The Minersville, Pennsylvania Ansteys

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

Overview of the Minersville, Pennsylvania Ansteys

The Minersville, Pennsylvania Ansteys of America are a sub-branch of the Dyrham Anstees of South Gloucestershire, hence they form part of the South West Peninsula Anstey pedigree.

The patriarchs of the Minersville, Pennsylvania Ansteys are two brothers John Anstey (b 1819 Frampton Cotterell) and his brother George Anstey (b 1821 Frampton Cotterell), both of whom emigrated to Minersville in 1847.

It is likely that this sub-branch is today Anstey-extinct, though research continues into this – anybody who knows this not to be the case please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

John Anstey (b 1819 Frampton Cotterell)

John Anstey was born in 1819 in Frampton Cotterell, baptised 28 December 1819, to parents John Williams Anstee and Ann Nicholls (see Further Details #1). In the 1841 Census he was an agricultural labourer living with his mother and siblings in Frampton Cotterell. He married Priscilla Persila Rowland on 14 January 1844 in Kingswood Holy Trinity, Bristol (father confirmed as “John Anstee“) and they had a daughter:

  • Priscilla Anstey (b c1846 England (not 1849 Pennsylvania per the 1860 Census), married Thomas Roberts and was living in Philadelphia in 1898)

John Anstey and his family emigrated to Minersville, Pennsylvania in 1847. His wife Priscilla Persila Anstey died on 9 December 1848, buried at Minersville Union Cemetery, so in 1852 John Anstey remarried Sarah Oldknow nee Slaughterbach (b 1813), a widow. They had children in Minersville:

  • John Elmer Anstey (b 1853, known as Elmer. He was an unmarried labourer living with his family in Montgomery County in 1880. He married Laura (Bowers)? (b 1866) in 1887 and they had a daughter Beatrice F. Anstey (b 1895 Pennsylvania, married Elmer J. Ray). By 1898 they were living in Philadelphia. In the 1910 American Census they were living at Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where John was a carpenter at a Lace Mill and his wife Laura was a private music teacher. In the 1920 Census they were living with their daughter at New Britain, Bucks, Pennsylvania and by the 1930 Census they were living with her at Wildwood, Cape May, New Jersey. John Elmer Anstey was either dead by 1934 or he died in 1937)
  • David Wilmot Anstey (b 23 June 1856, known as Wilmot (or William? see below). He was an unmarried labourer living with his family in Montgomery County in 1880. He married Susan Jane Merkle in 1883 and they had a son Arthur Merkle Anstey (b 7 January 1884, married Martha F. Slough in 1905 in Philidelphia – we find no children from this marriage and they were living at Philadelphia Ward 27 in the 1910 American Census. In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, Arthur noted that he was a self employed baker living in Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware. In 1942 he married Sarah E. Dunlap in Philadelphia). We cannot find David in the 1910 American Census but David and his wife were living in Lansdale South Ward, Montgomery County in the 1920 Census where he was a “wood worker at an agricultural works“. David died in 1945, buried at Lansdale Cemetery Lansdale, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA plot “Mausoleum Sec D Crypt # 25“. The The ‘Daily Local News West Chester, Pa.‘ on 31 August 1945 wrote “David Wilmot Ansty, who for the past ten years has made his home with his son, Arthur M. Ansty, on the Paoli Pike in West Goshen, passed away last evening in the Chester County Hospital, in his 90th year. He had been in failing health for the past year, and had undergone an operation at the hospital last Saturday. Mr. Ansty was born in Minersville, on June 23, 1856, but had spent most of his life at Lansdale, Montgomery County, where he was a wheelwright. He was a member of the Fifty Year Club of Montgomery County. He had been a member of the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows; and the Order of American Mechanics. He Methodist in religion. His wife, Susan Jane is deceased. His only survivor is he son, Arthur M. Ansty of the Paoli Pike“)
  • Sarah Gertrude Anstey (b 1860, known as Gertrude, married Harry Loch in 1882 in Pennsylvania and they were living in Lansdale in 1898. She died in 1934, buried in Lansdale Cemetery);
  • William D. Ansty ( – this must be the same person as David Wilmot Anstey above. The ‘Evening Herald‘ on 3 December 1892 reported “William Ansty, son of ex coal operator John Ansty of Lansdale, was the guest of Mr and Mrs George J. Markle for the past few days” In 1894 “Mrs William D. Ansty and son spent last Wednesday in Ambler with relative“. The ‘Morning Call‘ 21 October 1895 reported “ALMOST CHOKED TO DEATH. William Ansty, of Lansdale, Swallowed a Bubber Plate and Tooth. While eating dinner Wednesday William Anstey, of Lansdale, had a narrow escape from choking to death. While masticating a piece of meat a rubber plate with one tooth attached became dislodged from the roof of his mouth and in his effort to swallow the meat the plate and tooth got fast in his throat. Dr.Moyer was summoned, but was unable to reach the obstruction with instruments. After a short time, However, Mr. Anstey started for the train to go to a Philadelphia hospital to have the tooth and plate removed by a surgeon, but before he had reached the depot he succeeded in swallowing the obstruction, which, however, severely lacerated his throat. What the result will be is hard to say.”); and
  • Another child (who died before 1898)

In the 1860 Census the family were living in Minersville, Schuylkill where John Anstey was a coal miner. By the 1880 Census the family were living at Montgomery, Pennsylvania where John was a farmer, having moved from Minersville in 1878.

