The Chewton Mendip Ansteys

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

Overview of the Chewton Mendip Ansteys

The Chewton Mendip Ansteys of Somerset are an ‘Anstey evolved from Anstis‘ sub-branch, almost certainly linked to the Wells, St Cuthbert ‘Anstis‘ family of Somerset. Hence they are originally part of the ‘Anstis‘ pedigree, and thus do not connect to the wider Anstey pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anstey. The Chewton Mendip Ansteys were very closely linked to the Camerton Ansteys and the Timsbury Ansteys, both also ‘Anstey evolved from Anstis‘ sub-branches.

There are two Chewton Mendip patriarchs, being Robert Anstis and Joseph Anstis who we believe were brothers, or uncle and nephew, likely both coming from Wells, St Cuthbert.

After 1782, we find no further baptisms in Chewton Mendip, suggesting all of this sub-branch had left Chewton Mendip around this time.

Robert Anstis (m 1734 Camerton)

In 1734 Robert Anstisof Chewton Mendip” married Elizabeth Pearceof Midsomer Norton” in Camerton. They returned to live in Chewton Mendip and had many ‘Anstis‘ daughters who do not concern us. Their ‘Anstey’ relevant children were:

  • Hester Anstis (b 1739, married William Bendle in Chewton Mendip in 1766 as ‘Anstee‘);
  • Susanna Anstis (b 1744, married James Curtis in Chewton Mendip in 1762 as ‘Anstee‘);
  • Robert Anstis (b 1749 – known as ‘Robert Junior‘ see below);
  • John Anstes (b 1752);
  • Samuel Anstee (b 1758)

Robert Anstis (father) appears as a parish overseer in the Chewton Mendip vestry books as ‘Robert Anstee‘. He was described as “Robert Anstee, yeoman of Chewton [Mendip]” in 1744 when he acted as bondsman for “Elizabeth Anstee of Timsbury” (probably his younger sister – see Timsbury Further Details #2). Robert Anstis died in 1787 in Chewton Mendip (as ‘Anstee‘); his widow Elizabeth was buried in Chewton Mendip in 1791 (again as ‘Anstee‘).

His son Robert Anstis (b 1749) married Hannah (Joanna?) Hart in Chewton Mendip in 1776 (as ‘Anstee‘) and had children in Chewton Mendip:

  • William Anstee (b 1776, married Zipporah Weeks in 1816 in Bristol, having children in Stanton Drew William Anstee (b 1819); George Anstee (b 1822); and Henry Anstee (b 1824 – see below). All three sons were baptised on the same day in 1832 in Stanton Drew, though not as infants. The ‘Bristol Mercury‘ on 29 September 1821 reported “Thomas Dallimore, servant to Mr W. Anstey of Stanton Drew was seized with apoplexy and died in a cart on Saturday…”. In 1849 William Anstee was described as a “yeoman“);
  • Sarah Anstee (b 1781); and
  • Robert Anstee (b 1782, married Susannah Batchelor (a widow) on 4 December 1804 in Walcot, St Mary Chapel. They had two children in Walcott George Anstee (b 1806 baptised in Walcot 3 February 1806, died an infant buried in Chewton Mendip on 4 November 1806); and Georgina Anstee (b 1808, baptised 7 October 1808 in Walcot). Robert Anstee was a butcher, the ‘Manchester Mercury‘ on 29 December 1812 reporting “Bankrupts: 14 February Robert Anstee of the parish of Walcot in the county of Somerset, butcher, at the New Inn, Bath“. He was still a butcher in Walcot in 1817 with his creditors still receiving “dividends” from his bankruptcy)

According to the ‘Chewton Mendis History‘ website, the three generations of ‘Robert Anstis/Anstee‘ (m 1734, b 1749 and b 1782) “were significant in Chewton Mendip in the 18th century. A number of variations of the name are recorded. Anstie, Ansty, Anstes, Anstice, Anstee and Anstis are all variations that appear in the records.” The elder ‘Robert Anstis’ (m 1734) invariably signed his name in accounts and Poor Law records as ‘Robert Anstee’ despite giving many of his children the ‘Anstis’ surname at the same time.

[Note: this is an excellent example of how certain ‘Anstis’ families considered the surnames ‘Anstis’ and ‘Anstey’ to be somewhat interchangeable. The ‘Anstey’ families on the other hand most certainly did not consider them interchangeable.]

