The Sweetwater, Wyoming Anstees

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

Overview of the Sweetwater, Wyoming Anstees

The Sweetwater, Wyoming Anstees of America are a sub-branch of the Christchurch, Monmouthshire Anstees, themselves a sub-branch of the Dyrham Anstees and thus form part of the South Gloucestershire Anstey pedigree. The patriarch of the Sweetwater, Wyoming Anstees is Arthur Anstee (b 1856 Pontypool).

Given the current state of research, it seems likely that this sub-branch is now Anstee-extinct.

Arthur Anstee (b 1856 Pontypool)

Arthur Anstee was born in October 1856 in Pontypool to parents Jonah Anstee and Margaret Merchant. He was baptised in November 1856 at Trevethin. In the 1871 Census Arthur Anstee was living with his family at Coity, Lower, Bridgend, Coity, Glamorganshire, then in 1880 he emigrated to America, settling first in Pennsylvania. He married Ann H. Morgan (b 1860) in Pleasant Valley, Pennsylvania in 1884, a year before his brother George Florida Anstee married Narcissa Miller in Smithfield, Wales, Bucks, Pennsylvania in 1885. This does suggest the two brothers may have travelled together to America in 1880.

Arthur Anstee and Ann Morgan had children in first Luzerne, Pennsylvania then Castlegate, Utah and finally Sweetwater, Wyoming, being:

  • Edgar Anstee (b 1885 Luzerne, Pennsylvania, died 1891);
  • Maggie Jane Anstee (b 1886 Luzerne, Pennsylvania, died 1897);
  • Arthur Anstee (b 1889 Schofied, Utah. In the June 1917 Draft Registration for World War One, Arthur was unmarried, living at 6 Rock Springs, Wyoming and working as a labourer for the Lion Cove Company. Arthur Anstee committed suicide in Rawlins, Carbon, Wyoming on 15 November 1945 “aged 56” – we have no evidence that he married);
  • Lillie Florence Anstee (b 1893 Castlegate, Utah, married Hugh Gregory in 1910 in Rock Springs, Sweetwater);
  • George Florida Anstee (b 1894 Castlegate, Carbon, Utah – see below);
  • Mary Elvira Anstee (b 1895, died 1897);
  • David Morgan Anstee (b 1897 Plymouth, Luzerne, died an infant);
  • Ann Anstee (b 1899 Plymouth, Luzerne, married first Leland Melvin Moss in 1921 in Utah, and then William Edgar Bennet in 1927. She died in 1974, the ‘Rock Springs Daily Rocket-Miner‘ reporting on 4 January 1974 “Ann Bennett Dies After Long Illness Funeral services for Ann Anstee Bennett, 73, 1325 Sage St., Rock Springs, will be conducted at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bishop Richard A. James will officiate. Burial will be in the Mountain View section of the Rock Springs Municipal Cemetery. Mrs. Bennett died at 4 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 3, at the Kimberly Manor Nursing Home following a lengthy illness. She was born June 16, 1899 in Plymouth, Pa., the daughter of the late Arthur and Ann Morgan Anstee. She was married to William E. Bennett in 1929 at Salt Lake City, Utah. He preceded her in death Dec. 31, 1970. Mrs. Bennett was a resident of Rock Springs since 1902 and was a member of the LDS Church. She is survived by three daughters, Ms. Clinton (Lydia) Poffinberger, Salt Lake City, Utah, Mrs. Charles (Jean) Merlone Sr., Rock Springs, and Mrs. Jack (Lillie) Nelson, Salmon, Idaho, four sons, Leland Bennett, Reliance, William E. “Bud” Bennett, Ernest Bennett and Walter “Dick” Bennett, all of Rock Springs; 19 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews“); and
  • Lydia Anstee (b 1902 Rock Springs, Sweetwater, Wyoming, living with her parents in Sweetwater in 1930. She married Edward Genetti later that year in Salt Lake City, Utah and died in 1972. The ‘Rock Springs Daily Rocket-Miner‘ on 29 April 1972 wrote “LYDIA GENETTI Funeral services for Lydia Genetti, 70, 8125 Fenwick Ave., Portland, Ore., will be conducted Saturday at 2 p.m. at the LDS Chapel, Bishop Richard James officiating. Burial will be in the family plot in Mountain View section of Rock Springs Municipal Cemetery. Pallbearers will be August Genetti, Dan Hoskins, Rennard Jensen, Ernest Bennett, Richard Bennett and Leland Bennett. Mrs. Genetti died Monday in Portland. She was born Jan. 31, 1902 at Rock Springs and married Edward Genetti of Rock Springs. The Genettis moved to Portland in 1962. Mrs. Genetti is survived by her husband of Portland; two daughters, Mrs. Ken (Ann) Hall of Tooele, Utah and Mrs. Elvira Noggle of Portland; one sister, Mrs. Ann Bennett of Rock Springs, six grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.” )

