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Ballyhemlin, County Down


Ir. Baile Haimlin ‘Hamlin’s townland’; perhaps earlier Eng. Ham(e)lin(s)ton


The earlier historical spellings clearly suggest that modern Ballyhemlin represents a gaelicization of an earlier Anglo-Norman place-name Ham(e)lin(s)ton.  Reaney (1958, 152) cites a family name Hamlin, Hamlen, Hamblin etc. in Britain, e.g. Robertus filius Hamelin 1130 AD, and then goes on to describe the medieval name Hamelin as a diminutive of Old German Haimo.  Earlier Reaney (xxiv) describes the suffix -elin as a double diminutive containing the particles el and inBallyhemlin townland seems to provide us, then, with evidence for the presence of this Ham(e)lin family among the Anglo-Norman settlers in the Ards.


Hughes A. J. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 2 p. 107

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
?Ballyhumlyn1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $2 Jac.I
Ballihemeline1605CPR Jas I 73a Jas.I
Ballyhemeline1605Inq. Ult. (Down) $2 Jac.I
Balle-Hamlin1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xxxiv
Ballehamlin1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xlii; xlvi
Ballehamlin1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xxxii
Ballehamlin1644Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Jac.I
Ballehamlin1644Inq. Ult. (Down) $104 Jac.I
Ballyhamline1659Census 1659 92
Ballyhember (?)1663Sub. Roll Down 17
Ballyhamlin Half1681Ham. Copy Rental 108
Ballyhemlin1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E.174
Ballyhemlin1830cHigh Const. Applot. (OSNB) E.174
Ballyhemlin1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) E.174
Ballyhemlin ""Hamlin''s Town""1834cJ O'D (OSNB) E.174
Ards Upper
St. Andrews alias Ballyhalbert
Parish in 1851
St. Andrews alias Ballyhalbert
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