Weekend Visit to Kempsey

I visited Kempsey this past weekend for my cousin’s 18th (Happy 18th K!) and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore an area that is rather prominent in one part of my family history.

My Nana Bate’s family, seemingly both the maternal and paternal sides resided for some time in the Kempsey area and surrounds! Nana’s Uncle Norman, who I have discussed in previous posts (here & here) was in possession of landscape photos of his and his family’s hometown of Beechwood, NSW which is a bit before Port Macquarie in his wallet that he wore on him during his service in World War One:


photo16 front
On the back it states that this image is of the “new King Creek bridge”.

I have to say, wandering the streets of Wauchope, and making the short drive from there to Beechwood felt like coming home. There’s something to be said for visiting towns where your family ties are deep. The same can be said for visiting Port Macquarie and finally coming to Kempsey, where my family ties are both in the past and in the present, with my Aunt and Uncle having lived in the area for many years.

My partner and I, after making the drive up at about 5:30am on Friday last week, made a stop at Beechwood Cemetery to look for my great great grandparent’s graves (Uncle Norman’s parents), as well as some of their children’s. We found them, the furthest plot away from where we parked, naturally!

Sarah Way Beechwood Cemetery
The grave stone of my Great Great grandmother, Sarah Way (nee Richardson).
George Cameron and Arthur Gilbert Way Beechwood Cemetery
The grave stones of my Great Great Grandfather, George Cameron Way, and my Great Great Uncle, George’s son Arthur Gilbert Way.
Roy Edmund and Norman Douglas Way Beechwood Cemetery
Grave stones of my Great Great Uncles Roy Edmund Way and Norman Douglas Way (who is buried in France) Roy drowned in the Hastings River about 8 months prior to his brother Norman being killed in France in World War 1.
George Lester Way and Cecil Way Beechwood Cemetery
Grave stones of George Lester Way and Cecil Way, my Great Great Uncles. Also sons of George Cameron Way and Sarah Way.

At Kempsey East Cemetery, Josh and I found my Great Grandparents, Nana Bate’s parents:

Irene and Victor Frederick Roy Ainsworth Kempsey East_
Victor Frederick Roy Ainsworth and Irene Beatrice Ainsworth. Irene’s parents are also Sarah and George Cameron Way.

AND two more of Irene’s siblings (my great great Uncle and Aunt):

Ernest Victor Way Kempsey East

Bertha Cordelia Way Kempsey East
This one reads: Bertha Cordelia Way.

And finally, we also found Nana’s paternal grandparents, my great great grandparents:

Henry Oswald Martha Ann Ainsworth flower Kempsey East
My great great grandparents: Henry Oswald Ainsworth and Martha Ann Ainsworth (nee Fraser).



We found a number of other Ainsworth grave stones in Kempsey East Cemetery, and I will be looking into each one, as they are most likely related to me somehow. We also checked out Kempsey West cemetery, where I found a 1st cousin 3x removed was buried. But I didn’t expect to find any relatives there, Josh and I just wanted to look around. I’ve never wandered through a cemetery before, but both Josh and I found it extremely interesting (yay, this is one way I can include my partner in my genealogy craziness!).

K’s 18th was a wonderful night, and it was so very lovely to have the whole family together again! As genealogists I think we get so caught up in the past…we must not forget the living! They are the most important. To sit and have a laugh with my grandparents, catch up with my Aunt and Uncle, to muck around with my cousins and to tease my sister and parents (stirring is the Peace family way!)…that’s what it’s all about.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Caitie G says:

    I have ancestors from Kempsey who are buried in East and West Kempsey Cemeteries! My Grandfather was friend’s with a few Ainsworth’s from Macksville. They’re a huge family in that area.


    1. And the world just keeps on getting smaller Caitie!


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