Kilmegan Parish (Lecale Upper portion), County Down
Ir. poss. Cill Bheagáin or Cill M’Aodhagáin 'church of Beagán / M’Aodhagáin'
The civil parish of Kilmegan stretches from Dundrum in the east to Castlewellan in the west and its 17 townlands are spread throughout the three baronies of Lecale, Upper Iveagh and Kinelarty.
The general absence of the parish name from the early written record is doubtless due to its subsidiary dependence on the church at Kilkeel which had under it several tributary chapels including the rectories of Kilcoo and Kilmegan (EA 27 citing Reg. Cromer fol. 473). This is particularly unfortunate as the lack of early spellings of the name makes it difficult to decipher it origin and meaning. The first element is almost certainly Irish cill ‘a church’ and the general pattern of cill-names would tend to suggest that the second element is a saint's name, although we cannot be certain of its form, let alone the identity of the bearer of the name. Perhaps the most likely origin lies in the personal name Beagán, which was borne by several saints (Ó Corráin & Maguire 1981, 30). Confusion between initial m and b could easily arise in Irish where lenition of an initial b would give a sound [v] not immensely different from a lenited m, or where a nasalized b regularly gives [m]. Another possibility is a hypochoristic name beginning in mo 'my (dear)', such as M’Aodhagán, 'my (dear) little Aodh'.
ReferencesGT, 1993; with additions KM 2009
Other portion in Iveagh Up., Lr. Half and Kinelarty
Historical name form
|Old Form||Ref. Date||Reference|
Cill Mhiagáin, ''St Megan's church''
|1834c||J O'D (OSNB) 142|
|Killmighan||1609||Jas I to Down Cath. 179|
|Kilmegan||1622||Ulster Visit. Reeves 27|
|Killmegan||1657||Inq. Down (Reeves1) 103|
|Killmegan||1657c||Hib. Reg. Up. Iveagh|
|Killnegni Parish||1657c||Hib. Reg. Kinelarty|
|Kilmegan Parish||1657c||Hib. Reg. Lecale|
|Kilemeagn||1659c||Census 1659 77|
|Killingan||1659c||Census 1659 76|
|Killmeagan||1659c||Census 1659 70|
|Killmogan 1 towne||1661||BSD 97|
|Kilmegan Parish||1661||BSD 97|
|Kilmegan Parish||1661||BSD 106|
|Kilmegan (x2)||1672c||Hib. Del. Down|
|Kilmegan||1767||Map of Down (OSNB) 142|
|Kilmegan||1810||Wm. Map (OSNB) 142|
|Kilmagan||1823||Atkinson's Ireland 187|
|Kilmegan||1834c||J O'D (OSNB) 142|
|[Kil ''Maygin]||1834c||OSNB: gen. sources 142|
- Lecale Upper
- Parish in 1851
- Place name ID
- Place name type