This is the story of three generations, two couples in each generation and five men named Henry Emptage.
1. Humphrey and Catherine Pearce were married in 1753 at Minster in Thanet.
There was a Humphrey baptised in 1733, in Minster in Thanet. He was aged about 8 years old and, unfortunately, no parents were noted. He would have been about 28 when he married Catherine Pearce.
Humphrey and Catherine had a son named Henry, baptised in 1754, at St John’s church, Margate. He would have been 33 in 1787.
2. Henry and Anne Peel were married in 1763 in St Nicholas at Wade.
Henry was baptised in St Nicholas at Wade on 5th June 1737, the son of John Emptage, no mother’s name given. Assuming he was born in 1737, he would have been 26 when he married Anne Peal.
Henry and Anne had a son named Henry, baptised in 1763, at St John’s church, Margate. He would have been 24 in 1787.
Question: Were Humphrey and Henry brothers or cousins?
Answer: From their baptismal register entries, there is no conclusive proof either way.
They are of the same generation but, so far, appear to be of different branches of the family.
1. On 14 January 1787, at St John’s church in Margate, Henry Emptage married Anne Kemp.
From the baptismal registers it is reasonable to deduce that they had four children: John (1787), Edward (1791), William (1793) and Elizabeth (1795).
There appears to be no mention of a son named Henry, though there are gaps in the years when there might have been more children. See Generation Three
2. On 9 July 1787, at St John’s church in Margate, Henry Emptage married Susannah le Brush.
From the baptismal registers, it seems they had twelve children between 1787 and 1807:
James, Sarah, Henry (1791), Hannah, Edward, Humphrey (1796), Elizabeth, James, Edward Robert, William (1803), William (1805) and Frances Ann.
Question: Who were the two Henrys who married in 1787?
Answer: There appear no other candidates and I must consider that one is the son of Humphrey and Catherine and the other is the son of Henry and Anne Peal.
Question: Which Henry married which woman?
Answer: No age is given on the marriage registers for either of the Henrys and there is no clue in the names of the marriage witnesses as to which Henry married which woman.
However, by looking at the ages of both men and both women, we can begin to surmise.
Henry, son of Humphrey and Catherine, was born in 1754, thus making him 33 in 1787.
Henry, the son of Henry and Ann Peal, was born in 1763, thus making him 24 in 1787.
Ann Kemp was probably baptised in 1751, thus making her 36 in 1787.
Susannah le Brush was born c1765, making her 22 in 1787.
Therefore, purely from their ages, I think it was highly likely that:
Henry (33) son of Humphrey and Catherine married Ann Kemp (36) and
Henry (24) son of Henry and Ann married Susannah le Brush (22).
It is not practising safe genealogy but I think it is a reasonable conjecture.
1. On 11 February 1811, at St John’s Church in Margate, Henry Emptage married Mary Watkins.
Note: the spelling was given as Hemptage.
From the baptismal registers, the names of children (surname Emptage) with Henry and Mary as the parents were:
1811 Henry John
1814 Edward Parker
1819 Mary Ann (died 1819)
1820 John Kemp
1822 Mary Ann (died 1826)
1824 Joseph Isaiah (died 1824)
1827 Charles Henrick (died 1832)
1832 Charles Alfred
There was an outbreak of cholera in Kent in 1834 and it seems that, at the end of July 1834, it led to the death of the parents and three of the children:
Louisa was buried on 1 August 1834, aged 5
Edward was buried on 2 August 1834, aged 21
Charles was buried on 4 August 1834, aged 2
Henry was buried on 4 August 1834, aged 45
Mary was buried on 6 August 1834, aged 45.
If Henry Emptage was 45 when he died in 1834, he was born c1789.
With the earlier deaths in infancy, only two of the ten children survived into adulthood. It seems Henry John became a tailor, marrying in Middlesex in 1864 as a widower and John Kemp Emptage married in Margate and had children.
With Kemp as a middle name, was there a link to the Henry who married Ann Kemp in 1787?
Was John Kemp Emptage’s father Henry actually the son of Henry and Ann Kemp, even though there is no Henry listed on the baptismal register as their son?
Or was there some other link with the Kemp family?
2. On 13 October 1816, at St John’s Church in Margate, Henry Emptage married Mary Ann Bristow.
Note: Humphrey Emptage was a witness. Was Humphrey a brother or a cousin of Henry?
From the baptismal registers, the children with Henry and Mary Ann as the parents were William Watkins and Emma Jane.
William was baptised on 11 January 1818 and Emma Jane on 3 May 1818.
1. Was Mary Ann already pregnant with Emma Jane when William was baptised?
2. With the second name of Watkins, was there a mistake in the baptismal record and was William actually the son of Henry and Mary Watkins?
1841 census, in the parish of St John‘s: Henry aged 50, Mary Ann aged 52, Emma Jane aged 22.
We know that, in the 1841 census, anyone aged over 15 was meant to have their age rounded down to the nearest 5 but we also know that many enumerators were lax in this. Given the other ages on that page of the census, it seems quite likely that those were their actual ages (as they knew them).
However, we must allow the possibility that Henry was aged anywhere between 50 and 54, thus giving a birth year of 1787 – 1791.
There is a death for Henry Emptage in 1845, buried in St John’s, Margate. He was aged 54. Therefore, he would have been born c1791.
The Henry who married Mary Watkins in 1811, and who tragically died with his wife and children in 1834, was born c1791.
The Henry who married Mary Ann Bristow in 1816, and who died in 1845, was born c1790.
However, I can find only one baptismal record for a Henry Emptage between 1780 and 1800.
Consequently, there is no way of knowing which Henry was the son of Henry and Susanna and therefore who their grandchildren were.
Simply because Humphrey Emptage was a witness at the marriage of Henry and Mary Ann Bristow, I am inclined to think that it was Humphrey witnessing his brother’s wedding but of course, that is conjecture. Humphrey could have been witnessing a cousin’s wedding.
And, with only one baptism record, there is no way of knowing who the parents were of the other Henry.
There is a Henry, son of Henry and Susanna on the family tree, but I don’t know which wife and children to give him.
I’m normally quite good at solving family history conundrums but these have beaten me.
If there is any one out there with any information which can throw light on any of this, I would really, really, really like to hear from you.
8 July 2013