George R. Anstey (SA 2)

See ‘Anstey: A Complete History From the Norman Invasion to World War One‘ for much more on the St Albans, Vermont Ansteys. In addition to biographies of various Anstey individuals who make up this sub-branch, the book contains a plethora of Anstey research and statistics, including an analysis of how the St Albans, Vermont Ansteys fit into the pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anesti, the 12th century originator of the ‘Anstey’ surname.

SA 2. George R. Anstey: He was born in 1847 in St Albans, Vermont to parents James Anstey (SA 1) and Ellen [Helen] Ireland. He grew up in St Albans then, when he turned 18, he signed up to fight in the American Civil War on the side of the Union. He enlisted in New York on 18 April 1865 (some sources say 1 April) as a Private with ‘Company B. 125th New York Voluntary Infantry‘; he was transferred to ‘Battery H. 4th New York Heavy Artillery‘ on 5 June 1865 and mustered out on 26 December 1865 (some sources say 26 September) in Washington DC. As George had signed up mere weeks before the end of hostilities, it is unlikely that he was involved in any actual fighting during this conflict.

By 1870, George was living in Oswego, New York, working as a labourer. Then in August 1880, he signed up once again with the Army, this time in Cincinnati, Ohio with “8 Coy C” for a five year stint, remaining with them until August 1885 when he was discharged. He immediately re-signed up for another five years, this time at Angel Island, California with “8 Inf K“; he was discharged in August 1890 with character “excellent“. During his final stint in the Army, George had married Joanna Creamer in 1889 in Nebraska; we find no children from this marriage (though see below for stepchildren).

By 1892, George was living in Missouri. In October 1896 there was a massive train crash when according to the ‘St Louis Globe‘ “Excursion Train and Valley Park Accommodation Met at Full Speed on a Curve 14 Miles From St Louis – 8 People Killed” – “George R. Anstey and his wife were sitting in the 4th seat from the front in the 4th car from the engine of the excursion train – Mr Anstey said ‘ I had just settled back for a nap bracing my feet against the seat in front of me when the collision came – I was not moved out of my seat due to my position but my wife was thrown forward against the seat in front…in a moment we realised a terrible wreck had occurred…the car in which we were seated was not harmed in the least

George was still in Missouri in 1900 where he appears in both the St. Louis, Missouri Trade Directory as “Anstey George R watch[man] r. 1135 Kentucky AV“, as well as the 1900 Census as a “watchman” living in St Louis, Missouri with his wife Joanna and her two children from a previous marriage.

By 1904 George had moved to Los Angeles, appearing in a Trade Directory there as “Anstey George R. lab[ourer?] street Dept rms 1107 W 11th“. By 1908 he was a widower, living in Los Angeles; he had been a farmer at some point in his later life.

George R. Anstey died in 1909 of “fatty degeneration of the heart” at the National Soldiers Home in California. He was buried at the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Los Angeles, Plot 15, 7/RK. The inscription on his gravestone reads “George R. Anstey Co H. 4 NY H. A.“, commemorating his American Civil War service.

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