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Ballyworfy, County Down


Ir. Baile Uí Mhurchadha ‘Murphy’s townland or settlement’


Ballyworfy is in the south-east of the parish, first referred to as part of the Kilwarlin holding in 1631.  Two townlands only about three miles apart were named after the Ó Murchadha family of Tyrone, Ballyworfy in Hillsborough and Ballymurphy in Annahilt, and it seems to have been decided in the 17th century to differentiate between them by w/v orm in the anglicised spelling, although both would have been spelled the same in Irish.  In the will of Brian Oge McRory Magennis of Kilwarlin, who died in 1631, he appointed John Jennings of Ballymuorffie as one of the guardians of his younger children, but the 1632 inquisition describes how he had let Ballyuorphy to John Jennings ‘of Ballyworfie’.  By the early 19th century the spelling f rather than the usual ph of Murphy (seen in 1641, 1657, BSD 1661) had also become regular in this name. There is a ringfort with bank and ditch on high ground at Spirehill in the townland.


KM, 2009

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Baile Mhurchadha ""Murphy''s town""

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) No. 7

Baile Uí Mhurchaidh ""Murphy''s townland""

2001HMC replies HMCsched

likely Baile Uí Mhurchaidh

2001HMC replies HMCjun01
Ballyworphy1635Inq. Ult. (Down) $52 Car. I
Ballyworfie1641Wars Co. Down 81
Ballivorfie, part of1657cHib. Reg. Lr. Iveagh
Bally Murphy1659cCensus 1659 80
Ballivorfie1661BSD 66
Ballyworphy alias Ballymurphy1661CSP Ire. 459
Ballynursey als Ballemorphey1692Rent Roll Down 4
Ballyworfy1810cWm. Map (OSNB) No. 7
Ballyworphy alias Ballyworfy1811Marriage Downshire (OSNB) No. 7
Ballyworfy1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) No. 7
Iveagh Lr., Up. Half
Parish in 1851
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