Hampson (surname)

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Hampson (Hempson, O'Hampson, O'hAmhsaigh, O'Hampsey) is an Irish surname. The small clan of O’hAmhsaigh (O’Hampsey) had become O'Hamson by 1659, when it is recorded in the census of 1659 as one of the principal Irish surnames in the barony of Keenaght, and as O'Hampson and Hampson it is found in the contemporary Hearth Money Rolls for County Londonderry.

After 1700, the name is seldom seen except as Hanson or Hampson, though the Irish musician Denis O’Hampson, 1695–1793, County Londonderry, is known to have used O'Hampsey/Hempson as alternative forms.

Wills and other records indicate that for the past two centuries members of the clan were to be found to some extent in other Ulster counties as well as County Londonderry. A Charles Hampson was among the purchasers of forfeited estates in County Cavan in 1700 and a Captain Hampson is also listed in the same connection. There is a pedigree of Hampson of County Cavan in the Genealogical Office which indicates that this family was of Irish origin. Although most members of this clan seem to have emigrated to Scotland, Northern England and America between 1240 and 1700 there are still some hAmpson / O'hAmhsaigh members to be found on the electoral rolls in their heart land of County Londonderry, as well as in County Dublin and the County Wicklow area.

English origins of the Hampson family name[edit]

The above Irish derivation is controversial, in that traditional genealogical information has it that the Yorkshire Hampson surname predates the Irish derivation. To wit:

"The English surname HAMPSON is of patronymic origin, and simple means 'Son of Hamon' [or Haman], with the letter "p" being intrusive as in the case of Thompson. Records from the 14th and 15th Centuries show that Hamon was a popular choice as a forename. Its diminutives - Hamelot, Hamonet and Hameline surviving into the 18th Century as a Baptismal name, Hamon having lapsed by then into oblivion.

"Records from 1379 in Yorkshire include the reference to one Robertus Hameson and in 1354 the Register of the Freeman of the City of York record Robert Hamsane. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Returns refer to a Henry Hampson in 1540."

With this evidence, the Yorkshire origin Hampson surname likely predates the Londonderry origin, although the name is much more prevalent in Lancashire than Yorkshire.

Notable Hampsons[edit]