The townland name is an anglicisation of the Gaelic placename "Rath Caolain" which means ‘Keelan’s Fort’. The oldest surviving mention of the name is in the 1609 Ulster Plantation map where it is spelled ‘Rakellan’.
It is bounded on the north by Gortawee townland, on the east by Annagh townland, on the south by Doon townland and on the west by Mucklagh townland. Its chief geographical features are the Shannon-Erne Waterway which flows north along its eastern boundary and a foothill of Slieve Rushen mountain reaching to 228 feet (69 m) above sea-level.
Rakeelan is traversed by the Border Road and Mucklagh lane.
The townland covers 89 statute acres, including 1-acre (4,000 m2) of water.
It formed part of the Manor of Calva which was granted to Walter Talbot in 1610 as part of the Plantation of Ulster. The Hearth Money Rolls of 1664 list the occupiers of Rakeelan as Brian O’Tumony and Margaret MyGwire.
The Tithe Applotment Books for 1827 list the following tithepayers in the townland- Faris, Bedel, McAvinue, Reilly, Hyland, McDaniel, Roe, Sturdy, Plunkett, Benison, McGuire, Montgomery, Fitzsimons, Adbort.
The Ordnance Survey Name Books for 1836 give the following description of the townland- "Rath Caoláin, 'Keelan's fort'. Rathkillan. In old times considered part of Gortawee. East of parish. Property of Montgomery. Road North to South. Soil arable and gravelly."
The 1841 Census of Ireland gives a population of 43 in Rakeelan, of which 17 were males and 26 were females, with 7 houses.
The 1851 Census of Ireland gives a population of 47, of which 24 were males and 23 were females, with 9 houses.
Griffith's Valuation of 1857 lists the landlords of the townland as Benson and the Annesley Estate & the tenants as McDougall, Benson, Gilleese, Glennon, Reilly, Curry, Donohoe, Roe, Clancy, Ferris and Maguire.
In the Dúchas School's Collection at http://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/5044800/5039810 an account by Mr. J. Coleman, Rakeelan in 1938 states that a long time before that there was a blacksmith's forge in Rakeelan owned by Michael Mills and it was the only one in the district.
There are no historic sites in the townland.
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