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Ballyworkan, County Armagh


Ir. Baile Uí Mhuirchon ‘Murphy’s townland’


According to the Ordnance Survey Memoir, the southernmost point of Drumcree parish was ‘an old fort in Ballyworken townland’ (OSM I 34).  There are two different personal names in the surnames anglicised Murphy, Murchadh ‘sea-battler’ andMuirchú ‘sea-hound’, genitive Muirchon. The spellings of the townland name Ballyworkan indicate Ó Muirchon here.  B'vorghan appears on the 1609 map and was granted to William Powell in 1610.  In the Civil Survey of 1654 the ‘great red bog of Ballevoraghan’ appears in the  bounds of Onealan , Oneill and barony and Co. Down, and the ‘redd bog of Ballevorchan’ appears in the bounds of Oryer & Onealan, the baronies of Orior and Oneilland.  This bog appears on the modern map, but with the name of Brackagh Bog, Brackagh being the next townland to the east, now in the parish of Kilmore.  A 1665 inquisition gives details of this part of the boundary:

‘The lands of Bracca lyeth in the barony of Orior, and the towne and lands of Ballyworkan lyeth in the barony of O'Nealande.  The said townes and lands are parted by a gutte called Askentarriffe, in English the Bull Bog, runninge into the river of the Banne’.  

The word Easca f. means 1. ‘wet sedgy bog. 2. hollow, so that this name is Easca an Tairbh ‘bog or hollow of the bull’.  This bog was known in 1835 as the Brown Bog (OSNB).  Ballyworkan townland was 978 acres, but in 1835 422 acres were bog (OSM I 42).


Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
B''vorghan1609Esch. Co. Map 5.29
Ballyvorghan (Ballyworran)1610CPR Jas I 165a
[?]Ballyvorghan & Drumart1630Inq. Ult. (Armagh) $6 Car. I
a great red bog of Ballevoraghan1655cCiv. Surv. x $76
redd bog of Ballevorchan CANT FIND1655cCiv. Surv. x $77
td Ballyworkan1657Inq. Arm. (Paterson) 234
Bollymurhan1659Census 1659 36
Ballyvorgan1661Inq. Ult. (Armagh) $12 Car. II
Ballyworchane1661BSD 50
Ballymurghan1664HMR Murray (1941) 189
tn & lands Ballyworkan bar ONealande1665Inq. Ult. (Armagh) $21 Car. II
lands of Ballyworkan1823Reg. Deeds abstracts III.558
Ballyworkan1835Cess Book (OSNB) E8
~Baile Ui Mharcain ""O''Markan/Markham''s tn""1835J O'D (OSNB) E8
Oneilland West
Parish in 1851
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