In England, the name first appeared in Kent where the family was seated from very ancient times, possibly well before the Norman Conquest in 1066.
The first thing that we know about Isaac Kemp is that he was working as a labourer in the parish of Ticehurst, Sussex, in 1817, aged 21. The identity of his parents is unknown, although it appears that he had a brother called William.
At midnight on 12 December 1817, brothers Isaac and William Kemp, along with John Campany, burgled a house in Ticehurst (Sussex) belonging to James Golday with force of arms. The three were caught and tried at the Lent assizes in Sussex on 16 March 1818. Isaac and John Campany were found guilty but they were reprieved from the death sentence and committed to transportation for life. William Kemp was acquitted and discharged.
Three months later, Isaac had the misfortune to sail from England aboard the General Stewart under captain Robert Granger. John Campany was also aboard, as were several other convicts who had been convicted at the Sussex Assizes on the same day as Isaac and John. Also aboard was another of my ancestors: Thomas Casey.
Robert Granger was an incompetent and cruel captain. The voyage of the General Stewart was a nightmare for all on board, particularly the convicts. Many convicts died and many more were hospitalised in Sydney after the ship arrived on New Year's Eve after five and a half months of misery.
On disembarkation, Isaac was described as 5 feet five and a half inches tall with a dark ruddy complexion, dark brown hair and hazel eyes. He was 22 years old.
It appears that Isaac was assigned to work as a convict labourer for the Blackman family who had extensive landholdings in the Bathurst to Rylstone area.
Our Kemp ancestors include:
Our Kemp Clan descends from Laurence Kemp (1681 - 1756)