O'Dempsey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name O'Dempsey originally appeared in Gaelic as O Diomasaigh, from the word "diomasach," which means "proud." [1]

Early Origins of the O'Dempsey family

The surname O'Dempsey 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. [2]

According to O'Hart, they claim descent from through the "Connor" Faley pedigree.

Early History of the O'Dempsey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Dempsey 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 O'Dempsey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'Dempsey Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name O'Dempsey revealed spelling variations, including Dempsey, O'Dempsey, Dempsy, Dempsay, Dempsie and many more.

Early Notables of the O'Dempsey 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 O'Dempsey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the O'Dempsey family

Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the O'Dempsey name: 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.



  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)


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