Dempster History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The roots of the ancient Scottish name Dempster are found among the people of a tribe known as the Picts. Dempster is 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. 
Early Origins of the Dempster family
The surname Dempster 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. " 
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."  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 Dempster family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dempster 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 Dempster History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dempster Spelling Variations
The appearance of the printing press and the first dictionaries in the last few hundred years did much to standardize spelling. Prior to that time scribes spelled according to sound, a practice that resulted in many spelling variations. Dempster has been spelled Dempster, Deemester, Dempstar, Demster and others.
Early Notables of the Dempster 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 Dempster Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Dempster is the 12,070th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 
Migration of the Dempster family to Ireland
Some of the Dempster 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.
| Dempster migration to the United States ||+|
The expense of the crossing to the North American colonies seemed small beside the difficulties of remaining in Scotland. It was a long and hard trip, but at its end lay the reward of freedom. Some Scots remained faithful to England and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others fought in the American War of Independence. Much of this lost Scottish heritage has been recovered in the last century through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Dempster:
Dempster Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Alexander Dempster, aged 18, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1775 
- Lilly Dempster, aged 16, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1775 
Dempster Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Samuel Dempster, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 
- Alex, Blakley, James, John, Lilly, Robert, Samuel and William Dempster, all, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1775 and 1868
- John Dempster, who landed in Arkansas in 1894 
| Dempster migration to Canada ||+|
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Dempster Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- H. Dempster, aged 24 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Royalist" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in June 1847 
| Dempster migration to Australia ||+|
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Dempster Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- John Dempster, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella Watson" in 1846 
- William Dempster, aged 22, a weaver, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Switzerland"
- Archibald Dempster, aged 36, a weaver, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Bucephalus"
- John Dempster, aged 45, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Bucephalus"
- James Dempster, aged 16, a weaver, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Bucephalus"
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
| Dempster migration to New Zealand ||+|
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Dempster Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mr. A. Dempster, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gloucester" arriving in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand on 28th December 1858 
- Mrs. Dempster, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gloucester" arriving in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand on 28th December 1858 
- Child Dempster, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gloucester" arriving in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand on 28th December 1858 
- Mrs. Mary Dempster, (b. 1827), aged 34, Irish settler, from Antrim travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th December 1861 
- Mr. William Dempster, (b. 1829), aged 32, Irish farm labourer, from Antrim travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th December 1861 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
| Dempster migration to West Indies ||+|
The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. 
Dempster Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
- Jane Dempster who settled in Barbados in 1679
|Contemporary Notables of the name Dempster (post 1700) ||+|
- George Roby Dempster (1887-1964), American industrialist, founder of Dempster Brothers Construction Company, inventor of the Dempster-Dumpster
- Stuart Dempster (b. 1936), American trombonist, didjeridu player, improvisor, and composer
- Carol Dempster (1901-1991), American film actress of the silent film era
- George Dempster (1732-1818), Scottish lawyer and Member of Parliament, born in February 1732 at Dundee in Forfarshire, the county in which his grandfather and father had amassed large fortunes by trade, and which Dempster inherited while young 
- John "Jocky" Dempster (b. 1948), Scottish former professional footballer
- Dallas Reginald Dempster (1941-2021), Australian businessman notable for the original development of Perth's Burswood Resort and Casino (now Crown Perth) and the proposed Kwinana Petrochemical Plant, one of Western Australia's 100 most influential business leaders (1829–2013)
- Corporal William John Duncan Dempster (1876-1964), Welsh-born, Canadian member of the North-West Mounted Police in the Yukon Territory, "the best trail man in the Yukon"; he led the expedition to successfully find the Lost Patrol in 1910, eponym of Dempster Highway, Yukon
- Charles Edward Dempster (1839-1907), Australian politician in Western Australia
- Hugh Dempster (1900-1987), British theatre and film actor
- Nigel Richard Patton Dempster (1941-2007), British journalist, author, broadcaster and diarist
- ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
|Historic Events for the Dempster family ||+|
- Mr. Herbert James Dempster (1921-1941), Australian Stoker from Burnley, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking 
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.
- Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- 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)
- "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
- Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
- Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 24)
- State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ISABELLA WATSON 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846IsabellaWatson.htm
- New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
- New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
- Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
- HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp