Origin of the Name Dempsey
family history was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
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 coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Dempsey descendants.