The Portland, Oregon Ansteys

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

Overview of the Portland, Oregon Ansteys

The Portland, Oregon Ansteys of America are a sub-branch of the Washfield Ansteys of Devon, arriving in Portland, Oregon via Toronto, Canada. Hence they form part of the South West Peninsula Anstey sub-branch.

The patriarch of the Portland, Oregon Ansteys is Frederick Alfred Anstey (b 1849 Lambeth), even though he personally never actually made it all the way from Lambeth to Portland, Oregon via Toronto, Canada – though his family members did.

Frederick Alfred Anstey (b 1849 Lambeth)

Frederick Alfred Anstey, known as Fred, was born in 1849 (confirmed in the 1881 Census) in Lambeth to parents Frederick Anstey and Mary Calderhead. His mother died when he was quite young so in the 1861 Census he was living at Upper Portland Place, 9, Lambeth with his father and stepmother. At some point in the late 1860s Fred must have emigrated to Canada because in c1871 (surely in either Canada or possibly America) he married Maria Sharp McAdam [Macadams] (b c1852 England but of Irish origin, arrived in Canada in 1858). They had children in Toronto:

  • William George Anstey (b 1872 – see below);
  • John James Anstey (b 5 December 1873, he emigrated to America in 1899. He was single and a plumber living at Portland Ward 5, Multnomah, Oregon in the 1910 American Census. In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, John noted that he was living at 286 Hartilla, Portland; that he was a plumber working at Vancouver, Washington; that he was a citizen of Canada; and that his nearest relative was his brother “William G. Anstey, 228 Washington, Portland“. John James Anstey was still single in the 1920 Census);
  • Frederick Alfred Anstey (b 1876 – see below);
  • Albert Victor Anstey (b 9 March 1878, in 1891 he was living in Toronto with his widowed mother. He married Hazel Shields (b 1887 Iowa) in 1905 (likely in America) and they had at least one son Emerson Victor Anstey (b 1907 Oregon, who married Charlotte Elizabeth Harahbager in 1930 in Los Angeles). In the 1910 American Census Albert and his family were living at Portland Ward 5, Multnomah, Oregon, where he was a “merchant at a furniture store“. Albert later married Lola Della Forsyth in 1916 in Oregon. In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, Albert stated that he was a citizen of Canada living in Portland; he was aged 40 (though it was written “he is not sure of age, thinks he’s 40“); he worked in a furniture business; and his nearest relative was his son Emerson. By the time he died in Los Angeles on 6 August 1929 of tuberculosis and tubercular pericarditis (‘buried’ at Pasadena Crematory), Albert Victor Anstey was a “divorced furniture dealer” – his death certificate also confirms his parents “Frederick Alfred Anstey and Maria MacAdams, both born in England“. His son Emerson informed the authorities of the death, at which time he was living at Glendale, California);
  • Clara M. Anstey (b 3 April 1881, a dressmaker in Toronto in 1901. She married Fred F. Harker in February 1910 in Oregon – the ‘Oregon Daily Journal‘ reporting on 27 February 1910 “At the residence of the bride’s mother a pretty and quiet wedding took place when Miss Clara Anstey the only daughter of Mrs M. S. Anstey of Toronto Canada and F. F. Harker also of Toronto were united in marriagelittle Eleanor Anstey [niece] followed with a basket of flowers“. They were living in Portland Ward 5, Multnomah, Oregon in the 1910 Census); and
  • Arthur Edward Henry Anstey (b 5 December 1882 in Toronto to parents “Frederick Anstey and Maria Sharp McAdam” – he was a bookbinder in Toronto in 1901. He married Mabel (b 1886) and in the 1911 Canadian Census they were living at 125 Toronto East where he was still a binder at a book company. They appear to have had no children and by the 1921 Census they were still in Toronto where Arthur was now a publisher at a printing company – they were both Methodist. Arthur was still alive in 1927 in Toronto, perhaps working for W. J. Gage & Co. Limited – if so he may well have written ‘The Romance of British Columbia‘ in 1927 and ‘The British People ; A Story Of Social Development‘ in 1946)

Both Fred Anstey and Maria were Methodists. In 1876 Fred‘s profession was “street car” and they were living at St David’s Street, Toronto. In the 1881 Census Fred Anstey was a shoemaker living at St David Ward, Toronto. Next door to them was Elizabeth McAdam (aged 75, born in Ireland) and William McAdam (b 1859) – probably close relatives.

By the 1891 Census Fred Anstey was deceased, and the rest of the family were still living in St David Ward, Toronto. Maria Anstey (widow) and her two youngest children Clara and Arthur were still living in Toronto in the 1901 Census. Almost all of the family had emigrated to Portland Ward 5, Multnomah, Oregon, America by 1909 and can be found in the 1910 Census there, including Maria Anstey.

