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Balleny, County Antrim


Ir. Baile Uí Éinigh ‘Heaney’s townland’


Baile was first used in place-names in the 12th century when it denoted ‘a piece of land held by a family group’. The later meaning ‘the land and holding of an individual’ probably did not come into use until after the Anglo-Norman invasion. The further meaning ‘farmstead’ developed from ‘the spread among the English settlers of the word “town” from the 13th century onwards’, while baile also had the sense ‘town’ from the beginning of the 14th century or earlier (Price 1967, 495-6). ‘Townland’ (used in the Place-Names of Northern Ireland series) is the meaning adopted here. The name of the townland of Balleny in the parish of Dromore in Co. Down derives from Baile Uí Éinigh ‘Heaney’s townland’ (PNI vi 110-111) and may be analogous here. This surname (earlier Ó hÉighnigh), of which Hegney is a variant, was ‘important and widespread in Oriel, formerly stretching its influence into Fermanagh.... another family of the name in Ulster were erenaghs of Banagher in Co. Derry’ (MacLysaght 1985, 151). It is not associated specifically with north Antrim, but surnames most commonly qualify baile names in northern counties, and other surnames which are otherwise unattested locally appear in some local place-names (cf. Drumaridly in the parish of Culfeightrin).

(info. from Mac Gabhann, F. (1997): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 7 p. 18)


Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballany1657cHib. Reg. Cary
Ballyany1659Census 1659 19
Balleny1661Court of Claims $923
Ballony1661BSD 177
Ballany 1 Qur.1663Lapsed Money Book 158
Bellany, the qtr. of1663Decree of Innocence 431
Bellany1668ASE 117a $19
Ballyny1669HMR Ant. 13
Ballany1672cHib. Del.
Balleney1734Religious Survey
Balleny1734Stewart's Survey 17
Ballenys1780Lendrick Map
Baleny1830Bnd. Sur. (OSNB) B 21
Baile Eithne ""Eithne''s town""1832J O'D (OSNB) B 21
Baleny1832OSM xxiv 1
Balleaney Baile Ui h-Einigh ""O''Heaneys'' Town""1934Magill's Antrim 64
Baile léana ""Townland of the meadow""1987Dallat's Armoy 53
meadow""1987Dallat's Armoy 53
~Baile Uí Uiginn ""(O'')Higgins''s townland""1999Dict. Ulst. PN 9
Parish in 1851
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