The Kennford Ansteys

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

Overview of the Kennford Ansteys

The Kennford Ansteys of Devon include both the village of Kennford and the parishes of Kenton, Kenn and Powderham, all of which lie in close proximity to each other and a couple of miles south of Exeter. The three co-patriarchs of the Kennford Ansteys are Benjamin Anstis (b 1745) and his two nephews John Ansty (b 1767) and James Ansty (b 1775), all of whom are part of the CreditonAnstey evolved from Anstis‘ sub-branch

As such, the Kennford Ansteys are also an ‘Anstey evolved from Anstis‘ sub-branch, originally part of the ‘Anstis’ family, and thus do not connect to the wider Anstey pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anstey.

Thomas John Anstey (Tom) communicated with three members of this sub-branch in c1912 and through this correspondence he established that only one ‘Anstey’ member of this sub-branch was still residing in Kenn in 1912 (see below)

Benjamin Anstis (b 1745 Crediton)

Benjamin Anstis was born in 1745 in Crediton to father Edward Anstis. He married Thomasin [Tamsin] Lee in 1775 in Kenton (as ‘Ansty‘ – he was already a thatcher) and they had children:

  • John Anstey (b 1776 Kenton – see below);
  • Mary Ansty (b 1777 Kenton, married in 1798 in Kenn); and
  • Elizabeth Anstis (b 1784 Kenton, married in 1810 in Kenn);

Benjamin Anstis, like so many of this sub-branch, was a thatcher; he took on his nephew John Ansty (b 1767) as an apprentice in c1780 – see below. Benjamin Anstis left Crediton for Kenton in around 1760 (give or take a decade) and then moved from Kenton to Kenn probably in the mid-1790s. He was buried in Kenn in 1819 “aged 74“, as ‘Anstey‘.

Thomas John Anstey (Tom) drew the pedigree of this family into his Black Book in c1913 after communicating with various members of the sub-branch of John Anstey (b 1776 – see below).

John Ansty (b 1767 Crediton)

John Ansty was born in 1767 in Crediton to parents John Anstis and Sarah Body. The Kenton Poor Law Record has a great entry for John Ansty in 1796, being “Settlement Examination: John Anstey 1796 – now in Kenton, he was born in Crediton where his parents belonged, when he was 13 his parents brought him to Benjamin Ansty of Kenton, thatcher, who he served for 11 years as agreed, he then agreed for 2 years at £7 16s and then at 3s a week, then he went to Kenn and worked as a thatcher for 2 years and then came back to Kenton“.

John Ansty married Elizabeth Syms in 1790 in Powderham and they had children:

  • ?

James Ansty (b 1775 Crediton)

James Ansty was born in 1775 in Crediton to parents John Anstis and Sarah Body. He married Elizabeth Shenton (known as Betty) in 1798 in Kenton and they had children in Kenton:

  • Fanny Anstey (b 1798);
  • John Anstey (b 1801, was a thatcher master in Kenton and a “sexton“. He married Charlotte Bidgood [Bidford?] in Kenton in 1823 and had children in Kenton Mary Anstey (b 1826); Elizabeth Anstey (b 1826); Charlotte Anstey (b c1827, married Mr Gulley [Galley]); Fanny Anstey (b 1828); John Anstey (b 1829, a thatcher in Kenton in 1851); Lucy Anstey (b 1832); Ellen [Gillard] Anstey (b 1833); Francis Anstey (b 1835 – see below); and William [Cartey] Anstey (b q4 1837, a carpenter in Kenton in 1861. William married Ellen Philips in Exeter, St James in 1862 (residence Kenton and father confirmed as John Anstey). They had a son Frank Anstey (b 1863 – an Anstey Hero). William Anstey was buried in Kenton on 11 July 1866 “aged 28“). John Anstey died in Kenton in 1865 “aged 64“);
  • James Anstey (b 1804 Kenton – see below);
  • Elizabeth Anstice (b 1805);
  • Mary Anstice (b 1805);
  • William Anstey (b 1809, died 1845 in Kenton, aged 36?. If so he probably married Jane and they were living in Kennford in the 1841 Census where he was a thatcher (though the years of birth dont match). By 1851 Jane was a widow in Kennford and a dressmaker – they had no children. The ‘North Devon Journal‘ 04 September 1834 edition reported “John Selley was fined 2s 6d and expenses for an assault on Jane Anstey on the 21st inst at Kenton“); and
  • Charlotte Anstey (b 1815);

James Anstey (father) was a thatcher. He was also sexton of Kenton parish church according to a 1911 letter from his great grandson Harry Anstey to Thomas John Anstey (Tom). James Anstey died in 1826 in Kenton.

John Anstey (b 1776 Kenton)

John Anstey (b 1776 Kenton to father Benjamin Anstis) married Elizabeth Page in 1801 in Kenn, having children baptised in Kenn:

  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1801 Kenn);
  • John Page Anstey (b 1803 Kenn – see below);
  • William Anstey (b 1810 Kenn – see below);
  • Robert Anstey (b 1812, died young?);
  • Ann Page Anstey (b 1814, married Edmund Hollett in Kenn in 1835); and
  • Louisa Anstey (b 1821)

For the baptisms of the last two of his children John Anstey was described as a “thatcher of Kennford” – he was also a long time parish clerk of Kennford. John Anstey died on 16 April 1828 in Kennford.

