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Ballygunaghan, County Down

Origin

Ir. Baile Uí Dhuinneagáin ‘O’Donegan’s townland’

Background

Ballygunaghan is the most easterly townland of Donaghcloney.  It has the river Lagan as its northern border, and is the only townland in the parish to form part of the Magennis district of Glasquirin, which extended south into Magherally and Seapatrick parishes.  The townland name is attested from 1609, when it was one of eight towns held by Con Boy McPhelim McHugh Magennis from the King (CPR Jas I 395a).  By 1632 he had transferred five of these, including Ballygunaghan, to Sir Faithful Fortescue (Inq. Ult. (Down) §34 Car. I), whose name is still used for part of the townland. The area is now most frequently known as Blackskull.  The historical forms for Ballygunaghan indicate a possible surname, and Joyce suggested Baile Ó gConachain ‘O’Conaghan’s town’ (Joyce iii 91).  Woulfe gives this surname as Ó Connacháin (Woulfe 1923, 478).  However, the surname Ó Donnagáin or Ó Duinneagáin, which also forms part of the name of the Moira townland of Balloonigan, seems more probable.  These two townlands named after the family of Ó Donnagáin were both secular lands.  There is an early 15th-century ecclesiastical reference to ‘the (Archbishop's) lands of O’Donnacon’, which connects the family with the Church (Reg. Swayne 45,97, 1426-8).  The surname Mac Donnagáin occurs regularly connected with the diocese and is probably a variant of the same name.  Florence MacDonegan was bishop of Dromore in 1309, and there were numbers of McDonegan clergy in the diocese in the 14th and 15th centuries (Swanzy’s Dromore).  Patrick McDonegan held the church lands of Tullylish in the early 17th century, and McDonegans also held some other unlocated church lands which passed to Edward Trevor (CPR Jas I 195a, 395b, 191a).

References

Muhr, K. (1996): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 6 p. 86

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

Ballyagonygan (in Ballynecrosse)

1609CPR Jas I 395a

Balliagonigan

1611CPR Jas I 190a

Ballygomgan

1632Inq. Ult. (Down) $34 Car. I

Ballygonygan

1650cAtkinson's Donaghcloney 22

Balligonioan

1657cHib. Reg. Lr. Iveagh

Ballygonigon

1659cCensus 1659 79

Ballygonniga

1661BSD 77

Balligonioan

1672cHib. Del. Down

(?) Ballynagany

1692Rent Roll Down 7

Ballygonaghan

1755Map of Down (OSNB) E2

Ballyguniaghan

1771Vestry Bk D'cloney 114

Balligonygan unforfeited

17thcPar. Map (Mooney) 337

Ballygonigan

17thcOSNB: gen. sources E2

Ballygonniga

17thcS & D Ann. (Mooney) 338 (29)

Ballygonahan (?-akan)

1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E2

Ballygunaghan

1821Vestry Bk D'cloney 116

Ballynagunikan

1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) E2

Ballynagunaghan [Ballynaguni'kan]

1834OSM xii 59a

Ballynagunikan

1834OSM xii 58b

Baile Guineachain "Gonaghan's town"

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) E2

Baile Ó gConachain "O'Conaghan's town"

1913Joyce iii 91

Baile Uí Dhuinneagáin

1992PNI 279

Baile Uí Dhuinneagáin "Donegan's town"

2001HMC replies HMCjun01
Barony
Iveagh Lr., Up. Half
Parish
Donaghcloney
Parish in 1851
Donaghcloney
Townland
None
Place name ID
17379
Place name type
T