The Tiverton Ansteys

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

Many thanks to Rev. Martin Anstey, Thomas John Anstey (Tom) and Julia for their help constructing this pedigree.

Overview of the Tiverton Ansteys

The Tiverton Ansteys of Devon are one of the major sub-branches of the South West Peninsula Ansteys, being a sub-branch of the Washfield Ansteys. They have been thoroughly documented by G. M. Anstey (Gary) and T. J. Anstey (Tom), the overseers and chief researchers of this ‘Anstey Story‘, in their third co-authored book:

Anstey: The Devon and Somerset Branch

The first edition of this book was privately printed in July 2018. Further research for the second edition is currently under way (anybody interested in being contacted when this second edition is available for purchase, please contact us at

It is intended that much of the contents of this book will be uploaded to this Anstey project website over time for all to enjoy. 

Tiverton Anstey sub-branches

There are numerous sub-branches of Ansteys which descend from the Tiverton Ansteys. Those where we have commenced uploading information include:

William Anstey (b 1778 Tiverton)

William Anstey was born on 9 December 1778 in Tiverton, the only son of William Anstey the Younger and Ann Anstey. He was baptised on 25 December 1778 at the Independent Chapel in Tiverton. He married Elizabeth Marker in 1824 – the ‘Exeter Flying Post‘ on 26 August 1824 reporting “On Wednesday last at Barnstaple, Mr William Anstey of Juryhays House, Tiverton to Miss Marker of Bristol” and they had children:

  • William Marker Anstey (b 1825 – see below);
  • John Walters Anstey (b 1827 – see below);
  • Elizabeth Ann Anstey (b 1829, alive in 1841); and
  • Ann Walters Anstey (b 1831, living with her brother John at Juryhays Farm in 1851);

William lived at Juryhays Farm in Tiverton – he was the gentleman who passed the ‘Ducatoon’ story to Lt. Col. Harding in the 1840s. It is likely this ‘William’ who is mentioned in the ‘Sun (London)‘ on 22 February 1833 “To the Speaker of the House of Commons: Tiverton Borough Election – order for considering the petition of William Anstey and others, complaining of that election and return“. His petition clearly worked as the ‘Western Times‘ on 18 May 1833 reported that “James Kennedy Esq is NOT duly elected and ought not to have been returned a Burgess to serve in this present Parliament for the borough of Tiverton…the petition of William Anstey and other electors does not appear to be frivolous or vexatious

In 1836 William Ansteyof Jurishays” was speaking out regarding dissenters and why they shouldn’t need to pay the Church Rate in Tiverton – he was a dissenter himself and in a Vestry meeting read out the following resolution agreed the previous night at a meeting of dissenters “Resolved: That it is the determination of this [dissenters] meeting passively to resist any attempt made to enforce the payment of a church rate, considering that such an impost has to be in the highest degree oppressive“. In 1839 he thanked the wardens for “not touching the Dissenter’s pockets

In the 1841 Census William was a farmer at Juryhays Farm, living with his children (as well as Thomas Marker (b c1796) and Ann Walters (b c1781)).

William Anstey died in 1863, the ‘Exeter Flying Post‘ on 9 September 1863 reporting “Death: August 28, at Tiverton, Mr. William Anstey, aged 84“.

[Note: Confusingly, there was another ‘William Anstey‘ who was a shopkeeper in Tiverton who died on 7 November 1863 – probate was to his sister Grace Dyer, wife of James Dyer]

John Anstey (b 1785 Tiverton)

John Anstey was born in Tiverton on 29 May 1785, baptised 12 June 1785 at Tiverton St Peter, to parents William Anstey and Ann. He married Elizabeth Wood (b c1802) on 15 March 1819 in Halberton and they had children:

  • Ann Anstey (b 21 November 1819, baptised in Halberton 19 December 1819. She married John Bale (a butcher) on 8 September 1842 at Exeter St Thomas (father confirmed as “John Anstey farmer“, her residence Oakhampton Street) and they had a large family of ‘Bale’ children in Culmstock and Uffculme – some with middle name ‘Anstey’. At some point Ann and her husband emigrated to Canada; she died in 1900, buried at Greenwood Cemetery Brantford, Brant County Municipality, Ontario – the same cemetery as her sister);
  • John Anstey (b 19 September 1821 Halberton, baptised 7 October 1821 – not to be confused with John Anstey (b 1824), who also lived in Halberton. John Anstey likely married Elizabeth in c1860 (probably in England) and emigrated to Canada in c1863, though we have multiple age-related issues here. Firstly in the 1841 Census his birth year is given as 1826 – then in the 1881 Census in Brantford East, Ontario, Canada he was a “butcher born 1829” living with his wife Elizabeth. On 9 March 1883 the ‘Brantford Daily Expositor‘ had an advert “House and Land for Sale on the Hamilton Road one mile east of the market square, Brantford a good brick cottage hall and seven rooms, cellar and woodshed, slaughter house…Apply to the owner John Anstey on the premises, reason for selling leaving the city“. In 1891 John was still in Brantford, now a “farmer born 1838“. John Anstey died on 7 December 1893 buried at Greenwood Cemetery Brantford, Brant County Municipality, Ontario – the same cemetery as his sisters. His widow Elizabeth Anstey was still in Brantford, Ontario in the 1911 Canadian Census – to our knowledge they had no children. She died on 7 January 1913 – the ‘Brantford Daily Expositor‘ reporting “Died today: Her many friends will hear with great regret of the death of Mrs Elizabeth Anstey aged 74 years who passed away at the Brantford General Hospital“);
  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1829, baptised 12 April 1829 Halberton, alive in 1841);
  • Sarah Anstey (b 19 November 1834, baptised 15 December 1834 in Halberton. She was living with her widowed mother in Halberton in the 1851 Census and she then married William Wilkins Shackwell in q1 1852 in Tiverton. They emigrated to Canada and she was buried on 6 December 1892 “age 55, a native of Devonshire” at Greenwood Cemetery Brantford, Brant County Municipality, Ontario – the same cemetery as her sister); and
  • Mary Jane Anstey (b 23 December 1839 Halberton, living with her mother in 1851. She married James Wright on 7 March 1867 in Halberton)

