The Otterton Ansteys

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

Overview of the Otterton Ansteys

The Otterton Ansteys of Devon are a sub-branch of the Bampton Ansteys, hence they form part of the South West Peninsula Anstey pedigree. The patriarch of the Otterton Ansteys is John Anstey (b 1788 Dulverton).

John Anstey (b 1788 Dulverton)

John Anstey was born in Dulverton in 1788 (baptised there in 1789 aged one) to parents John Anstey and Elizabeth Branscombe. A draper by profession, he married first Harriet Storer in Clerkenwell, Middlesex in 1821 – ‘The Scots Magazine‘ 1 June 1821 edition noted “19 At Clerkenwell Church, London Mr John Anstey Lympstone in Devonshire, to Miss Harriet Storer of Islington“.

They returned to Lympstone (where most of John Anstey’s ‘Bampton Anstey‘ family were living at the time) and had a son:

However Harriet Anstey died in Lympstone later in 1822 – ‘Bell’s Weekly Messenger‘ on 10 November 1822 reporting “Deaths: Oct 22 at Lympstone near Exeter Mrs Anstey, wife of Mr John Anstey and daughter of Mr James Storer, Islington Road

So John Anstey (still “of Lympstone“) remarried Eliza Bowden in 1823 in Woodbury, and then returned to Lympstone to have children:

  • Horatio Bowden Anstey (b 1824, died an infant);
  • Frederick Bowden Anstey (b 1825); and
  • Thomas Anstey (b 1827, died an infant).

The ‘Exeter and Plymouth Gazette‘ 15 March 1828 edition reported “Excise Prosecutions Exmouth March 8…Information against John Anstey, brewer of Lympstone for the penalty of £100 incurred by him by setting up a vat, tun or vessel without first giving notice as the law requires and for the forfeiture of 8 gallons of beer. Convicted in the mitigated penalty of £15 and the beer forfeited.

Eliza Anstey died in 1828 (the parish register describing her as “second wife of John Anstey”), so John Anstey married for a third time, in Cheriton Bishop in 1830 to Mary Ann Taylor, at which time he was described as “of Mary Arches, Exeter, gentleman and widower” (incidentally we know these three marriage are the same ‘John Anstey‘ as all three signatures are identical).

John Anstey and Mary Ann Taylor had the following children:

  • Edwin Anstey (b 1832 Exeter St David, was living as a lodger in Sidmouth in the 1851 Census, a “joiner and builder” [note: this ‘Edwin Anstey’ did NOT marry Sarah Rich in 1869 in Chippenham and then move to Camberwell]);
  • Harold Anstey (b 1836);
  • Rosa Anstey (b 1840 Otterton, became a schoolmistress, unmarried in 1871 when she was living with her brother Henry Chisholm Anstey in Kingston on Thames, Surrey);
  • Henry Chisholm Anstey (b 1843 Otterton – see below);
  • Lucy Ann Anstey (b c1846 Otterton, an unmarried schoolteacher living with her sister at 52 Richmond Park Road Kingston upon Thomas in the 1911 Census);
  • Clara Anstey (b c1849 Otterton, an unmarried schoolteacher living with her sister at 52 Richmond Park Road Kingston upon Thomas in the 1911 Census);
  • George Thomas Anstey (b 1852 Otterton, died in 1863 in St Thomas);

At the time of the 1841 Census, the family had moved to Otterton where John Anstey was described as a “linen draper” and his eldest son Charles John Anstey a “carpenters apprentice“. Most of the family were still living in the ‘Drapers shop private house‘ in Otterton in 1861. John Anstey was buried in Salem Chapel, East Budleigh in 1862; his widow Mary Ann Anstey had moved in with her son Henry Chisholm Anstey and daughter Rosa Anstey in Kingston on Thames, Surrey by the 1871 Census.

Henry Chisholm Anstey (b 1843 Otterton)

Henry Chisholm Anstey was born in Otterton in 1843 to parents John Anstey and Mary Ann Taylor. He married Fanny Suxpitch Carter (b c1841 East Budleigh) in St Thomas, Devon in 1868 and moved to Kingston on Thames, Surrey by 1871 where he was a schoolmaster living with his family and mother. Henry and Fanny had children in Kingston on Thames:

  • Arthur Anstey (b 30 October 1873, a ‘second master’ living with his family in Kingston in 1901. He married Florence Sarah Musgrave in 1903 in Hampstead – the ‘Surrey Comet‘ on 25 April 1903 reported “On Wednesday, at Hampstead, Mr. Arthur Anstey, Elmhurst School, Kingston, was married to Miss Florence Sarah Musgrave, of Gundar-garden, Hampstead. The happy couple are passing their honeymoon in North Devon“. They emigrated to Canada and by the 1911 Canadian Census they were living in Vancouver (we find no children of this marriage) – Arthur was working as a ‘public school teacher‘. Florence Anstey died in 1941 “Wife of Arthur Anstey Died: A Hospital in Essondale, B.C. Burial: 02 Dec 1941, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Burnaby, B.C.” In 1942 in Vancouver Arthur wrote a book about his wife’s work (she was a potter) entitled “Florence S. Anstey : a brief memoir of some of her work in British Columbia“. Arthur Anstey died on 6 October 1951, buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Burnaby, Greater Vancouver “Widower of Florence Musgrave Occupation: Teacher at Provincial Normal School (retired) – Dead On Arrival at Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, B.C.“);
  • Maude Anstey (b 1875, a ‘music teacher’ living with her family in Kingston in 1901 – she married in Kingston in 1906 and was still alive in 1919);
  • Stuart Anstey (b 1879, an Anstey Hero);
  • Edgar Anstey (b 1881, a twin, the other died – a ‘clerk at Ashby’s Bank’ living with his family in Kingston in 1901 – ditto the 1911 Census. He was still alive in 1922); and
  • Kate Anstey (b 1886, alive in 1919).

In the 1901 Census the family were living at 5, Penrhyn Road, Kingston on Thames where Henry was a schoolmaster. By the 1911 Census the family were living at 9 Fassett Road Kingston where Henry was a private tutor. When he wrote his will in 1919 he was living at 12 Minorca Road, Weybridge – he appointed his sons Edgar and Stuart as executors, devising his estate “in trust for my wife to enjoy for her life” – he mentions “my sons Arthur Stuart and Edgar” and his daughters “Maude and Kate“, as well as a property he owned called “Elmhurst“. Henry Chisholm Anstey died in 1922 in Weybridge, Surrey, buried in Municipal B Cemetery, Weybridge, together with his wife Fanny who predeceased him in 1921.

Further Details on the Otterton Ansteys

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