Henry Charles Anstey, a member of the Witheridge Ansteys (a sub-branch of the Chulmleigh Ansteys), was born in February 1826 in Witheridge, Devon to parents William Anstey, a cordwainer and later shoemaker, and Mary Cole. Henry is a notable figure in the Anstey story because he was an American Anstey Pioneer, with many Ansteys alive today who live in America descendent from him.
In 1846 in Newton Abbot, Henry married Mary Jane Dart. They had children:
- Henry William Anstey (b 1847 Witheridge, married first Ida Tinker in 1879 and later Mary Josephine Stocks, lived in Hartland, Wisconsin);
- Charles Anstey (b 1849 Witheridge died young);
- Ellen Mary Anstey (b 1850 St Marylebone, Middlesex, lived in Delafield, Wisconsin);
- Mary Jane Anstey (b 1854 England, lived in Delafield, Wisconsin);
- Charles Samuel Anstey (b 1856 Wisconsin, became a farmer in Delafield, Wisconsin);
- Edward John Anstey (b 1858 Wisconsin, lived in Delafield, Wisconsin);
- Millie Margaret Anstey (b 1861 Wisconsin married George W. Sizer in Hartland, Wisconsin);
- Walter Dart Anstey (b 1864 Wisconsin, lived in Delafield, Wisconsin);
- A daughter (died an infant).
In 1855 Henry and his family set sail for America – their story is told in ‘Portrait and Biographical Record of Waukesha County, Wisconsin‘ (page 811-2), where it states:
“Henry Charles Anstey, was a native of Devonshire, England and there grew to manhood and married Miss Mary Jane Dart, who was also born in that shire. Mr Anstey was a carpenter and joiner by trade and for a great many years worked in the city of London. In the year 1855 he came with his family to America, embarking on board the sailing-vessel ‘Prince Albert’ at London. The journey was a memorable one; to add to the trials and dangers of a sea voyage, that dread disease cholera broke out among the passengers, some sixty of whom were carried off by its ravages. After being at sea for forty days the ship reached New York. Because of the sanitary condition the passengers were compelled to remain in quarantine on Staten Island for a period of two weeks. At the end of that time the passengers were permitted to go on their way. Mr Anstey proceeded to Chicago by rail, and from there to Milwaukee [Wisconsin] came by boat. In the latter city he purchased a lot, located on what is known as Prospect Avenue, for $300, on which he erected a substantial house. He continued to reside there, being employed at his trade, until the spring of 1860. At that time he traded his home in Milwaukee and $50 in cash for sixty acres of land situated one mile east of Hartland in the town of Delafield [Wisconsin]. Directly after his father’s death in 1862, Mr Anstey went to England to claim his share of the former’s property. He remained in the land of his nativity some three months, then returned to his home in Wisconsin. Soon thereafter he bought eighty acres of land in Delafield Township, about all the improvements on it being a small log house and a barn. By careful management and thrift Mr Anstey became well-to-do; by additional purchases he added to the eighty acres until his estate comprised three hundred and twenty acres of valuable land, upon which he erected a good home and modern outbuildings. In April 1878, Mr Anstey passed from the scenes of this life. Honourable and upright in his dealings he well merited the esteem of all who knew him.“
Both Henry and his wife Mary (who died in 1899) are buried in Hartland Cemetery, Waukesha County, Wisconsin.
If you would like to add anything to this biography, or if you are descendent from Henry Charles Anstey and would like to share more stories of the Ansteys of this sub-branch in America, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.