Information about Ballynalacka

Information from O'Donovan's Field Name Books

Standard Name:
Irish Form of Name:
Baile na Leacáin
Town of the hillside
Civil Parish:
Other Forms of the Name with authority source (if provided) in italics:
Baile na Leacáin
Called also Lackaw
Ballinalackagh By. Surveyors Sketch Map
Ballynalacka County Cess Collector
Ballinalackin County Map
Ballynalacka Local
Ballynalacka Mearsman
Baille na Leacca Revd. Richard Walsh, P.P.
Balnalacca Tithe Ledger
Agent Thomas Graden, Esq., 2 Society Street, Ballinasloe.Proprietor Counsellor William Graden, Esq., Dublin. Agent Graden Esq., Ballinasloe. Rent 24 shillings per acre. No leases. Soil light and rocky produces light crops of wheat and midling potatoes. Farm from 2 to 16 acres. Co.[Unable to read.] Cess 14D per acre half yearly. On the summit of this townland stand the lodge of Ballynalacks commanding a prospect of Lough Corrib, the mountains Eir Connaught, the County [Unable to read].
A central townland. Bounded on the North by te townland of Ballycunlough in the West Loggawanna on the South by Loggawannia, Ballyhale and Carrangivnagh; and on the East by Ballyaunlough. In the Barony of Clare and County of Galway.

Information From Joyce's Place Names

Translation according to P. W. Joyce:
Ballynalack in Armagh and King's Co., Ballynalickin Tipperary, and Ballynalacka in Galway ; Baile-na-leice, the town of the flagstone. But the Bally here may in some cases represent Beal-atha, a ford: see Bally. See Ballinalack, vol. i. pp. 416, 417 [reproduced below].
The word leac, lic, or liag [lack, lick, leeg] - for it is written all three ways - means primarily a great stone, but it is commonly applied to a flag or large flat stone; thus the Irish for ice is leac-oidhre [lack-ira], literally snow-flag. The most ancient form is liac or liacc, which is used to translate lapis in the Wb. and Sg. MSS. Of Zeuss; and it is cognate with the Welsh llech; Lat. Lapis; and Greek lithos. This word occurs very often in Irish names, and in its local application it is very generally used to denote a flat-surfaced rock, or a place having a level rocky surface. Its most common forms are Lack, Leck, and Lick, which are the names of many townlands and villages through Ireland, as well as the diminutives Lackeen and Lickeen, little rock. The form liag is represented by Leeg and Leek in Monaghan, and by Leeke in Antrim and Londonderry. Lickmolassy, a parish in Galway - St. Molaise's flag-stone - was so called, because the hill on which the church was built that gave name to the parish, is covered on the surface with level flag-like rocks. Legvoy, a place in Roscommon, west of Carrick-on-Shannon, is called by the Four Masters Leagmhagh [Legvah], the flag-surfaced plains. The celebrated mountain Slieve League in Donegal, is correctly described by its name: - "A quarry lately opened here, shows this part of the mountain to be formed of piles of thin small flags of a beautiful white colour… And here observe how much there is in a name; for Slieve League means the mountain of flags". (From "Donegal Highlands". Murray and Co., Dublin.) I have already observed (p. 355) that stony fords are very often designated by names indicating their character; and I will give a few additional illustrations here. Belleek in Fermanagh, on the Erne, east of Ballyshannon, is called in Irish authorities, Bél-leice [Bellecka] "translated os rupis by Philip O'Sullivan Bear in his history of the Irish Catholics. The name signifies ford-mouth of the flag-stone, and the place was so called from the flat-surfaced rock in the ford, which, when the water decreases in summer, appears as level as a marble floor" (O'Donovan, Four Mast. V., p. 134). Belleek is also the name of a place near Ballina in Mayo, which was so called from a rocky ford on the Moy; there is a village of the same name near Newtown Hamilton. Armagh, and also two townlands in Galway and Meath. Ballinaleck is the name of a village in Westmeath, a name originally applied to a ford on the river Inny, over which there is now a bridge; the correct name is Bel-atha-na-leac [Bellanalack], the mouth of the ford of the flag-stones, a name that most truly describes the place, which is covered with limestone flags. In some other cases, however, Ballinalack is derived from Baile-na-leac the town of the flag-stones. Several derivative forms from leac are perpetuated in local names; one of these, leacach, signifying stony, is applied topographically to a place full of stones or flags, and has given the name of Lackagh to many townlands in different parts of Ireland. Several places of this name are mentioned in the annals; for instance, Lackagh in the parish of Innishkeel, Donegal, and the river Lackagh, falling into Sheephaven, same county, both of which are noticed in the Four Masters. Leacan is one of the most widely extended of all derivatives from leac, and in every part of the country it is applied to a hill-side. In the modern forms of Lackan, Lacken, Lackaun, Leckan, Leckaun, and Lickane, it gives name to more than forty townlands, and its compounds are still more numerous. Lackandarra, Lackandarragh, and Lackendarragh, all signify the hill-side of the oak; Ballynalackan and Ballynalacken, the town of the hill-side. Lackan in the parish of Kilglass in Sligo was formerly the residence of the Mac Firbises, where their castle, now called Castle Forbes (i.e. Firbis), still remains; and here they compiled many Irish works, among others, the well-known Book of Lecan. The form Lacka is also very common in local names, with the same meaning as leacán, viz., the side of a hill; Lackabane and Lackabaun, white hill-side. The two words leaca and leacán, also signify the cheek; it may be that this is the sense in which they are applied to a hill-side, and that in this application no reference to leac, a stone was intended.

