The American Ansteys

There is no such thing as an ‘American Anstey Sub-branch’. American Ansteys form a gallimaufry of offshoots of sub-branches, however they all have one thing in common, being that they can ALL ultimately trace back their ‘Anstey’ lineage to England, joining with one of the known English Anstey sub-branches.

So however American you may feel, if you are an ‘Anstey’ (or ‘Anstee’, ‘Ansty’ or ‘Anstie’) you have plenty of English blood. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of Ansteys in America are direct descendants of Hubert de Anstey, the first holder and originator of the Anstey surname in 1143.

Having said that, there are many Anstey sub-branches in America who have long since settled there. One of the biggest is an offshoot of the Stoke Gifford Ansteys, whose American exploits from the mid-1800s onwards are thoroughly documented in “ANSTEY: The Stoke Gifford Branch“, the fourth book co-authored by Gary and Tom, the first edition of which was privately printed in September 2019.

Incidentally, we have heard tales of Ansteys claiming ‘Anstey’ descendency from one of the first sets of pilgrims to arrive on American soil. The story goes along the lines that “Francis Anstey of Bury St Edmunds” (occasionally Semer in Suffolk) married Susan Knapp and had a daughter Elizabeth (or Agnes), who married Captain Robert Chaplain. This couple then had a daughter Martha who married Robert Parke, who sailed to America in 1630 on board the ship ‘Arabella’.

Given that this was only ten years after the famous ‘Mayflower’ transported the first English pilgrims to the ‘New World’ of America, there is understandably much interest in this ancestral line. However, no lesser a source than the 1612 Heraldic Visitation of Suffolk confirms that it was Francis Asty of Bury St Edmunds who married Susan Knapp, not “Francis Anstey”, who is therefore an Anstey imposter (Francis Asty married Susan Knapp on 3 October 1598 in Washbrook, Suffolk. In most databases this is transcribed as “Austye”, which is probably where the confusion comes from).

Hence, we are confident that there were NO Ansteys amongst the earliest American pilgrims, though of course we would be happy to be proved wrong. Please contact us at research@theansteystory.com if you have reliable information to the contrary.

We have already uploaded bits of information and documentation about the American 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 ‘America’ in the search box at the bottom of this page and a list of relevant pages will appear.

We are actively seeking any research or other documentation such as correspondence that American Ansteys might like to share with others on this Anstey project website. We are especially interested in stories regarding the earliest Anstey ancestors who arrived in America from England; we are also very interested in American Ansteys who fought in any wars.

Please contact us at research@theansteystory.com if you possess and are willing to share such information.


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