The Potsgrove Anstees

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

Overview of the Potsgrove Anstees

The Potsgrove Anstees of Bedfordshire are a sub-branch of the Swanbourne Ansteys of Buckinghamshire. We include in this sub-branch the village of Woburn which lies two miles from Potsgrove.

The patriarch of the Potsgrove Anstees is Edward Anstee (b 1755 Swanbourne), who is documented on the Coventry Ansteys page as that is where he lived his later life and died.

John Anstee (b 1778 Potsgrove)

John Anstee was born in 1778 in Potsgrove (confirmed by the 1851 Census) to parents Edward Anstee and Mary Hughes. He married Mary Underwood (b 1781) on 29 April 1803 in Northampton St Sepulchre (both bride and groom were of the parish and signed with an ‘x’) and they had children in Northampton:

  • Hannah Anstey (b 1804, baptised 31 May 1807, married William Everey in Northampton St Sepulchre on 26 February 1822);
  • Another Child (baptised 19 August 1807, name blacked out);
  • Jesse Anstee (b 1811 – see below);
  • Benjamin Anstee (b 1813, baptised 7 May 1813. He became a shoemaker and married Amelia/Millicent. In the 1861 & 1871 censuses they were living at 3 Tanner Row, Northampton. Benjamin Anstee died in 1872 in Northampton, aged 60 – we find no children of his marriage);
  • Christopher Anstee (b 1814, baptised 8 November 1814);
  • John Anstee (b 1818, baptised 20 January 1818. He was living with William Tredgold in Northampton in 1841, a “cordwainer“. John Anstee married Mary Ann Darling (b c1822 Woburn) in Pancras in 1856 and in the 1871 Census they were living at Cumberland Mount St Pancras where John Anstee was a bootmaker (confirmed born in Northampton). By the 1881 Census they were living (still without children) at 21, Cumberland MT, St Pancras, where John Anstee was still a bootmaker – though here he incorrectly gives his birth location as ‘Woburn’ rather than ‘Northampton’);
  • Joseph Anstee (b c1821 – on 6 September 1839 aged 18 and “a bootmaker born Leightone Bedford“, he was charged with being a deserter from the 29th Foot Regiment. He was a shoemaker living with his parents in Northampton in the 1841 Census. He likely died in 1844 in Potsgrove, buried there on 23 October 1844); and
  • William Anstee (b 1823, a shoemaker living with his parents in Northampton in the 1841 Census. He married Eliza Brown (b 1823 Northampton) in c1843 and they had children in Northampton and later Paddington William Anstee (b 1843 – see below); Sarah Anstee (b 1847); John Anstee (b 1848 – see below); Eliza Anstee (b 1852, baptised 29 June 1856 in Paddington); and Ann Anstee (b 1854). In the 1861 Census the family were living at Desborough Mews, 2, Paddington, Kensington where William Anstee was a bootmaker. In 1881 Eliza Anstee (wife) was living at 5, Bosworth Road, Kensington with her son John Anstee)

In December 1811 Mary Anstee (wife) was admitted to Northampton General Hospital with a “wound to the hand“. She was discharged on 25 January 1812 “cured“.

In 1813 John Anstee (husband) was a shoemaker living in Mayorhold, Northampton. By 1818 he was a shoemaker living at Sawpit Lane. By the 1841 Census the family were living at River Court, Upper, St Sepulchre, Northampton where John Anstee was a shoemaker. Mary Anstee (wife) was buried on 27 February 1848 at St. Sepulchre, Northampton.

By the 1851 Census John Anstee was a “widower and shoemaker born 1778 Potsgrove” living at 17, New Street, Woburn with his son Jesse Anstee and his family.

Edward Anstee (b 1806 Woburn)

Edward Anstee was born in 1806 in Woburn to parents Edward Ansty and Sarah Hutchings, baptised there on 18 May 1806. He was a shoemaker and boot closer – marrying Ann in c1823 and they had a child: 

  • Martha Anstey (b 1824 Potsgove)

However the ‘Northampton Mercury‘ 14 August 1824 edition had the following “Absconded from the parish of Potsgrove near Woburn leaving his wife and child chargeable thereto EDWARD ANSTEE shoemaker lately of the parish of St Sepulchre Northampton. He is about nineteen years of age, about 5 foot 6 inches high, of fair complexion, has blue eyes and light brown hair and had on when he went away a brown coat and light thin trousers. Whoever will apprehend the said Edward Anstee and lodge him in any of His Majesty’s gaols and give information to the Overseer of Potsgrove so that he may be brought back to that parish, will receive TWO GUINEAS reward“. The ‘Northampton Mercury‘ 07 August 1824 also added that his brother Thomas Anstee had also absconded from Potsgrove.

