The Market Harborough Anstees

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

Overview of the Market Harborough Anstees

The Market Harborough Anstees, situated on the Leicestershire/Northamptonshire border, are a sub-branch of the Swanbourne Ansteys of Buckinghamshire. We include Arthingworth next door to Market Harborough in this sub-branch analysis.

The patriarchs of the Market Harborough Anstees are three brothers William Anstee (b 1827 Swanbourne); James Anstee (b 1829 Swanbourne); and Alfred Anstee (b 1844 Swanbourne).

William Anstee (b 1827 Swabourne)

William Anstee was born in Swanbourne in 1827, baptised 30 June 1827, to parents Thomas Anstee and Elizabeth Redding. He married Eliza Holt in Market Harborough on 25 December 1851 (father confirmed as Thomas Anstee, Eliza was a ‘minor’ born 1833) and they had children in Market Harborough:

  • Arthur Anstee (b 1852, baptised 22 August 1852 in Market Harborough. He married Mary Ann Granger in Leicester in 1876 having children in Leicester Thomas Alfred Anstee (b 1880, married Elizabeth Pinsent on 25 May 1901 in Leicester St Margarets and they had at least three children in Leicester Thomas Arthur Anstee (b 1902); Ivy Elizabeth Anstee (b 1905); and Alice May Anstee (b 1911). In the 1911 Census the family were at 116 Wand Street Leicester where Thomas was a cardboard box cutter. Thomas Alfred Anstee was still alive in 1945, a “retired printers overseer“); Arthur Anstee (b q4 1882, was living with his parents at 13 Wilberforce Road Leicester in the 1911 Census working as a machine operator. On 25 December 1912, living at 90 Westbourne Street, he married Mary Ann Carr in Leicester St Marks. They had no children and in the 1918 Electoral Register and the 1939 Register were living at 360 Western Road, Leicester where Arthur was a “stretcher boot and shoe trade“. Arthur Anstee died on 7 January 1945 in Leicester “aged 62“, still living at Western Road, probate to his brother Thomas Alfred Anstee – not to be confused with Arthur Anstee (b 1889 Leicester)); Arabella Anstee (b 1885); and Gertrude Anstee (b 1885). In the 1901 Census the family were living in Saxon Street, Leicester where Arthur was a “shoe riveter“. By the 1911 Census they were living at 13 Wilberforce Road Leicester. Arthur died in 1931 in Billesdon);
  • James Anstee (b 14 December 1853, married Harriet Orton in 1876 in Leicester All Saints, at which time he was living at ‘The Friars’. They had a single child William James Anstee (b 1878, a painter in the 1911 Census who married Sarah Ann Carr, known as Annie, in 1900 in Leicester, having a son William Anstee (b 1901). William James Anstee died in 1918 “aged 41” buried at Welford Road Cemetery in Leicester, probate to his aunt Arabella Cooper). In the 1911 Census the whole family was living at 12 Queen Street Leicester where James Anstee was a licensed victualler. James Anstee died in April 1913 in Leicester, buried at Welford Road Cemetery. Probate was to his son William James Anstee);
  • William Holt Anstee (b 1856, baptised 19 October 1856 known as Willie. He married Sarah Makepeace in Leicester in 1879 – they had no children. By the 1911 Census they were living at 43 Gaul Street Narborough Road Leicester where Willie was a “shoe clicker“. Willie Holt Anstee died in 1932 in Leicester; in his will he was a “retired clicker of 43 Gaul Street Leicester“, leaving all of his personal estate “to my wife Sarah Anstee absolutely” – his “nephew-in-law George Harry Palmer” was executor);
  • John George Anstee (b 1861, died in 1869 in Market Harborough. The ‘Leicester Journal‘ 19 March 1869 edition reported “DEATHS:…On the 10th inst, aged 7 years, John George son of Mr W. Anstee“);
  • Thomas Anstee (b 1863, baptised 10 May 1863 in Market Harborough, known as Tom. He married Clara Oldershaw (b 1875 Leicester to father Henry Alfred Oldershaw and Emma) in 1908 at St John the Baptist, Leicester, at which time he was living at 27 Storsefair Street (father confirmed as William Anstee) – we find no children of this marriage. In the 1911 Census they were living at 8 Lincoln Street Leicester, where Tom Anstee was a “boot and shoe mercer“. Clara Anstee was a World War One Hero – she volunteered for the Red Cross and “was working nearly the whole time of the War” at the “Red Cross Sewing Rooms, 36A, Granby Street, Opp. G.P.O. Leicester“. Throughout the war they were living at 26 Lincoln Street and for her services, Clara was awarded the “V.W. [Volunteer Workers] Badge“. Tom died in 1945 in Leicester, buried in the ‘Oldershaw’ family grave at Welford Road Cemetery Leicester, Plot reference “uncon D Plot 232 (freehold)“. His widow Clara was also buried there in 1965. The inscription on the gravestone reads “In Sacred Memory of Tom, beloved husband of Clara Anstee who died August 27 1945 aged 82 years. Also Clara Anstee Loving wife of Tom Anstee, born 10 October 1875, died 21st March 1965“);
  • Alfred Anstee (b 1867. He was an unmarried boot clicker in the 1891 Census living with his father at Arthur Street, Leicester. He died in 1902, buried in the family grave – see below); and
  • Arabella Anstee (b 1870, married William Edward Cooper in 1890 in Leicester, the ‘Leicester Chronicle‘ reporting on 10 January 1891 “COOPER – ANSTEE On the 19th at St George’s Church, Leicester, by the Rev. R. G. Ley, W. E. Cooper, Stamford-street, to Arabella Anstee, only daughter of William Anstee, Lancastrian Castle, Arthur-street, Leicester“. In 1918 she was the beneficiary of her nephew William James Anstee‘s will. Arabella Cooper died in 1954, buried at Welford Road Cemetery Leicester)

