The Newcastle, NSW Anstys

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

Overview of the Newcastle Anstys

The Newcastle Anstys of New South Wales, Australia are a sub-branch of the East Stoke Ansteys of Dorset. The patriarch of the Newcastle Anstys is James Ansty (b 1846 Bloxworth). The Newcastle Anstys seemed to switch the spelling of their surname between ‘Anstey’ and ‘Ansty’ fairly regularly well into the 20th century – which is quite late for a sub-branch not to have settled on a fixed surname spelling. On balance, they used ‘Ansty’ more than ‘Anstey’, hence they are hereby labelled the Newcastle, NSW, Anstys (though we note that the landmarks bearing their name – Anstey’s Hotel and Anstey Street in Cessnock (see below) – are spelt ‘Anstey’).

James Ansty (b 1846 Bloxworth)

James Ansty was born in 1846 in Bloxworth to parents James Anstey and Sarah Foster. In the 1861 Census the family were at Cokers Froome, Dorchester and by the 1871 Census, the family had moved to Piddlehinton in Dorset where James Ansty was a “carpenter and journeyman“. James Ansty married Jane Way Tuck in 1872 in Dorchester and they returned to live in Piddlehinton before moving to Boscombe Hampshire in c1876 (where they were living at Ashley Road Christchurch, Hampshire in the 1881 Census, James Ansty was still a carpenter). Then on 9 August 1883 at Plymouth, the entire family (James, Jane, George, Frederick, William , Florence, Henry and Maud, and their eldest son Edwin, who was listed separately as Edward) boarded the ship “Dallam Tower” bound for Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The family settled in Newcastle, NSW, around a hundred miles north of Sydney, where they added again to their numbers. James Ansty and Jane had children:

  • Edwin James Ansty (b 1871 Piddlehinton, married Annie Ward in 1894 in Newcastle, NSW and had children Edwin J. Ansty (b 1895 Wickham, died 1896 Hamilton); Vera A. Ansty (b 1897 Hamilton); Annie E. Anstey (b 1903 Hamilton). In 1919 Edwin, a “retired hotelkeeper of Cessnock” (see below) appeared at the inquest to his brother Frederick William Ansty‘s death in a car accident – also see below. Edwin James Anstey, later known as Edward, died in 1949. His obituary in the ‘Newcastle Morning Herald‘ of 16 June 1949 states “OBITUARY MR. EDWARD ANSTEY. Mr. Edward Anstey, of Vincent Street, Cessnock, died last night, aged 79. He was one of the best known residents on the Maitland coalfield. He was the first licensee of both Abermain and Neath Hotels, and later was licensee of Cessnock Hotel. Before going into the hotel business Mr. Anstey was in the railway service. He was night officer at Honey suckle Point for 12 years. He served as an alderman of Cessnock Municipal Council for a term, was President of Cessnock District Hospital for some years, and was also President years ago of Cessnock Bowling Club. He was one of the few surviving members of the old Cessnock Jockey Club, and was its first Clerk of the Course. Mr. Anstey always claimed he was the first man to own and drive a car in Cessnock. He left a widow and two daughters-Mrs. S. Waddy, of Turramurra, and Mrs. T. N. Chiplin, of Newcastle.“);
  • George Ansty (b 1873 Piddlehinton, married Charlotte F. M. Giles in Newcastle, NSW in 1901, having children George Edward Ansty (b 1902 Newcastle, married Ethel Amelia Rea in Gundagai in 1932 (as ‘Anstey’) – they were living in Earlwood in 1935); Herbert Eric Ansty (b 1904 Newcastle, married Thelma Mary Wall in Walverley in 1930 (as ‘Anstey’) – they were living in Earlwood in 1935); Elsie M. Ansty (b 1912 Newcastle). They were living at Railway Street, Newcastle in 1903; George was a railway employee);
  • Frederick William Ansty (b 1875 Piddlehinton, known as ‘Fred‘, married Annie K McGilvery in Raymond Terrace, NSW in 1902, having children Cecil F. Ansty (b 1905 Wickham, known as ‘Cec‘ – a Cessnock entrepreneur and owner of a number of hotels – see below); Ethel A. Ansty (b 1909 Wickham) and another child. Annie died in 1912, and in 1913 Frederick, a machinist, was living at Havelock Street, Wickham. In 1914 Frederick remarried Ada Rebecca Adam in Raymond Terrace, NSW (report of the wedding appears in ‘Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate‘ 1 August 1914 edition); however Ada too died in 1917 in Newcastle. Frederick, now a widower, died in 1919 after being knocked over by a car – see below);
  • William C. Ansty (b 1877 Boscombe, died 1898 Wickham, NSW);
  • Florence A. Ansty (b 1879 Boscombe, married Arthur W. Livermore in Newcastle, NSW in 1901);
  • Henry J. Ansty (b 1881 Boscombe, known as ‘Harry‘, married Mary McLeod in 1902 in Hamilton, having children Henry M. Ansty (b 1902 Wickham); Bethiah M. Ansty (b 1903 Hamilton died an infant); Malcolm H. Ansty (died 1903 Hamilton); Daniel McLeod Ansty (b 1906 Hamilton); Malcolm H. Ansty (b 1908 Hamilton); In 1913 Henry was a yardman living at Wilson Street, Wickham);
  • Maud Mary Ansty (b 1883 Boscombe?, living at Cleary Street, North Hamilton in 1913);
  • Ernest A. Ansty (b 1886 Newcastle, NSW, married Ethel R. Davis in Wickham in 1919);
  • Harold Ansty (b 1889, Newcastle, NSW, died 1892);

In 1913 Jane Way Anstey was living at Cleary Street, North Hamilton – her husband James Ansty was not mentioned, but he was certainly still alive.

