Galaher Family Tree

A History of The Galahers

as written by Abbott Galaher of North Andover in 1996 with comments inserted by Matthew Galaher

All I've written about the Galahers is hear say from my grandfather Galaher, around 1934 or 1935.

My father went to Glasgow on a cattle boat the last summer before he graduated from M.I.T. He looked up some of his relatives but I never heard him talk about them. My great great grandfather was born near Glasgow in the late 1700's, and he was provost, similar to a Mayor (The chief magistrate of certain Scottish cities).

My great grandfather was born near Glasgow in early 1800's. He married a highland girl named Brisbane, and was an engraver in the textile business.

My grandfather was born around 1854 in Liverpool England. He was born in Liverpool because his father worked as an engraver in the cotton mills there and never left that area. He married a girl by the name of Whitelaw in Glasgow Scotland. He was a textile engraver also. Pacific Mills of Lawrence Massachusetts paid his passage to Lawrence so that he could show them how to engrave rolls of prints and cloth. When my father, Francise, and my grandmother came to the U.S. they came to join my grandfather who was working at Pacific Mills (There is a family of Galahers living in Andover. They came down from Canada but are no close relation).

My father was born in Glasgow, he and my grandmother came to Lawrence around 1880. He had a brother Robert who died in the flu epidemic of 1918.

My grandfather was born during a cholera epidemic, the midwife thought he wouldn't make it, and placed him aside, however he made such a fuss that they took care of him.

In later years he helped three of his brothers come to this country. David was a carpenter in Connecticut, Donald was a city clerk in St Petersberg Florida, and also a justice of the peace. Sandy ( I can not think of his real name) also settled in St. Petersberg Florida. He was in the Real Estate business.

My grandfather gave Sandy some money to invest in Florida real estate. However Sandy pulled a fast one on him so he took him to court. He called Sandy a G. D. liar in court and got fined for contempt. He was quite a guy. In later years my father had to support him and my grandmother. However he helped pay his freight by showing my fathers men how to engrave rubber foot ware (Hood Rubber Co.) which put a lot of feathers in my father's cap.

My father was an ill tempered paranoid S.O.B.

The family broke up around 1926-1927. My mother wouldn't accept a nickel from him. Needless to say things were pretty rough, but after my grand mother Adams died, we moved into his home, and mother kept house for him and Ed and I worked afternoons and weekends to help be self supporting. My brother Ed worked in a garage and I worked for my grandfather.

My brother Robert Galaher, was artistically inclined even as a boy. As an artist he was good enough to be written about by Time Magazine, (The title of the painting was "Circus Worker". As near as I can recall the reporter commented the artist must have Been in a somber morose mood when painting the picture) and I saw one of his paintings in an exhibition at Phillups Academy in Andover Massachusetts.

Abbott (middle name Stevens) must have been quite a character as his grave site really stands out with a stone about 8 feet tall.

Mothers brother George Adams tried to look further back than the Adams family Book, which I have and as I recall all he got was that families with names ending in M's were usually Welch people. (Eliza's research suggests the Galahers may have originally come from Donegal County in Ireland before moving to Scotland. Uncle Abbott says a lot of Irish did go to Scotland during the industrial revolution, but not the Galahers; they were Scottish. Uncle Towner adds that many Scots actually went to Ireland to work in the shipyards, and so travel back and forth would not be uncommon.)

The Abbotts were one of the early settlers of Andover. Stevens was mother's uncle who was an engineer at the building of the Lawrence Dam on the ??? river. Made of granite blocks, it's 40 feet high and about an eighth mile long.

The Scottish Galahers were protestants, probably presbyterian or less likely congregational. As a child we went to a Unitarian church. Mother was on the outs with the minister, but we went to Sunday school winter months, to the beach good weekends.

My Grandfather was an engraver, as was father. I was a reg. engineer in Massachusetts. I worked mostly on designing automated machines and tools for electrical industry. My brother Ed was a master mechanic of M.T. Stevens Woolen Mill. He enjoyed fishing and dogs. Mary went to the University of Maine, never used her education.

Robert Galaher went to Lowell Tech for one year. After the war he went to the Portland Art Museum for four years where Abbott of Abbott Kemms and Bell Co. of Portland helped get him in, and a year in (Zürich) Switzerland. He was drafted (but I recall him telling me that he entered earlier than necessary since he knew he would eventually be drafted§). He was in a special group that taught mountain climbing (MTG/Recon and the 2662 detachment. For detailed information, click here. §). In the 10th Mountain Division he infiltrated behind enemy lines. He spent most of his time about 40 miles south of Rome. After the war he spent a year as a warrant officer in Germany, Austria, and Yugoslavia.