Whether Edward was caught we do not know, but he married Mary Ann Faxton (known as both Mary and Ann) in 1827 in Coventry. They lived in Coventry and later Leamington, Warwickshire, having children:

  • Eliza Anstee (b 1831 Coventry); 
  • Sarah Anstee (b 1835 Coventry, never married. She was living with her sister Fanny at Waterloo Street, Leamington Priors in the 1891 Census where she was a cook (b 1842 – 7 years after her real birth). The ‘Leamington Spa Courier‘ 20 May 1899 edition reported “Sudden Death: Sarah Anstee, a single woman aged 58, who occupied a room at number 42 Waterloo Street, was found dead in bed on Wednesday morning. The occupier of the house went for work early in the morning leaving Anstee in bed, Betwe 11 and 12 o clock, deceased’s sister [Fanny King], who also lives in Waterloo Street went to the house and upon receiving no answer upon knocking at the door, opened the window and found the woman lying upon the bed – dead. The cause of death was heart disease of long standing for which she was treated about two years ago…“); 
  • Emily Anstee (b 1837 Coventry, aka Emma); 
  • Fanny Anstee (b 1837 Coventry. In 1861 she was a parlourmaid at 6, Beauchamp Walk, Leamington Priors (b 1838). By 1871 she was a servant at Clarendon Square, Leamington (b 1844). She married Charles King on 28 May 1875 in Leamington Priors and by 1891 they were living at Waterloo Street, Leamington Priors (b 1849 – a full twelve years after her actual birth) with her sister Sarah Anstee); and 
  • Mary Ann Anstee (b 1841 Coventry).

In the 1841 Census they were at Much Park Street, St Michael, Coventry; by 1851 they were at Brook Street Georges Court, Leamington and by 1861 they were at Georges Court Wilson Cottage, 6, Brook Street, Leamington Priors.

Edward Anstee probably had another son John George James Anstee (b 1836 – see below), though we seek verification of this.

Jesse Anstee (b 1811 Northampton)

Jesse Anstee was born in 1811, baptised 26 April 1811 in Northampton St Sepulchre, to parents John Anstee and Mary Underwood. He married Mary Ann Savage (b 1808 Eversholt) in Eversholt on 31 May 1830 and they had children in Woburn:

  • Elizabeth Anstee (b 1831, baptised Woburn 12 June 1831, died 24 September 1832);
  • Louisa Ann Anstee (b 3 November 1832, baptised in 1837 in Woburn, a bonnet sewer in 1851 in Woburn. She married George White on 25 October 1853 in Woburn);
  • Susan Anstee (b 1833, alive in 1841);
  • Sarah Elizabeth Anstee (b 1834, baptised 28 June 1837 Woburn, a servant at Leyhton Street, Woburn in the 1851 Census);
  • Catherine Lee Anstee (b 1835, baptised in Woburn 28 June 1837, alive in 1851);
  • Caroline Anstee (b 1838, baptised 6 May 1838, died young?);
  • William Anstee (b 1839, buried 14 October 1840 Woburn);
  • Jane [Mary]? Anstee (b 1841, by the 1861 Census she was an unmarried servant living at 2, Albert Villas, Croydon, Surrey);
  • Alfred Ernest Anstee (b 1845 – see below);
  • Elizabeth Anstee (b 1847, alive in 1851); and
  • Emily Rosetta? Anstee (b 1851)

In the 1841 Census the family were living at New Street, Woburn where Jesse Anstee was a shoemaker; ditto 1851 where Jesse’s father John Anstee was also living with them.

In 1845 “Jesse Anstee of Woburn” had a pane of glass at his premises broken per the ‘Northampton Mercury‘ 30 August 1845 edition.

