Galbraith Family


GALBRAITH. (I) The family of Galbraith is of the remotest antiquity--the name being derived from the Celtic. It was in the parish of Baldunoch, County Stirling, that the Galbraiths of Baldunoch, chiefs of the name, had their residence. In Frazer's statistical accounts of the inhabitants of the Isle of Gigha, the following occurs: "The majority of them are of the names of Galbraith and McNeill, the former reckoned the more ancient." The Galbraiths in the Gaelic language are called Breatanieh, that is Britons, or the children of the Briton, and theirs was once reckoned a great name in Scotland according to the following lines translated from the Gaelic:

Galbraiths from the Red Tower

Noblest of Scottish surnames.

The first of the name of whom we have any mention is John Galbraith, who was the father of the following (he probably died before the emigration of his sons from Ireland to America): James, born 1666, married Rebecca Chambers; John married and left issue, but further than this fact we have no knowledge; after his arrival in America he remained several years in Philadelphia, and some of his children settled west of the Susquehanna in what is now York and Adams counties, and their descendants emigrated to Kentucky.

(II) James Galbraith, son of John Galbraith, of Scotch parentage, was born 1666, in North of Ireland, whence he emigrated about the year 1718, settling in Conestoga, afterward Donegal township, then Chester county, Province of Pennsylvania. He was one of the founders of the old Derry Church, a man of prominence, and head of a remarkable family. He died Aug. 23, 1744, and is buried in the old graveyard at Derry. His wife was Rebecca Chambers, daughter of Arthur Chambers. Of his children we have the following: John, born 1690, married Janet __________; Andrew, born 1692, married and left issue; James, born 1703, married Elizabeth Bertram; Eleanor, married Feb. 27, 1735, Patrick McKinley and had issue (surname McKinley),John, Joseph and Janet; Isabel, married Oct. 21, 1735, Alexander McMillan; Rebecca, died in 1748, married _____ Stewart, and had issue (surname Stewart), Charles, Robert, William, Frances and Margaret.

(III) John Galbraith (James, John), born 1690 in the North of Ireland, died October 1753, in Donegal township, Lancaster Co., Pa.; settled along Donegal Meeting-House run, about one and three-fourth miles below his brother Andrew in 1718; was a miller by trade and built a grist and sawmill in 1721, at the run along the "great road," which very likely branched from the Paxtang and Conestoga road some miles east of Mt. Joy, and extended through the Scotch-Irish settlement to the Conoy Indiana town; he also kept an "ordinary"; was elected sheriff of the county of Lancaster in 1731, and was a member of the first jury drawn in that county. He married Janet __________ born about 1693, and they had issue: Robert, born 1715, married Rebecca _________. Elizabeth; Margaret.

(III) Andrew Galbraith (James, John), born about 1692, in the North of Ireland; came to America with his father and settled along the run which has its source at Donegal Meeting-House, now Lancaster Co., Pa. He was appointed the first coroner, afterward, in 1730, one of the justices of the court of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions, a position he held six years. In 1732 he and his neighbor, George Stewart (another account says John Wright, a Quaker), were candidates for the General Assembly. At that time none but, freeholders were allowed to vote, and the only polling place was the town of Lancaster, where all voters were obliged to go. Mr. Galbraith took no active part in the canvass himself, but his wife mounted her favorite mare, Nelly, road out through the Scotch-Irish settlement, and persuaded them to go with her to the county town. She appeared at the courthouse leading a procession of mounted men, whom she halted and addressed. The effect was that her husband was triumphantly elected. After his first election he seems to have had no opposition. He took out a patent for 212 1/2 acres May 2, 1737, and was one of the first ruling elders of the Donegal Church; appointed a justice of the peace in 1730, a position he held until 1747, when he removed west of the Susquehanna; he served several years in the Provincial Assembly, and was one of the most prominent of the pioneer settlers and a fair and trustworthy officer. After the year 1746, when he disposed of his farm, very little is of record concerning him. Of his children we have only the following: John, born in 1717, married Jennett McCullough; Arthur, on the 22d of September, 1766, took up 250 acres of land on Shaver's creek; Robert, who died prior to 1768, married and left Ann, aged sixteen years.

