The Stratton Audley Anstees

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

Overview of the Stratton Audley Anstees

The Stratton Audley Anstees of Oxfordshire are a sub-branch of the Swanbourne Ansteys of Buckinghamshire, headed by George Anstee (b 1835 Swanbourne).

George Anstee (b 1835 Swanbourne)

George Anstee was born in Swanbourne in 1835 to parents Thomas Anstee and Elizabeth Redding. George Anstee was a blacksmith; he married Emma Ann Cherry in 1857 in Market Harborough, Leicestershire – he was living in Stratton Audley at the time. They had children in Stratton Audley:

  • Maria A. Anstee (b 1858); 
  • Elizabeth Anstee (b 1859); 
  • William Cherry Anstee (b 1860 – see below); 
  • Susan Anstee (b 1863 – see below); and 
  • Tom Anstee (b 1867 died an infant “DIED: March 9, Stratton Audley, Tom, infant son of the late Mr. George Anstee, blacksmith” per the ‘Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette‘). 

In the 1861 Census the family was living at Cottage, Stratton Audley, Bicester with Emma‘s mother Ann Cherrey [Cherry] (also a blacksmith). George Anstee, blacksmith, died in Bicester in early 1867 so his widow Emma Ann remarried William Kimber (a blacksmith) in 1868 in Oxford. They were living in Private, Tingewick, Buckingham in the 1871 Census. Emma Kimber was a widow in the 1881 Census living at 9, Gloucester Passage, Cambridge with (amongst others) her daughter Susan Anstee and her children.

William Cherry Anstee (b 1860 Stratton Audley)

William Cherry Anstee (not to be confused with his nephew William Cherry Anstee (b 1878 per below) was born in 1860 in Stratton Audley to parents George Anstee and Emma Ann Cherry. He married Sarah Jane Gillison [Gilliam] (b 1865 Aslackby, Lincoln) in 1882 in Grantham and they had children:

  • George William Anstee (b 1882, [Note: this was NOT the ‘George William Anstee‘ who served in the Second Boer War] a blacksmith living in Ropsley with his family in the 1901 Census. “G. Anstee” was secretary of Ropsley United Football Club in 1904. In 1905 he was paying board and lodgings to his father – see below. George married Kate Mary Green in 1909 in Ropsley and they had children John C. Anstee (b 1913 Grantham); Joan N. Anstee (b 1915 Grantham); and Freda Anstee (b 1919 Grantham). We cannot locate them in the 1911 Census but in 1921 they were living in Grantham. He was still alive in 1939 when he attended his mother’s funeral per below);
  • Fred Anstee (b 1884 – an Anstey Hero);
  • Agnes Lillian Anstee (b 1888 Edenham, known as Lillian, living with her family in the 1911 Census. She married Cecil Thompson in 1912 in Ropsley – the ‘Grantham Journal‘ 1 June 1912 edition reported “WEDDING St Peter’s Church Ropsley was crowded on the afternoon of Whit Monday when Cecil, the elder son of Mr and Mrs J. W. Thompson of Lincoln was married to Agnes Lillian, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs William C. Anstee of Gorse Farm, Ropsley…“);
  • Elsie Mary Anstee (b 1891 Edenham, living with her family in the 1911 Census. She married Francis Thomas Watmough in Ropsley in 1913);
  • William Anstee (b 11 January 1893 Edenham, in the 1911 Census he was a “farmer’s son” working on the family farm in Ropsley. He married Hilma Moor in Grantham in 1922 and they had at least two children Pamela L. Anstee (b 1922) and Peter W. E. Anstee (b 1926). In the 1939 Register William was a “Dental Clerk Public” living with his family at “Green Man” Inn Church End, Church End, Ampthill. He attended his mothers funeral in the same year – see below. It is possible that William Anstee was an Anstey Hero – see below);
  • Eveline May Anstee (b 1895 Ropsley, known as May and Maisie, living with her family in the 1911 Census. She married Sidney B. Johnson in 1916 in Grantham);
  • Arabella Margaret Anstee (b 1896 Ropsley, known as Belle?, living with her family in the 1911 Census. She married George B. Beanland in 1926 in Grantham);
  • Dorothy Anstee (b 1898 Ropsley, died an infant);
  • Cecilia Doris Anstee (b 1901 Ropsley, living with her family in the 1911 Census. She married Bernard F. Ritson in 1929 in Grantham); and
  • Phyllis D. Marguerite Anstee (b 1905 Ropsley, living with her family in the 1911 Census. She married George H. Brixey in Islington in 1929 and lived at the White Hart Hotel, Shefford in 1939)