In the 1841 Census the family were living in Venn [Farm], Halberton where John Anstey was a farmer. He died in 1847, buried in Halberton on 2 April 1847 “aged 62“. In the 1851 Census Elizabeth Anstey (widow) was a farmer of 70 acres in Halberton with two of her daughters. In 1856 the ‘Bath and West and Southern Counties Society Journal‘ reported that “Mrs Elizabeth Anstey of Venn Farm Tiverton was commended for her Devon Bull, Earl of Devon“. In 1861 “Solomon Marks was bailiff to Mrs Anstey of Venn Farm” as well as ploughman in the same year.

John Anstey (b 1799 Tiverton)

John Anstey was born on 17 May 1799 in Tiverton, baptised 8 June 1799 to parents William Anstey (assuming John married Elizabeth Dicker) and Ann. He married Elizabeth Dicker (or possibly ‘Stoke’ – b c1816) on 25 November 1845 in Tiverton and they had two daughters in Tiverton:

  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 12 September 1845, baptised 11 October 1846 in Tiverton – living with her family in 1871. She never married and in the 1911 Census she was a laundress living at 207 Chapel Street, Tiverton – the same street in which her father died in 1879);
  • Caroline Anstey (b 15 October 1848, baptised 27 May 1849 in Tiverton – living with her family in 1871)

In the 1851 Census the family were at Broad Lane, Tiverton where John Anstey was a waggoner. By 1861 they were at Elmore, Tiverton where John Anstey was a timber carrier and by 1871 they were all living at Higher Court, Tiverton. John Anstey died in Tiverton in 1879, “aged 80” – the ‘Tiverton Gazette‘ on 24 June 1879 reported “DEATHS. Anstey – June 14, at Chapel-street, Tiverton, Mr, John Anstey, aged 81“.

William Anstey (b 1809 Cadeleigh)

William Anstey was born on 27 April 1809, baptised 8 June 1809 in Cadeleigh, Tiverton to parents John Anstey and Mary Perret. He married Mary Jeffery (b 1807 Ottery St Mary) in Tiverton on 4 April 1831 and they had children:

  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1833);
  • John Anstey (b 16 March 1834, baptised in 1834 in Tiverton. He was a servant at Middle Gotham Farm, Tiverton in 1851. He married Mary (b c1833 Creacombe) By 1861 he was a gardener and grocer at Crettiscombe, Tiverton and by 1871 they were at Herds, Hockworthy, Tiverton where John was a farmer of 40 acres. By 1891 he was a general merchant living with his wife at Curwoods Buildings, Westexe South West Side, Tiverton – ditto 1901. John died in 1909 in Tiverton, his widow Mary was boarding at 9 Salters Buildings Barrington St Tiverton in the 1911 Census);
  • Harriet Anstey (b 1837, alive in 1851);
  • Thomas Anstey (b 1839, died young?);
  • Mary Sarah Anstey (b 1 May 1842, baptised 25 March 1846 in Tiverton. In 1871 she was working as a dressmaker in Tiverton. By the 1911 Census she was still unmarried, by now a retired dressmaker living alone at 1 Bartows Causeway Tiverton)

The family were living at Langley Bridge Tiverton in 1834. In the 1841 Census William Anstey was a labourer living at Stickeridge Wood, Cruwys Morchard – living with them was Elizabeth Bishop. By 1851 they were in Townsend, Tiverton and by 1871 they were at St Andrew Street, Tiverton where William Anstey was a gardener. William Anstey died in 1873 in Tiverton and in the 1881 Census Mary Anstey (widow) was a greengrocer living with her daughter Mary at Saint Andrew Street, Tiverton.

Thomas Anstey (b 1814 Culmstock)

Thomas Anstey (brother to Robert Anstey) was born in c1814 in Culmstock (possibly as early as 1809 per his burial, though censuses say c1815) to parents Robert Anstey of Tiverton and Sarah Gibbons of Culmstock; he was baptised in Burlescombe in 1814. He married Sarah Searle [Serle] (b c1821 Hemyock) in q1 1840 in Bath and they had children in Bath and then Bridgwater in Somerset:

  • James Anstey (b 1841 Bath – see below);
  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1847 Bridgwater);
  • Mary Ann Anstey (b 1851 Bridgwater, married Mr Akerne? in 1876 and by the 1911 census she was a charwoman and widow living with her brother Thomas at 11 Duffryn Street Cardiff together with a nephew William Cuary? (b 1880 Cardiff));
  • John Anstey (b 1853 Bridgwater);
  • Thomas Anstey (b 1855 St John Bridgwater, an unmarried dock labourer living with his sister Mary Ann at 11 Duffryn Street Cardiff in the 1911 Census); and
  • Sarah Lucy Anstey (b 1859 Bridgwater, with her uncle George Searle in Bridgwater in the 1871 Census)

In the 1851 Census the family were living at Roper’s Lane, Bridgwater where Thomas was a “brickmakers labourer“. By the 1861 Census they were living at River Side, Bridgwater (minus James) where Thomas Anstey was a carter. Thomas Anstey died in 1865 living at Pig Cross, Bridgwater, “aged 56“, buried in Bridgwater St Mary on 24 March 1865.