(III) James Galbraith (James, John) born in 1703 in the North of Ireland, died June 11, 1786, in East Pennsboro township, Cumberland Co., Pa., and buried in the Derry Church graveyard; he took up a tract in now Derry township, Dauphin county, on Spring creek, not far from the church glebe, the warrant therefor being granted the 13th of March, 1737; he became a man of note on the frontiers, and the early provincial records of Pennsylvania contain frequent reference to him; was elected sheriff of the county in October, 1742; for many years was one of the justices for the county of Lancaster, and served as an officer during the Indian wars of 1755-1763. Toward the Revolutionary period he removed to Cumberland county. He married April 6, 1734, in Christ Church (at that time the English government recognized only marriages performed in the Church of England), Philadelphia, Elizabeth Bertram, born 1714 or 1718, according to one account, in the North of Ireland, and according to another at Newcastle upon Tyne, in England, died Feb. 2, 1799, in Derry (or East Pennsboro) township, Dauphin Co., Pa., the daughter of Rev. William Bertram; she was a woman of rare accomplishments and excellence. They had issue: William, born 1736 (nothing further is known of him); Bertram, born Sept. 24, 1738, married first Ann Scott, secondly Henrietta Huling; Robert, born 1740, died January, 1804, in Huntingdon county, Pa., was an officer in the Revolution, commanding a regiment and was commissioned president judge of the county, Nov. 23, 1787; Dorcas, born 1742, married John Buchanan; Elizabeth, born 1744, married Clarence Torrance; Thomas, born 1746; John born 1748, married and had issue; Andrew, born 1750, married Barbara Kyle.

(IV) Robert Galbraith (John, James, John), born about 1715, in the North of Ireland, died March 8, 1748, in Donegal township, Lancaster Co., Pa. He and his wife, Rebecca, had issue: John, born 1739, married Mary McCormick; Rebecca, born 1742, married Ephraim Blaine.

Mrs. Rebecca Galbraith subsequently married Capt. John Byers, of Donegal, who afterward removed to Cumberland county, Pa.; he was an officer in the French and Indian war and a man of prominence in the Provincial days.

(IV) John Galbraith (Andrew, James, John), born about 1717, in Donegal township, Lancaster Co., Pa., and was buried in Silver Spring churchyard; married April 23, 1742, Jennett McCullough. They had issue James, born 1743, married Martha McClellan; Jennett, born 1745; Sarah, born 1747; Robert, born 1748, married Mary _________.

