The Toddington Anstees

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

Toddington Anstees Overview

The Toddington Anstees of Bedfordshire are a sub-branch of the Houghton Regis Anstees, who themselves are a sub-branch of the Swanbourne Ansteys. The patriarch of the Toddington Anstees is John Anstee Junior (b 1798 in Houghton Regis).

John Anstee Junior (b 1798 Houghton Regis)

John Anstee (Junior) was baptised in February 1798 in Houghton Regis to parents John Anstee (b 1766) and Mary (see the Houghton Regis Anstee page). He married Charlotte Foll (b c1810 in Gaddington, Bedfordshire) in 1828 in Toddington and they had two children, namely:

  • William Anstee (b 1828 in Old Park Farm, Toddington- see below);
  • Mary Constance Anstee (b 1832 in Toddington – she was baptised as an adult in 1862 in Dunstable, then in 1867 she married Benjamin Bennett of Cheverells Park, Dunstable, esquire in Marylebone, London)

We know that “John Anstee Junr” was a farmer at Chalton in 1830 (see ‘The Publications of the Bedfordshire Historical Record Society‘ Volume IV page 214), presumably this was at ‘Old Park Farm’ in Chalton, Toddington where we know his son William Anstee was born. In the 1851 Census, we find John Anstee (Junior)farmer of 865 acres employing 45 men” at Lewsey, Luton, together with his wife Charlotte and daughter Mary Anstee aged 19, as well as a nephew George Eames (born 1827 in USA), nephew Thomas Foll and niece Charlotte Foll.

John Anstee (Junior) made a will in April 1869, by then of Lewsey Farm, Luton “devising all hereditaments vested in him by way of mortgage etc. to his son William Anstee of The Tithe Farm, Chalton, farmer, Benjamin Bennett of Cheverells Park, Dunstable, esquire and John Kinder of Church House, Harlington [Middlesex], esquire“. John Anstee (Junior) died on 14 August 1870 – his will was proved on 21 January 1871.

William Anstee (b 1828 Old Park Farm, Toddington)

We are greatly aided in the construction of the pedigree of William Anstee, the only son of John Anstee (Junior), by a 1906 obituary in the ‘Luton Times and Advertiser‘ (30 November 1906 edition), which states:

Death of Mr W. Anstee J.P. It is with much regret that we have to record the death of Mr William Anstee of the Tythe [Farm] near Leagrave…he died on Tuesday evening in the house in which he had lived for the past 40 years. Mr Anstee was 78 years of age …He was well known in Luton and the owner of considerable property in the town and neighbourhood and he will be much missed. He rather shrank from public life but was a Magistrate for the borough since its incorporation in 1876, and was for some time Alderman of the County Council. The Deceased gentleman, who was born at Old Park [Farm], Toddington, was the only son of Mr John Anstee. His only sister married Mr Benjamin Bennett of Kensworth House. Mr Wm Anstee was a considerable landowner and farmed in his early days at Lewsey and since at The Tythe, Leagrave and at Chalton. He was married three times and is survived by his widow (sister of the late Mr Richard Foll of Chalgrave Manor) and eight children, all of whom were present at the last. There are five sons: Mr J. H. Anstee (St Albans); Mr W. H. Anstee (Bedford); Mr G. F. Anstee (Bristol); Mr A. E. Anstee and Mr H. E. Anstee (solicitor). The three daughters are Mrs R. A. Bennett (Bexhill), Miss Anstee and Miss B. Anstee. The funeral takes place at Sundon Church on Monday afternoon

From this solid start, we can fill in the gaps. So William Anstee was born in 1828 at Old Park Farm, Toddington to parents John Anstee Junior and Charlotte Foll. In the 1841 Census, he was living in Chalton with his grandmother Mary Anstee (b 1776) and his aunt Susan Anstee (sister of John Anstee Junior)

In June 1856 William Anstee married Mary Elizabeth Stopp, however she died in September 1857, aged 26, by which time William Anstee was already living at Tythe Farm, Chalton. He then remarried Elizabeth Martha Howton in 1860 in Marylebone, London (this was just before William Anstee was baptised as an adult in 1861 in Sundon, Bedford), and they had children:

  • John Howton Anstee (b 1861, baptised in Sundon, Bedford, married Annie Louisa Glover in October 1883 in Sulgrave, Northamptonshire, lived in St Albans in 1906. In the ‘Bedfordshire Mercury‘ on 26 December 1891 appears “…March 1891 by John Howton Anstee of Lewsey Farm Luton and George Frederick Anstee of Eaton Socon in Bedford…” and “John Howton Anstee and George Frederick Anstee will proceed distribute the assets of the said George William Howton amongst the parties entitled thereto having regard the claims which the said John Howton Anstee and George Frederick Anstee have then had notice…“)
  • Alice Mary Anstee (b 1863, baptised in Sundon, Bedford, married Rev R. A. Bennett, Rector of Winfield Sussex in June 1884 at Biscot in Luton, living in Bexhill in 1906)
  • William Henry Anstee (b 1865, baptised in Sundon, Bedford in 1866, married Florence C. Elliot in July 1890 in Houghton Regis. They had a son Geoffrey Arthur Anstee (b 1895 Woburn, administrator to his uncle Harold Edward Anstee‘s will in 1939 – he was also an Anstey Hero). The family lived in Bedford in 1906, and they had moved to Hove, Steyning, in Sussex by 1911, where William Henry Anstee died in 1928)
  • George Frederick Anstee (b 1866, baptised in Sundon, Bedford, lived in Bristol in 1906. In 1891 he was “of Eaton Socon in Bedford” when he was executor to the will of George William Howton together with his brother John Howton Anstee – see above)

His second wife died in April 1867 so William Anstee then married Priscilla Bridget Foll (surely related to his mother Charlotte Foll) in July 1868 in Woburn, Bedfordshire and they had children:

  • Arthur Edward Anstee (b 1870, baptised in Sundon, Bedford, married Everilda Agnes Richardson Dundas in May 1914 in Luton, lived at Tythe Farm in the 1901 Census (a farmer’s son) and still there in 1906);
  • Louisa Charlotte Susannah Anstee (b 1872, baptised in Sundon, Bedford, unmarried in 1906);
  • Percy Charles Anstee (b 1873, baptised in Sundon, Bedford, died an infant);
  • Beatrice Maud Anstee (b 1875 Chalton, unmarried in 1906)
  • Harold Edward Anstee (b 1877, baptised in Sundon, Bedford, living at Tithe Farm with his parents in the 1901 Census where he was an ‘articled clerk’. He became a solicitor and married Evelyn Marjory Jones in Hampstead, London in 1929, where he died on 11 January 1939. They did not appear to have children)

In the 1901 Census the family was still living at Tithe Farm; bizarrely their surname is spelt ‘Anstie’, though this is certainly an anomaly.

Further Details on the Toddington Anstees

1. It is highly likely that Anstee Road near Leagrave, Toddington is named after John Anstee (Junior) or his son William Anstee, though we seek formal confirmation of that.

2. The first ‘Anstey’ entry we find in the Toddington parish registers is when Hannah Ansty married William Webb in June 1800. Hannah is possibly daughter of Benjamin Anstee (b 1717) – see the Houghton Regis Anstee page. Other early Anstee marriages in Toddington are John Anstee Junior‘s sisters Elizabeth Anstee, who married William Foll in 1829, and Susan Anstee, who married William Medcraft in 1845 (see Further Details #4 of the Houghton Regis Anstee page)

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