Robert Anstey (b 1819 Culmstock)

Robert Anstey (brother to Thomas Anstey) was born in 1819 in Culmstock, baptised 26 December 1819, to parents Robert Anstey of Tiverton and Sarah Gibbons of Culmstock. He married Ann Wood in 1842 in Wellington and they had children in Culmstock:

  • James Anstey (b 1842, baptised 25 December 1842 in Nicholashayne, Culmstock. He was an unmarried carpenter living with the family in 1861. He died on 16 June 1870 at Nicholashayne Farm Culmstock, buried in Culmstock on 24 June 1870 – probate was to his father Robert Ansteyyeoman” – he never married);
  • Sarah Anstey (b 1845, married George Taylor in Wellington in 1868 having a child Elizabeth A. Taylor (b 1870 Uffculme) who was living with her ‘Anstey’ grandparents in 1881);
  • Mary Ann Anstey (b 1849); and
  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1852, living with her parents in 1871)

In 1842 Robert was a husbandman. In the 1851 Census Robert was a dairyman living at Nicholas Hayne Farm, Culmstock. By 1861 they were at Tucker & Karry House, Nicholas Bayne, Culmstock – ditto 1871. In 1870 he was described as a ‘yeoman’ in the probate of his son James. By 1881 he was a farmer of 40 acres at Norrishes Farm, Culmstock living with a granddaughter Elizabeth A. Taylor (b 1870 Uffculme). Robert Anstey died on 7 July 1888 at Whittenhouse Culmstock – effects to his widow Ann Anstey.

James Anstey (b 1823 Culmstock)

James Anstey (brother to Thomas Anstey) was born in 1823 in Culmstock, baptised 18 May 1823, to parents Robert Anstey of Tiverton and Sarah Gibbons of Culmstock. He married Mary Cording on 1 April 1847 in Uffculme and they had children in Burlescombe and later Halberton:

  • Jane Anstey (b 1849 Burlescombe);
  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1851 Burlescombe);
  • William Anstey (b 1856 Burlescombe, an unmarried railway labourer at Village, Willand, Tiverton in 1881);
  • Thomas Anstey (b 1857 Burlescombe);
  • Eliza Anstey (b 1861 Halberton, married John Hughes on 17 April 1901 in Willand – in the 1911 Census they were living at The Lodge Warnicombe Tiverton together with Eliza‘s widowed mother);

In the 1851 Census James was an agricultural labourer living with his family at Cottage Leonard Moor, Burlescombe, Wellington. By 1861 they were at Baggers Bush, Hitchcocks, Halberton – ditto 1871. In 1881 they were at Village, Willand, Tiverton.

James Anstey died in 1894, buried 24 July 1894 in Willand “age 73“. In the 1911 Census Mary Anstey (widow) was living with her daughter Eliza Hughes at The Lodge Warnicombe Tiverton.

John Anstey (b 1824 Tiverton)

John Anstey was born in 1824 in Tiverton (not to be confused with John Anstey (b 1824 Washfield)). In the 1851 Census he was an assistant to Elizabeth Bardsley, a tea dealer, at Tottenham Court Road, Saint Pancras. He married Lavinia Mary Auger, daughter of John Gillson Auger, Oyster Merchant, of Newington Place, at St. Mary Newington, Surrey, on 1 December 1859 (both John and his father at the time were “farmers“) – the ‘Suffolk Chronicle‘ on 10 December 1859 reported “1st inst. at Newington, Mr. John Anstey, of [Bradley Down] Tiverton, to Lavinia Mary, eldest daughter of the late J. G. Auger, Esq., of Burnham“. They had children:

  • Kate Sweeting Anstey (b 1861, unmarried and living on private means at 23 Cautley Avenue Clapham in the 1911 Census); and
  • Lavina Mary Anstey (b 1862, unmarried and a literary research worker at 23 Cautley Avenue Clapham in the 1911 Census)

In the 1861 Census they were farming at Bradley Down, Tiverton, then they moved to Chippenham in 1862 where John Anstey became a wine and spirit merchant. The ‘Tiverton Gazette‘ on 16 September 1862 had the following “Bradley Down Tiverton Devon. Mr Wood has received instructions from Mr John Anstey (who has let the estate) to Sell by Auction the following live and dead stock …