The three generations of ‘Robert Anstis/Anstee‘ were all Overseers of the Poor in Chewton Mendip and “they owned a field between Chew Hill and Coles Lane (east). A number of records show that the Anstees were tenants of the Kingsmills. It is possible that the Anstees had links to the Loxton-Parson family. The poor law records show that Robert Anstee was a ‘waywarden’ in the middle of the 18th century. Waywardens had the unpopular responsibility for getting the parish to maintain the roads in the parish. Robert Anstee  (yeoman) was the tenant of a cottage and garden in Chewton Town in 1768…Robert Anstee the younger was identified as the tenant of Scutts Hill in 1774. His name is spelt as ‘Austice‘ and he is described as a yeoman. One record held by the Hampshire Archive (ref 19M61/4108) dated 1790 links Robert Anstee to the Unicorn Inn.

Robert Anstee Junior in 1790 was tenant of “arable land formerly divided into several pieces at West End in the parish of Chewton Mendip heretofore called James’s

Joseph Anstis (m 1751 Chewton Mendip)

In 1751 Joseph Anstis of Chewton Mendip” (probably born in Wells, St Cuthbert in 1733 to father William Anstis) married Mary Roper?of Chewton Mendip” in Chewton Mendip (as ‘Ansty‘) and they had children in Chewton Mendip:

Joseph Anstis (father) and his son Joseph Anstee (b 1757) both died in Camerton in 1785 and 1768 respectively (as ‘Ansty‘).

George Anstee (b 1760 Chewton Mendip)

George Anstee, born in 1760 in Chewton Mendip to parents Joseph Anstis and Mary, married Martha Weston (b c1766) on 15 January 1787 at St. Philip and St. Jacob, Bristol. [Note this marriage is transcribed as “George Ansta” but as “Ansta” does not exist as a surname we are confident it should be “Ansty“, though we could do with confirming this by viewing the original parish register. Note also that there was another “George Anstey/Martha” marriage in 1791 in nearby Paulton, but this is NOT this ‘George’].

George Anstee and Martha Weston moved to Timsbury and had children:

  • Sarah Anstey (b 1788, never married, was living with her brother William Anstee in Camerton in the 1841 and 1851 Censuses);
  • George Ansty (b 1790, in 1807 he was an apprentice carpenter working for his father in Camerton. George married Mary Tucker in Timsbury in 1812, he was a carpenter and his sister Sarah was a witness, as well as George Millard. He had a family in Timsbury and he died in Timsbury in 1850 “aged 60“);
  • Priscilla Ansty (b 1792, married Charles White in Timsbury in 1809 – her sister Sarah was witness, as well as George Millard);
  • Joseph Anstey (b 1794);
  • John Anstey (b 1796, he was a blacksmith and he married Rachel Bennett in Bristol in 1822. They had a son George Anstee (b 1824 Walcot, Bath, who was brought up by his grandmother Martha and aunt Sarah, who were of independent means, after both of his parents died when he was very young. They were all living with George‘s uncle William Anstee in the 1841 Census – George was an “apprentice blacksmith“. George married Susan Sage in 1848 in Bath and they moved to Camerton having children John F. Anstee (b 1850); Henry Sage Anstee (b 1851, moved to Monmouthshire and had a family there); and George Sage Anstee (b 1853 – see below). In the 1851 Census George was a blacksmith, however he died in Clutton in 1854 of consumption. By the 1861 Census Susan Anstee (widow) was a baker living with her three sons at 2, Wall Mead, Timsbury, Clutton). John Anstey died whilst living in Bath in 1827; he was buried in Timsbury on 7 June 1827 “aged 30“. His widow Rachel Anstey died in 1830; she was buried in Corston on 25 April 1830 “aged 33“);
  • Ann Anstey (b 1799);
  • William Anstey (b 1805 – see below);

George Anstee (b 1760) was witness to his brother John Anstee‘s marriage in 1795 in Farmborough. In 1807 George Anstee was a “master carpenter and wheelwright” working in Camerton. George Anstee died in 1826 in Timsbury, buried in Timsbury on 5 March 1826 “aged 65“. Per his will, George Anstee died a wealthy man, owning property and land. He left most to his son William Anstey but his wife Martha and daughter Sarah were also able to live by independent means as a result.

In the 1841 Census his widow Martha Anstey was living in Camerton with her son William Anstey and his family. Martha Anstee died a year later in 1842 in Clutton.

