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Annahavil, County Tyrone


Ir. Eanach Abhaill 'peat-bog, marsh of the apple-tree' or possibly 'peat-bog, marsh of the (round) hill'


The first element is undoubtedly eanach 'eat-bog, marsh'. On the first edition of the O.S. 6" map (1834 A.D.) the southern portion of the townland is marked as being totally bog-land, excepting a circular area in the centre of this tract, which rises to a height of 367 feet, entered as Annahavil Hill in the O.S. 6" map revision of 1935 A.D. There is also a large tract of bog in the north-east of the townland.

The meaning of the second element is not as obvious. I have considered three possibilities:

(a) Eanach Abhaill  'peat-bog, marsh of the apple-tree/orchard'. There might have been an apple-tree adjacent to the bog, perhaps on the arable land of Annahavil Hill within the southern stretch of bog.

(b) Eanach Abhaill 'peat-bog, marsh of the(round) hill'. The case has been argued here. T.S. Ó Máille (1955, 58-65) has shown that ubhall (úll) as a place-name element frequently denotes a round hill (a metaphorical use of ubhall 'apple'). In the names discussed by him and in their documentation the vowel in the accented syllable is generally represented as -ool, -owel,- owl(e), -oul, etc., indicating Irish ubhall. However, commenting on pronunciations, he discusses and illustrated the confusion that appeared to exist both in Irish and Scottish Gaelic between ubhall  and abhall. If this was a feature of Tyrone Irish (a dialect which has many features in common with Scottish Gaelic), it is very tempting to see the second element of Annahavil as relating to Annahavil Hill.

(c) Eanach qualified by a forename ot a surname, as in Annaghquin and Annaghteige. The surname Mac Cathmhaoil is well attested in Tyrone and is most commonly anglicised Mac Cavell (later Campbell). (Perhaps Eanach Chathmhaoil pronounced with a medial [v] sound- although [f] might be expected here- rather than the [w] sound of Cawell; this name, however is difficult to reconcile with -(h)awla. I have also considered the personal name Aghmall from which the surname O Hamill derives (a well-attested surname in East Ulster), but I have encountered no instance of lenited m in either the Irish or anglicised forms of this name.

The variant -hawle/hawla mentioned above is more easily reconciled with abhall than with either of the personal names considered above. My conclusion is that the weight of evidence for Annahavil favours Eanach Abhaill 'peat-bog, marsh of the apple-tree' or possibly 'peat-bog, marsh of the (round) hill'.


McCann (1982, 30)

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Anaghawla1611CPR Jas I 189a
Annahavoll1655cCiv. Surv. p.302
Annahawle1655cCiv. Surv. p.263
Aniraughawle1666HMR Tyr. (2) 233
Anaghawla1683Lodge RR !
Aughnawla1713Rental Arm. !
Anahavil1745Reg. Deeds (McCann) B.121/68
Annaghavill othw Anaghawla1761Reg. Deeds (McCann) B.212/241
Annaghivill othw Anahavill1762Reg. Deeds (McCann) B.217/379
Annahavil1835cOSNB: gen. sources D24no43
Annahavil (Der: D''loran & Arboe)1835cOSNB: gen. sources D19/31
[An-na-''hav-vil]1835cOSNB: gen. sources D19/31
[An-na-''hav-vil]1835cOSNB: gen. sources D24no43
~Eanach Abhaill ""marsh of the orchard""1835cJ O'D (OSNB) D24no43
~Eanach Ubhaill ""marsh of the orchard""1835cJ O'D (OSNB) D19/31
~eanach abhaille ""Marsh of the orchard""1936TNCT 26
Eanach Abhaill ""peat-bog, marsh of the apple-tree 1982Mc Cann H.P. 1982 28
Dungannon Upper
Parish in 1851
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