The Swanbourne Ansteys

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

Swanbourne Ansteys Overview

The Swanbourne Ansteys are the principal and root Anstey sub-branch of Buckinghamshire, beginning with a marriage between Richard Anstey and Joan Jesophe in Swanbourne on 15 February 1583 (see below). They are one of the biggest ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ sub-branches in existence today.

It is interesting to note that almost all Swanbourne Anstey descendants alive today spell their name ‘Anstee’, however the original spelling of the surname of this sub-branch per the Swanbourne parish registers was ‘Anstey’, right from the 1583 marriage of Richard per above through to 1641 (which was the last appearance of ‘Anstey’ as a spelling in Swanbourne). The spelling ‘Anstee’ did not appear until 1665 in Swanbourne, after which it became the permanent spelling for this sub-branch.

As we have stated many times, ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ are the same family!

Richard Anstey and Joan Jesophe

Richard Anstey and Joan Jesophe married in Swanbourne on 15 February 1583. They had at least five children together in Swanbourne, being:

  • Thomas Anstey (b 1584 – see below);
  • Dorothy Anstey (b 1587);
  • Katherine Anstey (b 1589);
  • John Anstey (b 1591 died an infant)
  • Joan Anstey (b 1591 died an infant);
  • Benjamin Anstey (b 1594 – see below)

Richard Anstey was buried in Swanbourne in April 1618; his wife Joan Anstey was buried in November 1636.

Thomas Anstey (b 1584)

Thomas Anstey was baptised in 1584 in Swanbourne. He married Elizabeth Goodspeede in November 1614 in Swanbourne and they had children:

  • John Anstey (b 1615 – did he have children John Anstie b 1652; Thomas Anstie b 1656 and Edward Anstie b 1660 in Swanbourne, or did he die in 1647 in Swanbourne?);
  • Katherine Anstey (b 1618);
  • Joan Anstey (b 1622);
  • Mary Anstey (b 1626);
  • Edward Anstey (b 1630)

Elizabeth (Goodspeede) Anstey died in Swanbourne in 1651; Thomas Anstie died in 1660 in Swanbourne .

Benjamin Anstey (b 1594)

Benjamin Anstey was baptised in 1594 in Swanbourne. He married Alice Beckeley in March 1625 in Swanbourne and they had children:

  • Maria Anstye (unknown birth – made her will in 1666 in Swanbourne, which begins “I Maria Anstye of Swanbourne in the County of Bucks, spinster do make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following (soul to almighty God, body to the earth). And for my worldly goods I dispose thereof in the manner following. I give and devise to each of my brother Edward Anstye’s children which he hath at the time of my last Will and Testament five pounds of lawful English money. I give and devise unto each of my brother Richard Anstye’s children five pounds of lawful English money. I give and devise unto my brother Benjamin Anstye’s daughter five pounds of lawful English money. I appoint my two brothers Edward Anstye and William Anstye to see me decently interred which I doubt not and make them executors“. She was buried in Swanbourne in September 1666 as “Mary Anstee“.);
  • Edward Anstey (b 1626, married Margaret Cawdell in 1655 in Swanbourne and had children Mary Anstie (b 1656); Benjamin Anstie (b1658 – patriarch of the Houghton Regis Anstees); Edward Ansty (b 1660); William Anstie (b 1663); Margaret Anstee (b 1665); Alice Anstee (b 1670); Elizabeth Anstee (b 1675) all born in Swanbourne);
  • Richard Anstey (b 1629 died an infant?);
  • Thomas Anstey (b 1632);
  • John Anstey (b 1634 died an infant?);
  • Benjamin Anstey (b 1635);
  • Richard Anstey (b 1636);
  • John Anstey (b 1638 died 1647 in Swanbourne?);
  • William Anstey (b 1641);

Benjamin Anstey died in August 1657 in Swanbourne.

Swanbourne Anstey Sub-branches

There are numerous sub-branches of Ansteys in existence today which descend from the Swanbourne Ansteys. Thus far we have started uploading information on:

However, certain Anstey families remained in Swanbourne for generations, and there was still a thriving Anstey community in Swanbourne in the mid-1800s (and likely longer), nearly three centuries after they first arrived, making the Swanbourne Ansteys one of the longest resident Anstey sub-branches in a single parish.

Further Details on the Swanbourne Ansteys

#1. William Anstee (b 1737 in Swanbourne to Joseph Anstee and Ann – see #3 of Further Details on the Houghton Regis Anstees)

#2. Edward Anstee (b 1819 probably in Swanbourne – see the Majorca, Victoria Anstees)

#3. Thomas Anstee (b 1822 Swanbourne to parents Thomas Anstee and Elizabeth Redding who married in Swanbourne in 1821) married Elizabeth Rebecca Rogers in Clerkenwell, London in 1848. They lived in Clerkenwell where he was a “post office letter carrier” in 1861 and they had children in Clerkenwell:

  • Elizabeth R. Anstee (b 1850);
  • Thomas H. Anstee (b 1855);
  • James C. Anstee (b 1857);
  • William George Anstee (b 1859, married Sarah Webber (b 1849 Dulverton) in 1877 in Hammersmith and was a bricklayer living in Wandsworth in 1891 with a son William J. Anstee (b 1879 Heath & Reach, Bedfordshire));
  • Alfred C. Anstee (b 1861, an unmarried bricklayer living in Wandsworth in the 1891 Census)

#4. Edward Anstee (b 1755 Swanbourne) moved to Coventry in Warwickshire in c1800 (give or take a decade) and commenced a minor Anstey sub-branch there.

We have already uploaded bits of information and documentation about the Swanbourne 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 ‘Swanbourne’ in the search box at the bottom of this page and a list of relevant pages will appear.

We are actively on the lookout for Swanbourne Ansteys alive today who are willing to add their Anstey research to this project. Anybody so interested, please contact us at

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