Sarah Anstey (wife) died in November 1896 in Lansdale – the ‘Pottsville Republican‘ reporting on 16 November 1896 “The news of the death of Mrs John Anstey, which occurred at the residence of her husband at Lansdale, Montgomery County, was received here by her many former friends and relatives with profound regret“. John Anstey died on 15 April 1898. He was buried at Lansdale Cemetery Lansdale, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, plot “Div B Sec B Lot 29 Grave 1” gravestone inscription “John Ansty died April 15 1898 aged 78

The ‘Pottsville Republican‘ 16 April 1898 wrote “Word has reached here announcing the death at Lansdale of John Ansty. aged 78 years. The deceased was a resident here for many years prior to his locating in Bucks county. He was engaged in the mining of coal in partnership with R. C. Kear, who died several years ago in operated the Kear Wolf Creek colliery at a profit until they were obliged to relinquish it because the land owners refused to give them financial assistance to keep the water of other collieries near by from running into their mines. Mr. Ansty was a prominent member of the M. E. Church here having served in the capacity of class leader, trustee and steward. He was very popular with his many friends. He leaves to survive him two sons, Elmer and D. Wilmot, of Lansdale, and two daughters.

The ‘Lansdale Reporter‘ on 21 April 1898 wrote “John Ansty, an old time resident and one of Lansdale’s most respected citizens, died at his late residence on South Broad street last Friday, the 15th, aged 78 years. He had been ill about a week with pneumonia but was on a fair way to recover, and his demise is attributed to paralysis of the heart. He funeral took place on Tuesday at 2 p.m.. Services were conducted at the home by Rev. J.A. Sellers, assisted by Rev. I.M. Gable. The pall bearers were furnished by Lansdale Lodge I.O.O.F. consisting of Dr. J.F. Boyer, Mahlon Godshalk, J.B. Edwards, David Hulshouser, Daniel Koch, and W.H. Pool. Interment was made at Lansdale cemetery. Deceased was an Englishman, by birth, and was born in 1820. He was a miner by occupation in the old country, but in 1847 with a wife and one child he concluded to try his fortune in the new world. He went direct to Minersville, Pa., and for a time followed chosen vocation as foreman of a mine, but soon launched our as an operator and prospered steadily until he amassed quite a competency. His wife died the year after his arrival here, and in 1852 he married a widow Mrs. Sarah Oldknow of Minersville. By this second union there were four children, three of whom are living. John E., of Philadelphia and D.W. and Mrs. Harry Loch, of Lansdale. A daughter by his first wife, Mrs. Thomas Roberts resides in Philadelphia. In 1878 Mr. Ansty concluded to quit the mining business and moved to Lansdale. He bought and for four years farmed the Morrell place on the outskirts, but in 1882 he quit active life and moved her into the borough, living retired in his comfortable home on South Broad street and giving his attention to his real estate interests which are considerable. Deceased had been a consistent member of the Methodist church for over 50 years and was a member of the Lansdale M.E. church at the time of his death. He had also joined the order of Odd Fellows over 50 years ago in England, and was a member in good standing in this country. He was an ardent Republican, but never aspired to political preferment, and never held office except some years ago he was elected to Lansdale borough council where he served with credit. He was an exemplary neighbour and a substantial citizen and his death is a loss to the community. Mrs. Ansty it will be remembered died a year ago last November.

George Anstey (b 1821 Frampton Cotterell)

George Anstey was born in 1821 in Frampton Cotterell, baptised 28 October 1821, to parents John Williams Anstee and Ann Nicholls (see Further Details #1). In the 1841 Census he was an agricultural labourer living with his mother and siblings in Frampton Cotterell. George Anstey married Elizabeth Boye on 2 November 1845 at Kingswood Holy Trinity, Bristol (father confirmed as “John Anstee“) and they had children in first Frampton Cotterell and then Minersville, Pennsylvania where they emigrated in 1847:

  • Philip Anstey (b 1846 Frampton Cotterell – see below);
  • Mary Ann Anstey (b 1848 Minersville, married William Tovey and lived in Minersville);
  • Emma Jane Anstey (b 1850 (or 9 September 1852 per her death certificate), known as both Emma and Jane. She married Carl Thomas and died on 9 March 1908 in Philadelphia “a widow, of exhaustion“);
  • George Anstey (b 1857 – not to be confused with George H. Anstey (b 1856 Pennsylvania). George was a miner in Minersville in 1880. He died in Schuylkill, Pennsylvania on 27 October 1902, buried 29 October 1902, an “unmarried miner“);
  • Robert Anstey (b 6 February 1858 Minersville, a miner in Minersville in 1880, known as Bobb. He married Bessie Martin (1859-1895) in c1885 or so and they had children Nellie Bessie Anstey (b 1888, married William Jamieson and died in 1918) and Florence May Anstey (b 1891, living with her sister Nellie Jamieson at Philadelphia Ward 29 in the 1910 American Census. She later married Joseph A. Wagner). In 1892 there was a fire at Ashland in which Robertwas one of the heaviest losers – his loss was total, furniture, clothing and semi monthly pay, which he had received that day, were destroyed” Later in 1892 he was promoted to “Assistant Inside Foreman at the Locust Spring Colliery“. Robert Anstey was living at Philadelphia Ward 47 in the 1910 American Census. He died 3 February 1926, buried at Glenwood Memorial Gardens, Broomall, Delaware County, Pennsylvania “son of George and Elizabeth“);
  • Charles Anstey (b 1862, a miner in Minersville in 1880. He probably married ‘Xezenfon‘ and they were living in Springfield Ward 5, Greene, Missouri in the 1910 American Census where Charles Anstey was an “odd job labourer” – we find no children of this marriage); and
  • Sallie [Sarah?] Anstey (b 1864)

In the 1850 Census the family were living at Minersville where George Anstey was a miner. They were still there in 1860 at Minersville Borough East Ward – ditto 1880 at Minersville, ED 215, Schuylkill, where George Anstey was still a miner now suffering from asthma.

Philip Anstey (b 1846 Frampton Cotterell)

Philip Anstey was born in 1846 in Frampton Cotterell to parents George Anstey and Elizabeth Boye, baptised on 31 October 1846 at Coalpit Heath, St Saviour.

At the tender age of eighteen, as the American Civil War was raging, Philip Anstey, a “miner living in Northampton” enrolled at Minersville on 17 February 1864 on the side of the Union as a Private. He was mustered into the 55th Pennsylvania Regiment, ‘E’ Company (“Schuylkill Guards, recruited in Minersville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania“) on 1 March 1864 at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and mustered out with Company on 30 August 30 1865.

According to the National Parks Service, the 55th Pennsylvania Regiment “Embarked for Virginia April 12. Butler’s operations on south side of the James and against Petersburg and Richmond May 5-28. Swift Creek or Arrowfield Church May 9-10. Operations against Fort Darling May 12-16. Battle of Drewry’s Bluff May 14-16. Operations on the Bermuda Hundred front May 17-28. Moved to White House, thence to Cold Harbor May 28-June 1. Battle of Cold Harbor June 1-12. Before Petersburg June 15-18. Siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30, 1864 (Support). Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, New Market Heights, north of James River September 28-30. Duty in trenches before Richmond till March, 1865. Signal Hill December 10, 1864. Appomattox Campaign March 26-April 9. Hatcher’s and Gravelly Runs March 29-30. Capture of Forts Gregg and Baldwin and fall of Petersburg April 2. Pursuit of Lee April 3-9. Rice’s Station April 6. Appomattox C. H. April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. At Appomattox C. H. till April 17, and at Richmond till July. Duty in Virginia till August. Mustered out at Petersburg, Va., August 30, 1865” (see also below obituary).

After the war, Philip Anstey married Mary Elizabeth McClean [McClain] (b 1858, died 1904 Fernwood Cemetery, known as Lizzie) in 1875, the ‘Sunbury Gazette‘ on 17 December 1875 reported “Marriage: On the 7th inst at the residence of Mr Jno Curtis, Mr Phillip Anstey formerly of Minersville and Miss Mary E. McClain of Shamokin“. They had children:

  • George Anstey (b 1876 Minserville – see below);
  • William Curtis Anstey (b 16 December 1878 Minersville (some sources say Indiana). In the 1900 Census he was living with his widowed mother and his sisters in Philadelphia Ward 36 where he was a “machinist“. He married Mary [Mamie] Russell (some sources say Mary Wright) on 5 June 1901 in Philadelphia (at which time he was a labourer living at 1839 Hoffman) and they had children Della [Delta] May Anstey (b 1903, living with family in the 1910 American Census. She married George Hyland); William C. Anstey (b 15 May 1907, a premature birth – he died on the same day, buried at Glenwood Cemetery); Lillian M. Anstey (b 1909, living with family in the 1910 American Census and still single in 1940); and another child (b 3 October 1911 Philadelphia, died at birth). In the 1910 American Census they were living in Philadelphia Ward 28 together with Thomas Russell (brother in law). In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One William Curtis Anstey was living at 2944 Page Street, Philadelphia, a “machine hand at Baldwins“. By the 1940 Census the whole family were still living in Philadelphia (Ward 46) where William was a machinist at a locomotive works. William Curtis Anstey died 27 December 1947 in Upper Darby, Delaware, buried at Arlington Cemetery Drexel Hill, Delaware County gravestone inscription “ANSTEY William C. 1879-1947 Mary 1880-1949“)
  • Mabel Anstey (b 1881, died 1895, buried at Fernwood Cemetery)
  • Maude Anstey (b 1885, married David J. McCoach in Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware on 18 September 1909)
  • Priscilla Anstey (b 1890 Philadelphia, married Joseph P. Mann in Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware on 5 March 1910).

In the 1880 Census the family were living in Minersville where Philip Anstey was a carpenter. Soon after this they moved to Philadelphia where in the 1890 Census Philip Anstey appears on the ‘Surviving Soldiers‘ List “Ansty, Philip Rank: Private Company E 55 Reg Pa“.

Philip Anstey died on 15 October 1893, buried at Fernwood Cemetery, Fernwood, Delaware County, Pennsylvania “aged 48“. The ‘Potsville Republican‘ on 17 October 1893 reported “Word was received here announcing the death of Phillip Anstey which occurred at his home at 1811 Carlisle Street Philadelphia. The deceased was the son of the late George Anstey of this place. He, when 16 years of age, enlisted in Co E of the 55th Regiment under the command of Captain Horace Bennett and went to the front and immediately took part in active service to put down the rebellion. He was taken prisoner at Bermuda Hundred and during his imprisonment suffered much hardship which tended to shorten his life. He was ever a popular companion and his many friends here mourn his early demise. He leaves a widow and a family of children to survive him

By the 1900 Census Mary Elizabeth Anstey (widow) was living with her son William Curtis Anstey and her two youngest daughters in Philadelphia Ward 36.

George Anstey (b 1876 Minersville)

George Anstey was born on 26 September 1876 in Minersville, Shamokin to parents Philip Anstey and Mary Elizabeth McClean. He married Lillie May Stout on 6 February 1899 in Philadelphia and they had children in Philadelphia:

  • Edna May Anstey (b 1900, living with family in the 1910 American Census. She married Floyd H. Rulon in 1917 in Pennsylvania);
  • Mabelle Ozella? Anstey (b 1903, living with family in the 1910 American Census. She married William P. Keanes on 17 January 1920 – her father giving consent as she was a minor);
  • Caroline Fruzier? Anstey (b 15 February 1905, living with family in the 1910 American Census. She died 17 November 1923);
  • Helen Bessie Anstey (b 1906, living with family in the 1910 American Census. She died 28 November 1922);
  • George Philip Anstey (b 1906, living with family in the 1910 American Census. He married Mabel P. Snagg on 4 January 1930 – we find no children of this marriage);
  • Wilhelmina Harriet Anstey (b 1910, married Lawrence Newman Powell in 1932); and
  • James William Anstey (b 1916, married Margaret Teresa Martin on 14 August 1937 in Philadelphia – we find no children of this marriage)

In the 1910 American Census the family were living in Philadelphia Ward 28 where George Anstey was a machinist at a locomotive works. In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, George Anstey noted that he was a “machinist at Balderson Locomotive Works“, living at 2537 W. Gordon Street, Philadelphia. He was still a machinist in Philadelphia in 1930. George Anstey died in 1948 buried in Fernwood Cemetery, Fernwood, Delaware. His widow Lillie was buried there in 1953.

Further Details on the Minersville, Pennsylvania Ansteys

#1. Ann Anstey (nee Nicholls), mother of John Anstey and George Anstey surely moved to Minersville with a granddaughter? Elizabeth Ann Anstey (b c1834 England, perhaps an illegitimate daughter of Mary Anstey?). The family were all living together in Frampton Cotterell in 1841. Elizabeth Ann Anstey married William Emery Smith in c1855 in Minersville and in the 1860 Census they were living in Minersville Borough East Ward together with Ann Anstey (b 1790 England). Ann Anstey was no longer with them in the 1870 Census so presumably she had died by then. The ‘Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania; genealogy‘ intriguingly states that “William E. Smith…married
Elizabeth Anstey, who was born in England in April, 1832, daughter of John
and Sarah Anstey
, and died about 1904 at Pottsville. Her father was a miner.
” – we are clearly missing something here.

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