According to an unknown authorMr. Anstey‘s premises suffered badly in the election riots in Chippenham in July 1865, as did many other homes and businesses of Conservative supporters. In December 1867 he had been nominated as Town Councillor in the place of the late Mr. B. I. Neale, but he had refused to accept the position. Anstey‘s business was sold in 1868, he announced the sale in the ‘Wiltshire Independent’ – Thursday 12 November 1868: “The Bridge, Chippenham, October 30th 1868. John Anstey returns his thanks to the Clergy, Gentry, and other Inhabitants of Chippenham and its vicinity, for the support he has received for the past Six years, and begs to inform them that he has disposed of his business to Messrs. G. & H. POND, on whose behalf he solicits their patronage.”… The license for the sale of wine & spirits was transferred at the petty sessions of Thurs. Nov 5th 1868. From the ‘Thanet Advertiser’ – Saturday 13 March 1869 “Presentation to a Tradesman. —Mr. John Anstey, who has recently taken Mr. Robinson’s grocery business in the High-street, had forwarded to him on Monday last a handsome testimonial from his successors (Messrs. G. and H. Pond), Chippendale (sic), Wilts, and few friends as a mark their esteem. The testimonial consists of handsome silver salver and an elegant claret jug. The salver, which weighs 79½ ozs bears the following inscription:-“Presented to Mr. John Anstey, Chippendale, Wilts, by his successors and friends as mark of esteem and respect on the occasion of his leaving that town for Margate, October, 1863″ (the date when it was intended the presentation should be made.) The claret jug is beautifully chased and weighs 20oz. The initials of Mr. Anstey are engraved on one side and “1868” on the other. In the 1871 census John Anstey was running a grocery store at 52 High Street, Margate in Kent. He was here until at least 1874, but by 1879 he was a grocer at Knockhundred Row, Midhurst, Sussex. By 1891 he had retired and was living on his means at Victoria Street, St. Alban’s, Herts. Daughter Kate was still living at home. Lavinia (wife) died in 1898 at 23 Cautley Ave., Clapham Common and was buried at Norwood Cemetery, Lambeth on 11 October. John died at the same address on 13 July 1903, leaving his estate to daughter Kate Sweeting Anstey. It seems Kate never married and died in Dorset in 1947. Lavinia Mary, daughter, died in Mere, Wilts. in 1957.

William Marker Anstey (b 1825 Tiverton)

William Marker Anstey was born in Tiverton in 1825, baptised 16 September 1827, to parents William Anstey and Elizabeth Marker. In the 1851 Census he was an Independent Minister “in Plymtree” lodging at 71, Market Place, Bradford then he married Mary Whitta [Whelter?] later in 1851 in Stroud and they had children:

  • Mary Elizabeth Anstey (b 1854 Fordham, Cambridgeshire. The ‘Essex Herald‘ on 12 November 1883 reported “Wilson—Anstey.— Oct. 30th, at the Congregational Church, Tollesbury, by the father of the bride, the Rev. William Henry Wilson (Missionary Designate to Samoa) to Mary Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Rev. W. M. Anstey of Tollesbury“);
  • Alice Martha Anstey (b 1856 Fordham, a school mistress in 1881 and a Governess in 1891, still unmarried and living with her father. She died in 1902 in Maldon, having never married);
  • William Basil Anstey (b 1861 Walsingham, Norfolk – he became a Congregational Minister, taking over the Pastorate of Tollesbury from his father in 1893 – see below. In the 1911 Census he was unmarried, living with his sister at The Manse Tollesbury. The ‘Chelmsford Chronicle‘ on 1 September 1939 reported “The Rev. William B. Anstey, Portchester Road, Bournemouth, retired, for 27 years Congregational Minister at Tollesbury, left £5,684. He gave 100 to Spurgeons Orphans Homes Stockwell… and a further 1,000 for the benefit of the Tollesbury Congregational Church and its Sunday School. After further legacies the residue was left to his nephews” );
  • Ethel Marker Anstey (b 1864 Fakenham, Norfolk, a pupil teacher in 1881 and a teacher in 1891 living with her father. By the 1911 Census she was an Assistant Mistress in a Council School living with her brother at The Manse Tollesbury – still unmarried. She died a spinster in 1919 in Maldon)
  • John Howard Anstey (b 1865 Maldon, Essex – died before 1871?); and
  • Florence Edith Anstey (b 1870 Maldon, Essex, died an infant)

The ‘Patriot‘ on 10 May 1852 reported “PLYMTREE, EAST DEVON.—On Good Friday, April 9, the Rev. William Anstey was publicly recognised as pastor of the Independent Church… “. By the 1861 Census he was an Independent Minister living with his family at Oak Street, Fakenham, Walsingham, Norfolk. By 1871 they were living at Rooms Over Stable, Tollesbury, Maldon, Essex with a Governess and servants and by 1881 they were at Chapel Manse, Tollesbury.

Mary Anstey (wife) died in 1887 – the ‘Essex Newsman‘ on 25 July 1887 reported “The funeral of Mrs Anstey, wife of Rev W. M. Anstey took place on Thursday 14th inst…the coffin was of polished oak with brass mounted plate with inscription ‘Mary Anstey died July 8th aged 60’…the mourners were the Rev. W. M. Anstey; the Misses A and Ethel Anstey (daughters); the Rev. W. B Anstey (son); Mrs Thornton (Sevenoaks, sister of the deceased)…“. By 1891 William Marker Anstey was a widower living with his daughters at Manse, Hunts Road, Tollesbury.

Rev. William Anstey was Minister of Tollesbury Chapel from at least 1864 to 1893. The ‘Essex Herald‘ on 24 January 1893 reported “TOLLESBURY. Presentation to the Rev. W. M. Anstey. —On Friday week a tea meeting was held in connection with Congregational Chapel, after which, at public gathering, presentation was made to the late pastor, the Rev. W. M. Anstey, who has retired from the Ministry and a welcome was given to his son, Rev W. Basil Anstey, late of Leyton, who has accepted the Pastorate…

He died in 1898 – the ‘Nonconformist‘ on 2 June 1898 reported “We regret to have to record the death of Rev. William Marker Anstey, of Tollesbury, Easel, who passed peacefully away on Friday, 27th May. He was up in London for the May Meetings, and preached twice on Sunday 15 May. His illness was sudden and his death unexpected.

