I grew up in a farming community in north-central Ohio less than a half mile from where my 2x great grandfather Thomas Emptage homesteaded in the early 1840s. This was just as the last of the native Americans in Ohio were being forced to move to western territories. He and his brother Elijah left Thanet with their young families in 1835 and came to Mansfield, Ohio. Elijah remained there while Thomas decided to move another 50 miles further west. Their stories can be found here and here.
I no longer remember why, but during the summer after my high school graduation I became enamored with the question of where I came from. That summer I visited older relatives and local cemeteries to find information on the family history. One of my early visits was to a gathering of several of my great-aunts, one of which had known my 2x great grandfather Thomas Emptage. My great-Aunt May was 94 years old at the time and had a very good memory. As has been experienced by others, this was so early in my family research that I didn’t know what to ask, did not take any notes, and quickly forgot the many things I was being told. Fortunately, many of those details were not completely lost as my father’s first cousin, Dorothy Lipp Steele, who began researching the Emptage family history in the 1940s, has produced a large archive of Emptage historical records over the years. In the past 49 years I have worked on and off on my family history as time permitted and as interesting items came to the surface.
In 1994 I became intrigued with the possibility that all the US Emptages came from a few Emptage immigrants that originated from Thanet. I sent out letters to many of the Emptage addresses that I could find in the early years of internet searching. Out of the 20 letters I sent I received 6 replies, only one of which knew their family history back to England. Unfortunately, the time constraints of increasing work duties led me to drop the effort. However, one of those 1994 letters was forwarded to Susan Morris in the spring of 2017 and she contacted me about revisiting my past interest in Emptage origins by joining Team Emptage. How could I refuse her?
I was able to visit the Isle of Thanet twice, in 1991 and 2006. I was particularly enchanted by the Emptages buried in the 1600s in the church floor at St. Nicholas-at-Wade. While I did not know at the time, I wanted to believe that some of them were my direct ancestors from so long ago.
I have been a research biochemist for the DuPont Company in Wilmington, Delaware, for 33 years and retired in 2016.
My interests are family history research (of course), travel, science, hiking and golf.
Henry Emptage 1737-1817 and Anne Peal 1736-1812
Elijah Emptage 1769-1852 and Martha Hatcher 1770-1835
Thomas Emptage 1802-1879 and Ann Homersham 1808-1894
James Amos Emptage 1838-1913 and Caroline Fehl 1846-1926
Henry Lance Emptage 1876-1954 and Olive Leah Haynes 1877-1948
Richard Henry Emptage 1913-1997 and Ellen Esther Parish b 1920