The Edlesborough Anstees

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

Many thanks to Marsha Stringer and Amy Teel for their help in constructing this pedigree.

Edlesborough Anstees Overview

The Edlesborough Anstees (which includes the village of Dagnall) of Buckinghamshire are a sub-branch of the Houghton Regis Anstees. The patriarch of the Edlesborough Anstees is Mathew Anstee (b 1761 in Houghton Regis).

[Note: there was also a Joseph Anstee living in Edlesborough between c1798 and 1849 – he did not marry and was a member of the Flamstead Anstees. Also Mathew Anstee (b 1791 Flamstead, who married Esther Pearson) had sons William Anstee (baptised in Edlesborough in 1810) and John Anstee (baptised in Edelsborough in 1817) – see the Flamstead Anstees for more on this.]

Mathew Anstee (b 1761 Houghton Regis)

Mathew Anstee was born in 1761 in Houghton Regis, son of Joseph (Junior) Anstee (b 1729 Prittlewell) and Mary. Mathew Anstee married Mary Elliot in Houghton Regis in 1783 and moved to Dagnall, Edlesborough where he became a farmer (in 1788, “Matthew Anstee, Dagnall Buckinghamshire, farmer” was insured by the Sun Fire Office). Mathew Anstee and Mary had two children in Edlesborough, being:

Mary (mother) must have died because Mathew (father) remarried to Sarah Howard in Kensworth in 1788 and they had children:

  • Joseph Anstee (b c1790 in Dagnall);
  • William Anstee (b c1793 in Dagnall);
  • John Anstee (b 1795 – baptised in Edlesborough in 1817); and
  • Mary Anstee (b 1796 – baptised in Edlesborough in 1821). 

Mathew Anstee (b 1786 Edlesborough)

Mathew Anstee (b 1786) married Elizabeth Purser (b 1783 in Middlesex) in Dagnall by License in January 1809, having children in Edlesborough:

  • Lucy Anstee (b 1809, living with her mother Elizabeth Anstee in Marylebone, London in the 1871 Census – never married and died in Leyton, Essex in 1901); 
  • Edward Anstee (b 1812 – married Mary Cuthbert in 1850 in Marylebone, London and was living at Marshalls Wick Farm, Sandridge near St Albans in the 1871 Census. On 22 August 1880 Edward Anstee was murdered at his home, the ‘Belfast Telegraph‘ reporting that “SHOCKING MURDER IN ENGLAND: About two o clock yesterday morning, Mr Edward Anstee of Marshallswick Farm near St Albans, was shot dead by a man who knocked at the door and on his opening the bedroom window deliberately fired and blew out his brains. A Mrs Lindsay who was staying in the house locked herself in her room and the murderer ransacked the house, escaping with some booty, but how much is yet unknown. On the arrival of the cowman in the morning, traces of blood were found outside. Mrs Anstee was away from home on a visit. Three men have been arrested on suspicion, all members of a family named Wheeler. The shirt and trousers of one of them was stained with what is supposed to be blood. The property stolen has been discovered hidden in a field near the house. Some property stolen from the house of Mr Reynolds, a neighbouring farmer, was found at the house of the prisoners. The murderers it appears entered the house by the bedroom window and covered the body with the bedclothes“). Other reports add that “Anstee, Edward (68): Farmer of Marshalswick Farm, Sandridge: Murdered on the morning of 22nd August, 1880. He had farmed at Marshalswick, a farm of nearly 300 acres, for 20 years, and had previously been a butcher in London. In his younger days he had played cricket at Lord’s Ground, and had taken a interest in the game, and had been planning to watch a game on Bernards Heath” and “Anstee, Mary (64): Wife of Edward Anstee, the murder victim: She was staying with friends when the murder occurred: She identified a syringe stolen from the farm by the murderer.” Yet another report states “The three early-morning visitors at Marshall’s Wick Farm, Sandridge, just outside St. Albans, struck terror into the owners. As the farmer, Edward Anstee, 58, opened an upstairs window to see who was calling, he recognised the trio – all members of the notorious Wheeler family. Mr. Anstee didn’t have long to reflect on what to do. One of the men, Thomas Wheeler, 46, raised his shotgun and blasted the farmer to death. The terrified housekeeper locked herself in her bedroom as the three marauders ransacked the farm for anything of value they could find. When they had gone and the police investigated, the Wheeler family were obvious suspects. But only Thomas Wheeler stood trial at Chelmsford Assizes in November, 1880, and he was hanged on Monday, November 29th, 1880, at St. Albans Prison.“;  
  • Frederick Anstee (b 1814, living with his mother Elizabeth Anstee in Marylebone, London in the 1871 Census, appears not to have married).

