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The Kemp Family

This section is dedicated to the memory of my late uncle
Donald Gregor Kemp

The Kemp family that I descend from were mostly from the Black Isle, Scotland area. The Black Isle is located in eastern Ross-Shire, across the Moray Firth from Inverness. It was apparently named "The Black Isle" due to the dark, rich farming soil which covered most of its surface. During the Jacobite Rising of 1746, the Isle was a hot bed of Jacobite activity and after the doomed battle at Culloden became a safe haven for those Highlanders that had managed to escape the battlefield.

My Kemp ancestors were born, lived and died in places there such as Easter Brae, Brae Findon, Springfield Farm, Cullicudden, Culbokie, Kempsland, Conon Bridge, Poyntzfield and Rosemarkie. My 2nd earliest known Kemp ancestor was born in Culbokie, Black Isle in about 1768. Later generations (that of my grandfather's) immigrated to places such as England, New York and Detroit, USA and to Ontario, Canada. There are currently no blood relatives in the Black Isle area that retain the Kemp surname that I am aware of.

The Kemp surname is thought to be of Norwegian origin, "Kempa" meaning "warrior" or "fighter" in the Norse tongue. It appears that a branch of Norwegian settlers, with the name "Kemp", first settled in Scotland in the Orkneys but later moved to safer ground on the mainland and further South as the Vikings began their forays and invasions into the area. To this day, my line of Kemps still bear the early ageing trademark of their Norwegian ancestors...great white hair.

To my knowledge, since the Kemps are not of Celtic/Scottish origin, there exists no official Kemp "Coat of Arms" (although there are fakes out there) nor an official tartan representing the family name or its House. The Kemp surname is also not, according to my research, associated as being a sept of any of the Scottish Clans.

Below I have listed my direct descendants starting with my 5th great grandfather, including the grandmothers and names of their respective children.

Legend: b. = born; d. = died; m. = married; abt = about; bef = before.

Generation One

1. Kenneth Kemp: b. abt 1740, Scotland.

Married: Sept. 26, 1766, Urquhart & Logie Wester, Black Isle, Scotland to Christian "Jean" MacKenzie: b. Mar. 20, 1747/48, Urquhart & Logie Wester, Black Isle, Scotland; d. 1887, Culbokie, Scotland.

Children: Catherine, Grigor/Gregor (below), Helen, Thomas, Janet, unnamed child and John.

Generation Two

2. Grigor/Gregor Kemp: Shoemaker; b. abt 1768 in Balnafetach, Urquhart & Logie Wester, Black Isle, Scotland; d. bef 1851, Culbokie, Black Isle, Scotland.

Married 1st: in 1790, Kiltearn, Scotland to Helen "Nellie" Matheson: b. abt 1770; d. abt 1825 in Culbokie (?), Scotland.

Children: Kenneth (below), James, Gregory, Ann (likely died young), Elizabeth, Flora, Donald, Helen, Ann, Roderick (likely died young), Barbara (likely died young), Barbara.

Married 2nd:  Dec. 25, 1828, Urquhart & Logie Wester to Janet Fraser: b. abt 1786, Urquhart & Logie Wester; d. bet. 1861-1871.

Child: Roderick.

Generation Three

3. Kenneth Kemp: Boot & Shoemaker; b. July 28, 1790, Tain, Scotland; d. Jan. 5, 1869, Culbokie, Black Isle, Scotland.

Married: abt 1821, Urquhart & Logie Wester, Black Isle, Scotland to Mary Fowler: (James & Mary Jack) b. May 21, 1792, Urquhart, Black Isle, Scotland; d. Jan. 1, 1887, Culbokie, Scotland.

Note: Mary was recorded as being 98 years of age at death.

Children: Gregory, James (below), Kenneth, Andrew, Helen and Mary.

Generation Four

4. James Kemp: Carpenter Master; b.1824, Culbokie, Black Isle, Scotland. d. 1886, Culbokie, Scotland.

Married: in 1856 in Culbokie, Scotland to Catherine MacLean: (John & Christian MacKenzie) b. abt 1835, Urquhart, Scotland; d. 1908, Culbokie, Scotland.

Children: Kenneth (below), Christian Helen, Mary, James, John, Catherine, Gregory, Margaret and Andrew Thomas.

Generation Five

5. Kenneth Kemp: School Master; b. 1857, Cullicudden, Black Isle, Scotland; d. 1939, Cullicudden, Black Isle, Scotland.

Married: in 1881, Resolis, Black Isle, Scotland, to Ann Thomson: (Donald & Ann "Annie" Urquhart) b. 1859, Rosskeen, Kiltearn, Scotland. d. 1908, Cullicudden, Black Isle, Scotland.

Children: Donald Thomson, James (WWI Vet), Alexander (WWI Vet), Kenneth (WWI Vet), Annie Violet, Catherine MacLean "Katie", Mary Margaret, John, Janet "Netta", Christina, Isa, Grigor Andrew (my namesake), Robert Thomson (my grandfather, below) and Margaret.

Generation Six

6. Robert Thomson Kemp: Millright; b. Oct. 5, 1903, Cullicudden, Black Isle, Scotland; d. 1962, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Married: Dingwall, Scotland to Murdina Ann MacDonald: School Teacher; (Murdo "The Bird" & Catriona "Katie" Campbell) b. June 31, 1903, Dingwall, Scotland; d. Jan. 28, 1997, London, Ontario, Canada.

Children: Still living.


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