Nolan Family

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Fred Nolan
Born(1927-07-05)July 5, 1927
Halifax, Nova Scotia
DiedJune 4, 2016(2016-06-04) (aged 88)
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Resting placeWestern Shore, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, Canada
Known forLand Surveyor, Oak Island Historian
Notable work
Nolan's Cross
Spouse(s)Ora (Miller)

Fred Nolan[edit]

Personal info[edit]

Nolan was one of the first land surveyors in the province of Nova Scotia to receive designation as a Provincial Land Surveyor. With his brother, he opened a surveying company called Nolan Brothers Surveys. Some of their notable works include the layout of the entire Westmount Subdivision at the site of the old Halifax airport on Chebucto Road. Another was the site of the first Sobeys store in Halifax Regional Municipality.

Nolan became interested in the history of Oak Island and its supposed treasure through an article in the 1939 Popular Science Magazine. Nolan started studying documents and maps from the maritime libraries and museums. During this exploration of over fifty years, Nolan uncovered numerous unexplained markings and artifacts from Oak Island’s terrain. He maintained his interest in this quest until his passing in 2016.

Nolan Fueds[edit]

You can't read about any treasure hunting without hearing about an underlying sourness around Nolan. Like any squirmish, I'm sure the person telling the story is going to paint themselves in the best light. Since Blankenship seems to have had the most public voice- most of the stories you hear are about Fred, and not too much about Dan, or any other group's contribution to the fueds. In The Secret Treasure of Oak Island- Chapter 18 details many accounts of the ongoing fueds.

Fined for unprofessional conduct[edit]

Treasureless surveyor Panel upholds guilty decision of man who moved Oak Island Markers By Steve Proctor Business Editor A Bedford land surveyor who deliberately mispositioned survey markers to protect evidence he believed could help solve the mystery of Oak Island has been found guilty of professional misconduct by the provincial surveyors association and suspended for three months. Fred Nolan was also ordered to pay $2,000 for the cost of the Association of Nova Scotia Land Surveyors disciplinary hearing and $1,200 for a failed bid before the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal to get the decision set aside. In a written decision released Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the Appeal Court upheld the findings of the survey association's disciplinary committee, which found Mr. Nolan had knowingly altered a property line by over 10 metres during a 2001 survey on the famed Mahone Bay island. For more than 200 years, treasure hunters have been drilling and digging on the 10-hectare island in an attempt to find treasure reputed to be buried there. The search has attracted the attention of engineers, psychics and amateur archeologists like former American president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It is listed in many places as one of the top 10 unsolved mysteries on the. planet. Mr. Nolan has been looking for treasure on the island since the early 1960s. In 1987, he went to court with a treasure-hunting company headed by Montreal businessman David Tobias and won the ownership of six island lots. Mr. Nolan has kept most of his efforts secret but has had on-again, off-again friendship with Dan Blankenship, a fellow treasure hunter who served years as the field manager for the treasure-hunting company. The pair were on the outs in summer of 2001 when Mr. Nolan carried out a survey of the line between Mr. Blankenship's property and his own. In testimony before the disciplinary hearing, Mr. Nolan said he altered the position of the line to protect evidence of ancient markers he believed Mr. Blankenship might destroy. He said Oak Island was built on. secrecy and when he placed survey markers on his property "It was like a game." At the time, he was not acting as a professional surveyor but as a landowner, he said. The committee found Mr. Nolan guilty of professional misconduct because he used his position to disadvantage a neighbor, failed to avoid the appearance of professional impropriety and.' failed to exercise unbiased independent professional judgment, Contacted Wednesday night Mr. Nolan said he did what he thought was correct but others didn't see it that way, so he is prepared to live with the consequences.

Acquisition of Land[edit]

Even the means by which Fred Nolan became a landowner was a little underhanded. As the story goes Lots 5, and 9-20 were purchased by Mel Chappell, the paperwork was done incorrectly and only showed Chappel as purchasing lots 15-20. Fred discovered this clerical error and secretly purchased lot 5, and 9-14 from the former landowners (that believed they had already sold it), and thus became the legal owner.

Blockading the island[edit]

Oak island did not always have a causeway to it from the mainland, so as the battles between Nolan and others on the island heated up access to the island become the common weapon. Landowners on Oak Island prohibited Fred from crossing their land to get to his property so, in turn, Nolan purchased the plot of land on the mainland from which the causeway extended preventing them from accessing the causeway. This kind of cat and mouse game extended for many years mounting excessive legal fees and causing even more hated among those on the island.

Making Amends[edit]

Although I'm sure there was a lot of behind the scenes negotiation that took place, In Season 3 Episode 7, The Lagina brothers convinced Fred Nolan to stop the fighting and cooperate with the team. I'm sure all involved realized that Tom knew things about the island that no one else did (especially as a surveyor) and his days were running short. Fred even mentioned that if he didn't share what he knew, that no one would ever know it. Over the next few years, Fred is seen working with the Lagina team on many occasions, however, I don't recall ever seeing Fred Noland and Dan Blankenship in the same room together.

The Next Generation[edit]

Now that Fred has passed, and the fighting has appeared to stop, Tom Nolan has joined with Oak Island Tours and is seen on the island contributing to the work. It is unclear if he is financially invested. All the survey maps and presumably all the artifacts that Fred acquired over the years have been made accessible to Oak Island Tours, and you can bet there is a team of historians going over everything with a fine-tooth comb.


Frederick G. Nolan of Waverly, NS Born in Halifax, July 5, 1927, and passed away on June 4, 2016 at the QE2 Halifax Infirmary, after a short illness. He was predeceased by his parents Thomas J. and Catherine (Pierce) Nolan; brothers Thomas P. and Richard T., beloved aunt Mary Prosser (Pierce) and niece Sheelagh Nolan.

His early education was at Oxford Street and College Street schools, as well as St. Mary’s High School. He was one of the first land surveyors in this province to obtain the designation PLS, Provincial Land Surveyor. Along with his brother, Richard, he established and operated Nolan Brothers Surveys. Notable among their earlier projects was the layout of the entire Westmount Subdivision at the site of the old Halifax airport at Chebucto Road. Another, of historical significance, was the site of the first Sobeys store in HRM. Fred had a love for working outdoors and his chosen profession served him well in this regard. Over the years he was involved in the development of many subdivisions, some of which, such as Lewis Lake, he established.

He later developed an interest in the history of Oak Island and its alleged buried treasure. He seriously studied documents and maps gleaned from the maritime libraries and museums of Spain as they related to the lost ships carrying treasure back from the Americas. It was thought that some of these vessels were storm-driven into the coast of Nova Scotia. During this exploration of over a period of some fifty years he uncovered numerous unexplained markings and artifacts from Oak Island’s terrain. He maintained his interest in this quest until the end, and in recent years has provided consultation to the producers of the television series, The Curse of Oak Island. Fred was a good husband, father and adoring grandfather.

He leaves to mourn his wife of 53 years, Ora (Miller), son Thomas J. (Suzanne Ryan), granddaughters Catherine and Shannon, brother, Frank (Maureen); nephew Christopher Nolan and nieces Kathleen, Maura and Coleen Nolan, as well as many in-laws on the Miller side of the family.

Tom Nolan
Known forOak Island Treasure Hunting

Tom Nolan[edit]

Personal info[edit]

Not much is known about Tom, other than he is the son of late Fred Nolan and owns a construction company. Just prior to Fred's passing, Fred publically made amends with the Lagina team (Season 3 episode 7) and agreed to cooperate openly to their quest. Shortly after his death, Tom Nolan has become a regular figure on the island and contributes to the current operation on the island.