The Filleigh Ansteys

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

Many thanks to Julia for her help in constructing this pedigree

Overview of the Filleigh Ansteys

The Filleigh Ansteys of Devon are a sub-branch of the Iddesleigh Ansteys, themselves a sub-branch of the Tiverton Ansteys, hence they form part of the South West Peninsula Anstey pedigree. The patriarch of the Filleigh Ansteys is Thomas Anstey (b 1802 Iddesleigh) who married Nancy Dufty in 1824 in Hatherleigh, later moving to Filleigh.

Thomas Anstey (b 1802 Iddesleigh)

Thomas Anstey was born in 1802 in Iddesleigh to parents Bartholomew Anstey and Mary Weekes. On my great granduncle Thomas John Anstey (Tom)‘s Iddesleigh pedigree drawn in his Black Book in c1914, Tom noted that Thomas Ansteymarried Duffety [Dufty] and kept Turnpike Gate at Hatherley, went to Filleigh Mill near S. Molten and died there“. Thomas Anstey, a miller by trade, married Nancy Dufty in 1824 in Hatherleigh and later moved to Filleigh in c1842.

Thomas Anstey and Nancy Dufty had the following children:

  • John Dufty Anstey (b 1824 in Hatherleigh – see below);
  • William Anstey (b 1827 Hatherleigh, married Ann Follett in South Molten in 1847 and had at least one son, Thomas Follett Anstey (b 1847 Filleigh). According to Tom‘s Iddesleigh pedigree drawn in his Black Book in c1914, William Anstey was a “miller of Bromhill who had his mill burnt down“. In the 1851 Census the family were living at Bray Mill in Chittlehampton);
  • George Anstey (b 1829 Hatherleigh, married Ann Richards in Exeter St James in 1859 and moved to Filleigh having children George John Anstey (b 1860, died a child in 1866, buried in Filleigh); Thomas Richards Anstey (b 1862 died an infant in Filleigh); Annie Richards Anstey (b 1864); Bryan Dufty Anstey (b 1866 married Selina Stone in St George, Hanover Square, London in 1892); John George Anstey (b 1870, married Louise Smolden in 1903 and was a miller living in Filleigh when they had a son Harold George Anstey (b 1903 Chittlehampton));
  • Hannah Dufty Anstey (b 1832 Hatherleigh)
  • Mary Anstey (b 1835 Hatherleigh);
  • Betsy Dufty Anstey (b 1837 Hatherleigh, died 1884 Filleigh);
  • Sarah Dufty Anstey (b 1839 Hatherleigh, married John Cole in 1874 in South Molton);
  • Emily Anstey (b 1844 Filleigh)
  • Nancy Dufty Anstey (b 1846 Filleigh, possibly known as ‘Annie’)

In the 1851 Census, the entire family was living at Park Farm in Filleigh; Thomas Anstey was now “a farmer of 190 acres with 5 labourers“. Thomas Anstey and Nancy, together with many of their daughters, were still in Filleigh in the 1871 Census, however both Thomas Anstey and Nancy died later in 1871, buried in Filleigh.

John Dufty Anstey (b 1824 Hatherleigh)

John Dufty Anstey was born in 1824 in Hatherleigh to parents Thomas Anstey and Nancy Dufty. A miller by trade, John Dufty Anstey married Ann Manning (b c1824) in 1847 in Filleigh and they lived at Filleigh Mill, after a brief spell at Bray Mill in Chittlehampton. They had children:

  • Mary Ann Anstey (b 1848 Chittlehampton, had an illegitimate child Charles Manning Anstey (b 1871 Filleigh) – she died in Filleigh in 1887);
  • John Dufty Anstey (b 1849 Chittlehampton, in 1874 John Dufty Ansteymiller and farmer of Filleigh” was declared bankrupt – in the same year he married Mary Tudball in Williton, Somerset, having a son John Dufty M. Anstey (b 1880 Williton, died 1883 West Derby, Lancashire));
  • George Anstey (b 1850 Filleigh, went to America);
  • Lucy Anstey (b 1852 Filleigh);
  • Thomas William Anstey (b 1854 Filleigh, died a child in 1862, buried in Filleigh);
  • Benjamin Dufty Anstey (b 1855 Filleigh, died a child in 1862 buried in Filleigh);
  • Harriet Manning Anstey (b 1858 Filleigh);
  • Bessie Dufty Anstey (b 1861 Filleigh, married Henry Westacott in 1882 in Taunton, died 1944)
  • Benjamin Dufty Anstey (b 1865 Filleigh – see below);
  • Thomas Anstey (b 1868 Filleigh);

John Dufty Anstey was buried in Filleigh in 1869, his widow Ann Anstey was buried in Filleigh in 1871, just after the 1871 Census where she was living in Filleigh Mill with most of her children.

Benjamin Dufty Anstey (b 1865 Filleigh)

Benjamin Dufty Anstey was born in 1865 in Filleigh to parents John Dufty Anstey and Ann Manning. He emigrated to Victoria, Australia in 1888, arriving in Port Philip and becoming an Australian Anstey pioneer. Benjamin Dufty Anstey married Emily Louisa Young in 1890 in Victoria, Australia and they had children:

  • Dorothy Beatrice Anstey (b 1891 Prahran, she married James McBarron in 1916);
  • Ethel Louise Anstey (b 1892 Ardale, married in 1912);
  • George Basil Anstey (b 1893 Melbourne, signed up for service during World War One);
  • Leslie Anstey (b 1898 Freemantle); and
  • Benjamin William Anstey (b 1901 Perth, died an infant buried at Karrakatta Cemetery).

Benjamin Dufty Anstey was living at 9th Avenue, Maylands, Western Australia in 1918. His wife Emily Louisa Anstey died in 1928 “aged 58” and was buried at Karrakatta Cemetery. Benjamin Dufty Anstey remarried Jean Alexandra Hambley in 1928 and they were still living in 9th Avenue, Maylands in 1939. Benjamin Dufty Anstey died in Perth, Australia in 1950, living at 35 Forrest Street, North Perth, he was buried at Karrakatta Cemetery; his second wife Jean Alexandra Anstey was buried in the same cemetery in 1971 aged 96 (she was living in Subiaco at the time).

Further Details on the Filleigh Ansteys

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