Information From Griffith's Valution

Area in Acres, Roods and Perches:
122 0 20
Land value at the time in pounds, shillings and pence:
50 18 4
Building value at the time in pounds, shillings and pence:
10 5 0
Total value at the time in pounds, shillings and pence:
56 1 4
Heads of housholds living in the townland at this time:

Townland Information

What is a townland?:
A townland is one of the smallest land divisions in Ireland. They range in size from a few acres to thousands of acres. Many are Gaelic in origin, but some came into existence after the Norman invasion of 1169
Ballynalacka is a townland.
Other placesnames in this townland:
Some other placenames in or near this townland are...

Information From Maps

Original OS map of this area.
(Click on place name to view original map in new window.):
Ireland was first mapped in the 1840s. These original maps are available online.
(This information will display in a new window.)
Original OS maps at the Ordnance Survey of Ireland website.
(Click on place name to view original map in new window.)
This link is not a link to the townland that you are currently researching; however, if you follow this link, you will see a search box near the top of the page which you can use to search for your townland.
Having followed this link, you will see several expandable links - each link has a plus sign on its left - on the top left of the page. Expand 'Base Information and Mapping'. Now it is possible to select the maps that you wish to view by clicking on the checkbox that is on the left of each map; this list includes the original Ordnance Survey maps.
You can select more than one map and you can use a slider to make one map more transparent than another. This allows you to view what features were present or absent at different points in time.
(This map will display in a new window.)
Information from the Down Survey Website.
(This information will display in a new window.):
The Down Survey website will tell you who owned this townland in 1641 (pre Cromwell) and in 1671 (post Cromwell).
Down Survey Website
(This website will display in a new window.)
Information from Google Maps.
(This information will display in a new window.):
You can use this link to find this townland on Google Maps.
Google Maps
(This website will display in a new window.)
Information from the National Monuments Service.
(This information will display in a new window.):
You can use this link to view a map of archaelogical features.
This link brings you to a website wherein you will have to search for your townland.
Archaeological map from the National Monuments Service

Neighbouring Townlands

List of townlands that share a border with this townland:
This is a list of townlands that share a border with this townland.

Population and Census Information

People who lived here:
You can retrieve a list of people who lived in this townland from 1827 to 1911. This list is compiled from the following resources.
  • The Tithe Applotment Books
  • Griffith's Valuation
  • 1901 Census
  • 1911 Census
List of nineteenth century and early twentieth century inhabitants of this townland.
Church records of births, deaths and marriages:
Church records of births, deaths and marriages are available online at To search these records you will need to know the 'church parish' rather than the 'civil parish'. (The civil parish is the pre-reformation parish and was frequently used as a unit of administration in the past.)
Ballynalacka is in the civil parish of Cargin.
Roman Catholic parishes:
This civil parish corresponds with the following Roman Catholic parish or parishes.
  • Headford
Church of Ireland parishes:
This civil parish corresponds with the following Church of Ireland parish.
  • Cargin
In general, the civil parish and the Church of Ireland parish are the same, but, this is not always the case.

Other Sources

Information from the Logainm database.
(This information will display in a new window.):