(IV) Bertram Galbraith (James, James, John), born Sept. 24, 1738, in Derry township, Lancaster (now Dauphin)Co., Pa., died March 9, 1804, in Cumberland county, Pa., while on a visit to his brother Andrew. He received the best education the schools of that day afforded, and studied surveying, a profession he followed many years. During the French and Indian wars Colonel Galbraith served as an officer in a company of rangers for the protection of the frontiers. From 1760 to 1775, acting in his professional capacity, he surveyed the greater portion of the land located in the present counties of Dauphin, Perry and Juniata. He was a member of the Provincial convention of Jan. 23, 1775; delegate to the Provincial conference of June 18, 1776; member of the constitutional convention of July 15, 1776. During that year serving also as a member of the Assembly, 1776-1777. On June 3, 1777, he was appointed county lieutenant; Nov. 8, one of the assistants to collect clothing for the army; Dec. 16, appointed by the Assembly to take subscriptions for the continental loan. He acted as one of the commission which met at New Haven, Conn., Nov. 22, 1777, to regulate the prices of commodities in the States. After four years of executive and exhaustive labor Colonel Galbraith was compelled to resign the office of county lieutenant, but remained in the service as an officer of militia until the restoration of peace. In 1789 he was appointed one of the commissioners to view the Juniata and Susquehanna, and mark the places where locks or canals were necessary to render these streams navigable. He was appointed deputy surveyor Nov. 4, 1791, and while acting as such took up large tracts in Lykens valley, but dying before patents were issued to him his heirs lost them all in the litigations which ensued. Colonel Galbraith was twice married; first March 30, 1759, to Ann Scott, born Dec. 26,1741, died June 29, 1793, daughter of Josiah Scott, of Donegal. They had: (1)Josiah married and had two sons, one of whom, Bertram, married his cousin Mary, and settled in Milton, Pa., and they also had two sons: Josiah's family, except Bertram's son William, went to the West at an early date, and there is no record of any save that the younger son was engaged in the Indian war in Minnesota in 1862. (2) Samuel Scott studied medicine; assisted in laying out the town of Bainbridge; was twice married, first wife Margaret, born in 1772, died April 29, 1801, and second wife, Juliette born 1774, died April 1, 1813; he had two sons, Dr. Bertram and James, the former marrying first a Miss Reigart, of Lancaster, and secondly a Miss Lehman of the same place, who, after the Doctor's death became the wife of Col. James Cameron. (3) Elizabeth died near Washington village, Lancaster Co., Pa. (4) Mary, d.s.p. (5) Henrietta died April, 1804, married David Cook, and had issue (surname Cook): Bertram, d.s.p. and Mary Ann, who married Henry Carpenter and left issue (surname Carpenter): James Cook, Dr. Henry, Maria Louisa and Isaac A. (6) Jean, born 1772, died Jan. 13, 1842, married David Elder (see Elder record). (7) Ann married Thomas Bayley, born Jan. 6, 1732, died Feb. 9, 1807, son of John Bayley, of Donegal; no issue. (8) James married April 6, 1810, Rosetta Work, daughter of Joseph Work, of Donegal; they lived on the island in the Susquehanna opposite the village of Bainbridge; they had issue: Sarah Work died unmarried; Julia died unmarried; Mary married her cousin Bertram Galbraith, of Milton, Pa.; Annetta married a physician and left no issue; Work went to Ohio when a lad and died there at the age of twenty-one; William Bertram, born Oct. 19, 1779, died Nov. 24, 1835, married Sarah Hays, born Dec. 11, 1774, died July 11, 1839, daughter of John and Eleanor Hays.

Colonel Galbraith married secondly Feb. 15, 1798, Henrietta Huling, of Isle Benvenue; they had issue: Sarah married Samuel Morris, of Philadelphia, and they had issue (surname Morris): Henrietta, Elizabeth, Sarah, Samuel and Richard; Bertram Gillespie, born May 9, 1804, married Eliza Fager Bell.

After Colonel Galbraith's death his widow married George Green, of Easton, Pa., and they had issue (surname Green): Charles, who died unmarried; George, of Princeton, N.J.; and Henrietta, of Easton, Pennsylvania.

(IV) John Galbraith (James, James, John),born about 1748; served in the war of the Revolution; was taken prisoner at the battle of Long Island, and suffered great hardships while in captivity. After the close of the war he resided some time in Huntingdon county, Pa., whence he removed to Butler county, Pa., about 1798, and where he remained until his death. Of his children we have the following: Alexander married and left issue in Butler county, Pa,:James became a physician of prominence; John, born 1794, married Amy Ayres.

(IV) Andrew Galbraith (James, James, John), born about 1750 in Derry township,Lancaster county, died March 1806, in East Pennsboro township, Cumberland Co., Pa.; married Barbara Kyle, born in Donegal township, Lancaster Co., Pa., daughter of John Kyle. They had issue: Jean, born 1781, married Matthew Miller, and had (surname Miller): Andrew Galbraith; Elizabeth, born 1784; Juliana, born 1786, married William McNeill Irvine; Mary (Molly), born 1789, married Feb. 13, 1810, Michael Ege; Sarah (Sally) W., born Jan. 25, 1791, married John Bannister Gibson; Barbara, born 1793; Dorcas, born 1795; Nancy (Agnes), born 1797.

(V) John Galbraith (Robert, John, James, John), born about 1739, in Donegal township, Lancaster Co., Pa., died prior to 1803 in East Pennsboro township, Cumberland county; served in the Revolutionary war; was taken prisoner at the battle of Long Island; married Mary McCormick and they had issue: Thomas James McCormick; John married and left issue: Elizabeth, married Patrick Hays; Dorcas; Robert married and left issue: Agnes; Mary; William Bertram.

