The Clan Galbraith

Galbraiths on the Net

Clan Galbraith Discussion Area
Clan Galbraith Contacts

The name Galbraith is said to come from the Gaelic for "strange or foreign Briton". This leads us to believe that the original Galbraith probably was from the south and came to live in Strathclyde. Around 1208, Gillescop Galbrath witnessed a charter by the Lord of Lennox. The son of Galbrath, William, received land in Lennox at Buthernockis and Kincaith. These Galbraiths became the principal family of this name.

The first known chief, who appears in the 12th century, was Gilchrist Bhreatnach. Inchgalbraith was his stronghold, the ruins of which still stand on the man-made island. He married the daughter of the Earl of Lennox. The fourth chief was Sir William Galbraith who was one of the Co-Regents of Scotland in 1255. Sir Arthur, his son, married one of the daughters of Sir James Douglas.

The Galbraiths had many ties with the Lennoxes. They lent their support when James I returned to Scotland from England and murdered his own kinsmen. After the murder of James III in 1488, Thomas, the 12th Chief, took up arms with Lennox but after the defeat of Talla Moss in, he was captured and hanged in 1489.

The 17th chief, Robert Galbraith, lost all the lands held by the Galbraiths due to his lawlessness. He fled to Ireland sometime before 1642. His grandson, James the 18th chief, was the last known chief. About this time the Galbraiths began to travel to other parts of Scotland and Ireland.

The Clan Galbraith has been without a chief since about 1700.

Various publications have listed the Galbraiths as a sept of the MacDonald Clan, but there is no historical basis for these claims. After the defeat of the Lennox rising in 1425, some Galbraiths left the area and settled on Kintyre and the Isle of Gigha. Due to their location, these families would have been vassals of Donald. This relatively small group of families did not include the Galbraith Chief or any armigerous gentlemen, or any known cadets of the chief's line. This appears to be the only basis for the MacDonald claims. These questions of differences were posed to the Lord Lyon in 1982 by the Clan Galbraith Association. His reply stated unequivocally that the Galbraiths are not a sept of any other clan, and are considered a separate clan entitled to a chief of their own.

Thanks to Barbara Patterson and Glenn Smith for contributing information for this area.


the clan the
genealogy scottish scottish

Copyright © DISCscribe Ltd. 1997 - All rights reserved.