John Page Anstey (b 1803 Kenn)

John Page Anstey was born in 1803 in Kenn to parents John Anstey and Elizabeth Page. He married Ann Smith in 1824 in Kennford and they had children (baptised in Kenn):

  • Sarah Smith Anstey (b 1826, married George White in 1850 in Marylebone);
  • Charlotte Anstey (b 1828);
  • John Anstey (b 1828 – see below);
  • Nicholas Anstey (b 1831 died 1833);
  • Mary Ann Anstey (b 1833)
  • Jane Anstey (b 1835);
  • Nicholas Anstey (b 1837 – see below);
  • Henry Anstey (b 1839, married Mary Ann Smith on 18 November 1865 in Little Berkhampstead and they moved to West Norwood, having a single child Mary Harriet Jane Anstey (b 1874, an unmarried florist living with her mother in the 1911 Census – she married James Bacon). In the 1901 Census Henry was a florist nurseryman living with his family and two ‘Skinner‘ nephew and niece at 4, Knights Hill Road, Lambeth. Henry died in 1902, the ‘Exeter and Plymouth Gazette‘ reporting on 04 April 1902 “DEATHS: ANSTEY March 28th (Good Friday) at 4 Knight’s Hill West Norwood, Henry Anstey, youngest son of the late John Page Anstey of Kenn“. In the 1911 Census Mary Ann Anstey (widow) and her daughter were florists still living at 4 Knights Hill West Norwood);
  • Hannah Anstey (b 1841);
  • Thomzin Anstey (b 1843); and
  • Anthony Anstey (b 1846, died 1850)

In 1837 John Page Anstey was described as “thatcher, clerk of the parish [of Kenn]“. In the 1851 Census, the family were living in Kenn, John Page Anstey was still a thatcher. Ann Anstey (wife) died on 20 May 1856 in Kenn so in March 1858 John Page Anstey remarried to Harriet Vooght in Exeter St James. They had four further children baptised in Kenn:

  • Emma Anstey (b 1858);
  • William Anstey (b 1861, baptised in Kenn on 29 June 1861. He was a butcher living with his widowed mother in 1881 in Kennford. He joined the Army at Exeter on 6 January 1881 “aged 19 years and 6 months” though we have no further details. He married Louisa Selley in 1886 in Exeter and they had children John Edmund Page Anstey (b 1886, died 1890); William Arthur Anstey (b 1887 Beer – an Anstey Hero); Albert George Anstey (b 1888, died 1890); Gertrude Annie Anstey (b 1891 Sidmouth); Arthur Anstey (b 1895 Sidmouth); Harry Anstey (b 1896 Sidmouth); George Anstey (b 1897 Sidmouth); Ethel Mary Anstey (b 1899, died 1905); Albert Edward Anstey (b 1902 Sidmouth, died 1908); Reginald Anstey (b 1904 Sidmouth); and Merlin Francis Anstey (b 1909 Sidmouth). In 1891 both William and Louisa were domestic servants at West View, Sidmouth. In 1901 William was a labourer living with his family at 2, Crescent Terrace, Sidmouth and in the 1911 Census he was a bricklayers labourer still living with his family at 2 the Cresent Temple St Sidmouth);
  • Mary Anstey (b 1863); and
  • John Edmund Page Anstey (b 1866, married Ellen Carter in Bushey Heath, St Peter on 15 April 1893 and they had children Albert Francis Anstey (b 1894 High Barnet – an Anstey Hero); Edith M. Anstey (b 1897 High Barnet); and Lilly Agnes Anstey (b 1905 East Molesey). In the 1911 Census John was a jobbing gardener living at 2 Percy Cottages East Molesey. He died in 1949 in Surrey)

John Page Anstey was a parish clerk in Kennford for a long period (he was certainly parish clerk in 1850). By the 1871 Census John Page Anstey and his second family were living at Kennford Street, Kenn – he was a thatcher still.

He died in Kennford in 1874, buried in Kenn. The ‘Exeter Flying Post‘ on 18 February 1874 reported “DEATH: February 9 at Kenn, Mr JOHN PAGE ANSTEY, age 69“. In the 1881 Census his widow Harriet Anstey was living with her son William in Kennford.

James Anstey (b 1804 Kenton)

James Anstey was born in Kenton in 1804 to parents James Ansty and Elizabeth Shenton; he was baptised as ‘Anstice’ in Kenton on 18 March 1804. James Anstey was a “sexton” in Kenton, marrying Mary Geary on 23 July 1827 in Exeter. They had children in Kenton:

  • John Geary Anstey (b 1828 – see below);
  • Mary Ann Anstey (b 1830);
  • Herbert Anstey (b 1832, baptised 20 May 1832 in Kenton. He married Emma Nurton in c1860 and they had children in Exeter James Herbert Anstey (b 15 May 1861 baptised in Kenton 16 June 1861. He married Emma Crofford Rowe at Exeter, St Thomas on 10 February 1886 and they had children in St Thomas Ethel Florence Anstey (b 1887, with family in the 1911 Census); Percival Anstey (b 1889, known as Percy – in the 1911 Census he was an unmarried clerk boarding at 30 Ettrick St Poplar E, Poplar Borough, London); Gertrude Elizabeth Anstey (b 1890, with family in the 1911 Census); Herbert Anstey (b 1891, died an infant); and Herbert Edward Anstey (b 1900, with family in the 1911 Census). In the 1911 Census Herbert Anstey was a railway booking clerk living with his family at 48 Buller Road St Thomas); Edith Caroline Anstey (b 1863); Alice Anstey (b 1866, an unmarried housekeeper living with her father in the 1911 Census); and one other. In the 1871 Census the family were living at Princess Road, St David, Exeter where Herbert was a railway porter. By the 1881 Census they were at 7, Bonhay Road, Exeter. By the 1891 Census the family had moved to Banks Road, St Sampson, Jersey, Guernsey and they were at South Esplanade, St Peter Port, Guernsey by 1901 where Herbert was a collector. In the 1911 Census Herbert Anstey was a widowed inspector living at South Esplanade St Peter Port Guernsey with his daughter Alice – his nephew, also Herbert Anstey, was also living in Guernsey in 1911);
  • Fanny Anstey (b 1835, died 1851);
  • Henry Anstey (b 1839, married Charlotte Saunders on 8 February 1863 in Exeter (he was living at Head Weir Road at the time). They had children in Exeter Lucy Anstey (b 1865, alive in 1881); Harry Anstey (b 1867 – see below); Fred Anstey (b 1870, alive in 1881); William Anstey (b 1873, alive in 1881); Minnie Anstey (b 1874, baptised 1 August 1875 in Kenton – the ‘Western Times‘ 22 October 1891 edition reported “Marriage: Manley – Anstey Oct 17 at Kenton, William Manley to Minnie Anstey of Kenton“. However for whatever reason that marriage cannot have lasted because in the 1901 Census Minnie Anstey was an unmarried servant at 56, Venner Road, Lewisham and in the 1911 Census she was still unmarried, working as a servant at 8 and 9 Redcliffe Gardens Clarendon Road Southsea); Herbert Oxwell Anstey (b 1877, married Margaret Isaac in 1905 in Pontardawe and they had a child David Howell Anstey (b 1907 Southsea). In the 1911 Census Herbert was a boot maker and dealer living at 193 Fawcett Road Southsea); and Katie Anstey (b 1879, alive in 1881). Charlotte Anstey (wife) died in 1881, buried in Kenton on 20 March 1881 and a couple of weeks later in the 1881 Census Henry was a widower and a fruiterer living with his children at 46, Longbrook Street, Exeter);
  • Anna Marie Anstey (b 1841);
  • James Arthur Anstey (b 1844 – see below);
  • Rhoda Anstey (b 5 January 1846, baptised 3 October 1847 in Kenton. She died in 1871 having never married, buried in Kenton on 29 January 1871); and
  • Esther Annetta Anstey (b 1848, married Henry Alfred Ballem – ‘The Star‘ on 9 November 1869 reporting “Henry Alfred, eldest son of the late James Ballem, Esq., of Alderney, to Esther Annetta, youngest daughter of Mr. James Anstey, of Kenton, Devonshire“)

In the 1851 Census the family were living in Kenton where James Anstey was the “parish clerk“. They were still in Kenton in the 1861 Census where James Anstey was a “thatcher and parish clerk“. Mary Anstey (wife) died in December 1864 so in 1867 James Anstey remarried Ophelia Hooper, the ‘Exeter and Plymouth Gazette‘ reporting on 24 May 1867 “MARRIAGES. Anstey—Hooper.— May 21. at the parish church, Kenton, by the Rev. A. S. Dames, Mr. James Anstey, parish clerk, to Ophelia, third daughter of Mr. Thomas Hooper, of Okehampton

In the 1871 Census they were living in Kenton Village where James Anstey was a thatcher. However Ophelia Anstey died later in 1871, effects to her husband “James Anstey thatcher“.

James Anstey died on 9 April 1883 in Kenton.

William Anstey (b 1810 Kenn)

William Anstey was born in 1810 in Kenn to parents John Anstey and Elizabeth Page. He married Mary Stokes in 1833 in Kenn and they had children baptised in Kenn:

  • John Stokes Anstey (b 1834 – patriarch of the Caradoc, Middlesex, Ontario Ansteys of Canada);
  • Sarah Anstey (b 1835);
  • William Lambert Anstey (b 1836 – see below);
  • Thomas Anstey (b 1838, died an infant);
  • Fanny Anstey (b 21 April 1839, never married and was living alone at Pennypark Tiverton in the 1911 Census, an “old age pensioner“);
  • Mary Anstey (b 1841)
  • George Anstey (b 1843, died in 1879, never married. The ‘Western Times‘ on 13 November 1879 reported “DEATHS: ANSTEY: Nov 8 at Kenford George, third son of Mr William Anstey, aged 36“);
  • Catherine Anstey (b 1845);
  • Ann Anstey (b 1848);
  • Thomas Anstey (b 1851 – see below);
  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1855, married Frank Bowden in 1875 in Kenn)

In 1839 William Anstey was a thatcher. William Anstey was a farmer and road contractor of Exeter for about 40 years (“was road contractor for over forty years for the city of Exeter” per the ‘Totnes Weekly Times‘ 16 March 1901 edition). In 1876 he was described as a “contractor“. He was still living in Kennford in the 1881 Census with his wife Mary – he was a farmer of 10 acres.

