Betsy Perry and Ephraim Galbraith

This page isn't complete yet. Work is in progress on incorporating numerous messages from our Perry cousins into its data.

Elizabeth (Betsy) Perry was a sister of my great-great-grandfather and the third child of Moses and Sarah (Russell) Perry. In fact, the only evidence I have of Betsy's existence is the appearance of her name in a list of Moses Perry's children in a Venango county history. In the list of Moses' children, Elizabeth is listed between my g-g-grandfather John, who was born in 1802, and Martha, who we believe to be born in 1809. That is also the only evidence I have of her having married an Ephraim Galbraith. Nancy Scott's history says Betsy died "1841-1852" and is buried in East Unity Presbyterian Church's graveyard, in Venango township, Butler county, across the county line from Scrubgrass township, Venango county.

The name Ephraim Galbraith is unusual enough that it should stand out in any public record, county history or archive. I've been able to find several mentions of Ephraim and his family:

Census. Ephraim Galbraith appears in the following U. S. Censuses for Pennsylvania:

The 1800 entry may be for an Ephraim Galbraith (1773-1824) who was born in Bedford county, PA, and who is supposed to have married an Eliza White. Some genealogists have listed this couple as the parents of the Ephraim who married Betsy Perry, but I haven't seen any evidence for this guess.

The second 1840 entry, and the 1850 and 1860 entries, appear to pertain to the same family, if they moved to the Philadelphia area, then moved back to the west end of the state. If this is the Ephraim who married Betsy Perry, and the children listed with him in 1850 are his second wife's, then Betsy must have died earlier than Nancy Scott speculates in her history. And just who is the first Ephraim of 1840? An uncle? A cousin?

County histories. Ephraim Galbraith is mentioned in History of Venango County, Pennsylvania, published in 1890 by Brown, Runk & Co., Chicago:

[page 554, under Villages:]

Lisbon was laid out in 1854 by Thomas Robinson and John Smith on land formerly included in the farms of Moses Perry and Elizabeth Riddle. It is situated at the intersection of the road leading from Scrubgrass to the Butler line with the main road from Emlenton to Clintonville. Emlenton, the nearest railroad point, is five miles distant. The first house was built in 1834 by Ephraim Galbraith and Samuel Marshall, who also opened the first store...

[page 814:]

DAVID COURTNEY GALBRAITH, physician and surgeon, is a native of Lawrence county,1 Pennsylvania, born May 8, 1841, son of Ephraim Galbraith, who died in Lawrence county. Our subject grew up under the parental roof and received his early education in the common schools. In 1855 he commenced reading medicine in the office of Doctor James Cossitt of New Castle, Pennsylvania, and one of the pioneer physicians of Mercer county, and continued under his instructions about three years, afterward spending a year in the office of Doctor Taylor, of Mercer. He attended lectures at the Western Reserve Medical College, Cleveland, Ohio, in the sessions of 1856-57 and 1858-59, graduating in the latter year. He soon afterward went south, but returned to Ohio in the fall of 1861, and was appointed assistant surgeon and subsequently surgeon in General Butler's command, serving in all over two years. In 1862 he opened an office at Polk, Venango county, and excepting the time spent in the army, practiced there about nine years. In 1865-66 Doctor Galbraith attended the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, and graduated therefrom in the latter year. In 1871 he moved to Franklin, where he has since built up a large and lucrative practice, being one of its best known medical practitioners. He was married in 1862 to Miss Annie Cubbison, of Butler county, Pennsylvania. She is the mother of two children: Mary and Francis. Politically Doctor Galbraith is a Democrat, and though comparatively a young man, is nevertheless one of the oldest physicians in time of practice in the county.

[page 975, among Moses Perry's children:]

Elizabeth, who married Ephraim Galbraith...

The biography on page 814 seems to be that of the same David who was living with Ephraim and Mary in 1860, and who is listed in the 1880 census for Franklin as D. C. Galbrath, a physician.

Ephraim is also mentioned in History of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, published in 1877 by L. H. Everts & Co., Philadelphia:

[page 28:]

The following "Directory of New Castle," which was published in 1841, is believed to have been the first directory of New Castle that was ever published, and, as it is comparitively short, we reproduce it entire:

[among names in directory:]

Galbreth E., gentleman.

[page 44, in a history of newspapers of Lawrence county:]

A paper, called the Jeffersonian Herald, was started in New Castle some time during the administration of President Tyler [1841-1845], and continued for about one year. It was published by Ephraim Galbraith. The office was in a two-story frame building, on the north side of the "Diamond," the same now occupied by George T. Wilson's tin store. One account, by Mr. McConnell, himself a printer, is that the Herald only existed for about six weeks, and was published in 1841.

Here is some e-mail back and forth between Perry cousins while researching this page:

6 Dec 2008 - Nancy Scott wrote:

Chuck, I searched in the notebooks and discovered that the source of my info is the handwritten genealogy page from Mildred Perry, through her son, Virgil. It says, "Elizabeth (Betsy) m. Ephrium (sic) Galbreath (sic). she and two children are buried at East Unity. Her husband married again. son Dr. Galbreath of Franklin."

11 Dec 2008 - Kelly Marshall wrote:

Hi Chuck!

Well, I couldn't stand it. I had an entire day off work, the ground was clear of snow, the temperature was only 30, the wind wasn't blowing, and a snow storm is in the forecast for tomorrow. So I went looking for Galbraith graves in Butler County. Here's the report:

1) I walked the oldest part of the East Unity Cemetery twice, looking at each stone. I found none on which I could read the name "Galbraith". However, I drove to the Butler Public Library on the way home and found a listing of graves in that cemetery (printed 1983) which included the following:

Galbraith, Eliza / Died 02-18-1831 / 21 - - (this last means, I'm sure, aged 21 years (illegible) (illegible)

Galbraith, Elizabeth / Died 06-28-1836 / 36 - -

So it looks like the latter could fit into your listing of Perry Children between James and John. But who could Eliza be?

I have a "graver buddy" whom I can get to return with me to the cemetery on a warm, sunny day to try again--two sets of eyes are better than one. But I think the Galbraith markers either are gone or now completely illegible. Please see the attached photo, however, for my best guess as to a likely site for them: there is a lot of empty space (no markers) near the grave of her brother David, and I believe he is the only sibling buried there. She may well be buried near other Perry family members. (There are, however, multiple other Perry graves here, and I will need some time to sort through all the photos and match names to your webpages.)

Source, for your records: "Butler County Cemetery Inventory Vol. 1: The Northern Townships (1983, The Butler County Historical Society), page 131.

I posted the grave markers for David and Susannah Calvert Perry at

If you want these photos, let me know--easily sent, if you can't copy them from this site.

2) Galbraith: There is no will or estate file for him in Venango County, so either he died intestate or had moved elsewhere before his death. Re: a second wife, if this is, indeed, the "right" Ephraim Galbraith, note the following:

"David Courtney settled . . . Their children were as follows . . . Mary, deceased, who married Ephraim Galbraith."

Source: White, J. G. "A Twentieth Century History of Mercer County, Pennsylvania" (Vol. II), Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, page 1022.

I can transcribe the entire paragraph, if knowing about Mary Courtney Galbraith's family is important...

Mary Pierotti wrote:

I have more information at home about the Galbraith connections. I corresponded with a Galbraith descendant several years ago...

I answered Kelly:

I'm really not sure what to say. If either of these Galbraith women is Moses' daughter, I'd have to say it was the first one. If I located the "right" Ephraim Galbraith in the censuses, then he was born about 1810-1812. This Eliza would have been about the right age, provided the "21" is her age. She may or may not have been married to Ephraim long enough to have any kids with him. No clue who the other gal was.

The Mary Courtney you found mentioned in the Mercer county history is almost certainly the woman I found with Ephraim in the 1850-1860 censuses and the mother of Dr. David Courtney Galbraith. I was able to access that history also.

I was able to locate the 2 photos you added to findagrave today and will add them to David & Susan's page when I have a moment...

Kelly also posted a photo of William and Elizabeth Perry's grave which I added to their page.

Here are my own tentative conclusions, or guesses, and some questions, about all of the above:

Obviously, there are still mysteries which may never be solved. It is our hope in posting this page that somebody will fill in some of the missing "pieces in the puzzle" of Betsy Perry and Ephraim Galbraith.

1"Lawrence County was created on March 20, 1849, from parts of Beaver and Mercer counties." - Wikipedia.
This page was last updated 3 Jan 2010.