(V) Rebecca Galbraith (Robert, John, James, John), born in 1742 in Donegal township, Lancaster Co., Pa.; died about 1780, in Middleton township, Cumberland county; married June 26, 1765, Ephraim Blaine, born May 26, 1741, in the North of Ireland; died Feb. 16,1804, in Middleton township, Cumberland Co., Pa., son of James and Elizabeth Blaine. The elder Blaine, born of Scotch ancestry came with his family from the North of Ireland, in the vicinity of Londonderry, to America prior to 1745, and settled in Toboyne township, Cumberland county. He took up a large tract of land on the south side of the Juniata river, as did each of his children a few years later. He became an influential man on the then frontiers of the Province, and was quite prominent in affairs during the French and Indian wars, as well as toward the close of his life in the struggle for independence. He died at his residence in Toboyne township in July 1792, well advanced in years, leaving a wife, Elizabeth, and nine children. The eldest of these was Ephraim, who received a classical education at the school of Rev. Dr. Alison, in Chester county, Pa., and was recommended by him for an ensigncy in the Provincial service as being "a gentleman of good family." He was appointed commissary sergeant, and during the Bouquet expedition to the westward, in 1763, was connected with the 2d Provincial Regiment. From 1771 to 1773 he served as sheriff of Cumberland county. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary struggle he entered early into the contest and assisted in raising a battalion of Associators, of which he was commissioned lieutenant colonel, holding the position until he was appointed by the Supreme Executive Council as county lieutenant of Cumberland, April 5, 1777. This office he resigned in August following, when he entered the commissary department of the Continental establishment. He was commissioned commissary general of purchases Feb. 19, 1778, a position he held over three years, including one of the most trying periods of the war-the cantonment at Valley Forge. He was a man of large fortune and recourse, so that, during the long and severe winter, with the aid of personal friends, he made an advance of $6,000,000, for use of the patriot army. Millions of dollars passed through his hands without suspicion of his personal sacrifices, however, Colonel Blaine's estate became impaired, although his fortune remained ample. While in the service he enjoyed the confidence of Washington and his fellow officers. It was at his home that the first president remained during his week's stay at Carlisle during the so-called Whiskey Insurrection of 1794. Subsequently Colonel Blaine retired to his farm in Middleton township, Cumberland Co., Pa., where he closed his eminently patriotic and honorable career in his sixty-third year. He was twice married-his second wife being Sarah E. Duncan, widow of John Duncan, of Carlisle, and daughter of Col. Samuel Postlethwaite, and they had one son, Ephraim, d.s.p. By his first wife, Rebecca Galbraith, there was issue, six children, of whom we have only the following (surname Blaine): James (grandfather of James G. Blaine), died 1832, married first Jean ________, and secondly Margaret Lyon; Robert, died January, 1826, married Anna Susanna Metzgar, and they had issue (surname Blaine), Rebecca, married Rev. Jeremiah Chamberlain, D.D., and Anna Susanna, married Samuel Alexander; Ephraim Metzgar; Eleanor, born 1789, died Jan. 9, 1839, married first Dr. Levi Wheaton, born Sept. 6, 1796, died Sept. 24, 1824, and had issue (surname Wheaton), Ellen Blaine, d.s.p., Mary Blaine, d.s.p., and she married secondly John Hays, born 1794, died April 29, 1854, and had issue (surname Hays), Robert, d.s.p., John, married Jenny Smead, and Mary Blaine, married Richard Mulligan; Mary; James, d.s.p.; David, who died in December, 1804, married Isabella Hill, and had issue, among others (surname Blaine): (1) Robert, who married and had John, David and William, and (2) Ephraim.

(V) James Galbraith (John, Andrew, James, John), born about 1741, died prior to 1790; was a soldier of the Pennsylvania Line in the Revolution; in 1783 resided in "Washington borough, near Carlisle"; married Martha McClellan, daughter of John McClellan, of Danville, and they had issue: (1) John. (2) Rebecca, married July 18, 1793, David Herron.

