Dempsey / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Dempsey
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Dempsey
include Denpsey, Dimpsey, Dinsey, Dempsy and Demsey. The O'Dempseys are of the same stock as the O'Connors of Offaly and were a powerful sept in the territory lying on the borders of Leix and Offaly known as Clanmalier. In earlier times they were distinguished in the defence of their country and O'Dempsey, Chief of Offaly, was one of the few Irish leaders who could boast of having defeated Strongbow in a military engagement, which he did in 1172. Strongbow's son-in-law, de Quenci, was killed in the battle. Dermot O'Dempsey, Chief of the Name, founded the Cistercian Abbey at Monasterevan. Saint Evin, it may be mentioned, who established the Church at Monasterevan, a place which bears his name, was the patron saint of the O'Dempseys.The Dempsey
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Dempsey