In 2012, in Melbourne Australia, David Lindsey Emptage began researching his Emptage ancestors and began growing a tree on Ancestry.com.
At about the same time, Susan Morris in Cambridge, England, began researching her Emptage ancestors. She put a message on the Isle of Thanet Rootsweb list which was picked up by David. It turned out that he was Susan’s mother’s cousin though much nearer in age to Susan than her mother.
In April 2013, Susan went to Margate for the Dedication Service of the Victory Lugger Memorial Stone, where she met Pat and Tim.
Having already broached the subject of the possibility of an Emptage website with David, she proceeded to mention it to Pat and Tim. They were in favour and by May 2013 the first website was in place. Susan is the website editor and manager.
David Emptage continued his work growing the Emptage trees and included not just Thanet but the Emptages from the Isle of Sheppey and Grimsby as well. He had completed the trees by the time he very sadly died in September 2018 and the trees are now maintained by Pat, Mark, Tim and Susan.
The website and the trees were initially about descendants of Emptages from Thanet, hence the title of the website. However, as we extended our research we began to believe that all Emptages or Emtages, where ever they were born, are descended from the Emptages who originated from the small corner of Kent, England, known as the Isle of Thanet.
We now have a world wide One Name Study of the Emptages and Emtages. It is a team effort.
The Trees and the Research Team
Analysis of the censuses and parish registers show that in 1841 there were three branches of Emptages in England: two in the Isle of Thanet and one in the Isle of Sheppey with Sheppey descendants having started a sub branch in Grimsby.
By 1841, some descendants of the Thanet Emptages had emigrated to Ohio, USA and had begun a branch there. And there were also Emptages/Emtages in Barbados. A descendant of the Barbados tree started a branch in New Zealand.
So we have four main Emptage/Emtage trees, two from Thanet, one from Sheppey and Grimsby and one from Barbados and New Zealand. DNA testing has proved the genetic relationship between descendants of the four trees and we have team members descended from all four trees.
Humphrey and Catherine Pearce/Pierce of Thanet
Pat, Ray and Susan are descended from Humphrey Emptage and Catherine Pearce/Pierce, as was David Emptage. David’s widow Johanna has now joined the team.
Henry Emptage and Ann Peal of Thanet
Andrea, Andrew, Mark, Mary and Tim are descended from Henry Emptage and Ann Peal, as were Joan, who sadly died in 2017, and retired team member Tessa.
William Emptage and Ann Fisher of Sheppey
Roger and Evelyn are descended from William Emptage and Ann Fisher.
John Emptage and Elizabeth Stafford of Barbados
Andrew L Emtage, Michele Emptage and Jan Harrison are descended from John Emptage and Elizabeth Stafford.
Andrea is relatively new to family history research and blames Susan for having been bitten by the bug.
Andrew L Emtage is pleased to contribute to the team in any way he can and doesn’t mind if the research is tedious as long as he is pointed in the right direction.
Evelyn originally contributed her Sheppey research but has also drawn attention to other Emptage trees on Ancestry. After much scratching of her head and perplexed frowning, Susan has found these to be rather less than impressive, without attention to the detail and accuracy with which Emptages of Thanet prides itself.
Jan is descended from George Samuel Emtage who ran away from home, or rather, sailed away from his home in Barbados when he was just 12. He began the Emtage branch in New Zealand and so Jan has a keen interest in the Emtages in New Zealand and Australia.
Johanna is working her way through the Ancestry tree galleries, finding the newspaper reports which David had not yet forwarded to Susan for publishing on the News Cuttings section of the website.
Mark is our American member, descended from Emptages who emigrated from Thanet to Ohio in America in 1835. He researches all American Emptages. He is also our DNA Study co-ordinator.
Mary is our Wills Project expert and is working on identifying and establishing the links between the Early Emptages (1560 – 1700).
Michele is an expert on the Emptages and Emtages of Barbados and has been engaged in the hunt for the origins of that first John Emptage for many years.
