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* Nolan's of Illinois*

Updated June 18, 2005

We are searching for the upline ancestors of the Nolan Family that settled in Illinois, near Peoria between 1831 and 1841.

Matthew Nolan was born about 1808 and emigrated from Roscommon County, Ireland in 1827. He came from Ireland and went to Quebec, Ontario, Canada for about 4 years before traveling to Illinois. He married Mary Ryan who was born in 1821 and came from Tipperary, Ireland. We have no other information on relatives of Matthew Nolan, in some places spelled with just one T in Mathew, and even as Mahew. The marriage license of Matthew has Nolan spelled Nowland.

Matthew and Mary are buried with a great number of Nolan's in St. Mary's Cemetery, Pontiac, Illinois. We have no other information on Mary Ryan as far as family or exact place of origin, other than she is buried with Matthew.

John O'Brien settled in the Peoria, IL area and married Mary Gorman who had come from Ireland, and spent some time in New Haven, CT. Records indicates that many Mary Gorman's emigrated, and records in the early 1800's are sketchy at best.

Matthew and Mary had 6 girls and 3 boys. The girls are Ann, Ella, Katherine, Mary, Elizabeth, and Rose. The boys were James, Thomas and Matthew. Thomas is my great grandfather.

Thomas married Margaret O'Brien, daughter of John O'Brien and Mary Gorman, in Peoria, IL. and is our fourth generation's great-grandfather. Our bank of knowledge is good from Matthew and Mary through about 1975 but needs vast amounts of updating to be current today.

A large bank of knowledge has been added concerning the Mowry, (Mowery, Maurer, Mowrey and several other spellings) This branch I think comes from Richard Parker through several names down to my Grandmother Rebecca Mowry Nolan.

From my mothers side of the family Krippel's have been very difficult to research. Having found information and knowing that they were married in Illinois, thus far none of the marriage information has been found, since a great deal happened in and around LaSalle County. That info seems to be unavailable at this time. We have found information on Korbein Leitel who married Barbara Bachmeir and are buried in St. Paul's Cemetery in Odell, Illinois. Recently new family members have been confirmed.

This is an ongoing project and any insight or help will be greatly appreciated.

Feel free to send any questions or information.

Gary Nolan


Gary Richard Nolan

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  • Nolan Coat of Arms (1 KB)
    Nolan (or Nowlan) is now among the most common surnames in Ireland. It the anglicised form of Ó Nualláin, from a diminutive of nuall, meaning "famous" or "noble". The family are strongly linked with the area of the modern Co. Carlow, where, in pre-Norman times, they held power in the barony of Forth, whence their ancient title of "Princes of Foharta". Their power was greatly diminished after the arrival of the Normans, but the surname is still strongly linked with the area. The prevalence of the surname in the modern counties of Mayo and Galway is explained by the migration of a branch of the family to that area in the sixteenth century; in 1585 Thomas Nolan of Ballinrobe in Mayo was given large grants of land as payment for acting as Clerk of the county. He also obtained lucrative licenses to sell wine and spirits throughout the West. He and his relatives prospered and their descendants are many. There was also a separate family, in Irish Ó hUallacháin, based in West Cork, whose name was also anglicised as Nolan. In 1890 the name was ranked 38th most common, with 321 births. By 1996 it had risen to 34th, based on telephone listings.
  • O'Brien (9 KB)
    O'Brien is in Irish Ó Briain, from the personal name Brian. The meaning of this is problematic. It may come from bran, meaning "raven", or, more likely, from Brion, a borrowing from the Celtic ancestor of Welsh which contains the element bre-, meaning "hill" or "high place". By association, the name would then mean "lofty" or "eminent". Whatever the initial meaning of the word, the historic origin of the surname containing it is clear. It simply denotes a descendant of Brian Ború, ("Brian of the Tributes"), High King of Ireland in 1002, and victor at the battle of Clontarf in 1014.
  • Gorman Coat of Arms (7 KB)
    In Ireland, the surname comes from the original Irish Mac Gormain, from a diminutive of gorm, meaning "blue". The original homeland was in Co. Laois, in Slievmargy, but they were dispossessed by the Prestons, a Norman family, and removed to counties Clare and Monaghan. The Clare branch became well-known in later years for the extent of their wealth and hospitality, and for their patronage of poetry. From Clare they spread also into the adjoining county of Tipperary. When the native Irish began to resume the old Ó and Mac prefixes to their names in the nineteenth century, the Clare family mistakenly became "O'Gorman", probably following the error of the then best known bearer of the surname, Chevalier Thomas O'gorman (1725-1808), an Irish exile in France. In Tipperary, the name has generally remained "Gorman", while in Monaghan the original MacGorman still exists, along with the other two versions.
  • Ryan Coat of Arms (6 KB)
    Ryan is today one of the commonest surnames in Ireland. The vast majority of Ryans today are descended from the family of Ó Maoilriagháin, meaning "descendant of a devotee of St. Riaghan". The anglicisation "Mulryan" began to fade as early as the seventeenth century, and is today virtually unknown apart from a few pockets in counties Galway and Leitrim, possibly derived from a different family. As Mulryan it has also been recorded in Spain, among the descendants of Irish émigrés. The surname first appears in the fourteenth century in the barony of Owney, (formerly Owney O’Mulryan) on the borders of counties Limerick and Tipperary, where the Ó Maoilriaghain displaced the O'Heffernans. Even today the surname is highly concentrated in this area. In Carlow and adjoining areas, Ryan may also derive from Ó Riagháin, sometimes confused with Regan. From their origin in the barony of Idrone in Carlow (they were chiefs of the Uí Drone) this family spread widely into the adjoining counties of Wexford and Kilkenny. Members of the Ryan family of Tomcoole in Wexford have been prominent in Irish politics for almost a century, over three generations. The surname was ranked 7th most common in 1890 and 6th in 1996. An educated guess at the total of Ryans in Ireland at present puts their number at something over 28,000.
  • Coughlin Coat of Arms (11 KB)
    Coughlin and O'Brien
  • Turner Coat of Arms (7 KB)
    Turner Coat of Arms for Turner Family
  • Finnegan Coat of Arms (10 KB)
    Finnegan Coat of Arms for Finnegan Family
  • Foley Coat of Arms (4 KB)
    Foley Coat of Arms for Foley Family

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