The Cumberland, Iowa Ansteys

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

Many thanks to Robin Gauthier for her contributions to this page.

Overview of the Cumberland, Iowa Ansteys

The Cumberland, Iowa Ansteys of America are a sub-branch of the Stoke Gifford Ansteys, headed by William Daniel Anstey (b 1856 Tortworth), who was half-brother to Alfred Henry Williams Anstey and first cousin of George James Anstey, patriarch of the Massena, Iowa Ansteys.

William Daniel Anstey (b 1856 Tortworth)

William Daniel Anstey was born in March 1856 in Tortworth to parents Henry Anstey (son of Thomas Anstey) and Selina Daniell. He married Flora Alice Barton on 2 October 1882 in North Nibley and the newlyweds immediately emigrated to America. They set sail for New York in late 1882, William Daniel Anstey describing their journey thus:

In those days ships were much smaller. A great storm arose and the waves washed over the ship sweeping everything from the deck. I heard the engine chug chug and finally stop. Everybody on board thought they were lost. Alice [wife] was so sick she thought death would be a relief. The captain finally managed to get things going again and we limped into New York”.

They spent their first winter with William Daniel Anstey’s first cousin George James Anstey, William noting that: “Alice used to say it was so cold that the coffee froze in the cup during the meal. The wolves would come howling near and the terrified dogs would dash up against the door until Alice feared the door would give way and they would all come in”.

After a brief settling-in period, William bought an eighty acre farm in Victoria Township, Cass County, and they had eight children in and around Cumberland, being:

  • Augustus Henry Anstey (b 16 January 1883, known as Gus, living in Rustburg Campbell Virginia in the 1910 American Census. He married Sallie M. McDaniel on 20 September 1911 in Columbia District and they had seven children, being Alice Virginia Anstey (b 1912); Augustus William Anstey (b 1915); Audrey Lucy Anstey (b 1917); Henry Barton Anstey (b 1918); Richard Wingfield Anstey (b 1921); Mary Catherine Anstey (b 1925); and​​ Frederick Thomas Anstey (b 1929). They settled in Rustburg Magisterial District, Campbell, Virginia, where Gus was a farmer. In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, Gus noted that he was living at #3 Rustburg, Campbell, Virginia, a self-employed farmer. Gus died on 5 September 1955 in Rustburg, buried at Holy Cross Cemetery Lynchburg, Lynchburg City, Virginia gravestone inscription “ANSTEY Augustus H. Jan 16 1883-Sep 5 1955 Sallie M. Nov 1 1891 Aug 17 1984“);
  • Archibald William Anstey (b 3 June 1885, known as Archie, living with the family in the 1910 American Census. He communicated with Anstey researcher Thomas John Edmund Anstey (Tom) in 1911. He took over the family farm in Edna in 1912 and on 4 September 1912 he married Annis Fay [Faya] McGrew in Cass County. They had children in Cumberland Amy Lucille Anstey (b 1913); Adrienne Helen Anstey (b 1915); Alice Faye Anstey (b 1919); William Hugh Anstey (b 1920);​ Charles Richard Anstey (b 1922, known as Dick); Rosemary Anstey (b 1924); Mary Elizabeth Anstey (b 1924, known as Betty); Barbara Eleanor Anstey (b 1926); and Miriam Eugenia Anstey (b 1927). In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, Archie noted that he was a farmer living at “3 Cumberland, Cass“. Archie died on 17 October 1960 in Cumberland, buried at St. Timothy Cemetary, Reno, Cass, Iowa);
  • Audrey Mary Alice Anstey (b 1887, known as Audrey, living with the family in the 1910 American Census. She married Joseph Patrick Saunders in 1917 in Creston, Iowa. They had a son John James Saunders (b 1927) who reviewed the Black Book with Tom’s brother Ted in 1946. Audrey died in 1951);
  • Amy Catherine Anstey (b 1889, living with the family in the 1910 American Census. She married John Albert Reed Byers in c1928 in Cass County. She died in 1974);
  • Alberta Gladys Ellen Anstey (b 1892, known as Gladys, living with the family in the 1910 American Census. She corresponded with Tom’s brother Ted on numerous occasions, married Edward Valentine Jennings on 21 October 1919 in Creston. She died in 1966);
  • Albert Clive Anstey (b 1895, died an infant);
  • Anna Vivienne Anstey (b 1896, known as Vivienne, living with the family in the 1910 American Census. She never married, spending most of her adult life in Creston. She died on 19 December 1981 in Lincoln Nebraska, though she was “of Cumberland, Iowa” in August 1981 (see below). She was buried in Cass, Iowa and she was the final child of William Daniel Anstey to die); and
  • Alban George Anstey (b 1899 – see below).

When William and Alice arrived in Iowa they were Church of England, but there was no such church nearby so Alice started to attend the only church within driving distance of their horse and wagon, which was a Catholic church. William refused to sit down in the church, and would only stand in the back, but the family became Catholic.

In 1891, William relocated to a farm in Edna Township, Cass County – the story goes that they were on one of their frequent visits to Aunt Maria Briscoe (nee Anstey) in Briscoe; they passed by the farm on the way and Alice liked it so much that William bought it to please her. Also in 1891 William contracted typhoid fever and nearly died. According to two pages of his diary, written in February 1895, William and family remained very close to other members of the Stoke Gifford Ansteys who had settled in America. For example, in the diary it mentions George James Anstey popping over on 13 January 1895; then on 20 January 1895 they went to Briscoe (where his aunt Maria Briscoe (nee Anstey) lived) for Sunday Service.