In the 1861 Census the family was living at West Row, Market Harborough where William Anstee was a ‘cordwainer journeyman’. By the 1871 Census they had moved to Samuel Street, St Margaret, Leicester where William Anstee was a ‘boot blacker’. By the 1881 Census they were living at 36, Ruding Street, Leicester Black Friars where William Anstee was a ‘cooperative store keeper’ – also with them was a niece Sarah J. Holt.

Eliza Anstee died in 1890 in Leicester, buried in the family grave (see below). By the 1891 Census William Anstee was a “widower” and victualler living with some family members at Arthur Street, Leicester.

William Anstee died in 1892 in Leicester, “aged 64“, a licensed victualler living at 27 Arthur Street, Leicester. In his will, dated 13 March 1892 he “give and bequeath to my sons Arthur, James, William, Tom and Alfred, and to my daughter Arabella, equal shares of all monies“. He was buried at the family grave in Welford Road Cemetery Leicester “con A Plot 139 (freehold)” gravestone inscription “In Loving Memory of William Anstee who died April 10 1892 aged 64 years. Also of Eliza, the beloved wife of the above, who died March 31st 1890 aged 57 years. Also of Alfred son of the above, who departed this life July 25 1902 aged 35 years

James Anstee (b 1829 Swanbourne)

James Anstee was born in Swanbourne in 1829, baptised 1 October 1829, to parents Thomas Anstee and Elizabeth Redding. He grew up in Swanbourne and was an unmarried blacksmith journeyman in 1851 living at Church Street. He married Jane Barton in 1857 in Winslow and they had a son:

However Jane Anstee died in 1860, buried 29 June 1860 in Swanbourne, so James Anstee, still a blacksmith, but now a widower appears in the 1861 Census living with his parents at Church Street Swanbourne. He then married Mary Allen (b 1835 Wells, Somerset) in 1868 at St Peter, Eaton Square, Pimlico, and they had children:

  • Sarah Anstee (b 1869 Swanbourne);
  • George Anstee (b 14 October 1870 Swanbourne, attended Arthingworth School in 1877. He was a ‘shoe clicker’ living with his brother Arthur William Anstee in Syston Street, Leicester in the 1891 Census. He married Sophia Thompson on 25 May 1896 in Belgrave, St Michael’s, Leicester, at which time he was living at 20 Cannon Street and they had children in Leicester Edgar Anstee (b 20 June 1897, an office boy in a boot factory in the 1911 Census. He married Ada Roberts in 1920 in Leicester and they had a daughter Gwendoline Anstee (b 1921). The ‘Leicester Daily Mercury‘ on 7 September 1950 reported “Cripple’s Plight: A disabled Leicester man is paying 7s 6d per day in taxi fares to get to and from work. He is Mr Edgar Anstee a small wage earner who has lost the use of his right leg and is a chronic bronchial sufferer. Until Mr Anstee is able to take possession of his new home in Elm Street near where he works in Beech Street, he is having to lodge with his wife and child in Outram Street, some two and a half miles away. His health is too poor to stand up to the bus journey across the city…“); George Anstee (b 1898, alive in 1911); Wilfred Anstee (b 1900, alive in 1911); Mildred Anstee (b 1906, alive in 1911); and Harry Anstee (b 1908, alive in 1911). In the 1901 Census George was a foreman in the shoe clicker trade living at 99, Moira Street, Leicester – ditto the 1911 Census);
  • James Anstee (b 1872 Swanbourne – an Anstey Hero);
  • Tom Anstee (b 1873 Swinford, an unmarried “boot sewer” boarding in Leicester in the 1901 Census);
  • Mary Elizabeth Anstee (b 1875 Swinford, known as Elizabeth, a dressmaker in Camberwell in 1901);
  • Margaret Anstee (b 1877 Swinford, a dressmaker in Camberwell in 1901);
  • Francis Anstee (b 1879 Arthingworth, living with his widowed mother in Camberwell in 1901. By the 1911 Census he was an unmarried barman living at 24 Parkers Row S E, Bermondsey); and
  • William Anstee (b 1881 Arthingworth – an Anstey Hero).

