Show ContentsGallacher History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Gallacher family

The surname Gallacher 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 Gallacher family

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

Gallacher Spelling Variations

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Gallacher are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Gallagher, Gallacher, Gallaugher, Gallaughor, Gallager and many more.

Early Notables of the Gallacher family (pre 1700)

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 Gallacher Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Gallacher migration to the United States +

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Gallacher family in North America:

Gallacher Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Annie Gallacher, aged 11, who settled in America, in 1893
  • Bernard Gallacher, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States, in 1893
Gallacher Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Geo Nesbet Gallacher, aged 26, who landed in America from Larbert, Scotland, in 1907
  • Bridget Gallacher, aged 21, who settled in America from Kirkintilloch, Scotland, in 1912
  • Elizabeth Gallacher, aged 54, who landed in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1912
  • Agnes Gallacher, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States from Greenock, Scotland, in 1913
  • Daniel Gallacher, aged 40, who landed in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1918
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Gallacher migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Gallacher Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Hugh Gallacher, aged 29, a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Hydaspes" [1]
  • Grace Gallacher, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on October 4, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [2]
  • Thomas Gallacher, Scottish convict from Glasgow, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia [3]

New Zealand Gallacher migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Gallacher Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Bridget Gallacher, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Sevilla" arriving in Bluff, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1864 [4]
  • Robert Gallacher, aged 21, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879

Contemporary Notables of the name Gallacher (post 1700) +

  • Alexander McEachian Gallacher (1954-2021), Australian politician, Senator for South Australia (2011-2021, senior official in the Transport Workers Union of Australia (TWU)
  • Stirling Gallacher (b. 1970), English actress
  • William Gallacher, Scottish professional association footballer
  • Brian Gallacher (b. 1958), former Scottish football player
  • Bernard "Bernie" Gallacher (1967-2011), Scottish professional footballer
  • Ally Gallacher (1909-1964), Scottish football manager
  • Elarica Gallacher (b. 1989), British model and actress
  • Ian Stuart Gallacher (b. 1946), Welsh former dual-code international rugby union and professional rugby league footballer
  • Tom Gallacher (b. 1934), Scottish playwright
  • John Gallacher (1920-2004), British co-operative official and politician
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Cornwall Gallacher (b. 1922), English Ordinary Signalman serving for the Royal Navy from Cornwall, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [5]

  1. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HYDASPES 1851. Retrieved
  2. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anna Maria voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1851 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from
  3. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Western Australia, Australia in 1855 with 261 passengers. Retrieved from
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  5. H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook