Dempstar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Dempstar surname date back to the Pictish clans of ancient Scotland, Dempstar was used as a name for a person who held the office of judex or dempster to the Parliament. Up until 1747, every barony held courts for trials in that barony and the judex was a baillie for the chief or laird. [1]

Early Origins of the Dempstar family

The surname Dempstar was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland.

"Until the year 1747 every laird whose land had been erected into a barony was empowered to hold courts for the trial and punishment of certain offenders within his barony; and the dempster was part of his retinue. " [2]

The first record of the name was "Haldan de Emester of Perthshire, who rendered homage in 1296 [to King Edward I of England], is to be read Haldan Deem ester." [2] His son, or grandson, Haldan Dempster, also inherited the lands of Menemuir. He was a Dempster and held court in that area.

Early History of the Dempstar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dempstar research. Another 363 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1360, 1364, 1370, 1379, 1361, 1370, 1388, 1428, 1579, 1585, 1602, 1684, 1625, 1579, 1625, 1579 and are included under the topic Early Dempstar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dempstar Spelling Variations

In the Middle ages, spelling and translation were not yet regulated by any general rules. spelling variations in names were common even among members of one family unit. Dempstar has appeared Dempster, Deemester, Dempstar, Demster and others.

Early Notables of the Dempstar family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Thomas Dempster (1579-1625), Scottish scholar and historian "was born, according to his own statement, on 23 Aug. 1579. His autobiography, however, is clearly marked by the same habit of grotesquely extravagant falsehood which appears in some of his other writings; and there seems...
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dempstar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Dempstar family to Ireland

Some of the Dempstar family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Dempstar family

Faced by this persecution and the generally unstable political climate of those days, many Scots chose to leave their homeland for Ireland, Australia, and North America in search of greater opportunity and freedom. The colonies across the Atlantic were the most popular choice, but a passage there was neither cheap nor easily suffered. Passengers arrived sick and poor, but those who made it intact often found land and more tolerant societies in which to live. These brave settlers formed the backbone of the burgeoning nations of Canada and the United States. It is only this century that the ancestors of these families have begun to recover their collective identity through the patriotic highland games and Clan societies that have sprung up throughout North America. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Dempstar: Jane Dempster who settled in Barbados in 1679; Alex, Blakley, James, John, Lilly, Robert, Samuel and William Dempster, all settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1775 and 1868..



The Dempstar Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fortier et strenue
Motto Translation: Boldly and earnestly.


  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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