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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Galbreath was a name for a person who came from Briton. The surname Galbreath comes from the Gaelic words gall, which means stranger, and Bhreathnach, which means Briton. This surname was given to those who were described as the strangers from Briton. Galbreath is therefore a nickname surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Nicknames form a broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, and can refer directly or indirectly to one's personality, physical attributes, mannerisms, or even their habits of dress. Members of the Galbreath family settled in Angus, prior to the Norman invasion of England, in 1066.


The surname Galbreath was first found in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, formerly known as Forfar or Forfarshire where the first Galbraith chief can be traced back to the 12th century. As this chief married a daughter of the Earl of Lennox the house must have been of a noble status. Sir William Galbraith, who was the fourth Chief of the Clan, became highly involved with Scottish national affairs. He was a co-regent of Scotland in 1255, serving a guardian of the young King Alexander III.

During the Middle Ages, there was no basic set of rules and scribes wrote according to sound. The correct spelling of Scottish names were further compromised after many haphazard translations from Gaelic to English and back. Spelling variations of the name Galbreath include Galbraith, Galbreath, Galbreith, Galbreth, Galbrith, Galberth and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Galbreath research. Another 236 words (17 lines of text) covering the year 1594 is included under the topic Early Galbreath History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early Galbreath Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Galbreath family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 261 words (19 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Scots left their country by the thousands to travel to Australia and North Ameri ca. Desperate for freedom and an opportunity to fend for themselves, many paid huge fees and suffered under terrible conditions on long voyages. Still, for those who made the trip, freedom and opportunity awaited. In North America, many fought their old English oppressors in the American War of Independence. In recent years, Scottish heritage has been an increasingly important topic, as Clan societies and other organizations have renewed people's interest in their history. An examination of passenger and immigration lists shows many early settlers bearing the name of Galbreath:

Galbreath Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John Galbreath, aged 20, arrived in New York in 1774
  • Angus and his wife Katrine Galbreath settled in Wilmington in 1774
  • Angus Galbreath, who arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1774

Galbreath Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Galbreath, who landed in New York, NY in 1815
  • Rachael Galbreath, who landed in New York, NY in 1815
  • Rachel Galbreath, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
  • Henry Galbreath, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1855
  • Samuel Galbreath, who landed in Mississippi in 1856

  • Louis Hutchinson Galbreath (1861-1899), American educator who specialized in training teachers
  • Charles Burleigh Galbreath (1858-1934), American writer, historian, educator, and librarian
  • Frank Galbreath (1913-1971), American jazz trumpeter
  • Tony Dale Galbreath (b. 1954), former American football running back
  • Harry Galbreath (1965-2010), American football player
  • John Wilmer Galbreath (1897-1988), American building contractor, sportsman and philanthropist

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ab Obice Suavior
Motto Translation: Stronger when opposed.


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    Other References

    1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
    3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
    4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    5. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
    6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
    7. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. 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. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
    10. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
    11. ...

    The Galbreath Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Galbreath 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 7 February 2016 at 18:20.

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