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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish Gallagher family come from? What is the Irish Gallagher family crest and coat of arms? When did the Gallagher family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Gallagher family history?

The Irish name Gallagher has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. The original Gaelic form of the name Gallagher is O Gallchobhair, derived from the word "gallchobhar," which means "foreign help."


Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Gallagher family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Gallagher, Gallacher, Gallaugher, Gallaughor, Gallager and many more.

First found in County Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland in the province of Ulster, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel, but claim descent from a warrior named "Gallchobhar" and held lands in the baronies of Raphoe and Tir Hugh. They held a castle at Ballyshannon and at one time also held the castle of Lifford.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gallagher research. Another 167 words(12 lines of text) covering the year 1547 is included under the topic Early Gallagher History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 45 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gallagher Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name Gallagher:

Gallagher Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Philip Gallagher, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1776

Gallagher Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Simon Felix Gallagher, aged 45, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Edwd Gallagher, who landed in America in 1805
  • Hugh Gallagher, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Owen Gallagher, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Michael Gallagher, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808


  • Helen Gallagher (b. 1926), American actress
  • Kim Ann Gallagher (1964-2002), American Olympic track & field athlete
  • David Gallagher (b. 1985), American film and television actor
  • Thomas Gallagher (1850-1930), U.S. Representative from Illinois
  • Kathleen Gallagher, American co-winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting
  • Major-General Philip Edward Gallagher (1897-1976), American Commanding General Fort Gordon, Georgia (1956-1957)
  • Rory Gallagher (1948-1995), Irish blues/rock guitarist
  • Denis Gallagher (1922-2001), senior Irish Fianna Fáil politician
  • Pat Gallagher (b. 1963), former Irish Labour Party politician
  • Mr. Martin Gallagher (d. 1912), aged 29, Irish Third Class passenger from Caltra, Galway who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking



  • The Seeds of the Planter: Our Family Story from 1635 to 1975 by Geraldine D. Gallagher.

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  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  4. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  5. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  6. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  7. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  10. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  11. ...

The Gallagher Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gallagher Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 October 2014 at 14:25.

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