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Irish Surname - Dempsey

Origin of the Irish Surname Dempsey

The Irish surname Dempsey originates from the Gaelic name Ó Díomasaigh, meaning "descendant of Díomasach." The name Díomasach itself is derived from "díomas," meaning proud or haughty. The Dempsey clan was originally a powerful sept in the ancient Kingdom of Leinster, specifically in the present-day County Laois and County Offaly regions. Over time, the surname has spread to other areas of Ireland and across the world, particularly in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Famous People with the Surname Dempsey

Jack Dempsey

He was of Irish descent and his parents, Hyrum Dempsey and Mary Celia (ne Smoot), both had Irish ancestry. He was nicknamed "The Manassa Mauler" due to his aggressive fighting style and his birthplace. Dempsey was a dominant force in the heavyweight division, holding the World Heavyweight Championship title from 1919 to 1926.

Dempsey's boxing career began when he was a teenager, as he traveled through the western United States and fought in bars and small venues. He gained national attention in 1918 when he defeated prominent boxer Fred Fulton. On July 4, 1919, Dempsey faced Jess Willard for the heavyweight title and won in a shocking upset, knocking Willard down seven times in the first round and ultimately winning by a technical knockout in the third round.

Dempsey was known for his exceptional punching power and ability to deliver knockouts, making him a feared and respected opponent in the ring. Some of his most famous bouts include his 1921 victory over Georges Carpentier, which was the first million-dollar gate in boxing history, and his 1923 fight against Luis Firpo, which was later dubbed the "Fight of the Century."

In 1926, Dempsey lost his title to Gene Tunney in a closely contested match. In their highly publicised rematch the following year, Dempsey lost again in the controversial "Long Count" fight, which was marked by a delayed count after Dempsey had knocked down Tunney. Despite the losses, Dempsey remained an iconic figure in the world of boxing. He retired from boxing in 1928 and went on to have a successful career as a boxing promoter, referee, and restaurateur. Jack Dempsey passed away on May 31, 1983, in New York City.

Variations of the Irish Surname Dempsey

Coat of Arms and Motto of the Irish Surname Dempsey

The coat of arms for the Dempsey family features a silver shield with three red lions passant guardant (walking with the right forepaw raised), signifying bravery, strength, and valor. The crest consists of a lion passant guardant, holding in the dexter paw a sword erect, signifying readiness for battle.

While there is no specific motto attributed to the Dempsey surname, many Irish families adopted mottos based on their clan's values and beliefs, which can be unique to individual branches of the family.

Please Note

There is often limited information available on a specific coat of arms and motto for an Irish surname. Sometimes there are many variations, sometimes none, we have compiled a representative, but by no means exhaustive, selection. Please visit our Coat of Arms and Motto page for more information.

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