Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all O'Hampseys in:
 • Saint Aidan's Church of Magilligan
 • Limavady
 • County Londonderry
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Denis O'Hampsey
Birth: c. 1695
Death: Nov., 1807

Harpist, Folk Figure. An important figure in the preservation of Ireland's musical heritage. Born in Craigmore, County Derry, his name in Gaelic was Donnchadh O' Hamsaigh and variously recorded as Hampson or Hempson. Blinded by smallpox at age three, he was raised on his family's farm in Magilligan and began studying the harp at 12. Under the patronage of Frederick Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry, he toured Ireland and Scotland and performed for Prince Charles Stuart in 1745. O'Hampsey's appearance at the 1792 Belfast Harp Festival was recognized as an historic occasion. Reportedly in his nineties, he was the last of the old school Irish harpists, utilizing the traditional fingernail technique and playing mostly old Gaelic and Scottish folk pieces that had been neglected for decades. With great foresight the Festival organizers hired musicologist Edward Bunting and others to notate some 50 works in his repertory; many would have been lost had it not been for O'Hampsey's devotion to the past. They include "Scott's Lamentation", "Feach an gleas", and the famous "Londonderry Air", better known in its adaptation as the song "Danny Boy". At his death O'Hampsey was anywhere between 107 and 112 years old. His bogwood harp, the only one he ever played, is on display at the Guinness Museum in Dublin. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
Saint Aidan's Church of Magilligan
County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Plot: Churchyard
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Jul 23, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20594194
Denis O'Hampsey
Added by: Bobb Edwards
Denis O'Hampsey
Added by: Anonymous
Denis O'Hampsey
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Margaret Feeney
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Remembering you today, Denis...
- Mary
 Added: Oct. 27, 2013

- Milou
 Added: Mar. 28, 2013
In my thoughts and prayers,Colleen Hempsey Seeley
- colleen hempsey seeley
 Added: Nov. 19, 2012
There are 14 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.2 after 12 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service