Show ContentsGalagher History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Galagher family

The surname Galagher was 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.

The Sept's chiefs were the traditional Marshals in the O'Donnells' military forces from the 14th to 16th centuries. The main branch of the family was based at Ballybeit and Ballynaglack.

Early History of the Galagher family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Galagher research. Another 55 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1545, 1547, 1725 and 1751 are included under the topic Early Galagher History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Galagher Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Galagher were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Gallagher, Gallacher, Gallaugher, Gallaughor, Gallager and many more.

Early Notables of the Galagher family

Notable among the family name at this time was Bishop Redmund O'Gallagher, The Diocese of Killala, who was imprisoned and banished from the diocese on fraudulent charges; Redmond O'Gallagher, who was appointed Bishop of Killala by Pope Paul III in 1545; and Art O'Gallagher, Papal...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Galagher Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Galagher migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute due to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Galagher family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Galagher Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Galagher, who arrived in New York in 1797 [1]
Galagher Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles, David, Francis, James, John, Michael, and Thomas Galagher who, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1865

Canada Galagher migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Galagher Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Galagher, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1815

Lady of the Lake
  • Mr. Alexander Galagher (b. 1816), Irish labourer from Derry, Ireland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and he died in the sinking
  • Mr. Thomas Galagher (b. 1815), Irish labourer from Derry, Ireland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and he died in the sinking
  • Miss Nancy Galagher (b. 1813), Irish traveller from Derry, Ireland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and she died in the sinking
  • Miss Elenor Galagher (b. 1807), Irish traveller from Derry, Ireland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and she died in the sinking
  • Mr. Thomas Galagher (b. 1784), Irish labourer from Derry, Ireland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and he died in the sinking


  1. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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