Information about Ballinaleama

Information from O'Donovan's Field Name Books

Standard Name:
Irish Form of Name:
Baile na Léime
town of the leap
Civil Parish:
Other Forms of the Name with authority source (if provided) in italics:
Ballynaleama [y changed to i – Ballinaleama]
Baile na Léime
Ballinaleama By. Surveyors Sketch Map
Ballinleama C. C. Collector
Ballinlemey Co. Map
Ballinleama Local
Ballynaleama Meresman
Ballinleama Rev. Peter Fitzmorris, P.P.
Proprietor Thomas Martin, Esq., M.P. Ballynahinch, Guinness and Berwick Law Agents, Dublin. Agent John R. Berwick, Ballinahinch or Dublin. Held under lease. Rent £12 per year. Soil part rocky with a little green pasture. Co. Cess 20¼d. paid per acre for 12½ acres half yearly. Produces good crops of oats and potatoes. Ballinleama Village, ½ Duck Island in the sea on which there are ruins of Cawleen Chapel. Ocean N. S. and W. of townland Ferroon Island, Corrig-gungollum, Corrig-gown. Doon-a-waul Island having a Trigl. Statio thereon. ½ Illaunleama, ½ Maul-gorruv-more, ½ Maulgorruvebeg. This townland is the most western townland in Europe except the Light-house which stands on a rock in the Atlantic Ocean. Doon a waul Island has ruins of houses on it which belonged to the Danes also a fort fortified by a wall about 14 feet thick.
In the South Western extremity of the parish bounded on the North West and South by the Atlantic Ocean and on the East by townland Keeerhaunmore. In the Barony of Ballinahinch and Co. Galway.

Information From Joyce's Place Names

Translation according to P. W. Joyce:
Ballinaleama, townland near Slyne Head in Galway. Takes its name ("the town of the leap") from the Head (for Slyne is an incorrect form of Leim, a leap). Adjoining the townland is Illauna-leama in the sea, the "island of the leap." For Slyne Head, and the corresponding name "Loop Head" (in Clare), see vol. i [reproduced below].
The legend that gave name to Loop Head in Clare is still well remembered by the people. Cuchullin [Cuhullin], the chief of the Red Branch knights of Ulster, endeavouring once to escape from a woman name Mal, by whom he was pursued, made his way southwards to the extremity of the county of Clare, where he unhappily found himself in a cul-de-sac, with the furious termagant just behind him. There is a little rock called Bullán-na-léime (leap rock), rising over the waves, about twenty-five feet beyond the cape, on which the chief alighted with a great bound from the mainland; and the woman, nothing daunted by the raging chasm, sprang after him; when, exerting all his strength, he leaped back again to the mainland - a much more difficult feat than the first - and his pursuer, attempting to follow him, fell short into the boiling sea. Hence the cape was called Léim-Chonchuillinn, Cuchullin's Leap, which is the name always used by ancient Irish writers, as for instance by the Four Masters; afterwards it was more commonly called, as it is at the present day in Irish, Ceann-Léime [Canleama], the head of the leap, or Leap Head, which seems to have been modified into the present name Loop Head by the Danes of the lower Shannon: Danish hlaup, a leap. The woman's body was swept northwards by the tide, and was found at the southern point of the cliffs of Moher, which was therefore called Ceann caillighe [Canacallee] or Hag's Head: morevoer the sea all along was dyed with her blood, and it was called Tonn Mal or Mal's Wave, but it is now known by the name of Mal Bay. Ceann-Léime is also the Irish name of Slyne Head in Galway; but I do not know the legend, if there be one (see page 82, supra). There are several places whose names contain this word léim in such a way as to render it probable that they are connected with legends. Such for example is Leamirlea in the parish of Kilmalkedar, Kerry, Leim-fhir-leith, the leap of the grey man; Leamydoody and Leamyglissan in Kerry and Lemybrien in Waterford; which mean respectively, O'Dowd's, O'Gleeson's and O'Brien's leap; Carrigleamleary near Mallow which is called in the Book of Lismore, Carraig-leme-Laeguire, the rock of Laeghaire's or Leary's leap. Leap Castle in King's County, near Roscrea, the ruins of which are still to be seen, is called by the Four Masters Leim-ui-Bhanain [Leamyvannan], O'Banan's leap.

Information From Griffith's Valution

Area in Acres, Roods and Perches:
121 0 15
Land value at the time in pounds, shillings and pence:
38 1 8
Building value at the time in pounds, shillings and pence:
0 0 0
Total value at the time in pounds, shillings and pence:
38 1 8
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
Ballinaleama 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.)
Ballinaleama is in the civil parish of Ballindoon.
Roman Catholic parishes:
This civil parish corresponds with the following Roman Catholic parish or parishes.
  • Ballyconneely
  • Clifden
Church of Ireland parishes:
This civil parish corresponds with the following Church of Ireland parish.
  • Ballindoon
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.):