The Grant, Wisconsin Ansteys

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

Overview of the Grant, Wisconsin Ansteys

The patriarch of the Grant, Wisconsin Ansteys of America is James Griffiths Anstey (b 1829) of the Stoke Gifford Ansteys, hence they are part of the South Gloucestershire Anstey pedigree.

It is possible that this sub-branch is now Anstey-extinct, though we seek confirmation of that and research is ongoing.

James Griffiths Anstey (b 1829 Thornbury)

James Griffiths Anstey was born on 21 May 1829 and baptised on 4 November 1829 in Kington, Thornbury to parents Thomas Anstey (‘father of thirteen’) and Catherine Williams. He was the 8th child of 13 and his life is detailed in ANSTEY: The Stoke Gifford Branch, the fourth book co-authored by Gary and Tom. He married Elizabeth Reese in 1863 in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan and they had children in first Newport, Wales and then Grant County, Wisconin:

  • Emily Alexandra Anstey (b 1865 in Newport, known as Emma, was living with her sister Eva and her family in Paris, Grant County, Wisconsin in 1900, and with her brother John Charles and his children after his wife died in 1910. She was buried in 1922 in Dodge Cemetery, Beetown, Grant County);
  • Evaline Augusta Julia Anstey (b 1868 in Newport, known as Eva, married Walter George Taylor in 1889 in Grant. She was living in Patch Grove, Grant County, Wisconsin in 1900, and Paris, Grant County in 1905. Evaline died in 1947 at her farm in Patch Grove, Bloomington, Madison, Wisconsin and is buried in Dodge Cemetery, Beetown);
  • Sophie Anstey (b 1869 in Newport, married D. Arthurs in 1908 at Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa. She died in 1940 in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska and was buried in Dodge Cemetery, Beetown);
  • Henry Anstey (b 1871 in Wisconsin, was buried in 1898 in Dodge Cemetery, Beetown, seemingly without marrying);
  • John Charles Anstey (b 1872 Grant, Wisconsin – see below); and
  • George G. Anstey (b 1873 in Grant, Wisconsin, married Clarissa Blanche Sprague (1872-1912) in 1896 in Grant County, they were living in Patch Grove in 1897 and had at least four daughters, some in Freemont County, Colorado, being Helen B. Anstey (b 1897); Mabel Elizabeth Anstey (b 1899); Sprague Anstey (b 1902); and Lois Anstey (b 1905). George and Clarissa Blanche were involved in divorce proceedings at the time she died in Colorado in 1912; George died too in 1912, he was buried in Dodge Cemetery, Beetown.).

In fact James Griffiths Anstey first went to America in c1849, returning to England in the early 1850s and then returning to America permanently in September 1870, heading straight for Grant County, Wisconsin, to settle (at least initially) with his sister Maria Briscoe. By the 1880 Wisconsin Census, James Griffiths Anstey was living as a farmer in Little Grant, Grant County, Wisconsin together with his six children; his wife does not appear in the census, but he declared that he was still “married”.

James Griffiths Anstey died on 25 May 1895 in Beetown, Grant County (about ten miles south of Little Grant); he was buried in Dodge Cemetery, Beetown, the memorial inscription on his gravestone reading simply “James G. Anstey born May 21 1829 died May 24 1895”. James’ widow Elizabeth remained in Beetown until her death in 1914; she was buried with her husband in Dodge Cemetery and the message “Elizabeth his wife born 1839 died 1914” was added to the gravestone inscription.

Beetown evidently held fond memories for the children of James Griffiths Anstey and Elizabeth, because all six of them were also buried there (the last in 1957), even though some had long since left Beetown itself.

John Charles Anstey (b 1872 Grant)

John Charles Anstey was born in Grant County, Wisconsin on 11 December 1872 to parents James Griffiths Anstey and Elizabeth Rees. He married Laura D. Blackburn [Blackbourne] (b 1878) in 1896 in Beetown, Grant County and they six children, being:

  • John Charles Anstey Jr (b 1897);
  • Maude Margaret Anstey (b 1899);
  • Bernice Irene Anstey (b 1903);​
  • Laura Evelyn Anstey (b 1905);​​
  • Harry James Anstey (b 1907); and​​
  • Lila Edith Anstey (b 1909)

After his first wife died in 1909, John Charles Anstey remarried Julia May Brown in 1910 in Dubuque Iowa, having a further two children:

  • Ruth Laura Anstey (b 1910 Wisconsin); and
  • Mary Joan Anstey (b 1928 Wisconsin)

In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, John Charles Anstey noted that his address was “1 Beetown, Grant” and that he was a farmer running his own business. He also confirmed his next of kin was his wife Julia May Anstey

John Charles Anstey lived in Beetown until the 1930s, at which he moved to Lancaster, Grant County, Wisconsin; he died in 1957 in Lancaster, Grant County and was buried in Dodge Cemetery, Beetown.

Further Details on the Grant, Wisconsin Ansteys

We are actively on the lookout for Grant, Wisconsin Anstey experts alive today who are willing to add their findings and knowledge to this project. We are particularly interested in research regarding Grant, Wisconsin 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 research@theansteystory.com.

We have already uploaded bits of information and documentation about the Grant, Wisconsin 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 ‘Grant, Wisconsin’ 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 research@theansteystory.com and we will correct it.

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