John McClellan had sons: William George died a prisoner of war in New York; Col. James died at Mercerburg; Dr. John died at Greencastle. His daughters were: Martha, who married James Galbraith, and others who married respectively John Holliday, William Holliday, Capt. John Blair (of Blair county) and Samuel Culbertson, Mr. McDowell and Mr. Ramsey of Franklin county, Pennyslvania.

(V) Robert Galbraith (John, Andrew, James, John), born about 1748, in Cumberland county, Pa., died in 1795, in Allen township, Cumberland county. He and his wife Mary had issue: Nancy (Agnes) married James Pollack; Elizabeth married Benjamin Hunt; Mary married William Wray; James, Jane married Joseph Williams; Robert, born 1782; John, born 1784.

(V) Bertram Gillespie Galbraith (Bertram, James, James, John), born May 9, 1804, at Bainbridge, Lancaster Co., Pa., died April 30, 1848, at Bainbridge; married Feb. 23, 1832, Eliza Fager Bell, youngest daughter of John Bell and Elizabeth Clouser, of Middle Paxtang township, Dauphin Co., Pa. John Bell was the only child of William Bell, and his wife, Catherine Park, of Scotch-Irish birth, who came to America on the same vessel which conveyed John and Charles Wesley, the founders of Methodism. Mrs. Galbraith for a period of twenty years was postmistress at Bainbridge, resigning only by reason of her advanced years; being left a widow with a large family she felt the necessity of bringing into action all her energies and business qualifications to the better support of her children. All her six sons were in the Civil war, and did faithful service. Mr. and Mrs. Galbraith had issue: William Bell, born Oct. 15, 1833, in Harrisburg, Pa., married Elizabeth Lane (resides in Havana, Ill); James Carpenter, born July 9, 1835, in Harrisburg, died July 18, 1872, unmarried, in Bainbridge, Pa.; John Fager, born July 23, 1837, in Bainbridge, Pa., married Henrietta Hoff, of Bainbridge, and had Eliza, Laura, William, Catherine, John (d.s.p.), Henry, Robert, and John (2); Jefferson Green, born July 28, 1839, in Marietta, Pa., married Mary Filbert, of Bainbridge, Pa., and had Emily, Charles, Mary (d.s.p.), Wildey (d.s.p.) and Annie Filbert (resides in Philadelphia); Franklin Grush, born March 7, 1842, in Marietta, Pa., married Annie N. Meyer, of Harrisburg, Pa., (deceased), and had Nettie Elizabeth and Annie Meyer (d.s.p.) (resides in Bainbridge, Pa.); Bertram Gillespie, born Sept. 7, 1845, in Bainbridge, Pa., married Miriam Reese, of Mt. Joy, Pa., and had Miriam, Hellen, and Aurelia (resides in Wrightsville, Pa.).

(V) John Galbraith (John, James, James, John), born 1794, in Huntingdon county, Pa., died June 15, 1860, in Erie, Pa. His father removed to Butler county, Pa., toward the close of the century, and he was brought up on the farm. When a young man he commenced teaching school, and later on began the study of law in the office of John William Ayres, of Butler, and was admitted to the bar at the age of twenty-three. He shortly after removed to Franklin, Venango Co., Pa., where he rose rapidly, both in his profession and in popular esteem. His first official position was as a member of the Assembly, to which he was elected three times. He was elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1832, 1834 and 1838. In 1837 he removed to Erie, where he resided until his death. On retiring from Congress as a Democrat in 1840, he practiced law until the fall of 1851, when he was elected president judge for Erie, Crawford and Warren counties. His death occurred before the expiration of his term of office. Judge Galbraith was one of the foremost men in promoting the various public enterprises that gave the first strong impulse to Erie county. He was the pioneer in projecting the railroad from Erie to the Ohio State line, and aided greatly in reviving the long dormant proposed railroad from Erie to Sunbury, now the Philadelphia & Erie railroad. One of his favorite ideas, the establishment of a prison for youthful offenders exclusively, has been adopted by the State in the institution at Huntingdon, and elsewhere. Judge Galbraith married in May, 1822, Amy Ayres, daughter of Rev. Robert Ayres, an Episcopalian minister, a resident of Brownsville, Fayette Co., Pa., and brother of Gen. William Ayres. Mrs. Galbraith died March 2, 1868, in the city of Philadelphia. They had issue: (1) William Ayres, born May 9, 1823, married Fanny Davenport. (2) Elizabeth Ann married William S. Lane, of Erie, now a practicing lawyer of Philadelphia.

