The spelling of the surname indicates that the Emtages of New Zealand had their origins in Barbados where several of the branches of the Emptage family dropped the ‘p’ from their name. But who was the first Emtage to arrive in New Zealand and set up home? And when did he do so?
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?
When John Emptage succumbed to temptation and stole a tea chest he may have anticipated what would befall him if he was caught but he can have had no idea that he would become embroiled in The War of the Austrian succession.
John Emptage of Watling Street in the City of London, Joyner and Cabinetmaker, first came to my attention in the City of London Sessions Papers dated 10 October 1737, which provided a fantastic insight into a family that could not only be traced in London and Kent, but also the West Indies and India.