John Anstey (b 1826 Culmstock)

John Anstey was born in 1826 in Culmstock to parents Robert Anstey of Tiverton and Sarah Gibbons of Culmstock, baptised on 7 January 1827 in Culmstock. In 1841 he was working on a farm run by the Collier family at Nicholas Hayne, Culmstock – ditto 1851. He married Maria Escott on 27 September 1851 in Montpellier St Andrew (father confirmed as Robert) and they had children in Bristol:

  • Edward Anstey (b 1852, died young?)
  • Edward John Anstey (b 1855);
  • Sarah [Mary?] Jane Anstey (b 1857);
  • Amelia Anstey (b 1859, died young?)
  • Robert Anstey (b 1860);
  • Alice Anstey (b 1863, living with her brother Henry at City Road, Bristol in 1891 and still unmarried in the 1911 Census living at Village, Caldicot, Monmouthshire and working as a nurse);
  • Frederick George Anstey (b 1866, known as George. He was a fishmonger living with his parents in 1891 and a coachman lodging at 15 Thomas Street Bristol in 1901. By the 1911 Census he was still unmarried, a traveller lodging at Albert Villa Locking Road Weston-Super-Mare);
  • Arthur Anstey (b 1871, died young?); and
  • Henry Anstey (b 1872, living with his sister Alice at City Road, Bristol in 1891. By the 1911 Census he was married and a traveller boarding at The Laurels Goytre Pontypool)

In the 1861 Census they were living at Montpelier Farm, Fairfield. In the 1871 Census the family were living at Picton Street, St James & St Paul, Clifton where John Anstey was a dairyman (confirmed b 1826 Culmstock). By the 1881 Census he was a haulier living at 175, Gloster Road, Horfield and in 1891 John Anstey was still a haulier living at Upper Cheltenham Place, St James & St Paul Out, Barton Regis.

John Walters Anstey (b 1827 Tiverton)

John Walters Anstey was born in Juryhays Farm, Tiverton in 1827 to parents William Anstey and Elizabeth Marker. In the 1851 Census he was farming at Juryhays Farm with his sister Ann. He then married Susan Elizabeth Manley in South Molten in 1852 and they returned to Juryhays Farm, having children:

  • William Anstey (b 1854 – co-patriarch of the Johannesburg Ansteys of South Africa);
  • Samuel Anstey (b 1855, was a boarder at High Street School Honiton in 1871 and he died in 1876. The ‘North Devon Journal‘ reported on 21 December 1876 “DEATH ANSTEY Dec 11 at Jurishayes, Tiverton, Samuel, son of Mr John Walters Anstey aged 21“);
  • John Anstey (b 1856 – patriarch of the Timaru New Zealand Ansteys);
  • Frank Anstey (b 1858, died in 1887 the ‘Western Times‘ newspaper reporting on 15 February 1887 “DEATH: Anstey Feb 9 at Henager Farm near Wellington [in Culmstock, Devon] Frank, fourth son of the late John W. Anstey of Juryhays, Tiverton, aged 28“);
  • Rev. Martin Anstey (b 1860, an Anstey researcher who communicated on multiple occasions with Thomas John Anstey (Tom) between 1911 and 1914 and he owned an ‘old oak chest‘ full of Anstey genealogical goodies. He also authored ‘The Romance of Bible Chronology’ published in 1913. Rev Martin Anstey married Ellen [Emily] Down Kelly in 1889, the ‘Wells Journal‘ reporting on 16 May 1889 that “Wedding – a large congregation assembled at the Independent Chapel Shepton Mallet on Wednesday morning to witness the marriage of the pastor of the chapel, the Rev. Martin Anstey M. A. with Miss Ellen D. Kelly, daughter of Mr Robert Kelly of Shepton Mallet. Both Mr Anstey and his bride are very popular in the town…”. After marriage, they moved to first Leicester (he was Minister of Gallotree Gate Church from 1890 to 1896) and then Leeds Road, Dewsbury in Yorkshire (he was Minister of Ebenezer Chapel from 1896 to 1906), having two children Amy Gladys Anstey (b 1891 Leicester, boarding with her father in the 1911 Census, a student at the Royal College of Music. She married Charles Oscar Moreton in 1915 in Edmonton. Their daughter Ursula had Rev. Martin Anstey‘s old oak chest until the late 1990s) and Mary Anstey (b 1895 Leicester). Rev Martin Anstey was also closely involved with the London City Mission in his later life, living at Woodville, 11 Mount View Road, Crouch Hill. In 1901 the family were living at 40, Leeds Road, Dewsbury together with William R. Kelley (brother in law). In the 1911 Census Emily Down Anstey (wife) was living at 11 Mount View Road Crouch Hill – Rev Martin was boarding at Craiglands Belmont St Bognor with his daughter Amy, described as “Congregational minister now secretary of the london city mission“. Rev. Martin Anstey died in 1921 at his residence ‘Valetta‘ in Hornyold Road, Malvern – there is an obituary on the ‘Shepton Mallet Journal‘ on 18 February 1921);
  • Julia Anstey (b 1861, married Francis Edwin Squire in 1896 in Tiverton – lived in Glenborough in 1936);
  • Benjamin Anstey (b 1862, died 1863);
  • Bernal [Bernel] Anstey (b 1864, was a draper and dressmaker in 1891 in Charles Street, Sculcoates, Yorkshire. In 1895 he married Florence Louisa Dimblery (b 1869) in Sculcoates and they were living there still in the 1911 Census, at 126 Westbourne Avenue, Hull, Sculcoates. We find no children of this marriage. During World War One, Florence Louisa volunteered with the Red Cross, becoming an Anstey Hero. She served from May 1917 right through to the end of the war, rank ‘Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD)’, as a “Staff Room Helper St John V.A.D. Hospital, Hull“, racking up a total of 936 hours service. Bernal died in 1934 at Middlesex Hospital, he was living at Westbourne Avenue, Kingston-upon-Hull. His widow Florence Louisa died in 1945, still living in Kingston-upon-Hull);
  • Rhoda Anstey (b 1865, in the 1901 Census she was at Leasowes House, Lapal, Stourbridge a “Principal of physical training college” – we cannot locate her in the 1911 Census. She never married and died in 1936. The ‘Western Morning News‘ on 11 March 1936 wrote “Tiverton Woman’s death in London. By the death of Madame Rhoda Anstey, following an operation in a London Nursing home, a member of a well-known and highly respected Tiverton family has passed to a higher sphere. A daughter of the late Mr John Walters Anstey of Juryhays near Tiverton, she was the founder and Principal of the Anstey Physical Training College at Edington, Birmingham. On her retirement she went to reside at Cheltenham and was associated with the Highbury Congregational Church in that town. Much sympathy has been expressed with her relatives, Mr John Anstey of New Zealand; Mrs Squire of Glenborough; and Mrs J. T. Hebditch of Juryhayes Tiverton. The internment took place today at Cheltenham“);
  • Susannah Anstey (b 1866, known as Susie, married John Terrill Hebditch in 1892. The ‘West Somerset Free Press‘ on 19 March 1892 reported “Marriage: Hebditch-Anstey March 8th at the Congregational Church Tiverton by the Rev. T. Webster, pastor, assisted by the Rev. Martin Anstey, brother of the bride, Mr John Terrill Hebditch, New Cross, Ilminster to Susannah, youngest daughter of the late Mr John Walters Anstey, yeoman of Juryhays, Tiverton“. They had at least two children in Langport, Somerset being William Anstey Hebditch (b 1898) and Joyce Anstey Hebditch (b 1901). Susie and her husband took over Juryhays Farm near Tiverton in 1918 when it was bought for them by Norman Anstey, where they were still living in 1936);
  • Norman Anstey (b 1870, co-patriarch of the Johannesburg Ansteys of South Africa)