In 1871 the family were living at Duck End, Swanbourne, Winslow. In the 1881 Census the family were living at Priv Ho & Blksmiths Shop, Arthingworth, Market Harborough, where James Anstee was a blacksmith employing one man. They were still in Arthingworth in the 1891 Census. At some point soon after that the family moved to London because James Anstee died on 4 October 1899 in London. By the 1901 Census Mary Anstee (widow) and her younger children were living at 82, Hornby Road, Camberwell, where Mary was a “confectioner shopkeeper“.

Alfred Anstee (b 1844 Swanbourne)

Alfred Anstee was born in Swanbourne in 1844, baptised 5 January 1845, to parents Thomas Anstee and Elizabeth Redding. He was an apprentice at Cottage, Stratton Audley, Bicester in the 1861 Census, where his brother George Anstee was living. Alfred Anstee married Elizabeth Rebecca Cannon (b 1849 Islington) in 1869 and they had children:

  • Ada Anstee (b 1871 Arthingworth, unmarried and boarding at Chippenham Mews, Paddington in the 1891 Census with her daughter Adelaine Anstee (b 1891 Waddesdon) – she was a “retired domestic servant“. She married Hugh Rowland Cooke in 1896 in Kensington however by the 1911 Census he had died because she was a widow living at 69 Villa Street Walworth S E, St Mary Newington with her brother George. Ada died in 1956 in Los Angeles, America);
  • George W. Anstee (b 1873 Arthingworth. In the 1891 Census he was an unmarried farmer lodging at Amberley Mews, Paddington. He married Amelia Jane Hambleton (b 1877 Bermondsey) in 1911 in Southwark (though the 1911 Census says they married in 1905) – he certainly had children with her previous to 1911. In the 1911 Census they were living at 69 Villa Street Walworth S E, St Mary Newington where George Anstee was a “farrier” (also with them was George‘s sister Ada as well as their children Ivy Anstee (b 1906 Peckham); Edith Anstee (b 1908 Southwark); and Amelia Anstee (b 1911 Southwark)). In fact he ran his own farrier business “G. Anstee – Practical Farrier – Shoeing Forge – 15 Kingston Street, Walworth“, employing for six years (1909-1915) his younger brother Alfred John Anstee. George W. Anstee had a large family and they emigrated to Tempe, New South Wales, Australia in c1916. George W. Anstee died on 18 July 1956, in Tempe, New South Wales, Australiaaged 83” buried at Woronora Memorial Park Sutherland, Sutherland Shire Anglican Monumental Section AK, Grave 625 (Amelia Jane Anstee had been buried there a couple of months previously “aged 79“) – the ‘Sydney Morning Herald‘ 20 July 1956 reported “ANSTEE, George,— July 18,1956, at his residence, 19 Hillcrest Street, Tempe, relict of the late Amelia Jane and loved father of Ivy (Mrs.Keep), Edie (Mrs.Byrnes) Millie (Mrs.Galt), Marjorie (Mrs.Bleeck), Arthur, Sydney (Broken Hill), and Jean (Mrs.Rae) Florence (deceased), and fond father in law of Roy, Jack, Griff, Olive Thelma, Margaret, and Tom, and loved grandfather of Elaine, Barbara, Helen, Brian, Peter, Glenda, Ian, Barry and Tom Cuthbert, and great-grandfather of Glen and Mark, aged 83 years, at rest.“. One of their sons was Sydney Alfred Anstee (b 1916 in Sydney, Australia). In the ‘Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate‘ on 7 June 1934 appeared “BULLET IN FOOT: Retuning from a shooting excursion Sydney Anstee of Hillcrest Street, Tempe, shot himself in the foot at Dural Monday afternoon. He was seated in a box attached to a motor cycle and was holding his rifle. Thinking the safety catch was on he caught hold of the trigger. The rifle went off and a bullet went through his left foot near the left toe. Anstee was treated at the Paramatta District Hospital“. In the ‘Mudgee Guardian‘ on 28 January 1943 appears “WEDDING Anstee — Sneddon A pretty wedding took place at the Kandos Presbyterian Church on Saturday afternoon last, when the Rev. Dudley Hyde joined in holy matrimony Margaret Annie, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Sneddon, of Angus Avenue, Kandos, and Sydney, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. George Anstee, of Tempe (Sydney). The bridesmaid was Miss Ruby Williams (Bathurst) and the train-bearer, Miss Peg Williams (Bathurst). Mr. Arthur Anstee, brother of the bridegroom, was best man… After the ceremony, the guests adjourned to the Crystal Palais, where they were received by Mrs. J. Sneddon and Mrs. G. Anstee, mothers of the bride and bridegroom… Mr. and Mrs. Anstee left by train to spend their honeymoon at Jervis Bay. Their home will be made at Broken Hill, where Mr. Anstee is a teacher in the High School..“. );
  • Elizabeth Rebecca Anstee (b 1874 St Pancras, married George Henry Burgess in 1896 in Kensington);
  • Another Child?;
  • Alfred John Anstee (b 1882 Islington – an Anstey Hero); and
  • Annie Anstee (b 1889 Harlesdon, married Mr Fraser?);

