INDIVIDUAL BEARING THE KEMSLEY NAME
Records reveal that there
have been Kemsleys in the County of Kent since the 12th Century and the first
individual mentioned by name was"
Elfric de Kemsle"
whose right to hold land at Detling was acknowledge
by Richard Fitzgerald in 1198. This came from the records of Sir Colin Kemsley
in his Book "The Kemsleys of Kent and their Descendants".
Others mentioned by name from records are Isabella Kemsley of Bredhurst (probate
of will 1495) and John Kemsley of Boxley (probate of
will 1502). John Kemsley paid rent for his house to the Church Warden of Rainham
in 1517-19. Richard Kemsley of Canterbury was killed during the advance of Sir
William Wyatt's rebels upon London (in opposition to Queen Mary's proposed
marriage to the Catholic Phillip of Spain) in 1554.
The earliest family tree
starts with the recorded marriage of John Kemsley of Bredhurst, Kent, to
Isabella. (Kent Archives Probate Records, Canterbury).
He was born in ca.1445 and died in 1495. It records 8 generations from John
(d.1495), Robert (d. 1524), William (d. 1566), Robert (d. 1573), William
(1557-1603), William (1583-1646), William (b. 1609), to Bonham (1644-1669).
Here the continuity is
broken and although there are many Kemsleys mentioned in records, the traceable
direct line, father to son, of the writer's family, does not start again until
Thomas Kemsley, born in 1699, married Mary ca.1719. Thomas was the father of
Thomas jr. born in 1735, the third child of their six children.
It is the writers
contention that the family link between the first family line of Kemsleys and
the present family, though tenuous, can be reasonably assumed .The relative
small number of people living in the area at that time ( the
recorded domicile of both families in the 15th to the 18th Century) and, the
continuation of the family names of John, William, Robert Thomas etc
etc, in subsequent generations, would suggest a very
strong possibility of family ties. The uncertainty of line connection between
Bonham 1669 and Thomas 1699, and William (son of Thomas 1586) will probably
never be resolved as the records for that period are lost.