William Anstey (b 1805 Timsbury)

William Anstey (b 1805 Timsbury) to parents George Anstee and Martha Weston married Elizabeth Green (b c1800) in 1827 in Camerton. He was a master carpenter by trade (and later a collier and blacksmith), and they lived in Timsbury until c1836, thence moving to Camerton. William Anstey and Elizabeth had children:

  • Sarah Ann Anstey (b 1828 Timsbury);
  • Eliza Martha Anstey (b 1830 Timsbury);
  • Herbert William Anstey (b 1831 Timsbury, an unmarried carpenter living in Camerton in 1861, died in Timsbury in 1871);
  • Joseph Anstee (b 1836 Camerton, baptised in Timsbury a carpenter living in Camerton in the 1861 Census. He married Sarah Ann Hill (known as ‘Annie‘) in Bath in 1863 and they had children Emily Anstee (b 1864 Bath, a barmaid in Islington in the 1881 Census); George Anstee (b 1867 Bath, a printer in Islington in the 1881 Census); Joseph George Anstee (b 1867 Bath, baptised in Dunkerton in 1871 “aged 3, living at 40 Gay Street, Bath“, a scholar living in Islington in the 1881 Census, married Mary Ann Smart in Holborn, London in 1898, they were still living in Islington in 1911); Minnie Anstee (b 1875 Bath); Kathleen Anstee (b 1878 Holborn); and Harold Marratt Anstee (b 1882 Pentonville, London, sometimes known as ‘Henry’, an Anstey Hero). Bizarrely, Joseph Anstee (b 1836) died in 1871 in Bath, even though he was named as father on some of the later births (eg Kathleen Anstee and Harold Marratt Anstee had the father named on the birth certificate as “Joseph Anstee carpenter“). Certainly in the 1881 Census, Sarah Ann Anstee was living in Islington (as ‘Annie‘) with her elder children, a “widow, dressmaker, age 35 born in France“. In the 1891 Census she was living in Clerkenwell with her youngest son Harold Marratt Anstee, a “widow, dressmaker age 46 born in France“);
  • William Henry Anstee (b 1838 Camerton, baptised in Timsbury. He likely married Elizabeth Ann Meakin (b 1835) in Clerkenwell, London in 1861, having children William Anstee (b 1860 London – note: not William George Anstee born Clerkenwell 1859, who was a Swanbourne Anstee, see Further Details #3); Elizabeth Anstee (b 1861 Priston); and perhaps others. They had returned to Dunkerton in Somerset by the 1861 Census where William Anstee was a blacksmith. In January 1863 according to the ‘Wells Journal‘ “William Anstee of Dunkerton and George Anstee of Farmborough [his second cousin] were summoned for trespassing upon land of Thomas Stallard at Farmborough. Dismissed with a caution“. In 1866 at the Petty Sessions in Keynsham “William Anstee Junior of Camerton was summoned for using threatening language towards Aver Baverstock at Priston, but as defendant did not appear a special warrant was issued for his apprehension” per ‘Bristol Times and Mirror‘ 27 January 1866);
  • John George Anstee (b 1842 Camerton, baptised in Timsbury).

William inherited a good deal of wealth when his father George Anstee died in 1826 per above. In the 1841 Census the family was living at Camerton, Clutton (together with William Anstey‘s mother Martha, sister Sarah and nephew George) – William Anstey was a carpenter. In the 1851 Census the family were living in Tunley House, Camerton, William Anstey was a “master carpenter employing 8 men“. They were still there in 1861, William Anstey was a “carpenter and blacksmith“.

William Anstey (b 1805) was buried in Timsbury in 1888, “aged 83“. He was resident of Priston at the time of his death (where he was also resident in 1881, a “widower and carpenter“).

