Mr Michael Bernard Nolan was born in Cross Keys, Carrickatober, Co Cavan, Ireland on 1 April 1872. Hailing from a Roman Catholic family, he was the son of Thomas Nolan, a police constable, and Letitia Friel.
As a teenager he moved to Belfast and in 1889 joined the Royal Irish Rifles.
Described as a labourer and with an address of 15 Roy Court in Belfast, Michael was married in St Malachy’s Church in that city on 5 June 1896 to Catherine Cullen (b. circa 1875), a native of Portadown, Co Armagh. The couple would later welcome nine children, several of who did not survive infancy.
The family appear on the 1911 census as residents of 13 Arran Street in east Belfast and Michael was described as a ship’s stoker.
Nolan’s ship prior to Titanic had been the Ramore Head. He joined Titanic at Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton where he then disembarked.
Michael enlisted with the Royal Navy Reserves and served at sea throughout WWI. During that time, however, he nearly saw a spell in Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison when, on 20 November 1916, he faced the courts for willful and malicious damage to glass worth £10. He was later acquitted.
Michael spent out his days in Belfast and he died there on 10 January 1941.