Given that all Ansteys pre-1770, and the overwhelming majority of Ansteys alive today, are connected, sharing a common 12th century origin, all Ansteys by definition belong to multiple Anstey sub-branches. It also follows that the closer two Ansteys are related to each other, the more their respective multitude of Anstey sub-branches will overlap.
As such, when conducting Anstey genealogical research it makes sense to focus on Anstey sub-branches, and connecting them together like blocks of lego. For example, chief researcher G. M. Anstey (Gary) can trace his Anstey ancestral line back centuries by connecting together the following sub-branches:
- he is a Stoke Gifford Anstey;
- the Stoke Gifford Ansteys are a sub-branch of the Dyrham Ansteys;
- the Dyrham Ansteys and the Stoke Gifford Ansteys are both part of the South Gloucestershire Anstey pedigree;
- the South Gloucestershire Ansteys are a sub-branch of the South West Peninsula Ansteys;
- the South West Peninsula Ansteys are a sub-branch of the Cambridgeshire Ansteys; and
- the Cambridgeshire Ansteys are a sub-branch of the medieval Anstey pedigree commenced in 1143 by Hubert de Anstey, the originator of the ‘Anstey’ surname.
Of course the more we dissect Anstey sub-branches, the more numerous they become (Gary could also add that he is a member of the Singapore Ansteys, which is a sub-branch of the Lambeth Ansteys, which is a sub-branch of the Cardiff Ansteys, which is a sub-branch of the Llantarnam Ansteys, which is a sub-branch of the Stoke Gifford Ansteys etc). However the more we dissect sub-branches in this manner, the less there is sub-branch overlap between Ansteys, the more unwieldy the overall Anstey pedigree becomes, and consequently the less useful and more complex the Anstey Story project becomes.
Hence we will try to come to a happy compromise, which in the case of Gary‘s Anstey ancestral line is ceasing the sub-branch dissection at the Stoke Gifford Ansteys (which we believe currently contains a few hundred Anstey members). So every single Anstey alive today who can trace his or her direct ancestral line back to John Anstey, patriarch of the Stoke Gifford Ansteys, is a ‘Stoke Gifford Anstey’, regardless of where they live in the world today and regardless of whether they have even heard of Stoke Gifford!
We are aiming to classify all Ansteys into one of around fifty Anstey sub-branches, which seems to be a happy medium and a nice round number; whether we can do that remains to be seen! In How Can You Help? we make the following appeal:
Are you an expert on a specific Anstey sub-branch? Have you researched the Anstey line back in time, ideally to the 1700s or before, and are looking to try and definitively connect it to the known Anstey pedigree stretching back to Hubert de Anstey in 1143? If so, we would be very pleased to hear from you – please get in touch with Gary at email@example.com.
As and when we hear from experts in their respective Anstey sub-branches, we would be delighted to add their sub-branch research to the Anstey Story project.