Strictly speaking, practically all irish surnames are of patronymic origin, that is to say, formed from the names or other designations ancestors by prefixing the particular name with "Mac" or "O", and in that respect the differ most from English surnames in which the descriptive and local elements predominate. The only difference between a surname commencing with "Mac" and on commencing with "O" is that the former was taken from the name of the father and the latter from that of the grandfather of the first person who bore the surname. With regard to the Irish surname Hampsey, this name is classified as an "O" surname being an anglicized form of the ancient Gaelic surname O hAmhsaigh.

The surname O hAmhsaigh (pronounced O' Hawsey) is derived from the personal name Amhsach "messenger or emissary". The surname is mainly confined to its original homeland of County Derry. There the name was initially anglicized as O'Hampsy and O'Hamson in 1659 in the barony of Keenaght. In the Hearth Money Rolls for Derry, the name occurs as O'Hampson and O'Hanson. In the 18th century, it was found as Hanson, Hampson and Hempson. References to this surname or to a variant include a record of one Charles Hampson who was among the purchasers of estates in County Cavan in 1700. John Hampsey, of Gortrighy (Rasharkin) sailed on the Stadacona in 1869 bout for St. John while Mary Hampsey sailed on the Huron bound for Philadelphia in the same year. Notable bearers of this surname include the Irish musician Denis O'Hampsey (also called Denis Hempson) who was born in Derry in 1695 and who died in

Another Coat of arms is shown below showing the Hampsey family motto. "Nunc aut nunquam" which translates to "Now or Never".

Here are some old pictures of Hampseys. If you have any old pictures then contact us and we will put them up on the site.


Some Hampseys and other children at "The Red School" in West Street, Stewartstown. These pupils are the class of 1933-34.

This is Hugh Hampsey (born 1887) with the Stewartstown Flute Band.