Henry Anstee (b 1824 Stanton Drew)

Henry Anstee was born in 1824 in Stanton Drew to parents William Anstey (a yeoman) and Zipporah Weeks; he was baptised in Stanton Drew in 1832 on the same day as his brothers. He married Mary Ann (Marianne) King (b 1827 Chew Magna daughter of Henry King) in 1849 in Bedminster (at the time of his marriage he was a yeoman of Somerset Street) and they immediately set off for first Wisconsin and then El Dorado in America. However tragedy befell Henry because he became seriously ill (probably paralysed) in 1861 so they returned to live in Bedminster. Henry and Marianne had children:

  • Mary Jane Anstee (b 1850 Wisconsin);
  • Albert Anstee (b 1854 El Dorado – the ‘Wells Journal‘ on 7 October 1854 reporting “BIRTHS. July 22, in California, the wife of Mr. Henry Anstee, late of Stanton Drew, a son [and heir]” He was living with his family in Fornia Villa Bedminster in 1881, a commercial traveller. In 1908 he was searching for his brother George William Anstee in South Africa – at the time he was in Bulawayo);
  • George William Anstee (b 1858 El Dorado – an Anstey Hero);
  • Ida Anstee (b 1861 El Dorado);
  • Minnie Anstee (b 1863 Chew Magna, Somerset);
  • Ernest Theodore Anstee (b 1868, baptised in Bristol in 1868 – it is unclear if he died as an infant);
  • Agnes Mary Anstee (b 1871, baptised in Bristol in 1874)

In the 1850 USA Census the family were at Kenosha in Wisconsin where Henry Anstee was a “farmer“. In the 1871 Census the family were living at Fornia Villa, Bedminster where Henry was “no occupation, house proprietor” and “paralysed“. Henry Anstee died in Bedminster in 1880, the ‘Bristol Mercury‘ newspaper on 27 September 1880 reporting “September 18, at Fornia Villa, Knowle, after 19 years of patient suffering, Henry Anstee, aged 55 years.

In the 1881 Census Marianne Anstee (widow) was still living with her family in Fornia Villa, Wells Road, Bedminster. By the 1901 Census Marianne was “living on her own means” with a helper at 4 Carnarvon Road, Bristol.

Marianne Anstee (widow) died in 1908. Her probate reads “Anstee Marianne of Ellesmere 4 Carnarvon Road Redland Bristol widow died 26 August 1908 Probate Bristol to Shelton Chambers stationmaster and George King retired grocer“. In the ‘Western Daily Press‘ 12 September 1908 edition appears an advert “ESTATE of Mrs Marianne Anstee deceased to Parties, Furnishing and Others 4 Carnarvon Road Redland“.

George Sage Anstee (b 1853 Camerton)

George Sage Anstee was born in 1853 to parents George Anstee and Susan Sage. He grew up living at at 2, Wall Mead, Timsbury, Clutton with his mother after his father died when he was a baby. He married Emma Cook in 1873 in Clutton and they had children:

  • Arthur Anstee (b 1877 Camerton);
  • William James Anstee (b 1880 Bath, he married Edith Raisie in 1900 in Bradford on Avon and by the 1901 Census he was a joiner living at 19, Sherbourne Street, Bristol. In 1904 he was admitted to the ‘Amalgamated Society Of Carpenters & Joiners‘ in Bath and by the 1911 Census the family were living at Tunley Road Dunkerton near Bath where William James Anstee was a “house building contractor“. During World War One, William James Anstee was a ‘Conscientious Objector’, described as “W. J. Anstee, pit carpenter of Bath“);
  • Adelaide E. Anstee (b 1883 Bath);
  • Amy Sage Anstee (b 1885 Bath, a dressmaker in 1901);
  • Joseph Albert Anstee (b 1889 Bath, a house building contractor living at Tunley Road Near Bath, Dunkerton in 1911); and
  • Reginald Cook Anstee (b 1893 Bath – an Anstey Hero)

By the 1881 Census the family were living in 10, Angel Place, Bath Lyncombe and Widcombe where George was a policeman. By the 1891 Census George Sage Anstee was still a policeman living with his family at Mayfield Terrace, Twerton, Bath. By 1901 George was an “ex policeman” living at 10, Angel Place, Bath, Somerset.

George Sage Anstee died in 1910 living at Wall Mead Braysdown Road Peasdown St John Somerset, a “superannuated police sergeant” – probate was to his widow Emma Anstee. In the 1911 Census Emma Anstee (widow) was living at Tunley Road Near Bath, Dunkerton with her two youngest sons.

Further Details on the Chewton Mendip Ansteys

We are always on the lookout for Chewton Mendip Anstey experts alive today who are willing to add their findings and knowledge to this project. We are particularly interested in research regarding Chewton Mendip 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 research@theansteystory.com.

We have already uploaded bits of information and documentation about the Chewton Mendip 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 ‘Chewton Mendip’ 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 research@theansteystory.com and we will correct it.

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