John George James Anstee (b 1836 Northampton)

John George James Anstee was born in 1836 in Northampton to father Edward Anstee (a ‘shoemaker’ per his 1861 marriage, so presumably Edward Anstee (b 1806) who was a shoemaker). John married Maria Lewis, a minor, in Deptford, Kent on 28 April 1861 (father confirmed as “Edward Anstee shoemaker” – John was also a shoemaker living in Deptford at the time) and they had children in Greenwich, Kent and later Lewisham:

  • Ann Maria Emily Anstee (b 1862 Greenwich, married Arthur Patrick Leidig in Greenwich in 1895);
  • John George James Anstee (b 1864, died 1865);
  • Harriet Anstee (b 1866 Greenwich, married Arthur Ruegg Green in 1899 in Greenwich);
  • Elizabeth Louisa Anstee (b 1868, died an infant);
  • William George Anstee (b 1871 Greenwich, married Ellen Crane in 1908 in Lewisham and had a daughter Marie Ellen Crane (b 1911) – he was a law clerk in the 1911 Census living with his family at 5 Guildford Road Greenwich);
  • Caroline Anstee (b 1874 Lewisham, married Dudley George Bartley Lys in 1905 in Lewisham); and
  • Emily Martha Anstee (b 1884 Lewisham, married William Frederick Miller in Lewisham in 1908)

In the 1881 Census John was a boot maker born in Northampton living at Albert Terrace Lewisham. By the 1901 Census they were living at Lewisham Road, Greenwich where John was a leather and grindery seller and in the 1911 Census John and Maria were living at 33 Embleton Road Lewisham where John was a “boot repairer born Northampton Town” – 5 of their 7 children were still alive.

John died in 1919 in Lewisham.

William Anstee (b 1843 Northampton)

William Anstee was born in q3 1843 in Northampton to parents William Anstee and Eliza Brown. In the 1861 Census he was living with his family at living at Desborough Mews, 2, Paddington, Kensington working as a boot maker. In q4 1861 in St Pancras he married Louisa Jemima Parsons and they had children in St Pancras and later Kensington and Ealing:

  • William Silas Anstee (b 1862 St Pancras, died 1863);
  • Louisa Anstee (b 1863 St Pancras, died young?);
  • Stephen Anstee (b 1865 St Pancras, married Minnie Frances Walter in 1885 in Brentford and had children Minnie Louisa M. Anstee (b 1887, known as Louisa); Stephen Anstee (b 1890); Frederick Charles Anstee (b 1893 Ealing); Gladys Anstee (b 1895 Ealing, a pauper patient at Brentford Union Workhouse Infirmary, Heston in 1901, she died in 1911 in Brentford); and John Anstee (b Nov 1896 Ealing, a pauper patient at Brentford Union Workhouse Infirmary, Heston in 1901 and a student at Brentford Union Scattered Home 23 Campbell Twickenham in the 1911 Census. He was baptised on 26 June 1912 at Isleworth All Saints and he died in 1915 in Brentford). In the 1891 Census Stephen Anstee was a boot and shoemaker living at St Marys Place, Twyford Abbey Ealing. He died in 1897 in Brentford);
  • Thomas D. Anstee (b 1866 Kensington, died an infant);
  • Louisa Anstee (b 1867 Kensington, died an infant);
  • Mary Ann Anstee (b 1868 Kensington, alive in 1871);
  • Louisa Anstee (b 1871 Kensington, died young?);
  • Rosina Anstee (b 1874 Kensington, married William James Tailby [Toilby] in 1893 in Brentford. Two of their daughters were living with Louisa Anstee in 1901 in 6, Hope Road, Ealing);
  • William Anstee (b 1879 Ealing (or 1875 Brentford), married Lillian Louisa Russell in 1902 in Brentford and they had a son Harold Anstee (b 1907 Ealing). In the 1911 Census William was a boot repairer living with his family at 10 Felix Road W Ealing, Ealing);
  • Joseph Anstee (b 1881 Kensington, died young?);
  • John Anstee (b 1882 Ealing, a milk carrier living with his family in 1901. He married Emma Elizabeth Dawson in 1904 in Edmonton and they had a son John Frank Anstee (b 1906 Ealing). In the 1911 Census John Anstee was a greengrocer living with his family and sister in law Clarissa Dawson at 311 Chiswick High Road Chiswick); and
  • Joseph Anstee (b 1883 Ealing working as a butcher and living at 6, Hope Road, Ealing in the 1901 Census. Then on 3 April 1901 in London he enlisted with the Army, posted to the 7th Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifles (Service Number: 7036). At the time of his enlistment he was working as a butcher at the Green Man Hotel in Ealing. He was discharged by purchase on 31 January 1903 but then less than a year later, on 23 December 1903 he again signed up, this time with the Cameronians (2nd Battalion Scottish Rifles) (Service Number: 8281). In May 1904 Joseph Anstee requested to be transferred to the Army Service Corps as a butcher, giving reason “that was always my intention but I was told it [vacancies] was closed“. Joseph Anstee married Agnes Field (born in Cork Ireland) in 1906 in Brentford and they had a child Victor Anstee (b 1909 Ealing). In the 1911 Census Joseph was a sewing machine agent living with his family at 95 Seaford Road West Ealing)

