The Monkokehampton Ansteys

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

Overview of the Monkokehampton Ansteys

The Monkokehampton 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.

William Anstey (b 1758 Iddesleigh)

The patriarch of the Monkokehampton Ansteys is William Anstey (b 1758 in Iddesleigh to parents John Anstey (a tailor) and Elizabeth Nenow). The first parish register entry for Ansteys in Monkokehampton is in 1786 when William Ansteyof the parish of Iddesleigh” married Elizabeth Weekes, a “widow” – William‘s brother John Anstey of Iddesleigh was witness. Elizabeth died in c1790 so in 1793 William Anstey, still “of the parish of Iddesleigh” remarried Wilmot Fewings. William Anstey had children:

  • John Anstey (b 1787 Monkokehampton with Elizabeth – bizarrely this appears in the parish register as ‘Anstice’ but it is certainly ‘Anstey’ – see below);
  • Mary Anstey (b 1794 Iddesleigh with Wilmot);
  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1796 Iddesleigh with Wilmot);
  • Wilmot Anstey (b 1800 Iddesleigh with Wilmot);
  • Hannah Anstey (b 1803 Iddesleigh with Wilmot);
  • Ann Anstey (b 1806 Iddesleigh with Wilmot)

William Anstey was a yeoman freeholder living at ‘Northlake’ in Monkokehampton in 1816.

John Anstey (b 1787 Monkokehampton)

John Anstey (b 1787) was also a yeoman; in 1818 he was listed as the “reputed father” of “Mary, illegitimate daughter of Martha Bolt“, then in 1820 in Monkokehampton John Anstey married Elizabeth Kenstake, having children in Monkokehampton/Iddesleigh:

  • Elizabeth Nenow Anstey (b 1820 Monkokehampton, named after her Iddesleigh great grandmother Elizabeth Nenow, married George May in Iddesleigh in 1844. In 1850 George May was charged with stealing a box from his employers and found guilty – see below. In 1851 she was living with her brother John Anstey in Monkokehampton together with her children. She later emigrated to Toodyay in Australia (see below – where her brothers were living) and she died on 27 August 1873 in Toodyay);
  • William Anstey (b 1824);
  • Patience Anstey (b 1826, married in Winkleigh in 1849);
  • John Anstey (b 1828 – see below);
  • Thomas Anstey (b 1831, emigrated to Toodyay, Western Australia);
  • Mary Anstey (b 1834 Iddesleigh, was living with her brother John Anstey in Monkokehampton in the 1851 Census);
  • George Anstey (b 1836 Iddesleigh, was living with his brother John Anstey in Monkokehampton in the 1851 Census. Migrated to Toodyay, Western Australia)

John Anstey likely died in Okehampton in 1844. The ‘Exeter Flying Post‘ on 7 February 1850 reported on the theft of a box by George May per above “Mary Anstey, the prisoner [George May]’ sister in law was next sworn [as witness]. She deposed to her being on a visit to the prisoner and her sister at the Kingsbridge Road Station in November last; whilst there she took a dress to the last witness to take in a little bit, as it was too large for her…Elizabeth Anstey, the mother of the last witness, deposed that she had removed from Iddesleigh and was now residing in Monkokehampton; she had not received any parcel from her daughter during the time she had been on a visit to the prisoner; she was dangerously ill shortly after her daughter Mary left and knew nothing of what occurred at the time. Sometime before Christmas she believed a parcel was sent to Mary in which was a dress forwarded by her daughter Patience

George May was found guilty and sent to Australia – “May, George (1821-1880) 2904 1854-04-05 Sea Park CWA: Died 26-22-1880 Mt Eliza; Mar; 3 children; farm lab; larceny by servant 10 yrs; applied for wife & children to come to WA 1/2 yr return 31-12-1857. BDWA: May, George, b. 1821, d. 26.11.1880 (Mt. Eliza Depot). (expiree), …. wife & 3 chd followed arriving 25.5.1858 per Emma Eugenia, m. (Eng) Elizabeth Anstey b. 1821 d. 27.8.1873 (Toodyay). Chd. … Toodyay farmer 1869-77. Bejoording/’Konkabine’. Employed 6 T/L men 1863-1872. Daughter Amelia was born in Toodyay district, 1859 (before TOL time finished in Feb. 1860). Trove, 1880: Death report (15 Nov.).

John Anstey (b 1828 Monkokehampton)

John Anstey was born on 10 November 1828 in Monkokehampton to parents John Anstey and Elizabeth Kenstake, baptised in Monkokehampton to “John, a yeoman, and Elizabeth” (not to be confused with John Anstey (b 1837)). In the 1851 Census he was unmarried and living at North Lake, Monkokehampton with his sisters Mary Anstey and Elizabeth May and his brother George Anstey.

By the 1861 Census John was still unmarried, working as a servant groom at Fair Place, Okehampton (though his birth year was now given as 1834, born in Monkokehampton). He married Levina Tucker (b 1841) in q3 1867 in Exeter and they had children:

  • Benjamin Anstey/Tucker (b 1864 Hatherleigh – John‘s stepson, he was actually baptised as ‘Benjamin Tucker‘ in Hatherleigh to single mother ‘Levina’ on 24 May 1864);
  • John Anstey (b 1868 Exeter, baptised 30 June 1868 in Exeter St James. In 1881 he was at the “St Johns Hospital School, & Orphanage” High Street, Exeter and he was an unmarried mason in Exeter in 1891 living with his father);
  • George Anstey (b 1870 Exeter, baptised 15 May 1870 at Exeter St James, living with his father at 28, Spiller Street, Exeter in 1881. By 1901 he was an unmarried labourer living at 70, Paris Street, Exeter – by the 1911 Census he was an unmarried bricklayer’s labourer boarding at 65 Paris St Exeter. In the 1920 Electoral Register he was living at 19 Bartholomew Street West. He died on 9 January 1941 living at 11 Bartholomew Street East – probate was to Francis George Thomas Ansteygunner in Her Majestys Army” who we believe was his nephew); and
  • Thomas William Anstey (b 13 September 1871 Exeter, baptised 15 October 1871 in Exeter St James. In 1879 he attended Crediton Hayward School – his ‘guardians’ were named as James and Eliza Brooks. In 1891 he was an unmarried groom living with his father in Exeter. He married Bessie Mardon in 1898 and in the 1911 Census they were living at Saddlers Lane Exeter – he was a builder’s labourer and to our knowledge they had one child Francis George Thomas Anstey (b 1918 Exeter) who was living with them in the 1921 Census – however his birth registration gives mother ‘Walker’ not ‘Mardon’, so maybe we are incorrect. In the 1920 Electoral Register Thomas William Anstey was living at Caryl’s Building, St David Exeter together with his wife Bessie. He died in 1935 in Exeter)

In the 1871 Census the family were living at Lions Holt Buildings, St Sidwell, Exeter where John Anstey was a labourer (census states that he was born in 1834 in Monkokehampton). Levina Anstey died in 1875, buried 11 December 1875 in Hatherleigh. In the 1881 Census John Anstey (now b 1830 Okehampton) was a widower and coachman living with his son George at 28, Spiller Street, Exeter. By the 1891 Census John Anstey (now b 1834 Hatherleigh) was a groom, living at Grants Cottages, Sidwell Street with two of his sons and his new wife Bengerman??

Further Details on the Monkokehampton Ansteys

#1. John Anstey (b 1837) who married Rebecca Saunders in Monkokehampton in 1859 and lived in Monkokehampton afterwards, was a Dowland Anstey.

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