Select Dempsey Miscellany


Here are some Dempsey stories
accounts over the years:


The O’Dempseys of Clanmalier

The following is the O’Dempsey line, from Dermod
O’Dempsey’s father who died in 1162 through fourteen generations to the
O’Dempseys in the 17th century.

Name Date of Death
Conbrogha McHugh O’Dempsey   1162
Dermod McConbrogha O’Dempsey   1193
Hugh McDermod O’Dempsey
Fionn McMalachy O’Dempsey   1306
Dermod McFionn O’Dempsey   1308
Fionn McDermod O’Dempsey
Malachy McFionn O’Dempsey   1329
Dermod McMalachy O’Dempsey   1383
Maolmorra McDermod O’Dempsey   1407
Cahir McMaolmorra O’Dempsey   1445
Dermod McCahir O’Dempsey
Hugh McDermod O’Dempsey   1563
Dermod McHugh O’Dempsey   1565
Terence McDermod O’Dempsey   1639

Terence O’Dempsey was made Viscount Clanmalier by James I
of England  in 1631.  His grandson Lewis the second Viscount
(who died in 1683) and great grandson Maximilian the third Viscount
(who died in 1714) took up against the English and their estates
were forfeited in 1691. 


The O’Dempseys and Lea Castle

Lea Castle lies on the outskirts of what is now the town of
Portarlington, on the banks of the Barrow river between Laois and
Offaly.  The castle was originally built by the Normans in 1260,
but it changed hands many times during its history.  It was taken
by the O’Dempseys in 1284 then surrendered in 1329, burned by the
O’Moores in 1346, captured by the O’Dempseys in 1422, and then taken by
the Earl of Ormond in 1452.

In 1642 the castle was occupied by the Confederate
Catholics, from which they were driven by Lord Lisle.  Eight years
later the castle was taken by Cromwell’s forces and dismantled.
The last person who took up his abode there was Charles O’Dempsey
(Cahir na gCapall), the last descendant of the once powerful Chiefs of



Dempseys of Lea
Parish in Laios

Griffith’s Valuation of Ireland was undertaken over the
years 1848 to 1864.  It recorded the property owners in each
county.  Those in Queen’s county (now Laois county) showed sixty
three Dempseys.  Ten of them below were from Lea parish.

Name Parish Location
Andrew Dempsey Lea Kilbride
John Dempsey Lea Cooltedery
John Dempsey Lea Cooltedery (Bracklone St)
John Dempsey Lea Cooltedery (Main St)
John Dempsey Jr Lea Cooltedery (Main St)
Joseph Dempsey Lea Clonanny
Margaret Dempsey Lea Jamestown/Ballyteigeduff
Mary Dempsey Lea Cooltedery (Main St)
Michael Dempsey Lea Courtwood
Patrick Dempsey Lea Bolnagree


Reader Feedback – William Dempsey in
Philadelphia in 1726

your Select Dempsey Surname Genealogy
you say that Barnet Dempsey may have been the earliest Dempsey arrival
America during the 1780’s.

have family written history that William
Dempsey (my 5th great grandfather), age 4, arrived in Philadelphia in
1726 in
the company of his uncle Mark.  His son,
John William Dempsey (my 4th great grandfather), fought under
Washington in the
American Revolution and may have been at Valley Forge.
John married Rachel Solomon (daughter of a
Jewish sea merchant) in Philadelphia after the conclusion of the war
and around
1790 made residence in Botetourt county, Virginia (now Mingo county,
Virginia).  His father William lived at
Fincastle in Botetourt county.

Dempsey (


James Dempsey and the Early Catholic Church in Australia

In the Catholic archives in Adelaide were found some anonymous
scribbled notes which read as follows:

“James Dempsey, a stone mason, sent out
for the part he took in the rising of 1798 was a native of
Wexford.  A man of genuine piety, he often wept in his captivity,
for though his irreproachable character caused him to be allowed to
execute his trade and exempted him from being assigned, he felt his
deprivation of all religious aid as keenly as the Jews who ‘could not
sing the songs of the Lord in a strange land, who wept when they
remembered Zion.'”

He had been granted his pardon in 1809, the year the only Roman
Catholic priest in the New South Wales colony had been expelled.
An unconsumed Host was left behind by the priest and Dempsey kept this
at his house on Kent Street and used it as a rallying point for the
large Catholic population in Sydney.

When a priest finally arrived in 1820, Dempsey was still filled with
zeal and went about the construction of the first Catholic chapel in
Australia.  He started work on an undesirable piece of land on the
outskirts of the town.  He was to sink his whole fortune into its
building and it was to become his life’s work.  It pushed him into
backruptcy and he travelled the world to raise funds for it.  The
chapel was finally completed some years before his death in 1838.


Jack Dempsey the Nonpareil

Jack Dempsey was born in county Kildare in Ireland, but died of TB in
America in 1895.  He was just thirty three.

He was a middleweight boxer who became champion of the world.
Some people think that he was the greatest pound for pound boxer in
history.   He was a two-handed fighter who could box or
punch; his jab was quick and accurate; his right hand punch was stiff;
he was game and cool under pressure; and he could fight whatever style
was needed to win; in short, a crafty boxer-puncher who
was an excellent ring general.

M.J. McMahon wrote a poem to his memory.  Part of the poem read as

“Far out in the wilds of Oregon,
On a lonely mountainside,
Where Columbia’s mighty waters
Roll down to the ocean side;
Where the giant fir and cedar
Are imaged in the wave,
O’ergrown with firs and lichens,
I found Jack Dempsey’s grave.

O Fame, why sleeps thy favored son
In wilds, in woods, in weeds,
And shall he ever thus sleep on,
Interred his valiant deeds.
Tis strange New York should thus forget
Its ‘bravest of the brave’
And by the fields of Oregon,
Unmarked leave Dempsey’s grave.”


Jack Dempsey’s Restaurant

Jack Dempsey’s was a New York restaurant located
on Broadway between 49th and 50th streets in Manhattan.  Owned by
world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey, it was considered by
many as an American institution.  It originally opened for
business in 1935 on Eighth Avenue and 50th Street, directly across from
the old Madison Square Garden.  Most nights would find Dempsey’s
famous proprietor on hand to greet guests, sign autographs, pose for
pictures and hold court.

A poster in the restaurant showed Dempsey crouching and bobbing his way
to a heavyweight victory over the giant Jess Willard to win the
championship of the world on July 14, 1919.

Jack Dempsey’s restaurant appeared in the 1972 movie The Godfather.  Michael
Corleone stood in front of Jack Dempsey’s while waiting to be picked up
by Virgil Sollozzo and Capt. McCluskey for their infamous dinner
meeting.   The restaurant closed two years later in 1974.

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