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Tamnaderry, County Antrim


Ir. Tamhnaigh an Doire ‘field/clearing of the oak-wood’


Tamhnaigh is an oblique form of tamhnach ‘field/clearing’, an element which is very common in the place-names of Ulster and Connaught, and which in East Ulster is often anglicized as Tamna(gh) or Tamny.  Historically the medial-mh- of tamhnaigh would have been pronounced as a nasalized [v], but in Ulster Irish this was later vocalized, a sound suggested by most of the earlier recorded spellings.  In place-names -mh- is often anglicized as [m] (as in this case) or [n], due to the strong residual nasal quality of the original Irish sound (see Tamlaght above).  This townland borders on the townland of Derrygowan, which is derived from Irish Doire Gabhann ‘oak-wood of the smith’, and this raises the possibility that the element doire ‘oak-wood’ in both place-names may have referred to the same feature, all trace of which has now disappeared.   


(info. from McKay, P. (1995): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 4 p. 120-1)

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballytawinderry1605Inq. Ant. (DK) 45
Ballytawnydirrie1606Lodge RR Jas I i 252
Ballytawnydirrie1606CPR Jas I 93b
Ballytannyderry1644Exch. Deeds & Wills 653
Ballytamnedery1663Inq. Ult. (Antrim) $6 Car.II
Tanenedear1669HMR Ant. 147
Ballytaunederry1684Comm. Grace 10
Ballytawnyderry1684Lodge RR Chas II ii 292
Ballytamnederry1692Indent. (Staff.) Box 5 no.22
Ballytounyderry1712Reg. Deeds 10-133-3227
Tamnaderry1720Reg. Deeds 30-26-16158
Tamnaderry1780Lendrick Map
Tamnadery1828OSNB A 40
~Tamhnach an Doire ""field of the oak-wood""1828J O'D (OSNB) A 40
Toome Upper
Parish in 1851
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