John Anstey (b 1828 Kenn)

John Anstey was born in 1828 in Kenn to parents John Page Anstey and Ann Smith. He was a thatcher in Kenn in the 1851 Census. He married Susannah Price in 1856 in Harpford having children in Kenn:

  • Ann Anstey (b 1857)
  • William Henry Anstey (b 1859, married Elizabeth Ann Trewin in 1887 in Newton Abbot and they had children John Frank Anstey (b 1888 Dawlish – an Anstey Hero); Alice Mary Anstey (b 1891, an unmarried sick nurse at 129 Whipps Cross Road Leytonstone in the 1911 Census with her Trewin uncle); Marion Elizabeth Anstey (b 1896, living with her parents in the 1911 Census); and Ethel Grace Anstey (b 1904, living with her parents in the 1911 Census). In the 1891 Census they were living at Old Town Street, Dawlish where William was a gardener. On 26 April 1892 the ‘Exeter and Plymouth Gazette‘ reported “Sad death at Dawlish:…William Henry Anstey, gardener, residing next door, at Frederick-terrace, said he saw deceased [Emmaline Skinner Lovett] on Wednesday morning, about 8.30, before the accident occurred… Elizabeth Anstey (wife of the last witness) said she saw the deceased on Wednesday before the accident – she was worse for drink…” In the 1911 Census they were living at 4 Clifton Place Old Town St Dawlish where William was a retired gardener. In the ‘Western Morning News‘ 15 September 1926 edition “William Henry Anstey of 4 Clifton Place Dawlish” was executor of the will of John Henry Grills Lamacroft);
  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1863); and
  • Thomas Anstey (b 1867, an unmarried thatcher living in Kenn in 1891. He married Emma Hollett in 1896 in St Thomas and they had two daughters in Kenn Edith Anna Anstey (b 1897) and Gertrude Price Anstey (b 1901). In the 1911 Census Thomas was a thatcher living with his family at Townsends Kenn. He was still living in Townsends, Kenn when he corresponded with Thomas John Anstey (Tom) in 1912, noting that “I am the only member of the family remaining here [in Kenn]“);

In the 1871, 1881 and 1891 censuses the family was living at Kenn Village, Kenn where John Anstey was a thatcher. John Anstey died in 1896, the ‘Exeter Flying Post‘ on 25 January 1896 reporting “DEATH: ANSTEY January 18 at Towsends Kenn, Mr John Anstey aged 67

John Geary Anstey (b 1828 Kenton)

John Geary Anstey was born in 1828 in Kenton to parents James Anstey and Mary Geary, baptised on 22 June 1828 in Kenton. He married Sarah Darby on 22 September 1850 in Exeter and they had children in Exeter:

  • John James Geary Anstey (b 1852, married Mary Elizabeth Gould in 1871 in Exeter and they had children William Henry Gould Anstey (b 1871, baptised 8 October 1871 in Heavitree – the ‘Exeter and Plymouth Gazette‘ on 30 December 1898 reported “MARRIAGES. ANSTEY—BROOM.—Dec. 26, William Henry Anstey Annie Elisabeth Broom, both of Heavitree“. They had a single child Cyril Norman Anstey (b 1909 Dawlish, known as Norman). In the 1911 Census the family were living at Stoneland Cottage Dawlish together with Elizabeth Broom, presumably Annie‘s mother – William was a gardener); Eva Anstey (b 1874 Bristol, died before 1881?); Rosalind Anstey (b 1876 Bedminster); and Laura Anstey (b 1878 Bedminster). In the 1881 Census the family were living at 8, Anjers Terrace, Bedminster where John James Anstey was a railway porter. He died in 1902);
  • Harriet Lavina Anstey (b 1854, died 1857);
  • Charles Anstey (b 1857, a gardener in 1871 – died by 1922);
  • Harry [Henry] Anstey (b 28 September 1858, baptised 26 December 1858 in Exeter. He married Mary Jane Miflin in 1884 in Heavitree (as Henry) and they had children in Heavitree and North Tawton Ethel Mary Anstey (b 1885, married A. Willcocks and was alive in 1930); Douglas Harry Anstey (b 1887 – an Anstey Hero);​ Frank Gerald Anstey (b 1889 – an Anstey Hero); Reginald James Anstey (b 1892 – an Anstey Hero); Arthur Charles Anstey (b 1894, died an infant); Elsie Winifred Anstey (b 1896 – an Anstey Hero); and​​ Georgina Maud Anstey (b 1901, unmarried in 1930). In the 1911 Census the family were living at Holly House North Tawton where Harry was an insurance agent with Prudential Insurance Company. Harry died on 11 July 1919, buried in North Tawton Cemetery, in the same grave as his son Frank Gerald Anstey is commemorated. His widow Mary Jane Anstey was buried there in 1930 – the ‘Western Times‘ on 29 August 1930 reported “We regret to record the death of Mrs Mary Jane Anstey of Mill Lane. Deceased, who was aged 70, was the widow of Mr Harry Anstey and leaves a grown up family who have lost a devoted mother. The funeral took place on Monday at the Parish Church…the immediate mourners were Mr Douglas Anstey and Mr Reg Anstey (sons), Mrs A Willocks, Miss E. Anstey and Miss G. Anstey (daughters)…“. The family gravestone inscription reads “In Loving Memory of Harry Anstey who died July 11 1919 aged 60 years. He Suffered Patiently and Long…Also Private Frank Gerald, son of the above, who fell in action in France Sept 18 1916 aged 28 Years. Nobly he Fought and Fell. And Mary Jane Anstey widow of the above H. Anstey, who died aged 70 years“);
  • Georgina Anstey (b 1861, an unmarried Head Teacher living with her father at 9 Church Street Heavitree in the 1911 Census. She married William Radden in 1912 in St Thomas and was alive in 1922);
  • William Anstey (b 1862 – see below);
  • Laura Anstey (b 1865, married James Lynch and died in 1896, buried in the family grave at St Michael and All Angels Churchyard, Heavitree. Her daughter Lilly Lynch (b 1892 Dulverton) was living with her uncle Frank Anstey in the 1911 Census); and
  • Frank Anstey (b 1867, married Mary Edith Slader on 29 May 1890 in St Thomas, having two children who had both died by 1911. In the 1911 Census Frank was a general engineering foreman living with his wife at 67 Caversham Avenue Palmers Green. He was still alive in 1922)