In 1888 according to the ‘Stamford Mercury‘ 14 September 1888 edition “SPITTLEGATE Grantham…Five persons have been convicted for offences against their licenses viz William Anstee Ropsley for opening his house on a Sunday morning fined 40s and 10s cost…” In 1894 appeared an advert in the ‘Stamford Mercury‘ 6 July 1894 edition “BLACKSMITH Wanted at Once. One just out of his time or one that has served part of his time – William Anstee Ropsley, Grantham“. In the 1901 Census the family was at 2, Chapel Street, Ropsley, Grantham where William Cherry Anstee was a blacksmith.

William Cherry Anstee appeared to be Overseer for Ropsley in 1905 – the ‘Stamford Mercury‘ on 15 September 1905 reporting “Geo Wm Anstee, son of the Ropsley overseer claimed a lodger vote. It was stated that he paid 5s per week for rooms – the father admitted that he paid 14s for board and lodging. He could not say when the other agreement was made. The claim was allowed, the barrister remarking it was another of those 5s cases that he did not like“.

In the 1911 Census the family were living in Ropsley where William Cherry Anstee was a farmer and blacksmith. In 1912 William Cherry Anstee was living at Gorse Farm Ropsley. In 1913 he was elected as a Parish Councillor for Ropsley.

William Cherry Anstee was an Anstey Hero during World War One, though we only have a smattering of clues regarding this. Firstly we have in the ‘Sheffield Daily Telegraph‘ on 13 October 1913 “Yeomanry Shots at Grantham…S. S. Anstee (Ropsley)“, which presumably is referring to ‘Staff Sergeant Anstee’ of Ropsley. Secondly we have in the ‘Grantham Journal‘ on 12 September 1914 just after the outbreak of war (also the 24 December 1914 edition), “GRANTHAMIANS WHO ARE SERVING THEIR COUNTRY… District Men belonging to the Grantham Troops… Corpl. W. Anstee, Ropsley“. Finally on 24 October 1914 in the ‘Grantham Journal‘ appears
ROPSLEY. With the Colours.—Among those from Ropsley who are serving their King and country are the following;— …W. Anstee Territorials“. It is possible that these could be referring to William Cherry Anstee‘s son William, though we have little evidence of that, and the relatively high rank of ‘Corporal’ and ‘Staff Sergeant’ suggests an older man.

Sarah Jane Anstee died in 1939, the ‘Biggleswade Chronicle‘ reporting on 28 July 1939 “SHEFFORD: Death of Mrs Sarah Anstee. We regret to record the death of Mrs Sarah Jane Anstee, wife of Mr William Anstee, which occurred at the White Hart Hotel on Sunday morning. Mrs Anstee, who was 75 years of age, had been a devoted wife for 58 years. Mr and Mrs Anstee were natives of Lincolnshire and lived in Bitchfield Manor near Grantham before coming to Shefford about five years ago to live with their daughter and son in law Mr and Mrs G. H. Brixey of the White Hart Hotel… The mourners were Mr W. Anstee (husband); Mr G. Anstee, Mr W. Anstee (sons); Mrs C. Thompson, Mrs W. H. Harvey, Mrs S. B. Johnson, Mrs G. Beanland, Mrs B. F. Ritson, Mrs G. H. Brixey (daughters)…

In the 1939 Register William Cherry Anstee (widower) was a retired farmer living at The White Hart, Northbridge Street, Shefford, Biggleswade.

