MacDempsey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name MacDempsey originally appeared in Gaelic as O Diomasaigh, from the word "diomasach," which means "proud." 
Early Origins of the MacDempsey family
The surname MacDempsey was first found in King's County and Queen's County, where they were traditional Chiefs of Clanmaliere, a territory that lay on both sides of the river Barrow. It contained parts of Geashill and Phillipstown in Kings County and parts of Portnehinch in Queen's County. They claim descent through the O'Connors of Offaly, specifically the 2nd century Irish King, Cathair Mor. 
According to O'Hart, they claim descent from through the "Connor" Faley pedigree.
Early History of the MacDempsey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacDempsey research. Another 286 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1193, 1652, 1865, 1599, 1631 and 1641 are included under the topic Early MacDempsey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacDempsey Spelling Variations
A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name MacDempsey include Dempsey, O'Dempsey, Dempsy, Dempsay, Dempsie and many more.
Early Notables of the MacDempsey family (pre 1700)
Notable among the family name at this time was Sir Terence O'Dempsey, knighted May 1599, by Robert Devereux, earl of Essex, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Terence was created "Baron of Philipstown," and Viscount Clanmaliere, by patent dated 8th July, 1631, temp. Charles I.
He had five sons, two of which were clergy:...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacDempsey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacDempsey family
In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the MacDempsey family came to North America quite early: Ann, Biddy, Bridget, Catherine, John, and Henry Dempsey who settled in Quebec in 1840; Edward Dempsey settled in New York in 1810; Jeremiah Dempsey settled in Mississippi in 1820.
Related Stories +
- ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
- ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)