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Surname:  Dolan
Branch:  O'Dolan
Origins:  Irish
More Info:  Ireland

Background:  The meaning of the name Dolan is black-haired.

Motto:  Virtute et fidelis, By virtue and fidelity.
Arms:  Azure, three crescents in pale or, between two plates a chief argent.
Crest:  A decrescent gules.

View the Heraldry Dictionary for help.

The name Dolan is fairly common to-day in Ulster - in the Catholic areas of Counties Cavan and Fermanagh - and in the Counties of Roscommon and Galway in Connacht. The latter is the place of origin of this sept which is a branch of the Ui Maine (Hy Many). In the census of 1659 the name appears principally in Counties Roscommon and Fermanagh (the portion dealing with Co. Galway is missing). The generally accepted form in Irish today is O Dubhlain (mod. O Dulain) as given by Woulfe and others. I have little doubt that in the first edition of this work I was wrong to accept that as its supposed derivation. In fact O'Doelan, later Dolan derives from O Dobhailen, the name of a family on record since the twelfth century in the baronies of Clommacowen, Co. Galway, and Athlone, Co. Roscommon, in the heart of the Ui Maine country and quite distinct from O Doibhilin (Devlin). There has been a movement north-eastwards so that now the name Dolan is numerous in counties Leitrim, Fermanagh and Cavan as well as in counties Galway and Roscommon, but see Devlin (supra) for the name Dolan in those counties. These are also anglicized as Doolan and sometimes as Dowling. A very well known Irish-American was Thomas Dolan (1834-1914), the capitalist; in Ireland the best known man of the name was Michael J. Dolan (d. 1953), an outstanding actor in the Abbey Theatre.

Name Variations:  Dolan, Doolan, O'Dolan.

One or more of the following publications has been referenced for this article.
The General Armory; Sir Bernard Burke - 1842.
A Handbook of Mottoes; C.N. Elvin - 1860.
Irish Families, Their Names, Arms & Origins; Edward MacLysaght - 1957.
The Surnames of Ireland; Edward MacLynsaght - 1957.
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan_Leask

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