Recorded History

FIRST RECORDED 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.

 


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