Pat provided very able assistance to David as they sought to solve tree conundrums and now provides the same service to Susan. Pat has become our Margate cemetery expert, delving into cemetery records and unearthing several Emptages who would otherwise have stayed buried, figuratively speaking. She is also going to be tackling the massive conundrum which we know as the Early Emptages.
Ray has definitely inherited the Thanet Emptage mariner genes and, when not sailing himself, is engaged in researching all that he can about the lives of the mariner ancestors.
Roger originally contributed his Sheppey research and now understudies Mark on the DNA Project.
Susan replies to the many contacts which she receives through the website, builds databases, draws family trees and generally follows the research where ever it may lead.
Tim is our military expert and roving researcher, spending long hours delving into the records in the National Archives at Kew, the British Library in London and other research centres.
The team members have not only provided their own research and ideas for articles but also a good deal of encouragement. Without them, this website would just be a shadow of what it has become, a gathering together of our Emptage and Emtage heritage from Thanet and beyond.
|Andrea Currie||Read Andrea’s profile here|
|Andrew Emptage||Read Andrew’s profile here|
|Andrew L Emtage||Read Andrew’s profile here|
|Evelyn Skinner||Read Evelyn’s profile here|
|Jan Harrison||Read Jan’s profile here|
|Johanna Emptage||Read Johanna’s profile here|
|Mark Emptage||Read Mark’s profile here|
|Mary Clark||Read Mary’s profile here|
|Michele Martin-Taylor||Read Michele’s profile here||Pat Johnson||Read Pat’s profile here|
|Ray Emptage||Read Ray’s profile here|
|Roger Emptage||Read Roger’s profile here|
|Susan Morris||Read Susan’s profile here.|
|Tim Emptage||Read Tim’s profile here|
Past Team Members
David Lindsey Emptage 1944 – 2018
David is remembered with much love and affection by Pat, Susan and Tim and other members of Team Emptage even though none of us ever got to meet him. His humour is sadly missed.
Joan was one of the original team members, having replied to Susan’s inaugural message on the Isle of Thanet Rootsweb list. She is remembered with affection by Susan as it was Joan who, on learning that Susan’s grandmother Emily Sophia Wallis had been adopted in Canterbury, Kent, before the days of adoption records, worked her way through all the baptism records in Canterbury and found one for Sophia Emily Wallace Palmer. At the time of the baptism, Mary and Sophia were living at the same address where, three years later, Emily Sophia was living with her adoptive parents, James and Emma Wallis. From this, Susan was able to discover that Sophia had been born in Thanet Union Workhouse.
Read Joan’s profile here.
Tessa Towner has Emptage connections with both the Isle of Thanet and the Isle of Sheppey and contributed her research to the our work. She has retired from the team but you can read her profile here
Eileen Emptage of Grimsby deserves an honourable mention. Married into the Emptage family, Eileen and her husband spent twenty five years or so researching the Isle of Sheppey Emptages, from whom the Grimsby Emptages are descended. Two of our Sheppey team members, Evelyn and Roger, were fortunate to have had contact with Eileen before she sadly died in 2009, just a few years before this website came into being. Although Eileen added the Thanet Emptages into the family history pot she was unable to find that vital missing link between the two islands, so close geographically and yet so far in family history terms.
Susan believes she has established that a family of Emptages moved from Thanet to Sheppey by way of Sandwich. Unfortunately, those original Emptages do not seem to have been ancestors of William, who is considered the head of the Sheppey and Grimsby tree. William served in the Royal Navy and probably arrived on Sheppey at the naval base and chose to stay when he married Ann Fisher. Despite many hours of looking, we have yet to trace his origins. The search goes on.
Contributions Welcomed and Wanted
We would like to hear from anybody who is descended from the the Emptages or Emtages families, wherever they may be in the world, who have a story to tell about their ancestors, who would like to contribute their research or ideas for articles.
Please go to the contact page for our email addresses.