In the 1871 Census William Anstee was a bootmaker living with his family at Western Terrace, Kensington. By 1891 the family were living at Connaught Road, Twyford Abbey Ealing together with Louisa‘s brother Frank S. Parsons. By 1901 they were living at 6, Hope Road, Ealing together with two ‘Tailby‘ granddaughters.

Alfred Ernest Anstee (b 1845 Woburn)

Alfred Ernest Anstee was born in 1845 in Woburn, baptised 27 April 1845, to parents Jesse Anstee and Mary Ann Savage. By 1861 he was a “shoe black” member of a “shoe black brigade” and an “inmate of refuge” living at 20, Church Street, St Mary, Islington (effectively a form of Children’s Home providing the children work as “shoe blacks“). Alfred married Mary Elizabeth Clark (b c1843/51 Chichester) in c1870 and in the 1871 Census they were boarding at Surrey Street, Portsea, Portsea Island, where Alfred was a “stoker in the Royal Navy“. They had children in Portsea:

  • Alfred James Anstee (b 1872, died 1877 buried at Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth “son of Alfred Anstee“);
  • Alice Gertrude Cobden Anstee (b 1874, known as Gertrude. She was a servant at Kingston Road, Portsea in the 1891 Census and married George Morray Baker in 1897 in Portsea – witness was her sister Alice Georgina Anstee);
  • Maurice Jesse William Anstee (b 1876, known as William, married Elizabeth Maud Bounds in early 1901 in Portsmouth and they were living with her mother at 3, Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth in the 1901 Census where Maurice was a waiter at a hotel. They had children in Portsmouth Alfred Maurice John Anstee (b 1902); Edith Mary Anstee (b 1903); William Edward Anstee (b 1906); Robert James Anstee (b 1908); and Gilbert Lawrence Anstee (b 1911). In the 1911 Census the family were living at 140 Twyford Avenue Stamshaw Portsmouth where Maurice was a ‘marine store dealer’. In the ‘Portsmouth Evening News‘ on 14 November 1912 appears “THEFT OF GUNMETAL. A charge of stealing 79lbs of gunmetal, the property Maurice William Anstee, was preferred against Walter Humphreys, young man aged 24.—Prosecutor, who carries on business at 140, Twyford Avenue, Stamshaw, said he employed prisoner occasionally to cart goods to the town railways station…“. In 1916, Maurice, an “iron metal merchant” was exempted from military service during World War One though he was “to do duty at St Suoilliton? Hospital“. In 1918 this was reviewed by the tribunal and “Maurice J. W. Anstee 140 Twyford Avenue Marine Store and Bottle Dealer aged 39” had tribunal decision “certfe wdn 23.4.18“. He died in 1952, living at 77 Earlswood Road, Redhill, probate to his sons Robert James Anstee (engine fitter) and Gilbert Lawrence Anstee (motor engineer));
  • Reuben Anstee (b 9 August 1878, living with his mother in Portsea in 1891. In the 1901 Census he was single and a general labourer, visiting the Baker family at 4, Maple Street, Sheerness. In the ‘Portsmouth Evening News‘ 12 March 1903 edition “A COMMERCIAL ROAD INCIDENT. Reuben Anstee, 24, for using obscene language in the course of argument with two other men, in Commercial Road, Mile End, on Wednesday evening was fined 10 shillings“. Later in 1903 Reuben Anstee emigrated to Canada, initially heading for ‘Parry River Saskatchewan’; he returned to Canada again in 1907 giving his nearest relative in England as his brother Roy Anstee. Reuben was unmarried and living with his mother Mary Elizabeth Cobden and brother Thomas at 37 Edmonton West, Alberta, Canada in 1916. In 1926 he was still unmarried, living with his family at 11th Avenue East Block 80, Peace River North, Alberta. In August 1937, whilst giving his address at 140 Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth and a “carman” by trade “aged 59“, he embarked on the ship ‘Empress of Australia‘ bound for Quebec, Canada again intending to permanently reside there. He died on 11 February 1964 in British Columbia, Canada “aged 85“);
  • Alice Georgina Anstee (b 1880, was witness to her sister Alice Gertrude Colden Anstee‘s marriage in Portsea in 1897. She married Hubert Churchfield in 1906 in Portsea and they emigrated to Canada in c1910. She died in 1966 in Vancouver);
  • Thomas Cornelius Anstee (b 1883 – an Anstey Hero); and
  • Alfred Roy Anstee (b 1886, known as Roy – an Anstey Hero)

