The Chester, PA Ansteys

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

Overview of the Chester, PA Ansteys

The Chester Ansteys of Delaware County, Pennsylvania (PA) in America are headed by Henry Dutton Anstey (b 1832). They are a sub-branch of the Bristol Ansteys.

Henry Dutton Anstey (b 1832 Bristol)

Henry Dutton Anstey was born in 1832 in Bristol to parents Cornelius Dutton Anstey and Charlotte Hayes. His father died in 1833, a year after his birth, and Henry Dutton Anstey was baptised in 1837 in Bristol St Philip aged 5. 

Henry Dutton Anstey moved to Pennsylvania, America. He possibly emigrated in 1854 aboard the ship ‘SS Saranak‘ where “Hy Anstey, a 23 year old mechanic” arrived in Pennsylvania on 9/18/1854, though confusingly another “Hy Anstey aged 23” arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in December 1854 aboard the ship ‘Sea Queen‘.

Henry married Laura Elizabeth Seamp (b 1830 England) in 1855 in York, Pennsylvania “[Marriage] Wednesday June 27 10pm Henry T. D. Anstey of Chester and Laura E. Seamp of Bristol England at Mrs Collisons. Fee $2.50“. They had children: 

  • George H. Anstey (b 1856 Pennsylvania, possibly was a firefighter, has Anstey descendants alive today. He married Mary J. Nugent and they had a daughter Mary H. A. Anstey (b 1884 died 1904, buried at Holy Cross Cemetery Yeadon, Delaware County “ANSTEY – On the 7th of November, 1904, MARY H. A., daughter of George H. and Mary J. Anstey, and granddaughter of Henry and Laura Anstey and the late Edward and Margaret Nugent, of Chester, Pa., aged 20 years and 7 months. Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral, on Saturday, at 8.30 a. m., from her parents’ residence, 3552 Frankford ave. Solemn requiem mass at Church of the Ascension at 10 a. m. Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery.” They also had a son George H. Anstey (b 1886, married Anna in c1913, died between 1920 and 1930). In the 1930 Census George H. Anstey (widower) was living in Philadelphia with his daughter in law Anna Anstey (widow of George H. Anstey (son)) and three grandchildren Nellie Anstey (b 1914); George Anstey Junior (b 1916) and Anna Anstey (b 1919));
  • Charles William Anstey (b 1858 Pennsylvania, married Isabella Baynes and had a daughter Laura Elizabeth Anstey (b 1878, Chester, married Wilford Crosby Burke in 1900 in Tent, New Castle, Delaware – possibly Laura was daughter of Henry and Laura not Charles their son). Charles William Anstey died in 1884, buried in Chester Rural Cemetery);
  • Robert Anstey (b 1860 Pennsylvania, died before 1870?);
  • Alfred John Anstey (b 1863, married Eleanor Mary Hoey in Delaware, Pennsylvania in 1886. The ‘Chester Times‘ on 18 June 1886 reported “Anstey-Huey Nuptials: A pleasant social event occurred last evening in the South Ward. Alfred H Anstey son of Henry Anstey, and Miss Ellis Hoey, were united in marriage at the residence of the bride’s father Bernard W. Hoey, third and Franklin Streets… Mr and Mrs Anstey will take up their residence in this city“. Alfred was a “ship carpenter” in Chester in 1891. In 1898 he remarried Miss Mary Norr, the ‘Chester Times‘ reporting on 13 May 1898 “ALFRED ANSTEY MARRIED: A number of Chester people went to Elizabeth New Jersey on Wednesday to be present at the marriage of Alfred Anstey, son of Henry Anstey, one of the city’s assessors. Mr Anstey, who was formerly a Chester boy, having learned his trade in Roach’s Joiner Shop, is now in charge of the joiners shop at Nixon’s shipyard in Elizabeth. The bride was Miss Mary Norr, a well known and popular young lady of Elizabeth…Among the guests present from Chester were Mr and Mrs Henry D. Anstey, Mr and Mrs Hiederhofer, Mr and Mrs William Sparks, Mr and Mrs Deakyne, Miss Laura Anstey, Mrs Alfred Anstey Jnr and Miss Hannah Anstey“. They had a son Charles H. Anstey (b 1899) and they were living in Union, New Jersey in the 1900 Census.
  • A daughter (either Hannah or Laura

In the 1860 Census, the family were in North Ward Chester Borough, Delaware, Pennsylvania; Henry was a shoemaker. By the 1870 Census, the family were in South Ward, Chester; Henry was a “boot and shoemaker“.

In 1891 Henry Anstey was a City Assessor in Chester, Delaware his “term expires, April, 1893” according to the Chester City Directory. In 1900 Henry Anstey lived at 509 West 2nd Street, Chester.

Henry Dutton Anstey died in the Norristown Insane Asylum, Montgomery, Pennsylvania in 1909 “aged 75“ and a “shoemaker“; he was buried at Chester Rural Cemetery in Chester, PA. The headstone inscription reads “Henry D. Anstey Jan 3 1832 – Jan 30 1909. Laura E. Anstey Apr 7 1830 – Mar 7 1907. God is Love

The ‘Chester Times‘ on 1 February 1909 reported “HENRY D. ANSTEY DIED ON SATURDAY: City Assessor for many years and for forty years an Officer of the Presbyterian Sunday School. Former City Assessor Henry D. Anstey died on Saturday at Norristown, PA and the remains will be brought to this city tomorrow afternoon…Mr Anstey was an elder in the Second Presbyterian Church for a number of years and for forty years he was treasurer of the Sunday School, which he helped to organise… Mr Anstey for a number of years was ward assessor for the Old South ward, and later when the city was redistricted, he was elected a city assessor, an office which he filled very satisfactorily several times. Mr Anstey is survived by three sons and one daughter and was in the seventy sixth year of his age. He was a member of Lieperville Lodge…

Further Details on the Chester, PA Ansteys

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