As an Emptage who can trace his lineage back to Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey but not to the Isle of Thanet, I am extremely grateful to Team Emptage for their decision to extend membership to those who may be unable to trace their roots back to Thanet by conventional means.
As a boy I had no idea where my name originated and I cared little. However, the nickname with which I was saddled throughout my school days was ‘Emptyhead’. That I had such an unusual surname and one that lent itself to such mild ridicule purely on its spelling was, some might say, unfortunate but inevitable. Assuming it is correct that Emptage comes from the Anglo-Saxon ‘aemitig’ meaning ‘empty’ the person who landed me with the nickname was partially correct.
I had nothing on which to base an opinion as to the origin of my surname; nor was there a wealth of family records at my disposal to start a family tree. Paucity of sources was down to circumstances. I was born in Tamworth, Staffordshire well away from the Thanet area where I now have good reason to believe the name originated.
Neither my father nor his father had siblings and my father, Stanley William Charles Emptage, had lost contact with his father, James William Emptage, in the 1930s and, believing him to be deceased, declared him as such in 1943 on his marriage certificate. In reality, his father did not die until 1953 as enquiries in the 1980s proved. Their story can be found here.
In 1937 my great grandmother died in hospital in Peckham. Her rented property was cleared out and valuable and irreplaceable family records including photographs were lost. Sadly it means that I’ve never seen a photograph of my grandfather James, but luckily photographs of my grandmother did emerge after the death of a cousin a few years ago.
Team Emptage is keen to establish the connection between the Isle of Thanet and the Isle of Sheppey Emptages but so far it has eluded them. I hope to identify a seventeenth century familial relationship between the two groups by DNA testing through Family Tree DNA and am DNA Project Coordinator with Emptages of Thanet. My own DNA results confirm I am descended from Jutes and this fits in well with the history of Thanet.
William Emptage 1720-1762 and Ann Bassett c1719-1760
John Emptage 1748-1832 and Mary Holmden 1754-1832
Stephen Emptage 1793-1885 and Phoebe (unknown) 1789-1841
John Emptage 1814-1884 and Mary Ann Bailey c1816-1849
Stephen Williams Emptage 1843-1919 and Harriett Cane 1859-1937
James William Emptage 1883-1953 and Margaret Elizabeth Irwin 1881-1926
Stanley William Charles Emptage 1917-2013 and Marjorie Florence Southam 1914-2006