On 12 July 1919 a tragedy occurred when Frederick William Ansty was knocked over by a car and killed. The ‘Newcastle Sun‘ on 15 July 1919 wrote the following: “KILLED BY MOTOR F. W. ANSTEY‘S DEATH ‘Accidental’ Verdict The death of Frederick William Anstey, whlch occurred at Mayfield on Saturday, engaged the attention of the coroner (Mr. Hibble), at the Newcastle Courthouse, this morning. Mr. J. D. Reid appeared for deceased’s children, and Mr. Braye for Robert Roy Murray, driver of the car by which Anstey was knocked down. Edwin James Anstey a retired hotelkeeper of Cessnock, said that he was a brother of the deceased. His brother was born 45 years ago at Dorset (England). He was a foreman in the sawmill at Armstrong and Royse’s works, and lived at Havelock Street, Mayfield. He was a widower, and had been married twice. Three children who are dependent upon him. He partly owned the house he lived in. Dr. May Harris said that she made a post-mortem examination of the body. There were big bruises over the left frontal region, left eye, and left cheek. The scalp had practically been separated from the skull by haemorrhage. There was no fracture of the skull, but on opening it the brains were found to be almost entirely covered with blood… SPECTATORS ACCOUNTS George Storey, 13 years, of Fawcett street, Mayfield, said that he noticed deceased riding on a bicycle in the centre of Maitland Road, and a motor car came up behind him. The car turned to the right to pass him. Anstey turned to go into Havelock Street, and the car hit the bicycle, and Anstey went underneath, where he was struck on the head. The car was going at a fair pace, but not too fast. To Mr. Reid: I did not hear the horn blow. I heard a man shout: ‘Look out!’ Cars generally go quickly along that road. The man was picked up near the gutter. The left side of the car struck him. The bicycle was knocked away while the deceased fell across the front of the car. To the court: I do not know Murray. I am a friend of Mr. Anstey’s children. It would have been impossible for the car to have missed hitting deceased.

In the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate 12 July 1920 edition appeared the following notice “ANSTY —In loving memory of our dear son and brother, Fred, who was accidentally killed at Mayfield July 12, 1919.— Sadly missed.—Inserted by his loving mother and father, brothers and sisters, Mr. and Mrs. James Ansty, Awaba

Cessnock Hotels

Around 30 miles inland from Newcastle in New South Wales lies Cessnock. Edwin James Ansty, eldest son of James Ansty (b 1846), moved out to Cessnock in c1905 or so. He quickly established himself as a hotelier, running or owning numerous hotels in the area including:

  • first licensee of the Abermain Hotel in Abermain by 1907;
  • licensee of the Cessnock Hotel in 1908
  • owning (or running) Anstey’s Hotel in Cessnock in 1911, clearly named by Edwin
  • first licensee of Neath Hotel by 1915 on the Cessnock Road;
  • licensee of the Northumberland Hotel in Cessnock in 1916 – see below
  • opened one of the first wine saloons in 1920

So well known was Edwin James Ansty that Anstey Street in Cessnock was named after him (or more likely named by him) – the earliest we find mention of this street name is in 1911.

In 1916, a fire broke out at the Northumberland Hotel. The ‘Tamworth Daily Observer‘ 24 June 1916 edition reported: “FIRE AT AN HOTEL. Narrow Escape of Inmates. ‘MAlTLAIND, Friday. Shortly before midnight last night a fire broke out in the Northumberland Hotel at Cessnock. The licensee. Mrs. Anstey, noticed the reflection of a fire and lost no time in arousing the inmates [residents], some of whom were preparing to retire, while others had retired. At that time the place was full of smoke and it was with difficulty that those on the first floor escaped. -Miss Gowing who is employed as a barmaid at the hotel, had an extremely narrow escape. Her bed room is close to the seat of the fire and the only way of escape was by the narrow passage that was filled with firw and smoke. Miss Gowing who was in her night attire, rushed through the smoke and flames. Her hair was singed hut she was uninjured, although she suffered considerably from shock. How she escaped without serious injury is little short of marvellous… Mrs. Anstey and other female inmates [residents] of the hotel suffered considerably from shock. About fifty pounds of linen was destroyed and considerable damage done to the hotel.

Cec Anstey (b 1905 Newcastle, son of Frederick William Ansty per above) moved out to Cessnock in 1919 after his father died in a car accident (see above), and he joined the family hotel business, expanding it throughout the 20th century and remaining connected to Cessnock until his death in 2000.

Further Details on the Newcastle Anstys

#1. There was another ‘Anstey’ family that lived in Mayfield near Newcastle from the early 1920s onwards, headed by David John Anstey of the Clase, Swansea Ansteys and nothing to do with the Newcastle Anstys.

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