In 1877 the family were living at Brighton Street, Portsmouth. In the 1881 Census the family were living at 33, Stamshaw Lane, Portsea where Mary Elizabeth Anstee was “wife of seaman“. Alfred Anstee himself was near Malta in the Mediterranean aboard the Royal Navy ship ‘Alexandra‘ at the time of the 1881 Census, a “leading stoker, married, born 1845 Woburn Bedfordshire“.

Alfred Anstee died in 1889 in Portsea “aged 43“, buried 23 August 1889 at Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth (“Mason’s Plot 11th Row 14th Grave“). He was described as a “pensioner residing at Royal Hospital Landport“.

Mary Elizabeth Anstee (widow) remarried in c1890 to James Edward Cobden – she was living with him and her four youngest children in Stamshaw Road, Portsea in the 1891 Census.

Between c1903 and 1908 many of the family decided to emigrate to Canada. In the 1916 Canada Census, Mary Elizabeth Cobden (again a widow) and her two sons Reuben Anstee and Thomas (Cornelius) Anstee were living at 37 Edmonton West, Alberta, Canada. By the 1926 Census, Mary Elizabeth Cobden, her sons Richard Cobden, Reuben Anstee, Thomas Anstee and Roy Anstee (plus his family) were living at 11th Avenue East Block 80, Peace River North, Alberta, Canada.

John Anstee (b 1848 Paddington)

John Anstee was born in q4 1848 in Bayswater, Paddington (though some censuses say Northampton) to parents William Anstee and Eliza Brown. In the 1861 Census he was living with his family at living at Desborough Mews, 2, Paddington, Kensington. He married Ann Bloom in 1870 in Kensington and they had children in Kensington:

  • John Watts Anstee (b q1 1871 – an Anstey Hero);
  • William Walter Anstee (b 2 November 1872, an errand boy living at Leamington Terrace, Acton, Brentford in 1891 with his grandmother Eliza Anstee. He married Margaret Hasler [Haslar] in 1897 in Chelsea and they had children Amelia Jane Anstee (b 1897 Marylebone); Annie Margaret Anstee (b 1900 Willesdon); Elizabeth Anstee (b 1902 Hammersmith – in Kensington Infirmary in 1911); Walter Henry Anstee (b 1904 Marylebone – in Kensington Infirmary in 1911, died in q2 1911); Loronzo Charles Anstee (b 1907 Kensington, known as Larri); Frank Stephen Anstee (b 1909 Kensington); Ethel E. Anstee (b q2 1911 Marylebone); Hilda Anstee (b 1912 Kensington); Grace W. Anstee (b 1914 Kensington); and Louisa G. M. Anstee (b 1921 Paddington). In the 1911 Census the family were living at 1 Adair Road, Kensington where William Anstee was a general labourer. William Anstee was a retired house painter living with his wife Margaret and daughter Louisa at 10 Bravington Road, Queens Park, Paddington in the 1939 Register);
  • Ann Anstee (b 1875, known as Annie); and
  • Mary Elizabeth Anstee (b 1877, died in 1878 in Kensington)

In the 1871 Census the family were living at Phillip Terrace, Paddington – John Anstee was a journeyman shoemaker. In the 1881 Census John Anstee was a house decorator living at 5, Bosworth Road, Kensington with his family and mother Eliza.

Further Details on the Potsgrove Anstees

#1. William Anstee who married Priscilla Bridget Foll in July 1868 in Woburn is of the Toddington Anstees

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