Galvey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish surnames have had their original forms altered in many ways. Before being translated into English, Galvey appeared as O Gealbhain, derived from the words "geal," which means "bright," and "ban," which means "white."

Early Origins of the Galvey family

The surname Galvey was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they are a sept of Thomond. [1]

Early History of the Galvey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Galvey research. Another 46 words (3 lines of text) covering the year 1317 is included under the topic Early Galvey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Galvey Spelling Variations

The spelling of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was rarely consistent. This inconsistency was due to the scribes and church officials' attempts to record orally defined names in writing. The common practice of recording names as they sounded resulted in spelling variations such as Galvin, Gallivan, O'Galvin and others.

Early Notables of the Galvey family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Galvey family

Many destitute Irish families in the 18th and 19th centuries decided to leave their homeland, which had in many ways been scarred by English colonial rule. One of the most frequent destinations for these families was North America where it was possible for an Irish family to own their own parcel of land. Many of the early settlers did find land awaiting them in British North America, or even later in America, but for the majority of immigrants that arrived as a result of the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s the ownership of land was often a long way off. These Irish people were initially put to work on such industrial projects as the building of bridges, canals, and railroads, or they worked at manufacturing positions within factories. Whenever they arrived, the Irish made enormous contributions to the infant nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the earliest immigrants to bearer the name of Galvey were found through extensive research of immigration and passenger lists: James, Joseph, Patrick, Simon, Thomas Galvin who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860; David Galvin settled in Maryland in 1776; J. Galvin settled in Baltimore Maryland in 1822.



  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)


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