Joseph Anstee (b c1790 Dagnall)

Joseph Anstee (b c1790) married Elizabeth Puddefoot (b 1793 Eaton Bray to parents Michael Puddefoot and Sarah) in February 1811 in Edlesborough and they had children:

  • Joseph Anstee (b 1812 Edlesborough, he was a gamekeeper. Joseph Anstee married firstly Elizabeth Braggins in Greatworth, Biddlesdon, Northants in November 1835 and they had children Edmund Anstee (b 1837 Brackley, Northamptonshire); Elizabeth Anstee (b 1840 Brackley); Clara Anstee (b 1844 Carmarthen); Elen Anstee (b 1845 Carmarthen); Emma Anstee (b 1848 Carmarthen); and Mary A Anstee (b 1850 Pembroke Begelly). His first wife died so he remarried Rachel Mathias in 1851 in Brecon, Wales and moved to Cardiganshire in Wales having children Adelaide Anstee (b 1852 Pembroke) and Joseph A Anstee (b 1857 Cardigan);
  • Michael Anstee (b 1814 Edlesborough – was a gamekeeper in 1871 living at Deadmonsdy Lodge in Whipsnade, Bedfordshire);
  • Sarah Anstee (b 1817 Edlesborough – living with her brother Alfred Anstee in the 1851 Census. Married Abraham Thomas in 1854 in Merthyr Tydfil, died in 1871, her probate reading “THOMAS, Sarah: Admon of the effects of Sarah THOMAS, late of Dunstable in the County of Bedfordshire, Widow, who died 21 Aug 1871 at Dunstable was granted at the Principal Registry to Michael ANSTEE of Deadmonsdy Lodge in the Parish of Whipsnade in the same county, brother, Gamekeeper“);
  • Elizabeth Anstee (b 1820 Edlesborough, married Levi Janes in 1848 in Edlesborough at which time she was living in Slapton. Living in Kensworth in the 1851 Census);
  • Alfred Anstee (b 1823 Great Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire but baptised in Edlesborough, married Emily Andrews in 1846 in Carmarthenshire, Wales and was living in Llandilofawr, Carmarthenshire, Wales in the 1851 Census, a gamekeeper);
  • Emma Anstee (b 1827 Hillesden, living with parents in 1851 Census. Married John Cole in 1851 in Eaton Bray)
  • Mary Ann Anstee (b 1830 Hillesden, living with her sister Elizabeth in the 1851 Census); and
  • Ellin Anstee (b 1833 Hertfordshire?).

By 1841, Joseph Anstee (b c1790) and Elizabeth had moved to Kensworth. The 1851 Census confirms that Joseph Anstee was a gamekeeper in Kensworth and his wife Elizabeth was born in Eaton Bray in c1793.

William Anstee (b c1793 Dagnall)

William Anstee (b c1793) married Charlotte Hudson in Edlesborough in 1814. They had children:

  •  Sarah Elizabeth Anstee (b 1814 Dagnall – baptised in King’s Langley, Hertfordshire in 1814, married Henry Frederick Sharp in Holburn, Middlesex in December 1833);
  • Mary Ann Anstee (b c1816 Dagnall – married Richard Anstee, son of Richard Anstee (b 1779 Houghton Regis), in 1834 in St Pancras, Middlesex, her sister Sarah Elizabeth Sharp was a witness). 

William Anstee (b c1793) moved to Monkton Hadley, Barnet, Middlesex where he was a ‘cow keeper’ in the 1851 Census.

Further Details on the Edlesborough Anstees

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

We have already uploaded bits of information and documentation about the Edlesborough 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 ‘Edlesborough’ 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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