(V) Julianna Galbraith (Andrew, James, James, John), born about 1786, in Cumberland county, Pa., died Jan. 13, 1862, in Philadelphia, at the residence of her son, William Callender Irvine, and is buried in the Laurel Hill cemetery. She married July 26, 1808, William McNeill Irvine, born about 1778 in Carlisle, Pa., and there buried. He was the second son of Gen. William Irvine, of the Revolution, and Anne Callender, daughter of Capt. Robert Callender, of Middlesex, Cumberland Co., Pa. He was educated at Dickinson College, where he graduated; subsequently studied law with Judge Thomas Duncan, and was elected to the Cumberland county bar in 1802. He afterward located at Harrisburg, and was admitted to the Dauphin county bar at an adjourned court in March, 1807. He entered the United States army as captain May 3, 1808, in the regiment of light artillery, and was stationed several years at New Orleans. He left the army, by resignation, about 1811 or 1812, and resumed the practice of law at Sunbury. In July, 1813, he was acting adjutant general of Pennsylvania, which duties he performed until his appointment by the president of the United States as colonel of the 42d Regiment, United States Infantry, Aug. 4, 1813. At the close of the war he resigned and located at Harrisburg, and was appointed deputy attorney general for the counties of Dauphin and Northumberland; subsequently commissioned by Governor Snyder, Sept. 14, 1815, escheator general of the State, which position he held until the abolishment of that office. >From 1819 to 1821 he was adjutant general of Pennsylvania, and had previously, 1818-19, represented the county of Dauphin in the State Legislature, and to him is due the credit for originating, authorizing and directing the erection of the capitol building at Harrisburg. From about the year 1826 to 1850 he resided at Gettysburg. In 1847 Governor Shunk appointed him law judge for the York and Adams district, on the expiration of Judge Durkee's term, but he resigned shortly after, owing to some difficulties with the members of the bar and their efforts made to impeach him. Colonel Irvine was a brilliant pleader but not a lawyer, hence his failure in the judicial station to which he had been elevated. He returned to Harrisburg, where he resumed the practice of the law for a while, and subsequently died there. He was an excellent military officer, and a gentleman of fine appearance, tall and commanding, of good conversational powers and a delightful companion, and for a period of thirty years was quite prominent and influential in public affairs. They left issue (surname Irvine): Andrew Galbraith, a physician of prominence in Warren county, Pa., and died a few years since; William Callender, formerly in the quartermaster's department Unites States army, and now residing in Philadelphia.

(V) Sarah W. Galbraith (Andrew, James, James, Robert), born Jan. 25, 1791, died May 2, 1853, in Carlisle, Pa.; married in 1810 John Bannister Gibson, born Nov. 8, 1780, in Shearmans Valley, now Perry township, Pa., died May 2, 1853, in the city of Philadelphia, and is buried in Carlisle, Pa. He was of Scotch-Irish descent, son of Col. George Gibson, who fell in the defeat of St. Clair on the 14th of November 1791. He entered Dickinson College, graduated therefrom, and entered the law office of his kinsman Thomas Duncan. He was admitted to the Cumberland county bar at the March term, 1803. In 1810 he was elected to the Pennsylvania Legislature, and in 1812 appointed president judge for the Eleventh Judicial district, composed of the counties of Tioga, Bradford, Susquehanna and Luzerne. Upon the death of Judge Brackenridge, in 1816, Governor Snyder appointed Judge Gibson associate judge of Supreme court, of Pennsylvania. Under the act of Assembly of April 8, 1826, the number of Supreme court judges increased from three to five. The year following Chief Justice Tilghman died, and Judge Gibson succeeded him. In 1838, on the day of the adoption of the then new constitution of the State, he resigned his office but was immediately reappointed by Governor Ritner. In 1851, when the judiciary became elective, his seat became vacant. He, however, was reelected as associate judge and dispensed the high conventions of that office until his death. No greater encomium can be passed upon him than is inscribed upon the marble shaft which marked the place of his repose---from the pen of the late eminent jurist, Jeremiah S. Black. Mr. and Mrs. Gibson had issue (surname Gibson): Margaretta married Col. Charles McClure, and left issue; Sarah married Richard Anderson, U.S. army, and had issue; Annie married Milnor Roberts, civil engineer, and left issue; John Bannister died unmarried; George, U.S.A., married Fannie Hunt.