John Walters Anstey died in 1879. The ‘Tiverton Gazette‘ reported on 15 July 1879 “SUDDEN DEATH OF MR J. W. ANSTEY It is with no ordinary feeling of regret that we record the very sudden death of Mr John Walters Anstey of Jurishayes, Tiverton on Thursday evening last. For some time previously Mr Anstey had been much occupied in superindenting the erection of a new farmhouse on his property, Henager Farm, Culmstock, where he was on Thursday. His eldest son Mr William Anstey spent the afternoon in his company, inspecting the progress of the works and the stock on the farm, and about 8 o clock in the evening, after a hurried cup of tea, the deceased gentleman went to put a hourse into a trap to drive his son to the Burlescombe station to catch the last down train to Tiverton. Young Mr Anstey followed him a few minutes later and found him a little exhausted by his efforts to get the horse – a young one – to enter the shafts, but still apparently in good health. Mr William Anstey, having harnessed the horse, his father got into the trap and drove on up the hill, his son walking. At the top of the hill, Mr William Anstey got in and took the reins from his father’s hands to drive. He had scarcely done so when he observed his fathers head drop back, and on endeavouring to support him he found that he was apparently dead….The family, as most of our readers are aware, had for generations farmed their own land at Jurisahayes in this parish, and Mr Anstey, after being educated at Blundells School, entered upon a yeoman’s life….Connected by birth and conviction with the Independent Church, he became a local preacher at the age of 17, and in this respect he laboured with remarkable ability and success to the last Sunday of his life…For some years he was a deacon of the Independent Chapel…he was a regular attendant at the Board of Guardians, of which he was a member for 8 years, namely from 1866-68 and 1875-79…On the formation of a School Board for Tiverton, he was one of the members elected and his colleagues subsequently chose him as their vice chairman…The funeral will take place on Wednesday next from Jurishayes where the body now lies, having been removed there from Henager on Friday. The procession will leave Jurishayes at 1:30pm and the body will be interred at the family burial place, Way Village, Cruwys Morchard…Mr Anstey leaves a widow and nine children to lament his loss

William Anstey (b 1834 Woolfardisworthy)

William Anstey was born in Woolfardisworthy on 29 January 1834, baptised in Woolfardisworthy to parents William Anstey and Jane Stooke. In the 1851 Census he was living in Crediton with his father and stepmother Mary Anstey. In the 1861 Census he was a “port boy” at Coplestone Cross Inn, Coplestone. On 31 March 1872 in Exeter St Lawrence he married Charlotte Lock – we find no children of this marriage. In the 1881 Census he was a licensed victualler living at North St Lamb, Crediton with his wife Charlotte and “mother in law (stepmother)Mary Anstey (b 1813 Colebrook – an annuitant)

By the 1891 Census he was a cab driver at High Street, Crediton with his wife Charlotte (b 1843 Devon) and in 1901 they were at Hillside Villa, Union Road, Crediton. By the 1911 Census William was a “retired innkeeper” and widower still living at Hillside Villa Union Road Crediton. William Ansteyof Crediton, retired innkeeper” died on 5 August 1912 – probate to William Alfred Davey, a miller.

