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Baile an Bhlácaigh
genitive: Bhaile an Bhlácaigh
validated name
baile townland, town, homestead
Explanatory note
  • English

    The name Blakestown presents some problems. On the face of it, it seems to correspond to the commonest type of placename in Co. Dublin (over 40% of all townland names) viz. surname + town. Unlike the vast bulk of these names, however, the name Blakestown does not occur in Medieval or Early Modern times - the first reference to it that I have found being in 1807 which is exceedingly late for that class of name. The second problem is that there is not a single shred of evidence for the existence of a family of the surname Blake in or near the area. The earliest definite piece of evidence that we have for the original name of the townland of Blakestown is contained in the Civil Survey (1654-6), where it is called Little Stahenny. From the description of the boundaries in the Civil Survey, it is clear that Little Stahenny corresponds to the modern townland of Blakestown - and it it there described as being part of the town of Upper Stahenny. Stahenny (and variants thereof) is the normal form used up to the 18th century of the townland now called Castaheany, on the west of Blakestown. The name Little Stahen[ny] occurs as early as 1617 in an Inquisition of James I, but here it is coupled with the name Blackstahen[ny]. The use of the name Little Stahenny seems to have been abandoned from around the middle of the 17th century, but the name Black Stahenny continued in use - in legal documents, at least - until the early part of the 19th century. The name Blakestown came into use in the first decade of the 19th century - almost exactly the same time as when Black Stahenny fell into disuse. I have no conclusive proof that one and the same townland is intended by the three names Little Stahenny, Black Stahenny and Blakestown - but this seems probable from the complementary use of the names described above. Even if this is the case some further problems remain - (1) Is the name Blakestown simply a modern rationalisation of Black Stahenny or is it an entirely different name (a sub-denomination, perhaps) which was substituted for Black Stahenny because of the similarity of form? (2) If Black Stahenny is the original form of Blakestown - what is the origin of the element 'Black'? Is it simply a colour or is it connected in any way with the name Backagh mill at Blacagh - mill mentioned in Inquis. 39 Car I (1635) in conjunction with "greate Staheny"? NÓM

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O 05993 39773

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