Born in 1871, Frances was the ninth child of Alfred Burnett Emptage and his wife Ann Phoebe Hopkins, though by then five of the children had died.
By 1882 both of Frances’ parents had died and her eldest brother, Alfred James emigrated to the United States of America, followed in 1884 by her sister Rose (who changed her name to Rosamond).
In 1887, Frances Alice, then aged 16, followed them to America. Rather than settle in New York with her siblings, she moved to California.
On 19 September 1890, the Oakland Tribune, San Francisco, published the following article:
MARRIED OR SINGLE
That’s what Dr. W. Kauzler is trying to find out.
A young man, well dressed, with rosy cheeks and laughing eyes, who answers to the name of Dr. W. Kauzler, called at the County Clerk’s office yesterday afternoon to ascertain whether a license had been issued in this county within the past two years authorizing his marriage with Alice Frances Emptage, a young lady of 20 years, who resides in this city.
The doctor stated that he finds himself in a very embarrassing position, Miss Emptage calls herself Mrs. W. Kauzler, and asserts that she is the wife of the Doctor, having been married to him about two years ago.
For more than a year she has pursued him, claiming his love and declaring herself as his bride, and in proof of her statement she produces a license authorizing her marriage with Dr. Kauzler.
The young man conducts a vapour bath establishment in San Francisco and says his place has been haunted by the lady who calls him husband.
So he wanted to ascertain whether he is a married or single man. To his own mind he is satisfied that he is a single man, having no recollection of marrying Miss Emptage, but he finds it very difficult to impress the fact upon the minds of his lady friends that he is not a married man in the face of the marriage license which is always shown to them by the lady.
The records were searched, and it was found that about two years ago, a license was issued for the marriage of W. De Kauzler aged 24, resident of Oakland, and Alice Francis Emptage, aged 18 years, also a resident of Oakland. The affidavit was signed and sworn to by W. Kauzler.
This revelation astounded the doctor, and he at once pronounced the signature a forgery. He could not account for the “de” in his name, but was satisfied that he is the man meant in the license, because Miss Emptage is the woman who claims him for a husband.
Pursuing the investigation, the doctor, accompanied by a lady, called on Recorder Church to ascertain whether the license had been recorded. He was informed that no such license had been placed on record.
The doctor tried to impress upon the lady that he is still a single man. She suggested however, that he might have been married and the license not recorded.
So the doctor is still in a quandary about the matter.”
Unfortunately the 1890 census for the USA was destroyed in a fire in Washington so we have no way of knowing by what name Frances was calling herself then.
However, by 1891 she seems to have accepted that she wasn’t married to Dr Kauzler and had settled for being married to Albert C Huntley, a carpenter. Leastways, that’s what the 1900 census indicates.
It states that she had been married to Albert, aged 29, for nine years although no marriage record has been found. The census understates Frances’ age by three years.
At that time Frances and Albert had three children, born between 1892 and 1897 but the marriage did not last and, in 1906, Frances married Arthur G. Pocock.
The censuses show that Frances was still understating her age, in 1910 by six years and in 1920 by seven years. By 1920 Frances had become a naturalized citizen.
Frances passed away on the 21 June 1929 in San Luis, Obisbo County, California age 57. Frances’ husband of 23 years, Arthur George Pocock outlived Frances by 25 years and dies in 1954 age 88.