The Australia Ansteys

Overview of the Australia Ansteys

There is no such thing as a single Australia  ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ sub-branch. Australian Ansteys form a gallimaufry of offshoots of sub-branches, however they all have one thing in common, being that they can ALL ultimately trace back their ‘Anstey’ lineage to England, joining with one of the known English Anstey sub-branches.

So however Australian you may feel, if you are an ‘Anstey’ (or ‘Anstee’, ‘Ansty’ or ‘Anstie’) you have plenty of English blood and therefore rightly should always hope that England win the Ashes and prefer marmite to vegemite. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ in Australia are direct descendants of Hubert de Anstey, the first holder and originator of the Anstey surname in 1143.

Having said that, there are many Anstey sub-branches in Australia who have long since settled there. Those sub-branches which we have begun documenting which have connections to Australia include the:

Australia Anstey Pioneers

We are actively on the lookout for stories of Australia ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ pioneers who first made the journey from (probably) England to Australia (likely in the 1800s) and then settled there, spawning Anstey sub-branches which thrive in Australia to this day. Anybody who wishes to share such information please contact us at research@theansteystory.com. So far, we have uploaded information on the following Australian Anstey pioneers:

Anstey Convicts Sent to Australia

Between 1788 and 1868, about 160,000 convicts were transported from Britain and Ireland to various penal colonies in Australia. The majority of convicts were transported for petty crimes, with approximately one in seven being women. After serving their sentence, most ex-convicts stayed in Australia and joined the free settlers. ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ members that we have discovered so far who were sent as convicts to Australia are:

  • Elizabeth Anstee: transported to Sydney Cove in January 1807, arriving 18 June 1807. She had been convicted in the Buckinghamshire Quarter Sessions on 10 October 1805, sentenced to 7 years for an unknown petty crime (Prisoner Number 35/2255). She was a servant and resident of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Elizabeth Anstee received her Certificate of Freedom on either 17 June 1824 or 28 July 1825, at which time she was aged 57, so born in either 1767 or 1768. As such we can be confident that Elizabeth Anstee was baptised to father Joseph Anstee on 5 June 1768 at Lower Winchenden, Aylesbury, so she is an Aylesbury Anstee, a sub-branch of the Swanbourne Ansteys.
  • John Anstey: transported on ‘The Asia‘ on 4 February 1833, arriving in New South Wales on 27 June 1833. He was convicted at the Gloucester Quarter Sessions on 3 July 1832 of “stealing a donkey” and sentenced to 7 years (Prisoner Number 33/1199). John was listed as 26 years old on conviction, so born in 1806, an indoor servant/groom by profession. John could read, was Protestant, married, had no children listed, was 5’2¾” tall, sallow complexion, brown hair, grey eyes, and had lost his right leg from calf. He received his ‘Ticket of Leave’ in March 1837 and was allowed to remain in the District of Port Macquarie. John is likely of the South Gloucestershire Ansteys, though we cannot currently place him precisely.
  • Mary Anstey: transported on the ‘Sir Charles Forbes’ on 31 August 1826, arriving in Van Diemen’s Land on 3 January 1827. She was convicted at Middlesex Gaol Delivery of Larceny and sentenced to 7 years. She was born in 1795 and was a servant. We have unverified information that she “Stole a handkerchief from a man. Was married to George Anstey, a pencil maker, White Chapel.
  • Mary Ann Anstey: we have conflicting information on this lady, who is probably (but not certainly) Mary Anstey (b 1755 in Coleshill to parents Samuel Anstey and Ann). Firstly we have that she was transported on the “Active, Albermarle, Atlantic, Barrington, Britannia, Mary Ann, Matilda, Salamander or William and Mary” in January 1791, arriving in New South Wales on 9 July 1791. She was convicted at the Warwickshire Assizes on 23 March 1790 for an unknown petty crime to 7 years. Secondly we have that she actually departed June 1789 on the ‘Lady Juliana‘ arriving in New South Wales on 3 June 1790. We have unverified information that Mary Ann was “convicted at Warwick in 1787 or 1789, at 40 years old [so born in 1747 or 1749], of the theft of two handkerchiefs from the shop of George Stubbs in Birmingham. She married William Standley (who served as a Private in the Royal Marines on the convict transport ship ‘HMS Sirius’ between 1787 and 1791 as a member of the 5th Portsmouth Company) in 1791 on Norfolk Island. They had children Mary (b 1792), Joseph (b 1795) and William (b 1795). Mary and William settled in Tasmania. Mary Ann died on 12 November 1812 at Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land, Australia. buried at St. David’s Park, Hobart“.
  • Richard Anstey: of the Castle Cary Ansteys, he was transported on the ‘Mount Stewart Elphinstone‘ on 1 June 1849, arriving in Moreton Bay near Brisbane, Queensland on 1 November 1849. According to our research, Richard has no living Anstey descendants in Australia today.

We have not yet amassed enough information to be able to connect some of these convicts to their respective ‘Anstey’ sub-branches, and seek further clues. As to whether any ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ alive today and living in Australia are direct descendants from these convicts we cannot say. Currently we have not found any though, and would be very interested if anybody has any information to the contrary – please contact us at research@theansteystory.com with any such information.

Australia Anstey War Heroes

We have begun to upload biographies of Anstey war heroes. Those from the various Australian ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ sub-branches (or are somehow connected to Australia) include:

Australian Landmarks Called ‘Anstey

Further Details on the Australia Ansteys

We have already uploaded a lot of information and documentation about the Australia Ansteys, and continue to upload more all the time (see Project Updates), however it is spread over various segments of the website.  

One way to find said information is to enter ‘Australia’ in the search box at the bottom of this page and a (large) list of relevant pages will appear.

There are many Anstey sub-branches in Australia who have long since settled there and we are actively seeking any research or other documentation such as correspondence that Australian Ansteys might like to share with others on this Anstey project website, especially stories regarding the earliest ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ ancestors who arrived in Australia from England. We are also very interested in Australian Ansteys who fought in any wars or arrived in Australia as convicts (pre-1868).

Please contact us at research@theansteystory.com with any such information if you are willing to share it.


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