In the 1851 Census John Geary Anstey was a gardener living with his ‘Darby’ in laws at Guinea Street, Exeter. In the 1871 Census they were living at Penleonard, St Leonard, Exeter and in the 1881 Census he was a gardener living with his family at Magdalen Road, Exeter St Leonard. In 1905 according to the ‘Western Times‘ 30 January 1905 edition “John Geary Anstey, sexton of the Parish Church of Heavitree said he was present as a witness of the marriage and gave away the bride” at a court case involving another man’s alleged bigamy.

Sarah Anstey (wife) died in 1907, buried in the family grave at St Michael and All Angels Churchyard, Heavitree. In the 1911 Census John Geary Anstey was living with his daughter Georgina at 9 Church Street Heavitree, by now a “widower and retired sexton“.

The ‘Western Times‘ on 13 June 1922 reported ‘Nonagenarian’s Funeral at Heavitree: Mr J. G. Anstey, who was for over a quarter of a century the sexton at Heavitree Parish Church, was laid to rest in the churchyard yesterday. Deceased had resided in Heavitree all his life and had quite recently lived at 12 Church Terrace. The vicar (Rev. K. A. Lake) conducted the burial service. The coffin was polished oak with brass mountings, and the inscription on the breastplate read: “John Geary Anstey. died 5th June. 1922, aged 94 years.” The body was placed the grave which already contained the bodies of his wife, daughter and daughter in law. The immediate mourners were Mrs Radden (daughter); Messrs W and F Anstey (sons)…

Francis Anstey (b 1835 Kenton)

Francis Anstey, known as Frank, was born in 1835 in Kenton, baptised on 20 September 1835, to parents John Anstey and Charlotte Bidgood [Bidford?]. He married Emma Watts (b 1832 Kidlington, Oxfordshire) in 1857 in St Thomas, Devon and they had children:

  • Charlotte Emma Anstey (b 27 April 1860 Kensington, baptised in Kenton on 18 April 1862 – she was a nurse working at 12, Stowe Road, Hammersmith in the 1881 Census)
  • Frank Anstey (b 1862 Westbourne Park. He was a house painter living with his widowed mother at 40 Davisville Road, Hammersmith in the 1891 Census. In 1902 he married Sarah Jane Shakeshaft in Brentford and by the 1911 Census he was a house decorator living with his wife at 29 Allison Road Horn Lane Acton – they had no children at this time);
  • Louisa Elizabeth Anstey (b 1867 Kensington);
  • John Anstey (b 1869 – an Anstey Hero); and
  • Sarah Alice Anstey (b 13 April 1872 Shepherd’s Bush, baptised 28 August 1872 in Hammersmith)

In 1871 the family were living at 35 Blomfield Road Shepherd’s Bush where Francis was a painter; ditto 1872. In the 1881 Census the family were living at 18 Lefern Road, Hammersmith where Francis Anstey was a “painter born in Kenton“. Francis Anstey died in Fulham in 1884. His widow Emma Anstey was living with her son Frank at Davisville Road, Hammersmith in 1891.

William Lambert Anstey (b 1836 Kenn)

William Lambert Anstey was born in 1836 in Kenn to parents William Anstey and Mary Stokes. He married Mary Ann Brenton in Kenn in 1858 having children (amongst others):

  • George William Townsend Anstey (b 1859 Wolborough – see below); and
  • Albert Edward Anstey (b 1861, baptised 5 January 1862 in Exeter St David. He married Mary Elizabeth Sanders in 1889 in Exeter and they had at least one son William Anstey (b 1890 Lambeth, a railway parcel porter lodging at 26 Sidney Street Gloucester in the 1911 Census). In the 1891 Census they were living at Loughboro Street, Lambeth where Albert was a butler. The ‘Totnes Weekly Times‘ on 16 March 1901 reported “Mr Albert Edward Anstey, formerly of Kennford, near Exeter and assistant verger in charge of the monuments at Westminster Abbey, has just died. Mr Anstey was 39 years old. His grandfather was road contractor for over forty years for the city of Exeter and his brother is messenger to the Speakers Gallery in the House of Commons“. By the 1911 Census, Mary Elizabeth Anstey (widow) was a housekeeper at The Vicarage Cirencester Road Charlton Kings)

Nicholas Anstey (b 1837 Kenn)

Nicholas Anstey was born in 1837 to parents John Page Anstey and Ann Smith, baptised on 2 July 1837 in Kenn. He was a “miller” when he signed up with the ‘Royal Regiment of Artillery’ in 1855 for twelve years of service (Service Number: 4373), reengaging in Plymouth in 1867 for another stint. He served five years abroad in Corfu (between c1857 and c1862) out of 21 years of service, as first a “Gunner and Driver“, then Bombardier, Corporal and later Sergeant – to our knowledge he served in no campaigns. Whilst stationed in Corfu Nicholas Anstey married Ellen Privett [Pridett] in c1860, having children:

