William Samuel Smith Anstey (or Ansty – he flipped between them) was born in Cheltenham on 12 January 1870 to parents Samuel Anstey, a carpenter, and Jane Smith. At the time of his birth his mother was living at 24 Fairview Street, Cheltenham per the birth certificate.
Unfortunately we cannot find a marriage of a ‘Samuel Anstey/Jane Smith’, nor can we find any evidence of a ‘Samuel Anstey carpenter’ in England, nor can we locate any of this family in the 1871 or 1881 censuses – as such we cannot currently definitively connect this family into the wider Anstey pedigree. Our best guess is that Samuel Anstey was ‘Samuel W. Anstey‘ of the Garnish Fortune Bay Ansteys who was born at the right time and was a carpenter – he was born in Canada in c1845 and married in Canada in 1872. This would certainly explain why we can find no evidence of him in England before or after the birth of William, nor any evidence of siblings for William in England.
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William married Alice Jane L. Knott (as Ansty) in 1888 in Pancras and they had 13 children, namely:
- William Thomas Ansty (b 13 November 1888 Hampstead Road Somerstown, married Lillian Maud Donaldson in 1910 in Willesden and in the 1911 Census he was a mantle maintenance fitter living with his wife and son William Edward Ansty (b 1910 Willesden) at 8 Roundwood Road Willesden);
- Lily Jane Ansty (b 1890 Drumnoud Street Hampstead, an Ironer in launder in the 1911 Census);
- Charles James Ansty (b 1892 Caroline St Camden Town, a Railway cloak room attendant in the 1911 Census);
- Jennie Ansty (b 1895 Coburg St Hampstead, a Packer in laundry in the 1911 Census);
- Ellen [Helen] Alice Ansty (b 15 February 1897 Pancras, baptised 31 July 1898 Pancras – an assistant in laundry in the 1911 Census);
- Rose Ethel Ansty (b 11 May 1898 Pancras, baptised 11 May 1898 Pancras – living with family in the 1911 Census);
- John Edward Ansty (b 21 March 1902 Pancras, baptised in Pancras 23 March 1903 – living with family in the 1911 Census);
- Daisy May Ansty (b 10 September 1903, baptised 15 December 1903 Pancras, living with family in the 1911 Census);
- Ivy Millicent Ansty (b 1905 Heron Rd Willesden, living with family in the 1911 Census);
- May Louise Ansty (b 1908 Odlfield Rd Willesden, living with family in the 1911 Census); and
- three others (died before 1911)
In the 1911 Census William was an upholsterer living with his family at 83A Oldfield Road Willesden. He was still an ‘upholsterer cutter’ when he joined the Royal Air Force as a ‘Private 2’ (Service Number: 284314) just a couple of months before the end of World War One, on 13 August 1918. Bizarrely, he gave his ‘Person to be informed in Case of Casualty’ as “Ellinor Boulton, 2 Abbey Green Chester, unmarried wife“.
He served briefly with units ‘41 TDS‘ and ‘50 TDS‘ before being transferred to RAF ‘G’ Reserve on 14 February 1919 and formally discharged on 30 April 1920. After his discharge he went to live at 54 Langsey Road, Eastbourne, where he was still living at the time of the 1921 Census – the rest of the family were still living in Willesden at that time.
William died in Willesden in 1935. His “widow” Alice was living at 81 Berry Street, Neasden, Willesden in the 1939 Register – she died in 1952 in Willesden.
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