James Anstey (b 1841 Bath)

James Anstey was born in Bath in 1841 to parents Thomas Anstey and Sarah Searle; he was living with his parents in the 1851 Census. By the 1861 Census “James Anstey born Bristol, Somerset aged 20 and unmarried” was a tin-plate worker lodging in Long Street, Williton. He married Ann Meaker (b 1843 Stawell/Stone) in 1865 in Bridgwater and they had children in Bridgwater:

  • Sarah A. Anstey (b 1867);
  • Walter Anstey (b 1869, died young?);
  • Albert Anstey (b 1870, married Sarah Ann Phillips in q1 1891 in Cardiff and they had eight daughters in Cardiff Minnie Florence Anstey (b 1891, died 1892); Gladys Winifred Anstey (b 1893, baptised 6 August 1893 in Penrhos – a patient at Glamorgan & Monmouthshire Infirmary, Newport Road Cardiff in the 1911 Census. She married Sidney Carter in 1920 in Cardiff); Florence Ann Anstey (b 1895, a tailoress living with her family in the 1911 Census); Ethel Mary Anstey (b 1896, baptised 29 December 1896 in Roath – living with her ‘Phillips’ grandparents at Panty Goitre Llanvair Abergavenny in the 1911 Census); Minnie Rosa Anstey (b 1899, died an infant); Mabel Maud Anstey (b 1902, living with her family in the 1911 Census); Lily Amelia Anstey (b 1904, living with her family in the 1911 Census); and Queenie Louisa Anstey (b 1906, living with her family in the 1911 Census). In the 1901 Census Albert was working in “oil and corn stores” living with his family at 4 May Street, Cardiff and by the 1911 Census he was a miller’s labourer living with his family at 34 Glynne Street, Cardiff (they had 8 children, 6 still living). Albert died in Cardiff in 1940);
  • Amelia Beatrice Anstey (b 1873, married George Godsell on 16 September 1894 in Abergavenny);
  • Frederick William Anstey (b 18 September 1875, married Florence Wood in 1903 in Bridgwater and they had children in Bridgwater Florence May Anstey (b 1906) and Clarice Ida Anstey (b 1910). In the 1911 Census Frederick was a frame maker in a cabinet factory living with his family at 125 St John Street Bridgwater);
  • Jane Anstee (b 1877);
  • Rose Ada Anstey (b 1878);
  • Florence Anstey (b 1882);
  • Sidney Anstey (b 13 May 1884 (some sources say 1883) in Bridgwater, baptised 28 May 1884 in Pig Cross Bridgwater. He married Beatrice Annie Taylor in 1907 in Cardiff and in the 1911 Census they were living with their daughter Beatrice Mabel Anstey (b 1907 Cardiff) at 147 Pearl Street Roath, Cardiff where Sidney was a “laundry vanman“. They also had children in Cardiff Albert James Frederick Anstey (b 1909 – in the Cardiff Sanatorium & Infectious Diseases Hospital in the 1911 Census); Phyllis D. Anstey (b 1912); George H. S. Anstey (b 1915); and Douglas E. Anstey (b 1919). We are of the opinion, by a process of elimination of other ‘Sidney Anstey’, that Sidney Anstey served during World War One in the Army Service Corps (Service Number: M339232), though we seek verification of that and have no other details. The family were still living at Pearl Street in the 1939 Register where Sidney was a “steel works labourer“. Sidney Anstey died in Cardiff in 1946);
  • Mabel Anstey (b 1887); and
  • Walter Anstey (b 1889, a pauper aged 12 in the Bridgwater Union Workhouse in 1901. By the 1911 Census he was an unmarried dairyman boarding at 29 Mount Street Bridgwater).

By the 1871 they were living at Hutchings Buildings in Bridgwater where James Anstey was a tin-man. They were at Pig Cross Bridgwater in the 1881 Census where James Anstey was still a tinplate worker. In 1891 they were at Coozes Buildings, Penel Orlieu, Bridgwater, he was still a tinplate worker. By the 1901 Census James Anstey, “formerly a tinman, born 1841 Bath” was a pauper at Bridgwater Union Workhouse. He was still there in the 1911 Census, finally dying in 1918 in Bridgwater

William Henry Forse Anstey (b 1851 Tiverton)

William Henry Forse Anstey was born on 22 July 1851 in Tiverton, baptised 2 January 1852 in Tiverton, St Peter to parents Edward Anstey and Selina Forse. At a very young age (c1853) he moved with his parents to Bristol where he grew up. He married Caroline Ann Coulton in 1878 in St Saviour, London and they had children:

