Nolan family crest and coat of arms

Scroll for info

Meaning of the Nolan family crest symbols

Shield - Cross

The cross in heraldry is the most widely used religious symbol and represents Christ's rise from the dead to claim victory over sin. It was used as a connection to the founding family member’s early religious devotion.

Lion (standing)

The lion symbol represents the ferocious nature of family members, their bravery and valor. It is one of the oldest symbols in heraldry and is considered to be one of the most desirable to have on a coat of arms.

Bird - Martlet/Martlette

The martlet bird is a symbol of the speed and agility of family members to act quickly and decisively when needed. They represent the swiftness of thought and action that is necessary to protect and care for one's family.

Weapon - Sword

The sword is a symbol of courage and strength, and signifies the importance of upholding the family's honor through honorable actions. It is also a symbol of the sacrifices made by those who have served in the military.

Meaning of the Nolan coat of arms colors


The red color (known as Gules) traditionally symbolized martyrdom and the historic military strength of family members when called upon in times of war.


The silver or white color on the coat of arms, (known as 'Argent'), signifies sincerity and peacefulness. It is one of the oldest colors known in ancient heraldry.

Nolan name meaning and origin

The early history of the family name Nolan is deeply rooted in Ireland, with its origins tracing back to ancient times. While the exact etymology and meaning of the name are not discussed here, the historical significance and development of the Nolan surname are worth exploring.

The Nolans were part of the Gaelic Irish population, which inhabited the island long before the arrival of the Normans in the 12th century. The Gaelic culture and language thrived in Ireland, and the Nolans were an integral part of this vibrant society. They were likely associated with a specific region or clan, as was common during that era.

During the medieval period, Ireland experienced significant political and social changes. The arrival of the Normans brought about a shift in power dynamics, as they established their rule over the island. The Gaelic Irish, including the Nolans, often resisted Norman influence and maintained their distinct cultural identity.

The Nolans were likely involved in various aspects of medieval Irish society. They might have been farmers, traders, or craftsmen, contributing to the local economy and community. The Gaelic Irish society was organized into clans or septs, and the Nolans would have belonged to one of these groups, which provided a sense of belonging and protection.

As Ireland faced further challenges in the following centuries, including English colonization and religious conflicts, the Nolans, like many other Irish families, had to adapt and endure. They might have faced hardships, displacement, or even participated in resistance movements against foreign rule.

The Gaelic Irish culture, including the Nolans, remained resilient despite external pressures. The Irish language, music, and storytelling traditions were passed down through generations, preserving their unique heritage. The Nolans likely played a role in maintaining and promoting these cultural practices within their communities.

It is important to note that the history of the Nolan surname is not limited to Ireland. As with many Irish surnames, migration and diaspora have spread the name across the globe. However, this discussion focuses solely on the early history of the name, rooted in Ireland.

The early history of the Nolan family name is a testament to the enduring spirit of the Gaelic Irish people. Through centuries of political, social, and cultural changes, the Nolans, like other Irish families, have maintained their identity and contributed to the rich tapestry of Irish history. Their story is one of resilience, community, and a deep connection to their ancestral homeland.

Nolan name origin in the United States

The early history of the family name Nolan in America dates back to the colonial era. While not the first settlers, they were among the early pioneers who arrived on American shores seeking new opportunities and a fresh start.

One of the first Nolans to arrive in America was likely an adventurous individual who embarked on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean. They may have been drawn by the promise of land, religious freedom, or economic prospects. These early settlers faced numerous challenges as they established themselves in the New World, including adapting to a different climate, unfamiliar customs, and forging relationships with Native American tribes.

As the years passed, the Nolan name gradually spread across the American colonies. The Nolans were likely involved in various occupations, such as farming, trading, or craftsmanship, depending on the region they settled in. They contributed to the growth and development of their communities, playing a role in the formation of towns and cities.

Over time, the Nolan name became more established in America, with subsequent generations building upon the foundations laid by their ancestors. The family likely experienced the trials and triumphs of American history, including the Revolutionary War, westward expansion, and the Civil War.

Today, the Nolan name can be found throughout the United States, with descendants of those early settlers continuing to contribute to the diverse fabric of American society. The family's history in America is a testament to the resilience and determination of those who sought a better life in a new land.

History of family crests like the Nolan coat of arms

Family crests and coats of arms emerged during the Middle Ages, mostly in wider Europe. They were used as a way to identify knights and nobles on the battlefield and in tournaments. The designs were unique to each family and were passed down from generation to generation.

The earliest crests were simple designs, such as a single animal or symbol, but they became more elaborate over time. Coats of arms were also developed, which included a shield with the family crest, as well as other symbols and colors that represented the family's history and achievements.

The use of family crests and coats of arms spread throughout Europe and became a symbol of social status and identity. They were often displayed on clothing, armor, and flags, and were used to mark the family's property and possessions.

Today, family crests and coats of arms are still used as a way to honor and celebrate family heritage.

Nolan name variations and their meaning

The family name Nolan has various variations across different regions and cultures. In Ireland, it is commonly spelled as Noland or Nolen. In Scotland, the name is often seen as Nollan or Nollin. In England, the variations include Nollon and Nollun. These slight alterations in spelling can be attributed to regional dialects and accents. Additionally, the name may have undergone changes over time due to migration and assimilation into different communities. It is fascinating to observe how a single name can have multiple variations, each representing a unique branch of a family tree. These variations not only add diversity to the family name but also reflect the rich cultural heritage of the individuals who bear it. Whether it is spelled as Nolan, Noland, Nolen, Nollan, or any other variation, the name remains a symbol of identity and lineage for those who proudly carry it.

Find your family crest

Learn how to find your family crest.

Other resources: