21 June 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 26 - Halfway

Week 26 (June 25-July 1) – Halfway: This week marks the halfway point in the year — and the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge! What ancestor do you have that you feel like you’ve only researched halfway? What ancestor do you feel like takes up half of your research efforts?

This week I had a bit of trouble coming up with something creative, so I thought I would keep going on the story I got halfway through the other week, the story of 2 brothers who each married three times. The first time I wrote about William Dempsey, this week I'm following up with his brother Thomas.

Thomas Dempsey was born on May 22nd, 1893 in Hutchesontown, Glasgow Scotland, the 3rd child and 2nd son of Thomas Dempsey and Mary Kennedy


According to census, and various birth, marriage and death records for him and his children, for his whole working life, Thomas was a Contractor's Carter or Carter - driving goods from one place to another. According to one post I read, the modern equivalent would be a "white van man".


I haven't been able to find Thomas in the 1911 census when he would have been 17 or 18, so the first time we meet him as an adult is when he marries Agnes McVicar McPhail on Dec 31, 1913 at St Johns Catholic Church in Portugal Street Glasgow.




Agnes, the daughter of Daniel McPhail and Margaret McKay, was an Iron Bolt Screwer.

Thomas and Agnes had at least 3 children:

  1. Thomas Dempsey, born in May 1914 - he married Mary Wallace. They had a son, also called Thomas (Thomas Andrew Dempsey)
  2. Margaret McKay Dempsey, born in January 1916 - she married Alexander Mathieson. Known to us as Maggie Mathieson, she had 3 children: Margaret, Alexander and Mary - Margaret and her family (the McCartneys) moved to Victoria, Australia. Mary moved to the US and had a family there (the Gyors)
  3. Daniel McPhail Dempsey born in January 1920 - unfortunately Daniel passed away in March 1941 in an accident aged just 21. The information I saw when I visited Scotland in 2010 said his death was "probably injury from High Explosive Bomb". He was a rivet heater and likely involved in the "war effort"

Sadly Agnes died giving birth to Daniel.



In September 1914 Thomas enlisted for a 3 year short service period as a military driver - however, the hard life of carting meant he had a very large hernia - within a few weeks of his enlistment he was discharged as being "unlikely to ever become an efficient soldier" due to this medical condition.




Even though he was discharged in 1914, he is listed as a Carter (Driver Royal Engineers) on daughter Margaret's birth information in 1916


Thomas' 2nd marriage was to Catherine McIntosh on Dec 31, 1921 also at St John's church on Portugal Street Glasgow.





One of the witnesses to this marriage, Annie McIntosh, was Catherine's younger sister - she went on to marry Thomas' brother William in 1924.

Thomas and Catherine had one son, Alexander McIntosh Dempsey who died of measles as a one year old.


Catherine died in 1932 of Lobar Pneumonia.


Thomas then went on to marry Agnes Paton (who was the widow of a man called Robert Bernard) in 1934 at St Francis Catholic Church in Glasgow




Thomas died in 1952. He collapsed at work and was taken to the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow. He fell off a hospital trolley and fractured his skull which led to his death.












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