Galbraith was accepted by CDSNA as an allied family in July 2012.
Clan Galbraith is an armigerous (arms-bearing) Scottish clan without a standing chief and is not recognized by The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs. Variations of the name include Calbreath, Colbath, Colbreath, Galberth, Galbreath, Galbreth, Gilbraith, Gilbreath, Gilbreth, Gilreath, Kilbreath, Kilbreth, Kulbeth.
The Scotsweb article on Galbraith states…
The surname Galbraith means Foreign Briton. The surname denoted the ethnic differences between the Gaels who migrated to Scotland in about the fifth century and the native Welsh speaking Britons of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. The Strathclyde Britons remained a distinct ethnic group from the Highland Gaels and Lowland Angles until the fourteenth century. The former capital of the Kingdom of Strathclyde was Dumbarton (”Fortress of the Britons”), in the Lennox.
In Scottish Gaelic the Galbraiths are called Breatanuich or Clann-a-Breatannuich, meaning “Britons” and “Children of the Britons”. The early Galbraiths held lands in the Lennox, in the area of Loch Lomond, north of Dumbarton. The stronghold of these early Galbraiths was on the island of Inchgalbraith in Loch Lomond. The celebrated heraldist Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk speculated that the Arms of the Galbraiths, which bore three bears’ heads, may allude to the British name Arthur, which means bear.
The man who is considered to be first chief of Clan Galbraith was Gilchrist Bretnach who married the granddaughter of the first Earl of Lennox.
The fourth chief, Sir William Galbraith of Buthernock, married a sister of “Black Comyn” who was head of the most powerful family in Scotland at the time. Sir William, however, sided against the Comyns when he had a part in the rescue the boy king Alexander III from Comyn’s control. Ultimately Sir William rose in power to becoming one of the co-Regents of Scotland in 1255. Sir William’s son, the fifth chief of the clan, Sir Arthur, supported Robert the Bruce, and also married a sister of Sir James Douglas. ‘Good Sir James Douglas’ is famous for perishing in Spain against the Saracens, while leading a small band of Scottish knights carrying Bruce’s heart to the Holy Land.
The Clan Galbraith Association website claims in its Galbraith of the Lennox Introductory, the following connections to the House of Douglas:
In the "Scots Peerage," under "Earl of Douglas," it is stated that Willelma, daughter of Sir William Douglas (Longleg) married William of Galbraith, son of Sir William Galbraithe by a daughter of Sir John Comyn of Badenoch. They had issue, four daughters, of whom the eldest, Joanna, married—de Cathe (Kethe or Keith). It is not known whom the other three daughters married, but it is clear that through one of these heiresses the lands of Buthernock descended to David de Hamilton and Jonetta de Keith, who it will be seen later, confirmed as feudal superiors a gift of certain lands in Buthernock and Kincaid by William Galbraith of Gartconnel to his son James in 1381. From David de Hamilton and Jonetta Keith the superiorities of Buthernock descended to their youngest son, John Hamilton of Bardowie.
William Galbraith of Buthernock was probably dead before 1296, the year when so many of the Scottish nobles, clergy, landowners and burgesses swore allegiance to Edward I of England. His name at least does not appear in the Ragman Rolls. There is, however, a Gilbert of Buthernock among the other landowners from the County of Stirling. This Gilbert may have married one of William Galbraith's daughters and may have held the lands of Buthernock in right of his wife. However that may be, it is clear that the estates of Buthernock and others passed from Galbraith hands owing to the failure of an heir-male to William Galbraith and Willelma Douglas.
It seems possible that William Galbraith may have had a younger brother, Arthur. In the Ragman Rolls of 1296, there appears the name, Arthur de Galbraith from the County of Wigtown. He is named on the same roll with many well known names from the Lennox. The designation "from the County of Wigtown" would definitely preclude Arthur de Galbraith, the son of Maurice Galbraith, who held Cartonvenach, Auchincloich and other lands in the Lennox, although it might be that Arthur Galbraith of the Ragman Rolls was a son of Arthur Galbraith, the son of Maurice. But it will be remembered that Sir William Galbraith of Buthernock had married a daughter of John Comyn of Badenoch, who was Justiciar of Galloway. John Comyn was a very active participator in the government of Scotland during the middle of the 13th century. Sir William Galbraith was also a man in public affairs and was one of the regency commission of fifteen barons appointed in 1255. It would, therefore, he very natural that a younger son of Sir William Galbraith should be given land or a position in Wigtownshire, of which his grandfather had been Justiciar and in which, presumably, he had many interests. But there is undoubtedly some dubiety as to the identity of this Arthur Galbraith, from the County of Wigtown.
Also from Galbraith of the Lennox Introductory,
But it is known that William Galbraith was married and had one son and at least two daughters. In 1381 he granted a Charter to his son, James, of the lands of Easterbuthernock and Westerbuthernock and one fourth part of Kyncade. But it was only as a vassal that he held those lands, the superiority (or rather the mid-superiority) being in the hands of David de Hamilton and Jonetta Keith, who, in accordance with feudal custom, confirmed this Charter of 1381. These lands had come into the possession of David de Hamilton through one of the heiresses of William Galbraith of Buthernock.
William Galbraith of Gartconnel's son, James, did not survive long, but died before his father. The two daughters thus became co-heiresses. Janet Galbraith married Nicolas Douglas in 1373, and so founded the family of Douglas of Mains. The other daughter married Alexander Logan and succeeded to Gartconnel. James, the son of William Galbraith of Gartconnel, may have left a daughter, who would thus be a co-heiress along with her aunts. This may be the Galbraith heiress who is said to have married Patrick Buchanan, the 14th Laird of Buchanan.
In this way the lands of Cartonvenach passed out of the hands of the Galbraiths through heiresses of William of Gartconnel, even as the Buthernock lands had been carried away by the heiresses of William of Buthernock and Willelma Douglas.
Clan Galbraith Association. http://www.clangalbraith.org/, also