の can be used as a noun with a relative clause in what appears to be two separate situations.
Referring to a thing or person, e.g. '来たのは田中です。' ('The one who came is Tanaka.')
Nominalizing a verb (as does こと), e.g. '田中が来たのを見た。' ('I saw that Tanaka came.') This can be interpreted as 'the fact that...' or 'the event that...'. (This is probably what gave rise to のに and ので.)
How close are these grammatically and historically? For instance, two instances of the same bit of grammar, or superficially similar but really coming from quite different places?