William Cherry Anstee died in 1948 aged 87. The ‘Biggleswade Chronicle‘ on 12 March 1948 reported “FUNERAL OF MR WILLIAM CHERRY ANSTEE: The funeral took place on Monday of Mr William Cherry Anstee who died at the age of 87 years at the home of his daughter, the White Hart Hotel Shefford on March 5 after an illness of 5 months. Mr Anstee was born at Stratton Audley Oxon. He left for Lincolnshire at an early age where he farmed until his retirement in 1931, when he came to live in Bedfordshire. His wife died in 1939 and he is survived by three sons and six daughters… The mourners were Mr G. W. Anstee (son); Mrs A. L. Thompson of Lincoln (daughter)…Mr and Mrs G. H. Brixey (daughter and son in law); Mr and Mrs W. Anstee (son and daughter in law); Mrs G. Blythe Johnson (daughter); Mr and Mrs G. Anstee, Peter Anstee; Mr R. N. Haylo and Mrs B. Dewbury (grandchildren). Owing to illness Mr Fred Anstee and Mrs Bernard F. Ritson (son and daughter) were unable to attend

Susan Anstee (b 1863 Stratton Audley)

Susan Anstee was born in 1863 in Stratton Audley to parents George Anstee and Emma Ann Cherry. She never married and had numerous illegitimate children namely:

  • William Cherry Anstee (b 1878 Cambridge, married Florrie Tall in 1902 in Boulton, Derbyshire at which time he was a “grocer in Cambridge St Matthew, father William Anstee (deceased)“. They had children in Cambridge Sidney William Anstee (b 1904) and Leonard Anstee (b 1908). In the 1911 Census the family were living at 50 Maids Causeway Cambridge – William was a grocers assistant. In 1914 he was living at 72 Jesus Lane. In 1918 his employer, Mr Brown of 81 East Road, applied for an exemption from conscription into the Army for William, due to him being Grade 3 rated (almost unfit for service) – the exemption was approved. The ‘Cambridge Daily News‘ on 22 March 1918 reported “Mr E. O. Brown of 81 East Road, grocer, oil and colour merchant, applied for exemption for William Anstee (41), married, of 72 Jesus Lane, manager. Mr Miller stated that Anstee was passed in Grade 3 and asked that the Certificate of Exemption should be varied to temporary exemption until called up – this course was agreed to.William Cherry Anstee died in 1942 in Cambridge, buried at Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge with inscription “In Loving Memory of FLORRIE ANSTEE died Sept 5 1935 aged 55 WILLIAM CHERRY ANSTEE beloved husband of the above died Jan 23 1942 aged 63“);
  • Arthur Anstee (b 1881 Cambridge);
  • John [W.?] Anstee? (b 1 April 1881 Cambridge – we cannot find his birth registration, nor can we find him in the 1891 or 1901 censuses – but the 1911 Census states his birth was in Cambridge so he is very likely son of Susan as she was the only ‘Anstee’ in Cambridge at this time. John Anstee married Ethel Cook on 5 July 1908 in St Luke’s Church, Birmingham, the marriage certificate stating that John was a “27 year old jockey living at Tinton Cottage, Ashley Street, father Frederick Anstee carpenter” They had children Arthur Anstee (b 1909 Birmingham) and Charles J. Anstee (b 25 May 1910 Winterbourne Stoke). In the 1911 Census John Anstee was a stableman living at Winterbourne Stoke Salisbury Wiltshire and in the 1939 Register he was a stableman in racing stables, living with his wife Ethel at Blind Lane, Lambourn, Hungerford R.D., Berkshire. John W. Anstee died in 1942 in Newbury Berkshire);
  • Frederick Anstee (b 1883 Cambridge – an Anstey Hero); 
  • Alfred Anstee (b 1886 Cambridge, died an infant);
  • Edwin [Edward] Anstee (b 1887 Cambridge, died an infant); and 
  • George Anstee (b 1888 Cambridge – an Anstey Hero).

Susan Anstee was living at 9, Gloucester Passage, Cambridge with her mother and children in the 1881 Census. By the 1891 Census she was a charwoman at Wellington Passage, Wellington Street, Cambridge with a visitor Louisa M. Kimber. In the 1901 Census Susan Anstee was still single, living at 9, Wellington Passage, Cambridge – we cannot locate her in the 1911 Census. She died in Cambridge in 1914

Further Details on the Stratton Audley Anstees

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