In the 1910 Census Arthur Anstee, his wife Anne and their five surviving children (the census indicates that only 5 of their 10 children were still alive) were living in Sweetwater, Wyoming – Arthur was a fireman. In the 1930 Census, Arthur Anstee, his wife Anne and their daughter Lydia were living in Rock Springs, Sweetwater, Wyoming.

Arthur Anstee died in 1939, buried in Rock Springs, Sweetwater, Wyoming. His widow Ann died a year later, buried with him. The ‘Rock Springs Daily Rocket’ on 19 January 1939 wrote “Anstee Services To Be Held At 2 This Afternoon Funeral services will be held at 2 o’clock this afternoon in the L.D.S. chapel for Arthur Anstee, 82, who died Sunday night at his home, 732 Rugby Avenue. Bishop Cecil James will officiate. Anstee was born October 14, 1856 in Ponty Pool, South Wales. He entered the United States 59 years ago and for the past 39 years had lived in Rock Springs. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Ann Anstee, a son, Arthur Jr., and three daughters, Mrs. Hugh Gregory, Mrs. W.E. Bennett and Mrs. Edward Genetti, all of Rock Springs. Burial will be in Mountain View cemetery under direction of Wildermuth Mortuary.

George Florida Anstee (b 1894 Utah)

George Florida Anstee was born on 22 March 1894 (though different sources say 1893 and even 1888) in Castlegate, Carbon, Utah to parents Arthur Anstee and Ann Morgan. In the 1910 Census he was living with his family in Sweetwater, Wyoming then by the June 1917 Draft Registration for World War One he was unmarried, working as a labourer working for “M. L. Kepple” and living at 215 N. Philadelphia Utilities in California.

According to the ‘Veterans Administration Master IndexGeorge enlisted for World War One service a month later on 9 July 1917 in Chicago, Illinois and became a Private (Service Number: 1958744) with “Bat D 42 Reg C A C“, which we presume is Battalion D, 42nd Artillery Regiment of the Coast Artillery Corps.

According to Wikipedia “After the American entry into World War I, the Coast Artillery as a whole was ordered brought up to strength, and 71 new companies were organised by July 1917. The Coast Artillery was designated to provide the personnel for all US-manned heavy artillery (155 mm gun and larger), almost all railway artillery, and later anti-aircraft artillery units. As with other American World War I units, the CAC units operated alongside French forces for the most part. The CAC units sent to France and Britain with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) were organised into a total of 11 brigades comprising 33 regiments of 24 guns each, plus a replacement regiment, nine trench mortar battalions and thirteen anti-aircraft battalions. Only 13 regiments saw action, while the remaining 20 regiments did not complete training before the Armistice, and up to 6 of these never received guns. A total of 61 regiments were organised; however, at least 23 of these were organised in the US shortly before the Armistice and were soon disbanded.

Even though we cannot currently confirm specifics, it is highly likely that George sailed to France in late 1917 or early 1918, because the 42nd Artillery came into existence in July 1918 from Coast Artillery Corps units already serving in France. George would have served in either the Belfort Sector or Champagne Sector in France from his arrival until war’s end in November 1918. At that point the 42nd Artillery turned in its guns and moved to St. Nazaire on the west coast of France. Then on 6 February 1919 they boarded the ship ‘USS Kroonland‘, arriving in Newport News, Virginia, America on 18 February 1919.

George was formally discharged from the Army on 26 March 1919 and he returned to live in Illinois where in 1926 in Cook, Illinois he married Helen Freeman. At some point he was living at 705 W Van Buren Street, Chicago – we find no evidence of children to this marriage.

George died on 25 January 1937 living at Chicago, Cook, Illinois. According to ‘Illinois Deaths‘ his birth date was 22 March 1888 (surely a typo); his birth place was “Rock Springs, Wyoming“; he was a labourer; and he was married to “Katherine“. According to ‘Illinois Soldier Burial Places‘, he was buried in Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, Cook, Illinois.

Further Details on the Sweetwater, Wyoming Anstees

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