Sunday, August 23, 2009

The mystery of Ceannceile

One of the points in Grandmom's family story that has really been bothering me is the name of her parents' farm. According to the story, it is Ceannceile.

I have googled until the cows come home and there is no such place that I can find. I've searched for some kind of Ireland farm directory, to no avail. I searched the Irish news archives - nothing. I tried splitting it into two words. Cean or ceann can be a Gaelic word but ceile is not.

I thought this had to be a misspelling. So I asked some Irish language experts. One suggested it could be ceann choille "head of the wood" and that it could be the name of a townland. So that lead me to discover the townland of Ceancullig.

Another expert noted that Céile is the beginning of céileabhair "the warbling of birds."

Still another expert noted that ceann céille means "a head of sense."

Margaret at Skibbereen Heritage mentioned that Ceannceile "sounds very much like Kealkill, a little village/community on the eastern side of Bantry."

And apparently St. Brendan built a monastic cell at Seana Cill "old church" - anglicized to Shanakeel, out near Dingle.

So all I can do for now is keep this list of possible names for this farm - and consider the possibility that Ceannceile - or whatever it is - could have been its location.

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