Text and images are copyright. All rights reserved.
KEMP ancestry in Kent
Early origins of the Kent Kemps
Kemps appear to have been in Kent from the times of the early records. According to Max Kemp, a book published back in 1902, A General History of the Kemp & Kempe Families of Great Britain and her Colonies by Fred Hitchin-Kemp, Leadenhall Press Ltd London (now out of print) quotes a Radulphus de Campis (otherwise called Ralph Kempe) living at Wye, Canterbury, Kent, in 1283.
The earliest IGI entry for Kemp in Kent shows a Thomas, baptised 1533 in Sturry (near Canterbury) in Kent. In 1547, another Thomas, this time with his surname written as Kempe with an e, was baptised in Wye (near Canterbury), Kent. So the name seems to have been an early favourite for Kemp males. The earliest John was baptised on 21 June 1538 at Stoumouth (Canterbury), Kent.
A blanket search of the IGI for 'Kemp' in Kent (ie between about 1533 and about 1900) runs to hundreds of entries. The further one researches back, the mirkier and less certain the conclusions become. The fact that John and Thomas were such common Kemp names has made it particularly difficult to tease out from later generations which ones were which. This analysis therefore works backwards in time from the certain to the speculative: from Neil's confirmed third great grandfather, John Kemp (1748 - 1811) who has his own page; through his father, Thomas Kemp (about 1708 - 1772) who also has his own page; and then to candidates for the ancestry of this Thomas, see below: possibly John Kemp (about 1673 - ?), or maybe William Kemp (1685 - ?) or just as likely someone else so far unresearched on whom it is impossible to speculate meaningfully.
The IGI shows that the parents of Thomas Kemp, baptised 1710, Chilham, Canterbury were John Kemp and Elizabeth. There is no convincing marriage record for this John and Elizabeth, although an Elizabeth Mutton married a John Kemp on 23 Feb 1701 at Saint Alphege, Canterbury, Kent.
The children of the John and Elizabeth who were Thomas's parents, as given in the IGI were:
- Elizabeth Kemp baptised 10 June 1702 Chilham, Kent (presumably died young as a sister was given the same name)
- Susanna Kemp baptised 26 Feb 1704 Chilham, Kent
- John Kemp baptised 18 Sep 1707 Chilham, Kent
- Thomas Kemp baptised 26 Mar 1710 Chilham, Kent
- Elizabeth Kemp baptised 10 Aug 1712 Chilham, Kent
- George Kemp baptised 12 Jun 1715 Chilham, Kent
- Isaak Kemp baptised 20 Mar 1719 Chilham, Kent
- Ike Kemp baptised 20 Mar 1720 Chilham, Kent
Thomas, baptised 14 26 Mar 1710, could be Neil's line.
The Kemp pages on this website are dedicated to Joan Dolman, herself a Kemp descendant, whose trawls of West Wickham and Eynsford parish records enabled me to establish the Barrington / Kemp connection. Online sources were not available when Joan did her research, which made her work harder but did have the advantages of showing the clerical annotations which enabled more sense to be made of the records.
On the basis of the 25 year rule (that men on average have their first child at the age of 25), the John of John and Elizabeth could have been the one baptised 6 July 1673 at Sheldwich, Kent to another John Kemp and his wife, Susanna, born Susanna Gates who married on 23 February 1668 Sheldwich, Kent. The IGI shows that this couple, who could have been Neil's earliest likely Kemp ancestors, went on to have a large family:
- Isaac Kemp baptised 5 Dec 1669 Sheldwich, Kent
- Elizabeth Kemp baptised 2 APR 1671 Sheldwich, Kent
- Ann Kemp baptised 16 Jun 1672 Sheldwich, Kent (presumably died young as a sister was given the same name)
- John Kemp baptised 6 Jul 1673 Sheldwich, Kent
- Susanna Kemp baptised 7 Feb 1674 Sheldwich, Kent
- Jesse Kemp baptised 15 Oct 1675 Great Chart, Kent
- Thomas Kemp baptised 6 Aug 1676 Sheldwich, Kent
- George Kemp baptised 3 Feb 1677 Sheldwich, Kent
- Mary Kemp baptised 23 Nov 1679 Sheldwich, Kent (presumably died young as a sister was baptised given the same name)
- William Kemp baptised 7 AUG 1681 Sheldwich, Kent
- Ann Kemp baptised 29 July 1683 Sheldwich, Kent
Another candidate for Neil's earliest known Kemp ancestor could be William Kemp who must have been born about 1685 somewhere round Canterbury in Kent. The IGI shows too many William Kemps born there around that time to know for certain which of them is 'our' William.
This William Kemp married Susanna Shooller on 4 Nov 1714 Bekesbourne, Kent, part of Canterbury. She was baptised there as Susanna Shoveler on 28 Feb 1685 to Daniel Shoveler and Elizabeth. The IGI shows that the couple had the following children:
- Mary Kemp baptised 18 Jan 1716 Bekesbourne, Kent, to William Kemp and Susan
- Edward Kemp baptised 03 Jul 1717 Bekesbourne, Kent, to William Kemp and Susan
- Thomas Kemp baptised 14 Jan 1719 Saint Paul, Canterbury, Kent, to William Kemp and Susanna
- Susanna Kemp baptised 28 Sep 1720 Saint Paul, Canterbury, Kent, to William Kemp and Susanna
- Frances Kemp baptised 25 Mar 1722 Saint Paul, Canterbury, Kent, to William Kemp and Susanna
- William Kemp baptised 16 Nov 1723 Saint Paul, Canterbury, Kent, to William Kemp and Susanna
Thomas, baptised 14 Jan 1719, could be Neil's line.