Nolans in New Zealand

By January 26, 2024January 31st, 2024One Comment

John Nolan (1886-1929)

John Joseph Nolan was the second eldest son of Martin Nolan and Annie Mernagh of Forrestalstown, Co. Wexford. He was born on the 20th of March, 1886.

In the Census of 1901, he was aged 15 and living with his family at Forrestalstown, Castleboro’, Wexford.

On May 5th, 1910, he sailed on the SS Oceanic, from Queenstown (Cobh), Co. Cork – destination United States.

Oceanic was a transatlantic ocean liner built for the White Star Line. She sailed on her maiden voyage on 6 September 1899 and was the largest ship in the world until 1901. On 7 August 1901 in a heavy fog, near Tuskar Rock, Ireland, Oceanic was involved in a collision with the small Waterford Steamship Company Kincora, sinking the smaller vessel and killing seven. Kincora, under Capt. Power, plying between Limerick and Liverpool, was run down off the Tuskar Rock at 1.15 a.m. on August 8th, 1901, in thick fog. The Kincora had reduced speed and kept her siren sounding at the regulation intervals, but did not see or hear anything of the Oceanic until the latter’s bows crashed into her. Capt. Cameron of the Oceanic lowered two boats and flung ropes from the forecastle on to the decks of the steamship. Several of the crew were saved by this means but seven went down with the ship. The Kincora sank in seven minutes.

SS Oceanic seen docking at New York

In May 1912, Oceanic picked up three bodies in one of the lifeboats left floating in the North Atlantic after Titanic sank. After their retrieval from Collapsible A by Oceanic, the bodies were buried at sea.

John Nolan’s final destination in the US was listed as Bayonne, New Jersey – specifically to Mrs M. McDonald, 398 Broadway, Bayonne. Arrival date at New York was May 12th, 1910, and John Nolan is listed as being 5 ft 8, brown hair and brown eyes, with 15 pounds in his pocket. He is apparently also listed as travelling with another John Nolan, of Ballonasteige (sp?), Enniscorthy, but with the same father Martin Nolan. This looks like a clerical error. Also to note is that both the entries on the manifest have a line crossed through it, the meaning of which is unclear.

Sometime between 1910-1925, John Nolan emigrated to New Zealand.

To New Zealand

In 1925, John Nolan is listed as living in Fairlie, working as a labourer. >

Fairlie in 1912
R.C. Chruch in Fairlie, taken 1 Feb 1912
Fairlie area, 2024

John Nolan died in New Zealand on September 21st, 1929. It appears as though he may have been involved in an accidental drowning. His body was found on September 24th.

Ted Nolan (1884-1948)

Ted (Thaddeus) Nolan was John’s older brother, born May 1st, 1884 at Boolabawn, Co. Wexford. Present at his birth was his grandmother Marcella (Madge) Murphy-Nolan.

In the 1911 Census, Ted is living at Ballynastraw, Ballyhuskard, Co. Wexford, aged 26, with his parents and brothers Patrick, Myles, William and James. Brother John is not at home. >

On Nov 4th, 1912, Ted married Mary Cleary, daughter of Anthony Cleary from Ballinastragh, at Glenbrien.

Sometime between November 1912 and June 1913, Ted emigrated to New Zealand with Mary Cleary. They settled near Temuka, in the South Island.

Temuka in 1912

Their first child, Martin Nolan was born in New Zealand on 21st June, 1913, at Temuka. He married Mary Doran, and died in 1997. He is buried at Monageer, near Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.

Temuka R.C. Church, early 1900’s, where Martin Nolan would have been baptised.
Dairy Factory, Temuka, 1912

Ted and Mary left Temuka, New Zealand on April 22, 1914, headed back for “the old country”. A function was held for him (in the form of a “smoke concert”, as was popular at the time) in Seadown, Temuka. At the time, Mary would have been five months pregnant with her second child.

Temuka Railway station (1912) – departure point for Ted and Mary’s journey back home to Ireland with their new baby son.

Ted and Mary made their way to Wellington where they boarded the White Star Dominion Line ship Athenic on Thursday, April 24th, 1914. Athenic was the first of three identical sister ships which were built for the profitable freight and passenger service from London to Wellington, New Zealand. The other two were SS Corinthic (1902) and SS Ionic (1903). They were the first orders of the White Star Line after its takeover by J. P. Morgan’s IMM Co. > Like her sister ships, Athenic had two eight-cylinder quadruple expansion steam-powered engines by Harland & Wolff, working the ship’s two propellers that delivered 604 nominal horsepower and giving a service speed of 14 knots (26 km/h). Her passenger capacity was 121 first class, 117 second class and 450 third class. She was equipped with electric lighting and cooling chambers for transport of frozen meat, specifically lamb.

SS Athenic, seen at Wellington in 1913

The route from New Zealand to London was long and arduous. The Panama Canal had not yet been finished (that would happen a few months later) – and so they route took them across the Southern Pacific, around the treacherous Cape Horn, and then via Montevideo (Uruguay), and Rio de Janeiro – both of which were ports the ship stopped at. The final stop before London was Tenerife. Ted, Mary, and infant Martin finally arrived in London on June 7th, 1914 – a journey of over six weeks. When war was declared between the United Kingdom and Germany two months later in August, Athenic was back in Wellington, and was requisitioned as a troopship under the British Liner Requisition Scheme.

Mr. T Nolan, Mrs. M. Nolan, and infant – listed on the manifest for Athenic, 1914.

Their second child was Anthony Kieran Nolan, born 11th August 1914 at Ballinastraw. Anthony died Feb 6th, 1944, aged 29 in Wexford Hospital, from injuries received following a kick from a horse in January of that year.

Ted and Mary had two further sons – twins born at Oulartard on July 27th, 1918: Patrick Nolan, who married Anna May Roche of Ballygillistown, and John Nolan who married Margaret Sheil of Blackwater

Birth record of twins Patrick and John Nolan, Oulartard – born July 27, 1918

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Theresa Kenny( nee Nolan) says:

    There are 2 errors here-
    Martin Nolan died on 26 Jan 1977
    John Nolan ( twin) didn’t marry. He died a bachelor on 18 March 1987
    Theresa Kenny( nee Nolan)- daughter of Martin.

Leave a Reply