my Father-in-law, who was born and raised in Armagh, was predominantly protestant Irish, and we always understood that the Nowlans originated in County Cork.  Is there a possible connection? I don't know but there's my history for what it's worth, with my best wishes for your continued happy hunting and enjoyment trying to sort it all out.

John Nolan
by John Nolan G2G1 (2.0k points)

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