Does anyone know what the modern name for Bellemamaugh, County Antrim might be?

Does anyone know what the modern name for Bellemamaugh, County Antrim...

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Posted Tue 2 Apr 2024 10:03 PM
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I have a relative supposedly born in Bellemamaugh, County Antrim, Ireland in 1766 but I can't find anything with that city name.  If you have any guidance it would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted Wed 3 Apr 2024 8:50 AM
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Hi Renne,

Searching for ancestors and their locations can be tricky especially if the person recording the location has difficulty with the accent or the way the word was pronounced.

My first thought was of Ballymena in County Antrim as it is very close to the spelling you have as there isn't a Bellemamaugh to be found! Bally is a popular start for many towns on the island of Ireland as it comes from the Gaelic phrase 'Baile na', meaning 'place of'. 

Do you have documents with the townland as Bellemamaugh?
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Posted Thu 4 Apr 2024 4:33 PM
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In the first instance, I would check if a parish is also recorded in the address information for your ancestor.

Inconsistency in spelling of place names (and surnames) is well known to those who have conducted research into their Irish family history. Place names, originally in Gaelic, were anglicised from the17th century, by settlers with little knowledge of the Irish language. This resulted in many different spellings of the same place name. An ‘official’ and standardised spelling of townland names for all Ireland was established, by1842, by the Ordnance Survey and published in the Townland Index and on Ordnance Survey maps.

Bellemamaugh, County Antrim is quite likely a corruption/misspelling of a townland name that is currently ‘disguised’. For example, the parish of Ballymoney, County Antrim contains townlands that are now 'officially' spelt as Ballynamenagh North and Ballynamoney, https://www.johngrenham.com/c_parish/c_parish_main.php?civilparishid=276&civilparish=Ballymoney&CountyMap=


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