In the 1871 Census the family were living at Public House, Arthingworth, Market Harborough – Alfred was a “shoeing and jo smith“. By the 1891 Census the family were living in Barker Street, Kensington where Alfred Anstee was a “tarrier“. Alfred Anstee died in July 1899 in London – his widow Elizabeth Anstee died in 1926.

Arthur William Anstee (b 1859 Swanbourne)

Arthur William Anstee was born in 1859 in Swanbourne to parents James Anstee and Jane Barton. He was living with his maternal aunt “Eliza Keen” in Stewkley in 1861. In 1871 the family were living at Duck End, Swanbourne, Winslow. He was a “Turner in engine works (eng)” in Arthingworth in the 1881 Census. He married Fanny Maria Robinson on 7 September 1882 in Leicester St Margarets – at the time he was living at 3 Wanlip Street working as a “turner“. They had children in Leicester:

  • Frank Anstee (b 1884, married Ada Norman in 1907 in Leicester – they were living at 36 Garfield Street Leicester in the 1911 Census where Frank was a boot and shoe cutter);
  • Frederick Anstee (b 1887, married Alice Oswin on 31 May 1909 in Leicester St Barnabus – he was living at 41 Duxbury Road. They had at least one child Mabel Anstee (b 1911) and in the 1911 Census they were living at 24 Willow Brook Road Leicester where Frederick was a house painter and paper hanger);
  • Margaret Anstee (b 1888, an unmarried shoe machinist living with her family in the 1911 Census);
  • Arthur Anstee (b 1889 – an Anstey Hero); and
  • James Henry Anstee (b 1897 – an Anstey Hero)

By the 1891 Census they were living at Syston Street, Leicester (together with Arthur’s brother George Anstee) where Arthur was a “turner and mechanic“. By 1901 they were living at 61, Colton Street, Leicester and by the 1911 Census Arthur was an iron turner living at 83 Stanley St, Leicester with his family. Arthur William Anstee died in 1939 in Leicester.

Further Details on the Market Harborough Anstees

#1. A ‘William Anstey‘ was born in Groby, Leicester in c1783 – he married first Elizabeth Mackley in 1810 in Grimston and then later married Frances Harrison, again in Grimston, in 1833. In the 1841 and 1851 censuses they were living in Grimston, apparently with no children. In the ‘Leicester Chronicle‘ on 3 February 1827 there was timber being auctioned which was “growing on land at Grimstone in the occupation of Mr Austin and Mr Wm Anstey“. In 1842 in the administration of Harrison James we find “Bond, bound William Harrison cordwainer of Eaton, William Anstey cottager of Grimstone and Richard Read wheelwright of Birstall £200 14 February 1842, condition bound William Harrison son and one of next of kin of James Harrison cottager and widower of Grimston intestate to produce inventory and administer estate“. In the ‘Reading Mercury‘ on 18 October 1856 was reported “Melancholy Accident at Leicester: On Saturday morning while a farmer named William Anstey of Grimstone, near Melton Mowbray, was at the house of Mr Hall, cheese factor of Leicester, he went into the back yard. A short time after Mrs Hall had occasion to go to the cellar when she saw him at the bottom of the steps with his legs uppermost. On examination his skull was found severely fractured and on his being taken to the infirmary the medical gentleman said he must have died the instant he fell“. Whether this gentleman is connected to the Market Harborough Anstees we are not sure but there were very few Ansteys in Leicestershire at this time.

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