Pennsylvania Galbraiths

There is a general belief that a John Galbraith of Ireland, born in the 1630s, was the forbear of many descendants in Pennsylvania. These Galbraiths can be traced to his two sons Robert and James, and questionably a third, John who are thought to have arrived in 1718 with other family members. Many members of Clan Galbraith can trace their roots to these sons.

Several Clan members have been responsible for interpreting and collating the early Pennsylvania genealogy of the Galbraiths into a volume The Galbraith Families of Donegal Township Lancaster County, Pennsylvania-A Collection of Works. The material was typed and indexed by Barbara H. Patterson in 1995, the editor of our Red Tower at that time. Honorary Member Jean Herriger conducted the assessment of earlier Galbraith genealogies, performed many record searches of her own, gathered inputs from other Clan members and published her findings in a series of Red Tower articles. She critically reviewed the Galbraith of Donegal portion of William Henry Egle’s Pennsylvania Genealogies and Robert Allison Orbison’s unpublished Manuscript on The Galbraith Family. Relevant articles by several members are included in the Collection. Long-time Clan member Glenn E. Smith extracted and collated the material and annotated many entries. This includes the final section of the Collection, taken from the book, Gilbreath, Galbreath, Galbraith, Concerning the Family in the USA by Elmer C. Gilbreath. 

I have assembled a GEDCOM file, “John of Ireland” covering the Galbraith descendants discussed in The Galbraith Families of Donegal Township Lancaster County, Pennsylvania-A Collection of Works. The file is currently limited to John Galbraith’s descendants who were born by about 1800 and does not include Galbraiths who were not part of the 1718 landing—although some of these others are discussed in the book. Aside from providing the standard vital statistics and marriages for these Pennsylvania Galbraiths the GEDCOM is keyed to the text Collection, which often contains extended biographical information and genealogical analysis. The citations appear within brackets immediately following the name and provide the section of that volume and the page, for example [Gi41]. Section abbreviations for the various works are: E for Egle; H for Harriger; Or for Orbison; and Gi for Gilbreath. Those cites that include Roman numerals refer to issues of the Red Tower. Since the 1995 release of the Collection, the Red Tower has had many references to the Pennsylvania Galbraiths; regrettably, I have only been able to include a few of these thus far. Normally, I did not cite the children if they appeared within the parent citation. There are two dozen James Galbraiths in the file and for five of these I have used Jean Herriger’s designation of ‘I-V’ to distinguish these key ones. There are also more than a dozen each of John, Mary, Robert and other common given names—all Galbraith cousins.

The Galbraith Families of Donegal Township Lancaster County, Pennsylvania-A Collection of Works, printed by The Clan Galbraith Society, is about 240 pages in length and is available on CD or hardcopy. Please contact the Librarian for purchase or other information -

It would be useful if visitors would enter their comments, corrections, additions and questions to the John of Ireland GEDCOM. This GEDCOM is available for adoption and maintenance to a Clan Member with an interest in the Pennsylvania Galbraiths who may be able to add more of the descendants, edit and correct the entries where necessary, organize and include notes, and perhaps answer the questions of Pennsylvania researchers. I have put this area aside since I have not yet been able to tie my Galbraith/Gilbreath ancestors to Pennsylvania and John of Ireland.

If you would like to download the Pennsylvania Galbraith GEDCOM File please click HERE . We have a Web Page version that you may visit. These records are full searchable and easily to work through online.