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 c1840.

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 (b 1816) in South Molten in 1847 and had at least one son, Thomas Follett Anstey (b 1847 Filleigh, married Emma Stone in Chittlehampton in 1869. However by 1891 he was an innkeeper at the Public House, Portland Street, Ilfracombe living with his mother and deemed “single“. He married Elizabeth Knill in Ilfracombe in 1895 and died three years later in Barnstaple aged 51). In 1850 William was a miller at Stag’s Head, Filleigh. In the 1851 Census the family were living at Bray Mill in Chittlehampton together with three “mill servants“. The ‘Exeter Flying Post‘ on 30 March 1854 reported that William Anstey of Bray Mill had supplied more flour to the poor of Chittlehampton than the other two millers in the parish. 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” – this is confirmed in the ‘North Devon Journal‘ on 30 September 1858 where it reported “Chittlehampton – Fire. – Early on Thursday morning last, the flour mills at Bray Bridge, in the occupation of Mr William Anstey, were discovered to be on fire by MR DYER, a neighbouring farmer. An alarm was at once raised, but the fire had gained such an ascendancy that the whole of the mills, machinery, corn, &c., was entirely destroyed – not a vestige was saved. Mr Anstey will suffer a loss of about £130, being unfortunately uninsured. His dwelling house is situated at a short distance from the mill. This is the third time of late years these mills have been destroyed by fire. There were no signs of fire to be seen when the miller and two servants left the mills, at 11 o’clock, on the previous night, and it is conjectured that as the mills were working the whole day it must have originated from the machinery“. By the 1891 Census Ann Anstey was a widow living with her son Thomas at Public House, Portland Street, Ilfracombe);
  • 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, baptised 8 July 1866 in Filleigh. He married Selina Stone in St George, Hanover Square, London in 1892 and they had children in Filleigh George William Anstey (b 10 May 1893 baptised 11 June 1893 was an unmarried bookseller and stationer boarding at 46 Gloster Road Barnstaple in the 1911 Census); Bryan Gerald Anstey (b 1896, living with family in 1911 Census); and Dorothy Anstey (b 1902, living with family in 1911 Census). In the 1901 and 1911 censuses they were living at Filleigh Mills where Bryan was a ‘Corn miller farmer and coal merchant’); John George Anstey (b 1870, living with his brother Bryan at Filleigh Mills in 1901. He married Louise Smoldon in 1903 in South Molton having children in Lurgashall, Sussex Harold George Anstey (b 1903); Stanley William Anstey (b 1906); Marjorie Anstey (b 1907); John Leslie Anstey (b 1910); Douglas B. Anstey (b 1915); and Reginald I. Anstey (b 1918). In the 1911 Census they were living at Mill Farm Lurgashall, Sussex). George Anstey was a farmer in Filleigh in 1866);
  • Hannah Dufty Anstey (b 1832 Hatherleigh)
  • Mary Anstey (b 1835 Hatherleigh, never married and was a retired dressmaker living at 15 East Street South Molton in the 1911 Census);
  • 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 1841 Census the family were living at Filleigh Mills. In 1850 Thomas was a “farmer of Filleigh“. 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 1866 Mortehoe, baptised 6 August 1871 in Filleigh. He joined the Merchant Navy where in 1887 he was an Able Seaman on the vessel ‘Surprise‘. Also in 1887 he married in New Ross, Ireland). Mary Ann Anstey 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 (1 January 1874) he married Mary Tudball in Williton, Somerset and they had children William Anstey (b 1875 North Molton, an unmarried crane driver living with his widowed mother in the 1911 Census) and John Dufty M. Anstey (b 1880 Williton, died 1883 West Derby, Lancashire). In the 1891 Census John was a miller living with his family at Delamore Street, Kirkdale, West Derby and in 1901 they were at 1, Broadbelt Street, Liverpool. John died in 1906 in West Derby and by the 1911 Census Mary Anstey was a widow, living with her son William at 1 Broadbelt Street Walton Liverpool, Walton on the Hill, Lancashire);
  • George Anstey (b 1850 Filleigh – see below);
  • 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 – an Anstey Hero);

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.

George Anstey (b 1850 Filleigh)

George Anstey was born in 1850 in Filleigh to parents John Dufty Anstey and Ann Manning. In the 1871 Census he was living in Filleigh Mills with his family working as a miller then soon afterwards he emigrated to Illinois, America. He married Agnes Halfen [Halpeen] (b 1856 Germany) on 18 April 1876 in Cook (Chicago), Illinois and they had children:

  • George Franklin Anstey (b 1 November 1878 Chicago (father confirmed as born in Devonshire in birth record). In the 1900 Census he was a clerk living in Jackson, Missouri with his younger brother Grover. He married Clara K. Hursig (b 1881 Missouri) in 1901 and they had a son Edward William Anstey (b 1902, married Gladys Howey in 1922 in Jackson, was likely informant of his uncle Albert‘s death in 1931 per below – Edward died in 1944, buried at Forest Hill Cemetery Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri). In the 1910 American Census the family were living at Kansas Ward 10 Jackson Missouri where George was a salesman for a plumbing supplies company. In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, George was a “stock clerk” living at 2421 Dales, Kansas City, Missouri. In the 1930 Census George and Clara were living at Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri where George was a plumbing salesman. George died in 1952 buried at Forest Hill Cemetery Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri plot ‘Block 20’);
  • Albert Charles Anstey (b 7 April 1879 Chicago Illinois, he joined the US Navy and in the 1910 American Census he was aboard “USS South Carolina Us Navy Military and Naval Forces“. In the 1920 Census he was unmarried, based at the YMCA in Mecklenburg, North Carolina, working at the US Navy Recruiting Station. He died 20 December 1931 at the Good Samaritan Hospital, living at 226 Embarcadero Street San Francisco, “retired from the US Navy” – informant was “Edward Anstey Virginia Hotel 744 Beacon“, probably his nephew per above (Albert never married or had children – he had been living in California for a year prior to his death, presumably before that he lived in Missouri). Albert was buried at Los Angeles National Cemetery Plot ‘74 K 2‘ gravestone inscription “Albert Charles Anstey – Missouri – Coppersmith 1 CL U. S. Navy December 20 1931“);
  • Lucy Anstey (b 3 January 1884 Illinois);
  • Grover Cleveland Anstey (b 6 November 1885 Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. In the 1900 Census he was living with his brother George in Jackson, Missouri and we cannot locate him in the 1910 American Census. Grover married Elizabeth A. in c1910 and they had a child Agnes M. Anstey (b 1912 Missouri). In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, Grover noted that he was a coppersmith working at ‘Kansas Copper Works’ (which was his own business) and that he was living at 1818 E 38th Kansas City, Missouri. In the 1920 Census Grover was still running his own coppersmith business – ditto 1930. Grover died in 1964 of a “Cerebral Vascular Accident“, a “retired sheet metal worker“; his wife informed the authorities of the death. He was buried at Floral Hills Cemetery Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri)

By the 1880 Census the family were living at Wyandotte Township, Wyandotte, Kansas, where George Anstey was a “manufacturer of jellies“. They must have very recently moved there (probably in 1879 or 1880) and soon they had moved back to first Illinois and then (confusingly) to Kansas City in Missouri.

We believe that George was a widower by 1900 in Fremont, Colorado, working as a day labourer, and by the 1910 American Census he was still there (Precinct 32), working as a peddler of vegetables (though we seek formal confirmation of this). George Anstey died in 1913, buried at Forest Hill Cemetery Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri (Plot Section 5) – his gravestone inscription reads “Father George Anstey 1851-1913“.

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).

The family were living in Victoria in c1910. 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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