The Castle Cary Ansteys

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

The Castle Cary Ansteys of Somerset (including the next-door parish of Ansford) are an ‘Anstey evolved from Austin‘ sub-branch. Hence they are originally part of the ‘Austin’ family pedigree, and thus do not connect to the wider Anstey pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anstey.

The patriarch of the Castle Cary Ansteys is Richard Austin who married Mary Cary in 1766 in Castle Cary (Mary died in Castle Cary in 1797 aged 58). The parish of Castle Cary at the time of this marriage was an ‘Austin’ stronghold, with hundreds of ‘Austin’s appearing in their parish registers from 1600 onwards. Why Richard Austin and Mary Cary decided to label their children as ‘Anstie‘ we do not know, but label them thus they did (even though Richard Austin himself was illiterate, his wife Mary Cary wasn’t, so it certainly wasn’t a ‘mistake’, but a deliberate decision on their part).

Intriguingly, this is the ONLY time that we have found the ‘Anstey’ surname evolving from a family of the surname ‘Austin’ (all other instances of ‘Anstey’ evolution from other surnames have sprung from the surname ‘Anstis’ – see ‘Ansteys evolved from Other Surnames‘ for more). Even though Richard Austin and Mary Cary‘s children were initially labelled ‘Anstie’, the Castle Cary sub-branch in the main eventually settled on the spelling ‘Anstey’.

Richard Austin and Mary Cary‘s children (all born in Castle Cary) were:

  • Elizabeth Anstie (b 1766 died in 1802 in Castle Cary as ‘Ansty’);
  • John Anstie (b 1768, married Virtue Francis in 1789 in Ansford (bizarrely transcribed as ‘Anstis’), having children in Ansford John Ansty (b 1790, baptised in Castle Cary, married Hannah Garland in Bruton, Somerset in 1811, having a son John Anstey (b 1812 Castle Cary) and another son Charles Anstey (b 1835 Bath). In the 1841 Census they were at Corn Street, St James, Bath; John Anstey was a carpenter. In the 1851 Census they were at 58, York Street, St Philip & St Jacob (Out), Clifton, BristolJohn Anstey was still a carpenter); James Anstie (b 1793); William Ansty (b 1796 in Ansford – see below); Richard Ansty (b 1798, became an Anstey convict sent to Australia); Martha Ansty (b 1800) and Thomas Ansty (b 1801));
  • Mary Anstie (b 1771);
  • Amelia Anstie (b 1775);
  • Richard Ansty (b 1778 baptised 1780 aged 2);
  • Thomas Ansty (b 1780, married Ann Broderip in 1801 in Castle Cary and they had a son Thomas Anstey born in 1803 in Shepton Mallet);

William Anstey (b 1796 in Ansford) married Hannah Carrige? (b c1813 in Walton, Suffolk) in about 1820; they had three children in Ipswich, then the family returned to Seaton in Devon in about 1830 where they had another four children (it is also possible they had a son in Illogan, Cornwall). After William Anstey died in Seaton, Devon in 1847, his wife Hannah remarried to Edward Johnson in Stepney, London in early 1851 and the family had moved to Shadwell in Middlesex by the 1851 Census. William Anstey and Hannah‘s children were:

  • Sarah Anstey (b 1820 Ipswich?);
  • John Anstey (b 1825 Ipswich or possibly Illogen, Cornwall);
  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1827, Ipswich);
  • Samuel Anstey (b 1832 Seaton, Devon);
  • Virtue Anstey (b 1834 Seaton);
  • Francis Henry Anstey (b 1838 Seaton, married Mary Ford in Bristol, St James in 1861. He had joined the Merchant Navy as Boatswain by 1862 working aboard the vessel ‘Flying Cloud’. Buried in Appledore in 1889, a mariner);
  • James Meek Anstey (b 1840 Seaton, died in Lambeth, London in 1889)

We are always on the lookout for Castle Cary Anstey experts alive today who are willing to add their findings and knowledge to this project. We are particularly interested in research regarding Castle Cary Ansteys who fought in World War One, preferably with personal souvenirs such as letters sent by the soldiers or military photos etc. Anybody who has such expertise and inclination, please contact us at

We have already uploaded bits of information and documentation about the Castle Cary Ansteys, and continue to upload more all the time (see Project Updates), however it is spread over various segments of the website.

The best way to find said information is to enter ‘Castle Cary’ in the search box at the bottom of this page and a list of relevant pages will appear.

Anybody who finds any mistakes on this page, please contact us at and we will correct it.

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