Anstey Imposters

by Gary. M. Ansteychief researcher of the Anstey story project.

Almost all ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ alive today can trace their ‘Anstey’ origins to Hubert de Anstey, the originator of our surname in 1143, and thus they will find that their Anstey sub-branch connects to the overall Anstey pedigree.

We discuss in ‘Ansteys Evolved from Other Surnames‘ a second group of ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ alive today, who cannot trace their Anstey origins to Hubert de Anstey, but to another surname (normally ‘Anstis’ or ‘Austin’), and thus their Anstey sub-branch does not connect to the overall Anstey pedigree. We noted in ‘Ansteys Evolved from Other Surnames‘ that, for whatever reason, certain members of certain ‘Anstis’ and ‘Austin’ families in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall in the years between c1750 and c1825 decided to give their children the surname ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ or ‘Anstie’, despite themselves not being ‘Anstey’. These ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ children, whose ancestry is ‘Anstis’ or ‘Austin’, then gave their new ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ or ‘Anstie’ surname to their children and so on down the generations, finally being passed to ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ alive today.

There is a third group of people, who we label Anstey Imposters. These people are NOT ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’, NEITHER HAVE THEY passed the ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ surname to their children, but for whatever reason, they are mistranscribed in official documentation as ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ or ‘Anstie’, causing no end of confusion and difficulties to Anstey researchers.

In Appendix Three of our bookANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry we go into great detail into this issue, listing dozens of medieval Anstey Imposters who do not belong to the ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ or ‘Anstie’ pedigree but confuse the medieval Anstey story with their appearances as ‘Anstey’ in medieval documentation.

As we discover new Anstey Imposters not already dealt with in ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry, we shall list them here, in order to help future researchers avoid confusing them with genuine ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie‘ (see also ‘Ansteys in Medieval Censuses‘ where we list the Anstey Imposters in the Hundred Rolls of the late 13th century, the Lay Subsidy Rolls of the early 1300s and the Poll Tax Returns of 1377 to 1381):

  • Francis Anstey of Bury St Edmunds who married Susan Knapp and was an early English pilgrim to the New World of America in 1630 is NOT an Anstey, he is Francis Asty of Bury St Edmunds (see ‘Anstey Pilgrims?‘).
  • G. T. H. Anstie, Year: 1814; Regiment: 69th Regiment Of Foot is NOT an Anstie, he is G. S. H. Ainslee (see G. T. H Anstie – Anstey Imposter)
  • Richard de Anstey” married to Mabel in the 1250 ‘Henry III Fine Rolls’ is NOT an Anstey, he is Richard de Anesy (see ‘Another Anstey Imposter Slain!‘)
  • Stephen Anstie, a Seaman on ‘HMS Lizard‘ in the Royal Navy (Service Number: 154), who made a will dated 30 October 1790, is NOT an Anstie, in fact he was either baptised as Stephen Anstice in Bridgwater, Somerset in June 1766, or he was his father, also Stephen Anstice. In 1806 both Stephen Anstie and his brother John Anstie were sailors aboard the ‘Calcutta‘ ship when they were taken prisoner of war in France during the Napoleonic Wars.
  • Willelmus de Anestay in 1225 who appears in ‘Pateshull’s Eyre in Yorkshire‘ is NOT an Anstey, he is an imposter of the type ‘William who lives in the district of Ainsty in Yorkshire’ (see ‘Willelmus de Anestay’ – Anstey Imposter‘)
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