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Galloway Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: HIGHER

Let me share with you the fascinating history of your family, the Galloways, as it has been passed down through the generations. The name itself originates from the district of Galloway, a Gaelic-Scandinavian kingdom in south-west Scotland. While many notable Scots have borne this surname, Galloway does not seem to have a traditional chiefly tradition centered around a core family. Nonetheless, the name can be traced back to Dunbartonshire in the sixteenth century, and other families with the name emerged on the east coast of Scotland.

George Black’s records mention Michael de Galewath as a witness in the early thirteenth century, but the first definitive bearer of the name was Sande Galowey, who was found guilty of involvement in a ‘disturbance’ in Lanark in 1495.

In subsequent years, individuals with the surname Galloway made their mark in various fields. Patrick Galloway, a prominent Presbyterian cleric, played a significant role during the reign of James IV until his passing in 1626. Christopher Galloway, born in 1621, became renowned as an architect, engineer, and clockmaker. He was among the Scottish artisans drawn to Russia by Tsar Peter the Great and worked on notable structures, including a celebrated clock for Saviour’s Tower in the Kremlin and the Kremlin’s water supply. It is suggested that he may have been a descendant of Christopher Galloway, a Burgess of Haddington who died in 1570.

General Sir Archibald Galloway distinguished himself as a soldier, serving in the East India Company for thirty-five years and eventually becoming Chairman. Another notable figure, George Alexander Galloway, played a vital role as a radical agitator, engineer, and early trade unionist. He later served as a London City Councillor and passed away in 1847.

However, one of the most significant figures in modern Scottish history bearing the name Galloway was Janet Galloway, born in 1841. She devoted herself to promoting higher education for women and became a founding member of Queen Margaret College, the first university in Scotland to accept female students. In a time when educational and career opportunities for women were limited, Janet became a passionate advocate for female education. In 1883, she assumed the role of the first secretary of Queen Margaret College, which eventually merged with the University of Glasgow a decade later. Described as possessing a ‘ready fearless wit and kind eye,’ Janet continued her work tirelessly until her passing in 1909, steadfastly refusing any payment for her efforts. Today, she is honored by a memorial window in the University’s Bute Hall. The legacy of Queen Margaret College lives on through the Queen Margaret Union.

Your family, the Galloways, has a diverse and inspiring history, marked by individuals who have left their mark in fields ranging from religion and architecture to engineering and education. It is a legacy that should be cherished and celebrated by future generations.

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The Family Crest

Wherever in the world you live, embrace your family heritage and adorn your home with a timeless symbol of your family legacy with our crafted Family Crests.

Family Crest Motto: HIGHER

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