(VI) Robert Galbraith (John,Robert, John, James, Robert), died March, 1787. They had issue: Samuel, married Feb. 27, 1789, Mary Decker; James; John; William; Elizabeth; Mary.

(VI) William Ayres Galbraith (John, John, James, James, Robert), born May 9, 1823, in Franklin county, Pa. He was educated at Allegheny College, Meadville, and at the academy in Erie, Pa., upon his father's removal to that town in 1837; studied law with his father, being admitted to the bar May 9, 1844, on his twenty-first birthday. IN September of the same year he entered Dane Law School, Harvard University, of which Judge Joseph Story and Prof. Simon Greenleaf were instructors, and there graduated in 1845. Returning to Erie he began the practice of law. In 1846 he was appointed by Judge Kane, then attorney general of the State, deputy attorney general for Erie county, in which office he continued until 1850. Taking an active part in politics he was a delegate to the Democratic State convention in 1846, and to several succeeding ones. He was a delegate to the National convention at Charleston in 1860, and at Chicago in 1864. In 1876 he was elected president judge of Erie county as the people's candidate, although the Republican party ticket had about 2,600 majority. His term of office expired in 1887. Judge Galbraith married May 25, 1846, Fanny Davenport, daughter of Capt. William Davenport, of Erie, Pa. They had issue.

[All the foregoing is from "Pennsylvania Genealogies," W.H. Egle.]

(VI) Robert Galbraith, son of Robert and Mary Galbraith, was born in 1782 in the Cumberland valley, and was a pioneer settler in Butler county, Pa., where he died in 1826. He married Mary White, and they had children as follows: (1) Samuel. (2) William married and left these children: Mary, who married Thomas Watson; Annie, who married William McClung; Robert, who died on the old homestead in Butler county (he married Isabel, and left children-Caroline, wife of Dr. J.C. McKee; Mary, who married R.B. Ivory, attorney of Pittsburgh, Pa; Bell, Henry, and Hon. James M., judge in Butler county. (3) Mary married John Ralston, and their son James married Maria Thornburg; they are parents of R.L. Ralston, a leading attorney at Kittanning. (4) Robert. (5) Joseph. (6) Elizabeth, born in 1803, married William McCain.

In the history of Butler county, Pa., by Waterman, Watkins & Co. (1883), page 276, we find: "Robert Galbraith was one of the earliest settlers in the southeast corner of Winfield township. He was a justice of the peace in early times. It was stated that Robert Galbraith, above, pioneer of Butler county, arrived in this township in the dead of winter, and putting up a rude shelter of poles and bark the family lived in it until a log house was built. He married Mary White, a daughter of Matthew White, after whom Whitestown in Butler county was named. Of the sons of Robert and Mary (White) Galbraith, Samuel, William, Robert, and Joseph, all dead" (in 1883). "The daughters of Robert Galbraith and wife were Mary, Margaret, Rebecca, Jane, and Elizabeth McCain. William and Joseph lived on the old homestead after their father. Mrs. Joseph Galbraith and three of her nine sons still" (1883) "reside in Winfield township, Joseph died in 1878, aged seventy years."

Source: pages 659-665, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 1998 by P. Godesky for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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