Coat of Arms: Gules a lion rampant argent, armed and langued azure between two swords points upwards of the second pommels and hilts or one in bend dexter the other in bend sinister.
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. Hence the title Viscount Clanmalier bestowed by James I of England
on Terence O'Dempsey, the family being then and in the reign of Elizabeth I
consistently pro-English. An example of their activity in this respect will be
found in the section on O'Lalor. However, they took the Irish side later on in
the seventeenth century: Edmund O'Dempsey, Bishop of Leighlin, Lewis O'Dempsey,
Viscount Clanmalier, and Barnabas O'Dempsey were prominent members of the
Confederation of Kilkenny and with Lysaght O'Dempsey, were exempted from pardon
by the Cromwellian victors in 1652: their loyalty to the Catholic King James II
resulted in the loss of their estates. In earlier times, too, 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
being killed in the battle. Dermot O'Dempsey (d. 1193), Chief of the Name,
founded the Cistercian Abbey at Monasterevan. St. 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 Dempseys, too, were notable among the
priests of the penal times, one of the John Dempsey, a relative of Viscount
Clanmalier, being Bishop of Kildare.
The Dunn and Dempsey Clans were from the northwest portion of County Laois, Ireland. Three members of this Dunn family married three members of the Dempsey family.
Michael Dempsey was born in Dublin, Ireland in September 1830. He arrived in Boston aboard the Mount Washington on July 1, 1849. It is not known if all of his four sisters arrived with him. See passenger list below.
Anna Dempsey and her sisters, (Mary, Bridget and Elizabeth) were from Rosenallis, County Laois.
Anna married William Dunn in Lowell, Mass. In 1858, Mary married Peter
Dunn, brother of William, in Decatur, Illinois.
"Four little girls from Ireland embarked with their widowed mother on a trip to Boston. Mother died in route so the 4 little girls were met by a Father John. He had a patent medicine going called 'Father Johns Cough Syrup'. he reared the girls and educated them in a convent. Their name was Dempsey."
1. Anna Dempsey
married William Dunn in Lowell, MA
Michael Dempsey married Mary Dunn, a sister of William and Peter Dunn. Michael was the brother of the four Dempsey sisters.
Note: "Father John's Medicine was originally compounded for the Reverend Father John O'Brien of Lowell, Massachusetts on June 9, 1855 at the old drug store of Carleton & Hovey. The old prescription book for that year is still carefully preserved in the Lowell Museum. Father John, as he was affectionately known, through the years recommended the medicine to his friends and parishioners. In going to the drug store to purchase it, they always asked for "Father John's Medicine", and this is the way the medicine got it's name and was so advertised. Father John's Medicine is a time tested family medicine of established value. It is a nutritive, wholesome medicine used for the relief of coughs due to colds via its soothing effect on the throat and recommended by millions over the past 130 years."
Michael Dempsey and Mary Dunn
Michael Dempsey married Mary Dunn in Lowell, MA on February 26, 1854. Mary Dunn was the sister of William and Peter Dunn. William Dunn married Michael's sister, Anna Dempsey and Peter Dunn married another sister, Mary Dempsey.
Decatur Daily Review: Wednesday: May 8, 1895
Mrs. Mary Dunn Dempsey, wife of Michael Dempsey, died at 8:30 o'clock
Tuesday evening at the family residence, 718 West William street. Mrs.
Dempsey would have been 66 years old in July. She was suffering from a
complication of diseases and yesterday morning a operation was performed in the
hope of saving her life, but she never rallied from the shock. Besides her
husband, she leaves six children, all residents of Decatur. They
are: J. H., P. J., T. F., Lucy I and Catherine Dempsey and Mrs. T. A.
Decatur Review: January 13, 1912 (NOTE the differences in the two obituaries below)
Michael Dempsey Dies Suddenly; Had been in poor health but not serious
Lands in Boston in 1842. Mr. Dempsey came to Decatur forty four years ago. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, September 19, 1828. He went to school there until he was fourteen years old and then came to America. His parents had died when he was a small child. He landed in Boston in 1842 and went to work at once to Pelham, Mass., where he worked as a farm laborer for four years. From there, he went to Lowell, Mass., and there learned the stone cutter's trade. In that city, he married Miss Mary Dunn in 1857. They lived for a few years in Lowell and then moved to a farm near Clinton, Ill.
Sergeant in 70th Illinois. He engaged in farming there until the outbreak of the Civil War when he enlisted in 1861 in company K of the Sixty-Eighth Illinois. Volunteer Infantry. He was later transferred to Company B, Seventieth Illinois and was commissioned First Sergeant.
After the war he continued to farm near Clinton until 1867 when the family moved to Decatur. Here he became engaged in the stone contracting business with John Strohm and this partnership continued for twenty years. He then took a position as railway mail clerk, a position he held for ten years. For the last fifteen years, he has led a retired life.
Mrs. Dempsey died here in 1895. Mr. Dempsey was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church and was held in high esteem by all who knew him. He is survived by five children. Mrs. Mary Russell, Miss Catherine Dempsey, principal of the Wood street school, and Miss Lucy I. Dempsey all of Decatur. J. F. Dempsey of Springfield and T. F. Dempsey of Decatur. He also leaves seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Funeral will be held at 3:30 Sunday afternoon at St. Patrick's Catholic church. The services will be conducted by Rev. Father Murphy. The interment will be in Calvary.
Decatur Herald: January 13, 1912
Michael Dempsey Dies in his Home "Civil War Veteran and Stone Contractor
Sixteen Years Was 84 Years Old"
Most of this obituary was taken from: Past and Present of Macon County, pages 690-691.
[Broderbund Family Archive #354, Ed. 1, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, Date of Import: Dec 29, 1999, Internal Ref. #1.354.1.21593.9]
Individual: Michael Dempsey Place: Boston Year: 1849
The Ship Mount Washington arrived in Boston on July 1, 1849,
Primary Individual: Dempsey, MichaelSource Code: 24
Source Name:"ABSTRACTS OF NATURALIZATION PAPERS." In De Witt County Genealogical Quarterly, vol. 5:1 (Spring 1979), pp. 1-15. Source Annotation:
Mostly declarations of intention, petitions for naturalization, final oaths, discovered in De Witt County Circuit Clerk's Office, Clinton, Illinois. Covers 1850s-1870s; gives dates of arrival in America. Lists British and other European immigrants.Source Page #: 4
Michael Dempsey born Sep 29, 1830 in Dublin. Batch/film 5012061
Mary Dempsey Russell. Daughter of Michael Dempsey and Mary Dunn.
Mrs. Mary Russell dies in Chicago. Mrs. Mary A. Russell, 76, formerly of Decatur died at 11:30 am Saturday in the home of her daughter, Mrs. C. J. Brislen in Chicago. She had been in failing health for some time, but her condition did not become critical until Thursday. Mrs. Russell, widow of Thomas A. Russell, was for many years a well known resident of Decatur. The family was then at the corner of Pine and William streets. Mr. Russell died here in 1891. Mrs. Russell moved to Chicago 10 years ago to be near her children, Mrs. Brislen. She leaves a son, William E. Russell in Wilmette, and a brother Thomas Dempsey, Decatur. She was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church here. The body will be brought to the Moran & Sons funeral home.
Peter J. Dempsey. Son of Michael Dempsey and Mary Dunn.
Past and Present of Macon County, page 644.
"Peter J. Dempsey was for many years a member of the police force of
Decatur and stood as a stalwart defender of the rights and liberties of the
people and the preservation of the dignity of the law. So loyal was he in
the discharge of all his duties that he won high commendation from all concerned
and well does he deserve mention in this volume. Illinois numbers him
among her native sons, for his birth occurred in Clinton on the 29th of may,
1858, his parents being Michael and Mary (Dunn) Dempsey. The father
was a native of Queens county, Ireland and the mother's birth occurred in
Dempsey Family in Calvary Cemetery: Decatur, IL
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