‘Introduction’ for the Fourth Edition

We are beginning to write up our medieval Anstey research findings for the massively expanded fourth edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘ , due to be published next year, subject to demand. On the first page of the introduction to the fourth edition we will be writing the following:

In the first three editions of this book we began our introduction with the following warning:

We can categorically state that the story as told in these pages has errors, probably quite a few in number, especially in the later chapters of this book which deal with very early medieval documentation and previously unknown Anstey branches. However we can also categorically state that within these pages there is much more that is correct than is incorrect and that the basic Anstey story as told is certainly true.

In this fourth edition we have massively expanded our understanding of the medieval Anstey pedigree, especially that of John (I) de Anstey and his descendants. Not only have we revisited every single one of the clues that we had previously found, in order to try and extract further information from them that we may have missed the first time round, but for this fourth edition we have searched through many more millions of books and documents (yes millions) in our endeavour to amass every single medieval Anstey clue that we can possibly lay our hands on.

The end product is this fourth edition which contains thousands of new, previously unknown, medieval Anstey clues and connections, allowing us to obtain a far deeper understanding of the medieval Anstey pedigree emanating from Hubert the Anstey patriarch, the originator of the ‘Anstey’ surname in 1143.

We have some general observations for this fourth edition:

  • The basic medieval Anstey story as told in this book is pretty much the same as that told in previous editions (though in much more detail). Almost all new clues discovered since the third edition have simply added to our understanding of the existing medieval Anstey pedigree and structure.
  • That is not to say that there have not been minor adjustments and tinkerings in pedigree placements of various individuals and families, for there have. New clues discovered have enabled us to become increasingly accurate in our medieval Anstey pedigree construction and positioning.
  • We have found zero new ‘hidden’ Anstey sub-branches. Therefore, we no longer agree with our statement on page 243 of the third edition of this book that “we would not be surprised if, hidden in some as yet unpublished private papers or cartularies, there lie details of another successful sub-branch or two of the medieval Ansteys about whom we currently have no knowledge”. On the contrary, we now state the exact opposite, namely that “we would be very surprised indeed if, hidden in some as yet unpublished private papers or cartularies, there lie details of another successful sub-branch or two of the medieval Ansteys about whom we currently have no knowledge”.
  • There is still a lot more information on the medieval Ansteys left to find, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to locate and access it.

So we hereby amend slightly our above ‘warning’ to:

We can categorically state that the story as told in these pages has errors, probably quite a few in number, especially in the later chapters of this book which deal with very early medieval documentation and previously unknown Anstey branches. However we can also categorically state that within these pages lies the true and (now almost) complete story of the medieval Ansteys.

Gary

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