William George Anstey (b 1872 Toronto)

William George Anstey was born in Toronto on 2 May 1872 to parents Frederick Alfred Anstey and Maria Sharp McAdam. He was living with his widowed mother in Toronto in 1891, he became a member of the ‘Canada, Ontario, Oddfellows Life Insurance’ in 1901. He was a plumber when he married Jean Rowen (b 1872) in 1902 in Sault Sainte Marie, Algoma, Ontario, Canada (parents confirmed as Fred Alfred Anstey and Maria S. MacAdams) – they had children:

  • Eleanor Marie Anstey (b 1903 Sault Ste. Marie, Algoma, Ontario, was flower girl at the 1910 wedding of her aunt Clara Anstey); 
  • John Alexander Anstey (b 1906 Washington, also known as Jack. In 1926 he was residing in Multnomah, Oregon – still residing there in 1944. He was a salesman and a plumber, he remained single and died in 1955); and 
  • Edwin R. Anstey (b 15 December 1906 Canada, a plumber living with his parents in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon in the 1930 Census. He married Lillian I. Larsen in 1932 in Portland and he died in Oregon in 1996).

In 1907 the family emigrated permanently from Canada to Oregon, America and by the 1910 American Census they were living at Portland Ward 2, Multnomah, Oregon – William being a “retail merchant of furniture“. In 1918 they were living at “228 Washington, Portland“. In the 1920 Census they were living in Portland City, Oregon where William George Anstey was a plumber. By the 1930 Census they were still in Portland (Districts 271-553), Multnomah, Oregon where William was still a plumber. William George Anstey died on 7 March 1946 in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon, buried at Rose City Cemetery, Portland.

Frederick Alfred Anstey (b 1876 Toronto)

Frederick Alfred Anstey was born in Toronto, York, Ontario (some sources say England) on 22 March 1876 to parents Frederick Alfred Anstey and Maria Sharp McAdam. He may have lived at a Barnardo Home in 1887 in Toronto and he was living with his widowed mother in Toronto in 1891. He then emigrated to America in 1897 and married Alma Q. Yerion on 2 June 1902 in King, Washington (some sources say he married “Alice Yerion in Pierce Washington on 1 June 1903” but it is clearly the same marriage). In 1908 Frederick was in Multnomah Oregon, having been in Oregon since 1904 – he travelled a lot, being a salemsan.

Interestingly Frederick has two entries in the 1910 American Census. The first states that he was already divorced, living at Portland Ward 5 as a “drug salesman“, son of “Mary C Therkelsen aged 40” which is clearly wrong. The second states that he was still married and boarding at Tacoma Ward 4 Pierce Washington working as a salesman of liquor. Either way it is clearly the same person.

We find no children from the first marriage. His ex-wife Alma Anstey was at Chicago Ward 2 Cook Illinois with her uncle Henry Horn in the 1910 American Census (she later married William Henry Baker on 4 September 1919 and she died on 2 July 1935 in San Francisco as “Alma Y. Anstey“).

[Note: Frederick and Alma both said in the 1910 Census that they had been married for 8 years, they were presumably finalising the divorce at the time of the census]

Later in 1910, on December 24, Frederick married Margaret Evipline Ellis in Multnomah, Oregon. In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One Frederick gave his address as “250 E 50th Street Portland, Multnomah, Oregon“; he stated that he was a “salesman for E. R. Squibbs & Sons in New York City“; and that his nearest relative was his wife Margaret E. Anstey.

In the 1920 Census Frederick and Margaret (b 1882 California) were living in Oakland, Alameda, California where he was a salesman for a drug company. He clearly criss-crossed America on a frequent basis.

In 1926 in Los Angeles California Frederick married for a third time, to Ella Lee Moore (b 1896 Minnesota), once again his parents were confirmed as “Frederick Alfred Anstey and Maria McAdam“. In the 1930 Census they were living at Oakland, Alameda, California together with their daughter:

  • Jacqueline Anstey (b 1921 California).

They were still at Oakland, Alameda, California in the 1940 Census where Frederick was still a salesman for a drug company. He was naturalised as an America citizen in Alameda, California in 1941.

Frederick A. Anstey died on 28 June 1962, buried at Desert Memorial Park Cathedral City, Riverside County, California – he had a New York Social Security number.

Further Details on the Portland, Oregon Ansteys

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

We have already uploaded bits of information and documentation about the Portland, Oregon 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 ‘Portland, Oregon’ 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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