by Duncan Scarlett
Lambeg is a comparatively small parish of only five townlands situated in the Lagan Valley just over one mile to the north of Lisburn. The larger proportion of the parish, comprising the townlands of Ballyskeagh, Lisnatrunk and Tullynacross, is in County Down on the eastern bank of the River Lagan and the remainder, including the townlands of Lambeg North and South and the parish church and churchyard, is on the other side of the river in County Antrim. There are differing opinions about the meaning of the name Lambeg. Many accept the view of Bishop Reeves that the name meant ‘little church’ from the Welsh ‘llan’ for church and ‘beg’ for little. This was based on an early source in which Lambeg is spelt ‘Landebege’.
Those seeking genealogical information about ancestors buried in Lambeg churchyard are fortunate that so many early inscriptions have survived and, especially, that a full record of the inscriptions is available for the year 1937. There are also a number of books which provide information about the history of the parish. Such books, which can be found for most parishes, illuminate the history on the headstones by explaining the historical background to those people remembered on the headstones and, in some instances, supplementing the information on the inscriptions.