We did not have much in common, but Ed and I built him a fold boat and trailer he could hook to his bike and go fishing down at the lake. Ed and I would get after him to do things, and he would get protection behind my mother's apron strings.

My mother was good natured hard working woman. We children were her main interest in life. She had a very happy childhood and it saddened her that ours could not be likewise.

Adams Family Tree

  • Henry, born in Devonshire England in 1604 d. 1646. Arrived in Boston in 1632
  • John, b. Cambridge in 1650.
  • Joseph, third son b. in Arlington in 1664.
  • Lt. Joseph, first son of Joseph and Margaret Eames. b. 1688.
  • Capt. William, b. Jan 12, 1725, in Arlington. Son of Lt. Joseph and Rachel Allen. (second wife). Capt. in Col. Thatcher's regiment at Dorchester Heights.
  • Deacon John, son of Capt. William and Sarah Hill. b. in Arlington July 21, 1751.
  • John Jr. first son of Deacon John and Ruth Perry. b. June 7, 1774 in Arlington Mass.
  • He married Susanna Cutter and settled in No. Andover.


  • Susanna b. Nov. 13, 1799. Married Samuel G. Furber.
  • John b. Feb. 26, 1803 and d. Feb. 10, 1875. (My Great Grandfather*.)
  • Louisa b. Dec. 30, 1804. Married Geo. Bradley.
  • Harriet b. Oct. 28, 1806. Married Daniel Rea, Jr.
  • Amos b. May 24, 1801. d. April 5, 1808.
  • Maria b. Feb. 1809. d. March 1, 1875.
  • Eveline b. Sept 24, 1811. d. Oct 29, 1819.
  • Letitia b. Oct 29, 1814. d. Sept 12, 1838.
  • Amos b. Sept 13, 1816. d. Nov 7, 1854.
  • James b. Dec 26, 1819. d. June 23, 1850.
  • *his son Edward Adams April 1850. d. 1930 (my grandfather)
  • Charlotte June 1884. d. 1977 (my mother)


While in Scotland I (Matthew Galaher) bought a guide to the clans and surnames of Scotland. Some of the things I found of interest are listed below. The names from our father's side of the family, we of course know come from Scotland. Miller and Cooke are family names from the Menefee side but I haven't had a chance to talk to Towner Menefee yet, and have no way of knowing if there is a connection, although it certainly seems possible. The Menefee history traces them back to England, so of course it could be easily possible that they have ties to Scotland as well. (I also might note that this guide has over 4000 surnames and absent are all spellings of Galaher. It seems likely to me that while we may have been in Scotland early on, the name and our earlier history as Galahers originates in Ireland)


Clan or District Source
Brisbane Aberdeenshire, Lennox, Ayrshire 14th century
Stevens Ayrshire 12th c., Moray (near Findhorn) 13th c., Angus 15th c.
Whitelaw Roxburghshire, Midlothian 13th c.
Adams Fife etc. 13th c.; Clan Gordon (Aberdeen)
Abbott Fife etc. 14th c., Clan Macnab (area east of Port Appin and Oban)
Miller Moray 14th c. Glasgow etc. 15th c. Clan Macfarlane (North part of Loch Lomond south of Macnabs)
Cook(e) Berwickshire etc. 12th c., Clan MacDonald (Islands below Isle Mull in the south west of Scotland: Jura & Kintyre)

Excerpt from correspondence from Uncle Abbott to his cousin Frances

The Family tree has a lot of knotty problems. For what it's worth here goes: Henry, born in England 1604 and died in 1646. He arrived in Boston in 1632 from Devenonshire (?). He settled in Mount Wollasten(?) Braintree. Some say John Adams the first generation was the son of Henry. John Quincy Adams says no way! John Q "says" the John your interested in was a Scotsman. Take your pick. The first John Adams was born in 1624 in England one of Henry's kids. The rest of your family tree O.K. (sic) The first Adams in North Andover lived in a salt box on the Merimack(?) river where there was a ferry to the north side of the river. Our great grandfather was a shoemaker and had his cobbler shop at the corner of the old center school yard. I checked again, John Q's investigation; He claims Henry came from Braintree in the county of Essex. In the preface of the book some say it's a crock of B.S. and others were happy with it's contents. So again I say take your pick.