The Thornborough Anstees

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

Overview of the Thornborough Anstees

The Thornborough Anstees of Buckinghamshire are very likely a sub-branch of the Swanbourne Ansteys headed by William Anstee (b c1780), though we are still searching for the formal connection.

William Anstee (b c1780)

The first we find formally of Anstees in Thornborough is in c1800 when William Anstee married Mary. William Anstee was likely baptised in Beachampton in 1780 to parents John Anstee and Mary Gardner, who married in Beachampton in 1779.

William Anstee and Mary had children (baptised in Thornborough):

  • Elizabeth Anstee (b 1800)
  • William Anstee (b 1802 – see below);
  • Thomas Anstee (b 1807); and
  • Sophia Anstee (b 1811);

William Anstee was a farrier in Thornborough. The ‘Northampton Mercury‘ on 13 May 1809 had the following advertisement “WILLIAM ANSTEE Farrier Thornborough in the County of Buckingham respectfully informs the public in general that he prepares an excellent drink for the cure of the FARCY in HORSES. W. A. has cured great numbers of that disorder by administering to each horse only a single drink, which generally effects a cure in 7 to 8 days…W. A. assures the public that the drink which he prepares does not fail to cure 49 out of 50 horses to which it is given

William Anstee (b 1802 Thornborough)

William Anstee was born in 1802 in Thornborough to parents William Anstee and Mary. He married Maria Googer in Whaddon, Buckinghamshire in 1823. They then returned to Thornborough and had children:

William Anstee (b1802) died in 1874 in Pottersbury, Northamptonshire; his wife Maria died in 1838 in Thornborough.

James Anstee (b 1836 Thornborough)

James Anstee was born in 1836 in Thornborough to parents William Anstee and Maria Googer. He married Betsey Ridgway (also known as Elizabeth) on 8 December 1861 in Leckhampstead and they had children:

  • William Anstee (b 1862 Leckhampstead, married Fanny Adams in 1885 in Pottersbury and they had children Florence Emaline Anstee (b 1887 Stony Stratford, living with her parents in the 1911 Census. She married James H. Morton in 1914 in Pottersbury and they attended her brother William‘s funeral in 1954); William Arthur Anstee (b 1888 Lingfield – an Anstey Hero); Annie Anstee (b 21 December 1889 East Grinstead, baptised 23 February 1890 in Dormansland. In the 1911 Census she was an unmarried house maid working at London Road, Stony Stratford); Frederick G. Anstee (b 1892 Stony Stratford, living with his parents in the 1911 Census, married and living in Wolverton in 1954 when he attended his brother William‘s funeral); Hilda Anstee (b 1894 Stony Stratford, an unmarried domestic maid at Lamport Rectory Northampton in the 1911 Census, She married Ernest Frederick Weston in 1919 in Barton upon Humber and she attended her brother William‘s funeral in 1954); George Anstee (b 1897 Stony Stratford, living with his parents in the 1911 Census); and Frances Ellen Anstee (b 1902, living with her parents in the 1911 Census. She married Eric E. E. Coles in 1927 in Pottersbury and she attended her brother William‘s funeral in 1954). In 1889 William Anstee was a gardener. The family were living at King Street, Wolverton in the 1891 Census where William Anstee was a labourer. By 1901 they were living at Silver Street, Calverton, Potterspury and by the 1911 Census they were living at 64 London Road Stony Stratford where William Anstee was a gatekeeper);
  • Charles George Anstee (b 1867 Stony Stratford, a fitter at a railway works in 1901 living at Park Road, Calverton (Bucks), Potterspury with his wife Emma and daughter Lucy Lillian Anstee (b 1897 Stony Stratford, living with parents in the 1911 Census) – they also had a son Ernest Leonard Anstee (b 1902, living with parents in the 1911 Census). See below also where Charles was asked in 1903 to provide maintenance to his father. By the 1911 Census Charles George Anstee had remarried to Mary Francis Yates (who he married in Potterspury in 1908) and the family were living at 49 Wolverton Road Stony Stratford – he was a railway carriage fitter. Charles George Anstee died in 1919 in Potterspury);
  • Sarah Ann Anstee (b 1870 Stony Stratford, alive in 1881);
  • Arthur James Anstee (b 1873 Stony Stratford, an unmarried gas worker in 1901 living at Silver Street, Calverton, Potterspury. He married Florence Elizabeth Jones in 1905 and they had children Doris Gwendoline Anstee (b 1906 Stony Stratford); Ivy Winifred Anstee (b 1908 Bradwell); and three others. In the 1911 Census Arthur was a gas stoker living with his family (including a stepson Herbert Arthur Jones (b 1902)) at 13 School Street Stantonbury, Bradwell. The ‘Wolverton Express‘ 05 January 1945 reported “New Bradwell Funeral: Mr A. J. Anstee. The funeral took place at New Bradwell on Thursday 28 December of Mr Arthur James Anstee, whose passing occurred on 23rd December at his home 31 High Street. He was 71 years of age and had resided in the town for 36 years. For a period Mr Anstee was employed as a gas stoker at the L. M. S. Railway Gas Works but owing to ill health was transferred to the Carriage Works. His hobby was gardening. He leaves a wife and five children“); and
  • John Anstee (b 1876 Stony Stratford – an Anstey Hero)

In 1871 the family were living at Back Way Gardens, St Mary Magdalene, Potterspury – James Anstee was working at a ‘lab carriage works’. In 1881 James Anstee was a labourer living at High Street, Stony Stratford with his family. In the 1901 Census James Anstee was an agricultural labourer living at Silver Street, Calverton, Potterspury with his wife Elizabeth and son Arthur.

The ‘Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press‘ on 3 October 1903 reported “Stony Stratford Petty Sessions: The Guardians of the Pottersbury Union v Charles Anstee fitter, Wolverton Road, Stony Stratford… James Anstee entered the Pottersbury Union Workhouse on August 14th last and was still an inmate…[Charles] had two children dependent upon him…the Board considered it was a proper thing on behalf of the ratepayers for [Charles] to pay 1s 6d per week… [James] was capable of working until he fell down some steps in a public house [when drunk]. [Charles] took [James] to the Northampton Infirmary…but all [James] wished to do was have sufficient money to spend in beer and tobacco and as [Charles] would not give him money to spend on beer [James] said he would go to the workhouse and did so… [Charles] had been discharged from Brompton Consumptive Hospital as late as last July and now had to take special emulsions. His wife [Emma] was an invalid and a child had been an invalid since birth and required special care…[Charles] was a non smoker and he had not touched intoxicating alcohol for twenty years…The Bench decided they could not make an order [of Charles to pay 1s 6d per week] unless evidence was adduced of [James] inability to work

The ‘Buckingham Express‘ on 9 July 1904 reported “John Anstee of Rugby, iron moulder, was summoned to show cause why he should not contribute towards the support of his father James Anstee, who was an inmate at the Potterspury Union Workhouse – [John‘s] average earnings for the past three months amounted to £1 11s per week – the medical officer for the workhouse said that James Anstee was quite incapacitated from doing work. He was ruptured in addition to other disabilities. the Bench made an order to [John] to contribute 2s per week.

Further Details on the Thornborough Anstees

#1. There is an August 1718 marriage between “Thomas Anstem” and Elizabeth Lucas in Thornborough. They had numerous children in Thornborough baptised between 1719 and 1736, transcribed as “Anstis” and “Ansted“. We really need to view the original parish register entries before deciding whether “Thomas Anstem” and is family are actually “Anstee“.

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