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Knocknaroy, County Tyrone


perhaps Ir. Cnoc na Rua ‘hill of the red-haired men/creatures’


The first element in this name is clearly cnoc ‘hill’ which can mean anything from a hill to a small mountain and is common in place-names. Not only in Ireland, but also in Scotland. For the second element, the form assigned to John O’Donovan proposes a form of the element ‘king’, which is unlikely given the prevalence of the ending -roy across the historical forms. We generally expect to see anglicised as -ree such as in Lisnaree (Lios na Rí ‘fort of the king’) in Co. Down.

Instead, the second element might derive from rua ‘red’ where rua is interpreted as a collective, perhaps meaning red-haired men as is seen in Tornaroy (Tor na Rua‘rocky height of the red-haired men’) in Co, Antrim, or perhaps intended to mean red haired animals as is seen in Cornaroy (Corr na Rua ‘round hill of the red animal’) in Co. Leitrim (



Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Knockneroy1614CPR Jas I 272a
Knocknevary1657CHib. Reg. Dungannon Lr,
Knocknaroy1664HMR Tyr. (1) 6
Knocknaroy1666HMR Tyr. (2) 236
Knocknaroge al. Knocknariffe al Knockneroy 81a 1670ASE 220
Knocknaroy1702Vestry Bk Aghalow I 10
Knocknaroy1791Vestry Bk Aghalow XIII 58
Knocknaroy (x 4, prop. French Esq.)1834cOSNB: gen. sources NB 128;D54
~Cnoc na Ríogh - Hill of the Kings1835J O'D (OSNB) NB 128;D54
~cnoc an roigh ''King''s hill; hill of the execution1920cTNCT 37
Knockonary [Knocknorise?]5Civ. Surv. 1655c
Dungannon Lower
Parish in 1851
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