Show ContentsGallway History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

When the Anglo-Normans began to settle in Ireland, they brought the tradition of local surnames to an island which already had a Gaelic naming system of hereditary surnames established. Unlike the Irish, the Anglo-Normans had an affinity for local surnames. Local surnames, such as Gallway, were formed from the names of a place or a geographical landmark where the person lived, held land, or was born. The earliest Anglo-Norman surnames of this type came from Normandy, but as the Normans moved, they created names that referred to where they actually resided. Therefore, English places were used for names when the Normans lived in England, and then Irish places after these particular Anglo-Normans had been settled in Ireland for some time. Originally, these place names were prefixed by de, which means from in French. However, this type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname, if the place name began with a vowel, or it was eliminated entirely. The Gallway family originally lived in either of two places. The Gallway family of Ulster derives its name from the region of Galloway in southern Scotland, which lies nearby. However, the southern Gallway family probably derives its surname from the city or county of Galway in Ireland.

Early Origins of the Gallway family

The surname Gallway was first found in County Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they were granted land by Strongbow after the invasion of 1172.

Early History of the Gallway family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gallway research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1361 and 1430 are included under the topic Early Gallway History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gallway Spelling Variations

A single person's name was often spelt simply as it sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. An investigation into the specific origins the name Gallway has revealed that such a practice has resulted in many spelling variations over the years. A few of its variants include: Galwey, Galswey, Galway, Gallway, Gallwey and many more.

Early Notables of the Gallway family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Gallway family

In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Gallway: James Galway who settled in New York State in 1803; another two James Galways settled in Pennsylvania, one in 1773 and one in 1846.

Contemporary Notables of the name Gallway (post 1700) +

  • Harry Gallway, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Montana, 1904 [1]

The Gallway Motto +

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: Vincit Veritas
Motto Translation: Truth conquers.

  1. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 11) . Retrieved from on Facebook