  • Amelia Ellen Anstey (b 1863 Southsea);
  • Harry Anstey (b q4 1865 Stoke Damerel. In the 1881 Census he was an “engineer’s apprentice” living with his family in West Ham, then in 1889 in Steyning he married Emily Harriet Privett (presumably part of his mother’s family). They had children Harry Victor Anstey (b 1890 – an Anstey Hero); Charles Hector Anstey (b 1892 – an Anstey Hero); and Beatrice May P. Anstey (b 1903, married Alfred Henry Carpenter in Totnes in 1932 – they were living at 48 Darnley Road Woodford Green, Essex in 1937). In 1901 the family were living at 1 Hartley Road, Low Leyton, West Ham where Harry was a “collector of taxes“. They were still there in the 1911 Census. Harry died on 21 May 1937, the ‘Torquay Times, and South Devon Advertiser‘ 21 May 1937 reporting “PAIGNTON WILL: Mr Harry Anstey of Devon House, 20 Garfield Road, Paignton, who died on March 29 last left estate of the gross value of £3,677 with net personality nil. Probate has been granted to his son Lieut Charles Hector Anstey R. A. F. (retired) of the Newlands 169 Old Road Brampton Chesterfield, Derby and Alfred Henry Carpenter of 48 Darnley Road Woodford Green, Essex, bank clerk“);
  • Edith Anstey (b 1869, Woolwich, Kent, unmarried in the 1901 Census. By the 1911 Census she was still unmarried, living off “private means” with her mother at 6 Merlin Road Manor Park);
  • Nicholas George Anstey (b 1871 Tarbert, Argyllshire, known sometimes as George, married Ellen Tipple in 1894 in West Ham. In the 1901 Census they were living at 172, Plashet Grove, East Ham with their daughter Dorothy Ellen Anstey (b 1899) – Nicholas was an Estate Agent. By the 1911 Census they were at Exmoor South Woodford, Woodford where Nicholas was an auctioneer and surveyor. He died in West Ham in 1927);
  • Mary Ann Anstey (b 1873 Tarbert, Argyllshire, died young?); and
  • Beatrice Anstey (b 1876 Tarbert, Argyllshire, unmarried in the 1901 Census).

In the 1871 Census the family were at Barmore, Tarbert, Argyllshire, where Nicholas Anstey was a ‘Sergeant in the Royal Regiment of Military‘, part of the Coast Brigade. In 1876 he was receiving a pension from the Royal Artillery Coast Brigade. By 1881 they were living at 1 Kent Street, West Ham and by 1891 they were at Barking Road, West Ham where Nicholas was an estate agent. By 1901 he was an ‘estate agent and tax collector’ living at 62, High Street, West Ham. Nicholas Anstey died in Plaistow, West Ham in 1903, living at 62 High Street – effects to his widow Helen Anstey. By the 1911 Census Helen Anstey (widow) was living off “private means” with her daughter Edith at 6 Merlin Road Manor Park

James Arthur Anstey (b 1844 Kenton)

James Arthur Anstey was born on 23 July 1844 in Kenton, baptised 18 August 1844, to parents James Anstey and Mary Geary. He married first Rhoda Milum (b 1850) in 1869 in St Thomas and they had children in Kenton:

In the 1871 Census they were living at Court Hall, Kenton together with James‘ aunt Sarah Geary. However Rhoda died in 1872 in Kenton, so James Arthur Anstey married Jane Louisa Shilston (b 1852) on 5 June 1875 in Dawlish and they had children in Kenton:

  • Frank Shilston Anstey (b 1876 a “carrier of Kenton“. He signed up for 12 years with the Army in Exeter on 2 January 1895 in Exeter, joining the 4th Regiment Dragoon Guards (Service Number: 4814). He served in India from 7 December 1898 to 26 February 1903; then in the Army Reserves until 1 January 1907 when he was discharged – he fought in no campaigns. He married Mary Elsie Pugh in 1906 in Okehampton, having at least one daughter Dorothy Emmie Anstey (b 1908), and in the 1911 Census they were living at 4 Oakfield Street Heavitree where Frank was a “Shunter at a railway company“. By 1938 Frank was on the Voter Registration at Salisbury, Mashonaland East, Southern Rhodesia – he was also on the same voter registration in 1952);
  • Charlie Anstey (b 11 August 1877 baptised 7 October 1877 in Kenton. He married Mary Elizabeth Gibbons – the ‘Western Chronicle‘ 24 April 1903 reporting “Marriage: Anstey – Gibbons April 16 at Crewkerne Parish Church Charles Anstey of Crediton to Mary Elizabeth Gibbons of Crewkerne“. In the 1911 Census they were living at 6 Dean Villas Crediton with their daughter Beatrice Mary Anstey (b 1905) – Charlie was a ‘chocolate refiner’);
  • Herbert Anstey (b 1879, married Florence in 1904 and they had a child who died young. In the 1911 Census they were living at Papanui Brock Road St Peter Port Guernsey, where Herbert was a lawn tennis groundsman – his uncle, also Herbert Anstey, was also living in Guernsey at that time); and
  • Reginald John Anstey (b 1880 – an Anstey Hero);

By the 1881 Census the family were living at 12, Bonhay Road, Kenton where James Arthur Anstey was a carrier. By 1891 they were living in Queen Street, Kenton where James was a “carrier thatcher” – also living with them was his father in law Edward Shilston and a nephew George Olden. By 1901 James and his wife were living at Vicarage Cottage, Starcross, Kenton – he was a gardener. James Arthur Anstey died in 1906 in Crediton, buried in Crediton on 10 May 1906.

