15 August 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 31 - Easy

Week 31 (July 30-August 5) – Easy: We ended July with “Challenging,” so it seems fitting to begin August with “Easy.” Which ancestor has been pretty easy to research? (Come on, there has to be one!)

Easy - such a subjective term. Dictionary.com gives 7 different definitions for the adjective "easy"I'm going to go with the 2nd definition on the list:
2.free from pain, discomfort, worry, or care
I've said for a long time now that it is much easier to do research for the Scottish side of my family when compared to the English side. Really expensive, yes, but easier? Definitely.

But who was the easiest Scottish ancestor to research? I'm going to pick my Great Grandfather Thomas Dempsey as I have probably the most records on him and he is someone I haven't yet written about.

Thomas lived and in a period of time that, thankfully for us, official records are plentiful

Thomas Dempsey was born on Oct. 9, 1863 in Hutchesontown Glasgow Scotland and died on Nov. 17, 1913 in Lochee Dundee Scotland. He married Mary Kennedy on Jul. 27, 1888 in Hutchesontown, Lanark, Scotland.

He was one of eight known children of Thomas Dempsey and Mary Howie

His family was living in Spring Lane Glasgow when he was born - which according to this Post Office annual directory from 1868, was off South Wellington Street - somewhere that was to become very familiar to Thomas:


We next meet Thomas with his family in the 1871 census - their surname in this census is incorrectly spelt "Dempsie", so that took a little creativity to find.

The family is listed here with 3 children - Mary aged 11, Thomas aged 5 - though he was likely 8 and William 18 months.
Sadly, at this stage, Thomas already had 3 siblings who had passed away:
William, born and died 1859
Margaret, born and died in 1866 and
Ann, born 1867 died 1868

Once he was old enough to work, Thomas became a Carter - a line of work followed by many in the Dempsey family. He remained in this occupation his whole life.

As you can see from this list below, he and his family moved a significant amount of times. For poor families, such as the Dempseys, this was common as they were always trying to find the cheapest rent and keep their heads above water, usually living from pay to pay with nothing saved in case of an emergency.

I found Thomas listed in the 1895 and 1905 Valuation Rolls. According to his children's birth records Thomas and his family had moved from 341 Govan Street to 68 Parliamentary Road and then to 27 South Wellington Street between the taking of the 1891 census and his son Thomas' birth in 1893 and were still living at 27 South Wellington Street when daughter Margaret was born in 1895. BUT, the Valuation Roll for 1895 list him back at 341 Govan Street Glasgow.

Here is a full list of events and details I have for him:

  • Fact 1 Born Oct 9 1863 6 Spring Lane Glasgow Scotland
  • Census 1871 107 Stockwell Street Glasgow Scotland - Surname spelt Dempsie
  • Occupation 1881 1 Portland Place Low Waters Hamilton Lanarkshire ScotlandCoal Carter - Servant - living with Agnew Family
  • Occupation Jul 27 1888 4 Shayler Street Glasgow ScotlandCarter - on marriage cert
    Marriage cert says 21, but he was actually nearly 25
  • Occupation Jan 20 1889 27 South Wellington Lane Glasgow Hutchesontown Lanark ScotlandCarter - on son William's birth cert
  • Occupation Dec 26 1890 341 Govan Street Glasgow ScotlandCarter - on daughter Mary's birth cert
  • Occupation 1891 341C Govan St Glasgow ScotlandCarter - Scotland's People
  • Occupation May 20 1892 68 Parliamentary Road Glasgow ScotlandCarter - on daughter Mary's death cert
  • Occupation May 22 1893 27 South Wellington Street Glasgow ScotlandCarter - on Son Thomas' birth cert
  • Property 1895 341 Govan Street Glasgow Scotland
    Occupier - "house" owned by Mrs Jane Barron
    Rent 6 pounds 6 shillings per year
  • Occupation Dec 12 1895 27 South Wellington Lane Glasgow ScotlandCarter - on daughter Margaret's birth cert
  • Occupation Dec 26 1895 27 South Wellington Lane Glasgow Scotland
    Carter - on daughter Margaret's death cert
  • Occupation Apr 13 1897 27 South Wellington Lane Glasgow ScotlandCarter - on daughter Mary Ellen's birth cert
  • Occupation Sep 22 1899 13 South Wellington Street Glasgow ScotlandCarter - on daughter Annie's birth cert
  • Occupation 1901 13 Wellington Lane Hutchesontown Glasgow ScotlandGen Carter
  • Occupation Dec 23 1903 130 Wellington Street Glasgow ScotlandCarter - on son James' birth cert
  • Property 1905 8 South Wellington Street Glasgow Scotland
  • Occupier - Tenement owned by Incorporation of Fleshers per J Neilson & Sons 213 Buchanan Street - Rent 5 pounds 14 per year.
  • Occupation 1911 8 Mause Lane Greenock Renfrew ScotlandCarter
  • Occupation Nov 17 1913 7 Atholl Street Lochee Dundee ScotlandCarter

Thomas Dempsey and Mary Kennedy had a total of 8 children:
William, Mary, Thomas, Margaret, Mary Ellen, Annie (my grandmother), James and a child I am yet to find (known about due to the 1911 census - 8 children born alive but only 5 still living. I have only found 2 of the 3 who had passed away and will be searching for the other child when I am in Scotland later this year)

Thomas passed away in 1913 at the age of 50 from asthma and cardiac failure

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