Placenamesni.orgthe history behind our place-names

Ballyhaskin, County Down


perhaps Ir. Baile Hascain ‘Askin’s or Heskin’s townland’


Despite O’Donovan’s suggestion that the final element of Ballyhaskin derives from seascann ‘quagmire’, it seems likely that the second element of this townland name is a surname.  Although the Irish surname Ó hUiscín, (anglicized Hoskins, Heskin, etc.) may be a possibility, it is unlikely that an Irish form such as Baile Uí Uiscín would be anglicized as Ballyhaskin. There is an additional problem in that this surname is found mainly in Connacht (Woulfe 1923, 577).  It is perhaps more likely that we are dealing with a gaelicised form of the English surname, Askin, which is sometimes used as a synonym of Heskin (MacLysaght 1985, 8). While there is no evidence for the surname Askin in Co. Down in the 2001 Phone Book, a 20th-century headstone in Grey Abbey graveyard commemorates eight members of the Askin family who died between 1861 and 1957, indicating that the surname may formerly have been present in the Ards peninsula.


Hannan R. J. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 2 p. 183; revised PT 2013.

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballyhosker1659cCensus 1659 93
Ballyhaskin1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E 167, E 24
Ballyhoskin1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) E 167, E 24
~Baile Sheasgainn ""town of the quagmire""1834cJ O'D (OSNB) E 167, E 24
Town of the sheskin or marsh1913Joyce iii 92
Ards Lower
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type