Ann Phoebe Hopkins was brought up in Canterbury, inland from the Kent coast. So the life she experienced in Margate after she married Alfred Burnett Emptage, a mariner and lifeboat man, was quite different from anything she had experienced previously or could even have imagined.
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.
Born into a family of generations of mariners, Albert John Emptage earnt his living by the sea, having begun to work with boats at the age of eight. Whilst he had a turbulent domestic life, his skill at sea was undisputed. Albert was a member of the Margate lifeboat service for 40 years, many of them as coxswain. It was not just his height which made him a ‘giant of a man’.
This is the story of three generations, two couples in each generation and five men named Henry Emptage.
Plus conjecture and unsolved conundrums.