I can provide information on one branch of the Emby family, currently living in South Africa.
We trace our ancestry back as far as James Emby, born c1786 Chigwell, Essex; who married Lucy Preston in 1819. James Emby joined the British Military and was stationed on the Shetland Islands. Fourteen children were born from this marriage; the youngest (fourteenth) being Charles Ogilvy Emby, born in 1845.
Charles Ogilvy Emby was brought to London by his mother following the death of his father when he was between 5 and 7 years of age. He later worked as a Foreman in the Royal Arsenal, London. He married Jane (I am thus far unable to establish her surname or the date of their marriage). From this union 5 children were born. These are Ethel, Flossie, Leonard, Nell (who is the main source of this information through a number of letters written to my father, her nephew, in the late 1940’s); and Donald Henry (my father’s father). Nell states in one of her letters that she and Donald were the two youngest and were playmates, suggesting that they were close in age. She goes on to say that Leonard was 5 years older than her, Flossie (who was a shorthand typist) was 7 years older and Ethel (who was a nurse) was 9 years older. By the late 1940’s all the siblings with the exception of Nell had passed on. In a letter dated 16 December 1948 she states that she “is the only one left now”.
As far as I can establish, neither Ethel nor Flossie had any children. Nell married Harry Moore but they also did not have any children. Leonard became a member of the British Civil Service. He was posted to Bombay and then to Aden. In Aden, he contracted dysentery from which he died at the age of 28 years. He was unmarried and had no children.
The youngest child and second son, Donald Henry Emby (my grandfather) married Ethel May Hawkes on 18 May 1910. I have their original marriage certificate. (On the certificate his age is given as 23 years and her age as 24 years).Donald Henry’s profession is listed as Engineer’s Draughtsman and Ethyl May’s as Typist. A son, Gordon Noel was born on 24 December 1912, in Bexley, Kent. This is my father. (I also have a copy of his original birth certificate).
Following the end of the First World War, Donald Henry and Ethel May separated; and Ethel May sailed to South Africa, taking the young Gordon Noel with her. They settled in Durban, where Gordon Noel subsequently obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and went on to become an Industrial Chemist.Neither Donald Henry nor Ethel May re-married and no further children were born to either.
On 2 March 1942 Gordon Noel Emby married Margaretha Catharina Buys, a Lecturer in Commerce. I, Donald Jan Emby was born on 19 February 1949. I am an only child. (I was told by my parents that a son was still-born in 1947. They had considered naming him David).
I studied Medicine in Johannesburg and subsequently specialized in Radiology. In 1979 I married Gail Yolanda Teucher (nee Simmonds), a Medical Laboratory Technologist. On 21 March 1980 a son, Gordon Michael was born; and on 29 June 1983 a second son, Steven Rex was born. Gail and I divorced in 1990. On 26 June 1993, I married Fiona Elizabeth Harris Welch, a Financial Analist. A daughter Karen Roberta was born on 28 May 1994.
Donald Henry Emby died 28 May 1946. He is buried in Chertsey, a town on the river Thames upstream from London. His date of birth is engraved on his headstone and is 29 September 1886.In his later years he took a common law wife, Winifred, who lies interred with him.
Ethel May Emby (nee Hawkes) died in Edenvale, just outside Johannesburg in 1971.
Gordon Noel Emby died in Johannesburg on 8 March 1983, aged 70 years and Margaretha Catharina Emby (nee Buys) died in Johannesburg on 1 August 1998, aged 92 years.
Gordon Michael Emby was tragically killed in a motor car accident on 11 July 2005, aged 25 years. He was in his final year of study at university and was unmarried.
Fiona and I currently live just outside of Johannesburg. Steven is studying Commerce at a local University, while Karen attends High School.