His widow long outlived him – in the 1911 Census she was a cook at Grange Road Guernsey. The ‘Exeter and Plymouth Gazette‘ on 11 January 1952 reported “100 Years Old Next Week: Mrs Anstey has no time for Modern Hustle. Plans are being made in Torridge Hospital for a grand birthday party next Thursday when the hospital’s oldest patient Mrs Jane Louisa Anstey will be celebrating her birthday. She will be 100. Mrs Anstey is in good health – she can read, hear and she never takes medicine – but she is unable to get about and she has been in the hospital since 1947. She comes from Dawlish, the daughter of Mr and Mrs Shelston of Parkhill and she thinks her home town is much preferred to Bideford. In fact she does not like Bideford at all. Next to Dawlish her heart is in France where she was a governess for some years in the mid eighties. She went to a family in Normandy when she was 18 and stayed there for 6 years. She has a good memory and can still speak French with a convincing accent. When she came home from France she married Mr James Arthur Anstey, a thatcher in the Earl of Devon’s estates. He died 40 years ago but Mrs Anstey has a reminder of him constantly by her side; his photograph is on the table at her bedside…She has four sons, six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

She died a year later in 1953 in Bideford.

Thomas Anstey (b 1851 Kenn)

Thomas Anstey was born in 1851 in Kenn to parents William Anstey and Mary Stokes. He married Elizabeth Tucker (b 1854, daughter of James Tucker coal miner) on 1 January 1876 at Seghill Parish Church in Tynemouth – at the time of his marriage he was a “coal miner living in Seaton Deverel, aged 24, son of William Anstey contractor” (both were literate). They had children in Seaton-Delaval, Tynemouth:

  • William James E. Anstey (b 1877, a hewer of coal in 1901 living with his parents. He married Margaret Alice Quarry in 1906 in Tynemouth and they had a daughter Hilda Isabella Anstey (b 1911 New Delaval). In the 1911 Census William was a coal mine deputy living with his family at 22 Northrow New Delaval);
  • Julia Anstey (b 1878, died 1879);
  • George Lewis Anstey (b 1880, a hewer of coal in 1901 living with his parents. He married Mary Ann Lintern in 1903 in Tynemouth and they had children in Cramlington and Horton parishes in Northumberland George J. Anstey (b 1902); John Anstey (b 1903); Lewis Anstey (b 1905 – the ‘Blythe News‘ on 28 August 1930 reported “ANSTEY—DAVISON.—At Presbyterian Church, Bridge Street, Blyth, August 24th, by the Rev. R. H. Halford, Lewis Anstey, third son of Mr and Mrs George Anstey of New Delaval, to Mary Ann Kilgor Davison, third daughter of Mr and Mrs James Davison, Blyth“); Florence Anstey (b 1907); William James Anstey (b 1909); Mary Ann Anstey (b 1911, the ‘Blyth News‘ on 19 December 1929 reported “Deaths: Anstey New Delaval, 75 New Row on the 19th inst aged 18 years Mary Ann (Mamie) beloved daughter of Geo. Lewis and Mary Ann Anstey. Interment Seghill Sunday“); Thomas Anstey (b 1915 – an Anstey Hero. The ‘Blyth News‘ on 18 December 1941 has a photo of Thomas together with “Newsham Man’s Death in Middle East: Official notification has been received by Mr and Mrs George Anstey, of 78 The Oval, Newsham, of the death in action, in the Middle East. of their son, Trooper Thomas Anstey, aged 26. Trooper Anstey was born at New Delaval, and attended New Delaval Senior School and on leaving he was employed with the New Delaval and Seaton Delaval Pits. He has been in the Regular Army for six years and saw service in Dunkirk and France. While in the Army he won medals for football“); Eleanor Anstey (b 1918); and Elizabeth Anstey (b 1920). In the 1911 Census George Anstey was a coal miner hewer living with his family at 39 Back Phoenix Street Newsham Blyth Northumberland);
  • Marion Anstey (b 1882, a servant at Park Villas, 2, Wallsend, Tynemouth in the 1901 Census and still an unmarried servant at Clifton Vicarage Towngate Clifton, Brighouse, Yorkshire in the 1911 Census); and
  • Eva Mary Anstey (b 1884, living with her parents in the 1911 Census)

In the 1881 Census Thomas Anstey was a coalminer living with his family at 19, Camp Terrace, Seaton-Delaval, Tynemouth and in 1891 they were still there. By 1901 they were at 20, Foremans Row, Seaton Delaval, where Thomas was an ash pit cleaner and he was still there in the 1911 Census, by now a colliery labourer above ground. The ‘Blyth News‘ 6 January 1936 edition has a photo of Thomas Anstey and his wife Elizabeth with the caption “Seaton Delaval Diamond Wedding: Mr and Mrs Thomas Anstey, who celebrated their diamond wedding at the weekend at their fireside in Foreman’s Row, Seaton Delaval. Married at Seghill Parish Church, Mr Anstey is 84 years of age and his wife 83

Thomas Anstey died in q3 1939 in Northumberland Central “aged 88“.

