The Devonport Ansteys

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

The Devonport Ansteys of Devon are an ‘Anstey evolved from Anstis‘ sub-branch. Hence they are originally part of the ‘Anstis’ family, and thus do not connect to the wider Anstey pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anstey.

The patriarch of the Devonport Ansteys is James Anstey (born 1789 in Crediton), the son of William Anstis of Crediton and Elizabeth Lake (who married in 1778 in Crediton – William Anstis was the elder brother of Benjamin Anstiss, the patriarch of the Exminster Ansteys, another ‘Anstey evolved from Anstis‘ sub-branch).

In 1813 James Anstey, together with his wife Ann Wills (who he married in Portsmouth St Thomas in 1811), moved to Devonport, where they proceeded to have a large family packed with sons, being:

  • Arthur Thomas Anstey (b 1813)
  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1813 – baptised in next door Egg Buckland, died an infant)
  • Ann Elizabeth Anstey(b 1815)
  • James Henry Anstey (b 1816)
  • Hannah Tryphena Anstey (b 1817)
  • William Lake Anstey (b 1818 – an Anstey Hero)
  • Samuel James Lake Anstey (b 1819)
  • John Saunders Anstey (b 1820)
  • Frederick Lake Anstey (b 1821)
  • Harriet Jane Anstey (b 1823 died an infant)
  • Susan Sarah Anstey (b 1823)
  • Edwin George Anstey (b 1825 died 1837)
  • Edward Solomon Anstey (b 1827)
  • Richard Tidball Anstey (b 1828)
  • Simeon Bishop Anstey (b 1832, an Anstey Hero, American Anstey Pioneer and patriarch of the Kansas, America Ansteys)

At the time of his marriage, James Anstey was a seaman, however later in life he became a victualler of Knackers Knowle, and he was declared an insolvent debtor in 1826.

We are always on the lookout for Devonport Anstey experts alive today who are willing to add their findings and knowledge to this project. We are particularly interested in research regarding Devonport 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 Devonport 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 ‘Devonport’ 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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