Barbados is an eastern Caribbean island. It was there that John Emptage married Elizabeth Stafford in 1764 and thus began the Emptage family in Barbados. Over the years, the ‘p’ was often omitted from the spelling and the name became Emtage.
In 1571, Richard Emptage’s widow Joan married John Sackett, a yeoman from St Nicholas at Wade and moved there with her children. And so began the story of Richard and Joan’s descendants in the parish.
That the Emptages of the Isle of Sheppey were genetically linked to at least one branch of the Emptages of the Isle of Thanet has been proved by DNA tests.
Whilst the chances of finding a documented paper trail confirming the link are highly unlikely, the study of the baptism and marriage parish registers, coupled with the use or re-use of certain names, has identified the Emptages who probably migrated from Thanet to Sheppey, the place that they stopped at along the way and when the migration happened.
We can trace the origins of all the Emptages in the UK at the time of the census in 1841 back to three places in Kent: the Isle of Thanet, the Isle of Sheppey or Dover.
But between 1560 and 1840 there were many baptisms elsewhere, both in the wider Kent county and outside of Kent including the London/Surrey/Middlesex areas. What happened to those children and to their descendants?
In July 2013, in the article Too Many Henrys for Comfort, I attempted to address several puzzles, including the marriages of two Henrys in 1797. I was trying to work out which Henry married which woman. My conclusions were wrong and now I revisit that conundrum to explain the correct verdict and to set the records straight.
As part of our One-Name Study, we are keenly interested in establishing the connection between the Emptages of the Isle of Thanet, who were there at least from the 1400s and the Emptages who arrived in the Isle of Sheppey in the early 1700s.