George William Townsend Anstey (b 1859 Wolborough)

George William Townsend Anstey was born in 1859 in Wolborough to parents William Lambert Anstey and Mary Ann Brenton. He married Emily Eliza Cleverley in 1886 in Chertsey and they had children:

  • George Anstey (b 1887 Southampton, died an infant);
  • Emily Anstey (b 1888 Christchurch, died an infant);
  • Dora Anstey (b 1889 St. George Hanover Square, died an infant);
  • May Anstey (b 1890 Lambeth, an unmarried typist living with the family in the 1911 Census);
  • George Anstey (b 1891 Lambeth, died an infant);
  • Beatrice Mary Anstey (b 19 July 1892 St. George Hanover Square, baptised 11 March 1894 as a Catholic at Camberwell Sacred Heart, an unmarried dressmaker living with the family in the 1911 Census);
  • George Edward Anstey (b 20 April 1894 Lambeth, baptised 30 May 1894 as a Catholic at Camberwell Sacred Heart England. He was an unmarried servant living at 33 Chester Square, St George Hanover Square in the 1911 Census);
  • John Joseph Anstey (b 1897 Dartford – an Anstey Hero);
  • Herbert Henry Anstey (b 1899 Lambeth, living with the family in the 1911 Census); and
  • Paul Anstey (b 1908 Brixton, living with the family in the 1911 Census)

In 1901 the family were living at 4, St Agnes Place, Lambeth where George was a “messenger house commission“. In the 1911 Census George was a “messenger parliament” living with his family at 34 Bellefields Road Brixton – 6 of their 10 children were still alive. He was a “messenger to the Speakers Gallery in the House of Commons” when he corresponded with Thomas John Anstey (Tom) in 1912 and met up with him in February 1912 at 34 Bellefield Road Brixton.

William Anstey (b 1862 Exeter)

William Anstey was born in 1862 in Exeter to parents John Geary Anstey and Sarah Darby, baptised on 1 June 1862 in Exeter St Leonard. In 1881 he was living at Magdalen Road, Exeter with his family, working as a brass finisher. Then in 1883 in St Olave Southwark he married Georgina Lang Kelly. They had children in Greenwich Kent:

  • Clarise Maud Anstey (b 1884, an unmarried dressmaker living with the family in 1911, she married William Floyd in 1913 in Woolwich);
  • William John Anstey (b 1885 – see below); and
  • Florence Mabel Anstey (b 1887, an unmarried schoolteacher living with the family in 1911)

In the 1891 Census the family were living in Greenwich where William Anstey was a brass finisher. By 1901 they were living at 28, Roseneath Road, Urmston, Barton upon Irwell, Lancashire, where William Anstey was a “foreman at a brass finisher” and by the 1911 Census they were living at 43 Priolo Road, Charlton where he was a brass finisher again. They were in Woolwich in the 1921 Census. William was alive in 1922 when his father died.

Harry Anstey (b 1867 Exeter)

Harry Anstey was born in Exeter in 1867 to parents Henry Anstey and Charlotte Saunders. He married Bessie Allen in 1886 in Exeter and they had children:

  • Lilly Anstey (b 1888 Exeter, an unmarried dressmaker in the 1911 Census);
  • Rose Anstey (b 1890 Exeter, alive in 1911);
  • Daisy Gwendoline Anstey (b 1891 Radstock, an unmarried shop assistant in the 1911 Census);
  • Eustace Harry Anstey (b 1895 Midsomer Norton, an unmarried (unemployed) errrand boy in the 1911 Census); and
  • Gladys Violet Anstey (b 1899 Bristol, living with her family in the 1911 Census);

In the 1901 Census Harry was a photographer living at 39, Dunkirk Road, Bristol. Harry (via his wife Bessie) communicated with Thomas John Anstey (Tom) in 1911, stating that “[his] father, grandfather and great grandfather were sextons of Kenton parish church“. In the 1911 Census Harry Anstey was still a photographer living at 10 Mivart St Easton, Bristol.

William John Anstey (b 1885 Greenwich)

William John Anstey was born on 4 July 1885 in St John’s, Greenwich to parents William Anstey and Georgina Lang Kelly. He was living with his parents 43 Priolo Road, Charlton in the 1911 Census – an unmarried draughtsman. At the outbreak of World War One William was in Germany – he was interned at Ruhleben Civilian Prisoner Of War Camp, as far as we know for the duration of the conflict (Ruhleben was a former horse racecourse which housed in the region of five thousand predominantly British prisoners, who were generally citizens living, working or on holiday in Germany at the outbreak of war). According to the Ruhleben Story website “William John Anstey is listed in the surviving register from Barrack 5 at Ruhleben (register number 2), recorded by Neville Stanley Wilkinson in approximately 1916. In the register, Anstey is recorded as having been born on July 4th 1886 in London, and is described as having worked as an engineer prior to his internment. His home address was 30 Wellington Road, Charlton, London. At the time the register was recorded, Anstey was noted as staying in box 14. Anstey is also recorded as having spent some time in the Schoningsbaracke between February 8th 1918 and February 9th 1918.

Once the conflict was over in late 1918 William John Anstey returned to England. In 1920 he was listed as a “cable engineer“, with ‘Merchant Seamen Identity Number: 177525’ (there is a photo of him on this identity card).

By the 1921 Census he was back living with his family in Woolwich. He married Bertha R. Watson in 1923 in Lewisham – they appear to have had no children. In the 1939 Register William John Anstey and his wife Bertha R. Anstey were living at 234 Church Lane, Kingsbury, Wembley – he was a licensed victualler. William John Anstey died in Hove in 1973.

Further Details on the Kennford Ansteys

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