Forgotten Irish Town Names

December 10, 2016

Question:

Hello, I’m trying to identify a town or district from 1665 in County Armagh. It was listed on the Hearth Money Rolls as Ballynegirne or BallynGirney. Do you recognize these names? Thanks for your help.

Answer:

Ballyngirny certainly isn't a placename now - that form of word, with an 'n' between the prefix (Bally) and suffix (girny) does not occur. The suffix 'Ballyne' does not exist either, 'Ballina' or sometimes 'Ballyna' would be the modern spelling, so I don't think that's right for a current name either. Spelling from that far back is notoriously flaky - especially because it was often non-Irish speakers trying to interpret the spelling of names that were in Irish.

It is probably a townland - rather than a town - and their names have remained remarkably the same over the centuries.

Here is a full list of townlands in Antrim which may help - though I didn't see a likely candidate at first glance, or perhaps someone who sees this will know?

 

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