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Ballyargan, County Armagh

Origin

Ir. Baile Argana 'town of plunder'

Background

According to the Ordnance Survey Memoirs, the name derives from the form Baile-marghan ‘the border town’ (OSM 1, 12).The element marg ‘boundary’ (Dinneen) does typically appear in place-names and, as a qualifying element would appear in the form Baile Mairge. This form does not explain the final [n] of Ballyargan and its historical forms. Further, the historical forms contain no evidence of the medial [m] consonant of Baile Mairge.  Finally, this townland is situated in the middle of the parish of Ballymore, therefore, the interpretation of border-town is not appropriate.

The form assigned to John O'Donovan Baile Argain 'town of plunder' is consistent with the historical forms. However, the element argain 'destruction, plunder' (Ó Dónaill) would be expected to appear in the genitive formargana when qualifying baile 'townland'.The absence of the final syllable -a in the modern form is not surprising as the loss of final schwa (i.e. the sound of the second -a infada) in Moyad (from Maigh Fhada) is a well-attested feature of Ulster Irish (see Ó Dochartaigh 1987, 168-72.)


References

FK

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballyargan1609Esch. Co. Map
Balliyargan1611CPR Jas I 187a
Ballygargan1616Inq. Ult. (Armagh) $5 Jas.I
Ballygargin1623Inq. Ult. (Armagh) $8 Jas.I
Ballygargan1657Inq. Arm. (Paterson) 229
Balligargan1657cHib. Reg.
Ballygargan1661BSD 4
Ballygergon1664HMR Arm. Index 422
Ballygergon1664HMR Murray (1941) 126
Balligargan1685Hib. Del. 28
Ballyargan1732Reg. Deeds abstracts $466 Vol.i
Ballyargin1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) no.115
Ballyargin1834?OSNB no.115
Bailie-marghan ""the border town""1834cBallymore inf. no.115
Bal-e-ar-gin1834cOSNB Pron. no.115
Ballyargin1834cEvans's Return (OSNB) no.115
Ballyargin1834cOSNB Inf. no.115
Ballyargin1834cSamuel Bryson (OSNB) no.115
~Baile argain ""town of plunder""1834cJ O'D (OSNB) no.115
Barony
Orior Lower
Parish
Ballymore
Parish in 1851
Ballymore
Townland
None
Place name ID
17849
Place name type
T