Descendants of Bridget NOLAN (to contribute information, please email

First Generation

1. Bridget NOLAN was born about 1815 in possibly Garryhill area, Co. Carlow. She died on 9 Apr 1886 in Garryhill, Co. Carlow.

It is not known if Bridget and her husband, Loughlin, had more children besides Malachy below.

Bridget died of pneumonia, from which she had suffered for seven days, according to her death certificate. Her son, Malachy, was present at her death. Her husband, Loughlin, outlived her by only 15 months.   

The Nolan surname is very common throughout Ireland, especially in the south-east. It is strongly linked to the Carlow area where it is an anglicised form of O Nualláin. The prevalence of the name in counties Mayo and Galway is explained by the migration of a branch of the Carlow family there in the sixteenth century. There was also a separate Ó hUallacháin family from west Cork, whose name was also anglicised as Nolan. Given the above it is almost certain that Bridget was descended from the Carlow Nolans. Unfortunately it is not known where she was born. However, given that rural people tended to marry into local families in 19th century Ireland, and that Bridget married someone who was probably living in Garryhill at the time, it is possible that she was born in the Garryhill area.

Bridget married Loughlin RYAN. Loughlin was born about 1824 in probably Co. Carlow. He died on 10 Jul 1887 in Garryhill, Co. Carlow.


According to the Myshall and Drumphea Parish website,, Loughlin was hedge school master in the Garryhill area in the 1840s until Lord Bessborough of Garryhill House built a National and Agricultural School in Garryhill, where Loughlin was headmaster until his retirement in 1886. Loughlin's son Malachy and grandson John would also teach at this school.

The Myshall and Drumphea site also tells us that Loughlin was a skilled farmer. "He was awarded several prizes in agriculture, such as best cultivated tillage farm in 1854 presented by the Idrone Farming Society, also best root crop in 1854 and again in 1856, both presented by the Co. Carlow Agricultural Society". And The Freeman's Journal of 12 December 1863 tells us that "the third prize [in the second class of a national exhibition of produce from school farms] was awarded to Mr. Loughlin Ryan, Garryhill school farm. This though a small collection, contained a very fine collection of swedes. Garryhill is one of the five national schools on Lord Bessborough's property having agricultural schools attached to them".

Loughlin retired from teaching in July 1886 due to ill health. He died just a year later aged about 63. His death certificate tells us that he died of "Stricture of Urethra with Cystisis". His daughter-in-law Mary Ryan (presumably Malachy's wife) was present at the death.

Ryan is one of the most common 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'. In Co. Carlow and adjoining areas, Ryan may also derive from 'Ó Riagháin'. From their origin in the barony of Idrone in Co. Carlow, the Ó Riagháins spread widely into the adjoining counties of Wexford and Kilkenny. We are unsure as to Loughlin's place of birth but given the above it is likely that he was born in the Carlow area.

They had the following children.

+ 2 M i Malachy RYAN was born about 1850. He died on 28 Mar 1924.

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