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Ballydugennan, County Antrim


Ir. Baile Uí Dhuígeannáin ‘O'Duigenan's townland’


Locally, this townland is generally known as ‘Ballydougan’, and it is clear from the form in the OS name sheets Ballydoogan (1830) that this form of the name dates back to the first half of the last century.  However, the earlier spellings show that the place-name is derived from Irish Baile Uí Dhuígeannáin ‘O'Duigenan's townland’, as previously suggested by John O’Donovan’s Baile Uí Duibhgeanáin and Joyce’s Baile-Uí-Duibhgeannain, rather than Baile Uí Dhúgáin ‘O'Dougan's townland’.  The surname Dougan is fairly common in the area, and Ó Duígeannáin may have been anglicized as ‘Doogennan’ (and later as ‘Dougan’) by analogy. 

The family of Ó Duígeannáin were one of the principal learned families of Gaelic Ireland and originated in East Connaught (MacLysaght 1985, 92).  At first sight it appears unlikely that a Connaught surname would be found as an element of a place-name in this area.  However, it was common for members of bardic families to travel widely and to be granted lands far from home in return for their professional services.  Thus, an inquisition of 1636 finds that Cnoghor O'Dugenan of Tobberdroman in Co. Antrim had been granted the latter townland by Randal MacDonell (Inq. Ult. $92 Car.I).  Tobberdroman appears to correspond with the townland of Toberdornan in the barony of Lower Dunluce.  A Farfesse O Duygenan is recorded as leasee of the same townland in 1637 (O'Duygenan Grant)), while a Cú Choigcríche Ó Duibhgeannáin is recorded at Dunluce in 1613 (Ó Cuív 1984, 140).  It is surely more than coincidence that our Ballydugennan was also one of the townlands held by Randal MacDonnell in the parish of Duneane and it seems highly likely that it was named from a member of the Ó Duígeannáin family, to whom it was granted by MacDonnell in return for professional services.  The fact that the name is not recorded until c.1657 would support this opinion.  It is likely that up until this time the townland was known by another name which may be one of the obsolete names referred to in the parish introduction. 


(info. from McKay, P. (1995): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 4 p. 89)

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
(?)Ballykinoghan1605Inq. Ant. (DK) 45
(?)Ballikinaghan1606CPR Jas I 93b
Ballidugrinan1657cHib. Reg. Toome
Ballyduginan1657cDS (Par. Map) Duneane
Ballyduginan1661BSD 133
Ballydongemon1666ASE 49 b 11
Ballydugenan1667EP Mass. & Ferr.
Ballynewgenan1667ASE 106 a 1
Ballydugnan1669HMR Ant. 150
Ballydugenan1684Lodge RR Chas II ii 292
Ballydugina1685Hib. Del. Antrim
Ballydugenan1712Reg. Deeds 10-133-3227
Ballydugenan1763Belfast News Letter Oct 14
B:doogannan1780Lendrick Map
B.dugonan1785Duff's Lough Neagh
Ballydoogan1827cBnd. Sur. (Reg.)
Ballydugennan1828OSNB A 40
~Baile Duibhgeanáin ""Duigenan''s town""1828J O'D (OSNB) A 40
Ballydoogan1832OS Name Sheets
Ballydugennan1832OS Name Sheets (J O'D)
~Baile-Uí-Duibhgeannain ""[Duigenan], O''Duigenan''s 1913Joyce iii 83
Baile Uí Duígeannáin "" Duignan''s townland""1999Cel. Ulst. Tds 6
Toome Upper
Parish in 1851
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Place name type