The Dempsey Family

What About These Dempseys?

One Hugh Dempsey is involved in some land transactions in Jackson Township, Lancaster County, PA, in 1842.  He purchased some land from an Andrew Ryan and wife and turned around and transferred the same land to a Sarah Ryan almost immediately.  End of story.  If he is our Hugh, he was born March 10, 1774 and died June 11, 1860.  The early Dempsey trail is too difficult to follow at this time.

Hugh married Margaret, born January 18, 1764 and died December 19, 1838.  The dates were dutifully recorded in the family Bible. The couple had two children, a son John, and a daughter Catherine.  Catherine, born in November 1804, died at the age of 14 on November 18, 1818.

The surviving brother John is the young man who later married Catherine Loudermilch.  And we have already learned that of John and Catherine’s six children, only the one named after his grandfather, Hugh, survived and thrived.  He was the young man who married Eliza Ann Renchler/Rangler.

Hugh Dempsey

After their marriage October 31, 1873 by the Rev. Albert Ensminger, Hugh and Eliza Ann Dempsey lived on a farm until they moved to Upper Sandusky, Wyandot County, in 1879.  Hugh was for a number of years a member of the Upper Sandusky police force and owned the Hutter House hotel for a time.  The family eventually moved to Findlay, Hancock County, OH in 1889.

In 1880 census, Jackson twp., Wyandot Co., OH, we have:

Hughe Dempsey, 28, born PA;

Catherine Dempsy, 67, mother, born PA;

Eliza A., 27, wife, born OH;

Carrie C., 5, daughter, born OH:

John D., 3, son, born OH; and

Emma A., 1, daughter, born OH.

In 1900 census, at 700 North Carey, Findlay, Hancock Co., OH:

Hugh Dempsey, 48, now a widower, born MAR 1852, PA;

John, 23, son, born DEC 1876, OH;

Joseph, 19, son, born JUL 1880, OH; and

Laura, 18, daughter, born FEB 1872.

(Daughter Carrie is now Mrs. O'Harra and daughter Emma is Mrs. George


In the 1920 census, 234 Vine Street, Toledo, Lucas Co., OH:

Hugh Dempsey, now 70, born PA, living alone.

Nearby, we have at 617 Locust Ave., Toledo, Lucas Co., OH, we have Joe Dempsey, 42, born OH.

Obituary: printed in Morning Republican, Findlay, Ohio p. 5 (19 APR 1923 is either the date of death or the date of the obituary).

Services to be held at Toledo today for Hugh Dempsey

Former Resident of Findlay

Funeral services will be held this afternoon for Hugh Dempsey, a former resident of Findlay, who died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. W.F. O'Harra, 3123 Erie Street, Toledo, Tuesday.  Burial will be in the Forest Cemetery at Toledo.

Mr. Dempsey leaves three daughters and one son.  They are Mrs. O'Harra at whose home he died; Mrs. T.F. Richards, Toledo; Joseph Dempsey, Toledo, and Mrs. G. Siegfried of Wichita, Kansas.  Mr. Dempsey resided in Findlay about ten years ago.  Mrs. Bud Mackey of Howard Street received the word of his death.

We are most interested in Hugh Dempsey’s daughter Carrie Catherine – Mrs. W.F. O’Harra, above.

Carrie Catherine Dempsey O’Harra

Carrie Catherine was 22 years old when her mother Eliza Ann died.  She was already married to William Frederick O’Harra.  Carrie was later known as the family midwife, attending the births of many nieces and nephews, and possibly assisting neighbors and friends, as well.

Obituary:  Mrs. Carrie O'Harra Expires in Toledo

Mrs. Carrie C. O'Harra, who had resided here with a daughter, Mrs. Ethel L. Smith, of 300 and a half North Main Street, for many years, died in Toledo yesterday morning (February 6, 1952).  She was 77.

She was a daughter of Hugh and Eliza (Renshler) Dempsey.  Her husband, William F. O'Harra, died in 1941.

A son, Robert R., lives at 1519 Crystal Avenue.  Other children are Earl M., of Detroit; Fred D., of Toledo; Mrs. Alma Wagner of Massillon.  Also surviving are a brother, sister and six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Services will be held in Toledo and burial will be in Maple Grove cemetery, but the time has not been set.

(Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Pierstoff Funeral Home, Cherry Street, Toledo.  Burial will be here in Maple Grove cemetery where committal services will be held about 12:30 p.m.  The casket will be opened at the grave.)

The 1930 Federal Census for Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio, lists:

Carrie O'Harra, 55, head of household;

Robert R. O'Harra, 11, son;

Alma M. Bartell, 28, daughter, saleslady in dry goods store;

Earl J. M. O'Harra, 23, son, checker, steam railroad;

Jennie E. O'Harra, 23, daughter-in-law;

Frances d. O'Harra, 5, granddaughter;

William L. O'Harra, grandson.

Let us leave Wyandot and Lucas counties in northern Ohio for the moment and look southward for the roots of another branch of our family, the O’Harras.

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