William Daniel Anstey became a naturalised American citizen in 1897, the family were living at Edna, Cass County in the 1910 American Census, then in 1912 he moved to Creston in Union County, Iowa (near Cass County), leaving the running of the farm in Edna to his son Archie. In 1918 he was living at 807 Brick Street Creston. William became involved in local politics, running for First Ward Alderman of Creston in 1925; in the same year he returned to England for a visit, passing by the home of his half-sisters Catherine and Alice. He also met up with Ted Anstey during that holiday, Ted stating in a 1947 letter that William was “the finest man I have ever met”.

Flora Alice Anstey died in 1928, buried at St Timothy Cemetery, Cass County – the ‘Adams County Union Republican‘ on May 16 1928 reported “Mrs. W. D. Anstey, a former resident of Cumberland, died at her home in Creston, Wednesday night, May 9, 1928, following an extended illness. The Anstey family were residents of Creston about 15 years, having moved to that city from Cumberland. Funeral services were held at 8:00 o’clock Saturday morning, May 13th, at Immaculate Conception church in Creston, with Rev. H. V. Malone officiating, and the body was taken to the Reno cemetery, near Cumberland, for interment. Beside her husband Mrs. Anstey leaves seven children, A. H. Anstey of Rustburg, Virginia; A. W. Anstey, Mrs. J. P. Saunders, Mrs. John Breys, all of Cumberland; Mrs. Gladys Anstey Jennings, Lincoln, Nebraska; Miss Vivian Anstey, Creston, and A. G. Anstey of Maryville, Kansas. Mrs. Anstey was known and respected by many of our readers. She leaves many friends who regret her passing.”

William Daniel Anstey eventually passed away on 14 May 1943, still living in Creston; he is buried at St Timothy Cemetery, Cass County, Iowa, together with his wife Alice.

From the personal notes of Robert L. Anstey (son of Alban George Anstey): “William Daniell Anstey returned to England to get household furniture, dishes, bedding, seed, whiteface Hereford cattle (the breeding of these cattle was a family specialty), swine, a plow, and tools from his relatives. He stated that he had purchased land in Ohio along the Ohio River near Cinncinati,, and he intended to establish a farm there. There is no record of his arrival in the USA. His land probably was occupied by squatters, and they obtained title through the squatters rights law.The Ohio River Valley was notorious for the cut throat pirates living in caves and preying on river traffic. The only evidence of any such arrival (of William Daniell Anstey) in the area was the sudden appearance on several farms of Hereford cattle, and the cattle have continued in that area up to the present time. There is no record of anyone with the family name “Anstey” living along the Ohio River, and there is no record of a land purchase in that name. This period in Ohio River history is filled with references to land swindles, speculation, and fraud. Local antique shops may have a set of Royal Worcester dishes from this period. People sold land they didn’t own, and some land was sold several times illegally. Land was bought and resold for a profit. Some land was merely taken illegally.

Alban George Anstey (b 1899 Cumberland)

Alban George Anstey, known as George, was born on 28 November 1899 in Edna Township, Cass County, to parents William Daniel Anstey and Flora Alice Barton; various of his descendants have communicated with Ted and Gary. He was living with his family in the 1910 American Census then in the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, George noted that he was a farmer living at 3 Cumberland, Cass.

George married Bernice Ione Crist on 28 June 1920 in Reno, Cass County and they had children:

  • Robert Leland Anstey (b 1921); and
  • Paul Gordon Anstey (b 1923)

At the time of the Military Draft for World War Two, George was living in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska. He served with the United States Army during this conflict in the South Pacific and was involved in the invasion of the Philippines and New Guinea.

George‘s first wife Bernice died in March 1980 so on 17 December 1980 he married Marian Lauderberger at Sedalia, Missouri.

George died on 21 August 1981 in Iowa Township, Wright, Iowa, buried in St Timothy Cemetery, Cass County, Iowa, gravestone inscription “George Alban Anstey 28 November 1899 – 21 August 1981“. An obituary states: “A. George Anstey, age 81 of 2108 Avenue ‘C’ in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, died at Scottsbluff Hospital Friday evening. He was born Nov. 28, 1899 at Creston, Iowa. He grew up and received his education In Creston and was graduated High School there. He later attended the University of Nebraska and on June 28, 1920, he was married to Bernice I. Crist in Iowa. He was employed by Swift and Company and Armour Company for many years and was also manager for the Beauty Girl Creamery in Gering. He served with the United States army during World War II in the South Pacific and was involved in the invasion of the Philippines and New Guinea. For the past number of years he was employed by many feed companies as a feed nutritionist, and at the time of his death he was employed by the Hergert Miller Company. His first wife preceded him in death in March, 1980, and on December 17, 1980, he was married to Marian Lauderberger at Sedalia, Missouri where they had been living for the past several months. He was a member of the St. Agnes Catholic Church in Scottsbluff, and V.F.W. Admiral Dewey Post #1681. He is survived by his wife, Marian Anstey of Sedalia Missouri, two sons, Paul G. Anstey of Bonnie Lake, Washington, and Robert L. Anstey of Natick, Massachusetts, and one sister, Vivienne Anstey, of Cumberland, Iowa. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, two brothers, and three sisters

Further Details on the Cumberland, Iowa Ansteys

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