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.
A small number of ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ alive today however cannot trace their Anstey origins to Hubert de Anstey, but to another surname, normally ‘Anstis’ (or equivalent spelling such as ‘Anstice’ – with a single family thus far discovered who trace their origin to the surname ‘Austin’), and thus their Anstey sub-branch does not connect to the overall Anstey pedigree.
To be clear, the surnames ‘Anstis’ and ‘Austin’ are not connected in the slightest to the surname ‘Anstey’, as is proven in our book ‘ANSTEY: The Devon and Somerset Branch‘. The surnames are completely distinct and separate, however for whatever reason, certain members of certain ‘Anstis’ and ‘Austin’ families in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall in the years between c1750 and c1835 decided to give their children the surname ‘Anstey’, despite themselves not being ‘Anstey’.
These ‘Anstey’ children, whose ancestry is ‘Anstis’ or ‘Austin’, then gave their new ‘Anstey’ surname to their children and so on down the generations. As such, some ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ alive today will find that when they trace back their paternal line, it will be ‘Anstey’ (or equivalent spelling) until c1800 or so, and then will suddenly switch to ‘Anstis’ or ‘Austin’ any further back in time than that.
The ‘Anstey’ sub-branches which evolved from other surnames (namely ‘Anstis’ or ‘Austin’) that we have begun to upload to this ‘Anstey Story‘ project are as follows:
- the Castle Cary Ansteys of Somerset, who suddenly evolved from the surname ‘Austin’ in 1766;
- the Chulmleigh Ansteys of Devon, who suddenly evolved from the surname ‘Anstis’ in c1809 and subsequent years, some of whom then moved to Witheridge in Devon;
- the Devonport Ansteys of Devon, who suddenly evolved from the surname ‘Anstis’ in 1789;
- the Exminster Ansteys of Devon, who suddenly evolved from the surname ‘Anstis’ in 1796;
[Note: We need to be extremely careful with certain places, which had more than one completely distinct and unconnected ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ or ‘Anstie’ sub-branch emanating from them. For example Witheridge in Devon had both a South West Peninsula Anstey sub-branch and an ‘Anstey evolved from Anstis‘ sub-branch living there alongside each other at the same time.]