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Ballycullen, County Down

Origin

Ir. Baile Mhic Coilín ‘Quillan’s townland’

Background

The surname Mac Coilín was common in Donegal, Antrim and Down at the close of the 16th century (Woulfe 1923, 334).  Its anglicized forms include MacCullion, MacCullen, MacQuillin and Quillan.  It is not uncommon for Irish surnames with Mac or Ó followed by a broad C to have an initial q in their anglicized forms (note Ó Caollaí, Ó Caoinleáin, Mac Coinn, Mac Coise giving Queally, Quinlan, McQuinn and Quish), and this is reflected in spellings of this townland name such as Ballequillan/Ballyquillane which are attested in the 17th century. A number of historical spellings could represent Baile Cuilinn, ‘townland of the holly’; the second element of these forms may also derive from the obsolete word cuilleann ‘slope’ (Ó Máille 1960) but the overriding evidence favours a surname.

References

Hannan R. J. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 2 p. 219

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballequillan1659cCensus 1659 95
Ballyquillane1661BSD 121
Ballycullen al Ballykilconan al Wilson''s land1675Montgomery MSS 268 n 35
Ballycallen1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E 32
Ballycullen1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) E 32

Baile Ui Cuilinn/Coilen "Cullin's town"

1834cJ O'D (OSNB) E 32
Barony
Castlereagh Lower
Parish
Newtownards
Parish in 1851
Newtownards
Townland
None
Place name ID
6799
Place name type
T