  • William Henry Anstey (b 1878 St Olave Bermondsey, alive in 1891, likely died soon after as another son was called ‘William Henry‘ in 1892);
  • Edward James Forse Anstey (b 1880 – an Anstey Hero);
  • Albert Ernest Anstey (b 1882 Peckham – an Anstey Hero, not to be confused with Albert Ernest Anstey (b 1878 Bath – also son of William));
  • Caroline Ann Anstey (b 1885 Streatham, alive in 1901 living with her family. She married William James Barnes in 1910 in Wandsworth and died in 1963 in Fulham);
  • Selina Elizabeth F. Anstey (b 1887 Streatham, a domestic servant in 1901 living with her family. She married William T. Hampton in Wandsworth in 1916);
  • Charles George Anstey (b 1889 Brixton, died in 1903 in Wandsworth);
  • Melinda Emily Anstey (b 1891 Brixton, known as Emily, alive in 1911 living with her family);
  • William Henry Anstey (b 1892 Tooting, alive in 1901 living with his family, died before 1911?);
  • Ada Mary Anstey (b 1894 Brixton, alive in 1911 living with her family. Was a witness at an Old Bailey trial in 1910 see below); and
  • Frederick Arthur Anstey (b 12 March 1896 Herne Hill, living with his family in the 1911 Census. Was a witness at an Old Bailey trial in 1910 see below. He married Eliza M. Racher in 1922 in Wandsworth and in the 1939 Register he was a builder’s labourer living at 58 Speke Road, Clapham Junction)

In the 1891 Census the family were living at Mayall Road, East Brixton, Lambeth where William worked at a “sawyer mill” (he incorrectly gives his place of birth as Bristol). The ‘South London Mail‘ 24 September 1898 edition reported “William Henry Anstey, 49, described as a machinist of Jubilee Villas, Mauleverer Road, Brixton, was charged with feloniously cutting and wounding John Garlick…Upon being taken into custody the prisoner said ‘Garlick came round and knocked at my door and when I came down he struck me in the eye. Mr Hopkins remanded the prisoner for a week“. In 1901 the family were living at 22, Letchworth, Tooting Graveney, Wandsworth where William Anstey was a “wood sawyer, born Devon“.

Caroline Ann Anstey died in 1907 in Wandsworth. In 1910 a lodger at the house, Charles Reilly, was tried at the Old Bailey for “breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Joseph Buckingham and stealing therein a cruet stand and other articles and 5s., his goods and moneys“. Two members of this family were called as witnesses “FREDERICK ARTHUR ANSTEY . I am aged 15 and live with my father, a saw sharpener, at 78, Esk [Usk] Road, Battersea. Prisoner lodged with us. About seven o’clock one morning in August he brought in a pair of shoes and some ties, of which this is one (produced). I am quite sure he had not been home that night. He said he had been working or a rag merchant all night. He said that his mate had been working at a house and had been given these articles which he had given to him, the prisoner. He said to my sister, ‘I can pawn them for half a crown or more.’ (To the Court.) When the sergeant came to the house I gave him a tie and a waistcoat which I had found in the washhouse. Prisoner was still lodging with us. To prisoner. I do not remember whether you came home on the night after. ADA ANSTEY , 78, Esk [Usk] Road, Battersea. I remember being out one night in August. A little before or a little after seven the next morning he came home, bringing a pair of patent shoes. He told me had been working at a rag merchant’s that night. He had also some pieces of cloth and two ties, of which this is one (produced). He told me he was going to pawn the shoes, and that he thought he would get 2s. 6d. or 2s. 9d. for them. To prisoner. I do not think you were out the following night as well

By the 1911 Census William Henry Anstey was a widower and “wood sawyer (saw sharpener) born in Bristol St Philips” living at 78 Usk Road, Battersea with his younger children. Per the census, three of his ten children had died by 1911 (which tallies with our above research). William Henry Anstey died in 1935 in Battersea “aged 84“.

Further Details on the Tiverton Ansteys

#1. It is probably William Anstey the Younger (documented in ‘ANSTEY: The Devon and Somerset Branch‘) who was in the First Regiment of the Devon Militia under the bizarrely named Lieutenant Colonel Bastard. According to his Chelsea Pensioner Discharge Document he was born in 1744 in Washfield near Tiverton and was discharged at Exeter on 24 April 1802 “after faithfully serving as a Sergeant for 22 years but [discharged] in consequence of the Secretary of State directing younger men to be retained as non-commissioned officers“. Also surely the same gentleman “W. Anstey Jurishayes” was in 1799 a trustee of the will of Thomas Maunder.

#2. The ‘Dorset County Chronicle‘ on 26 October 1826 reported “Tiverton: Oct 23. During several nights of the past week various depredations have been committed in this town by a set of ruffians who walk the streets at all hours of the night. Different shop windows have been torn down, particularly those of Miss Anstey, grocer of Hampton Street, and Mr Dodge in Gold Street.

#3. The ‘Exeter and Plymouth Gazette‘ 08 August 1829 edition reported that “Mr Thomas Anstey, having been appointed agent to the Sun Fire and Life Offices for Tiverton and its vicinity, begs leave to inform the public that he is ready to receive instructions for new insurances…” He was still their representative in 1832.

#4. In 1799 the Manor of Bolham aka “the Estate at Rix” (near Tiverton) was granted to John Anstey and Richard Were for 14 years at an annual rent of £80.

#5. In one of the bells in the tower of Greenway Chapel in Tiverton (possibly dated 1736) is inscribed that “Thomas Anstey” was warden with “Clement Govett

#6. The ‘Sherborne Mercury‘ 13 December 1830 reported “Death: November 4 at Tiverton in her 76th year, Mrs Joanna Anstey she was a kind relative and neighbour, strictly just and a sincere Christian – her end was peace

#7. Memorial Inscriptions at St Peter’s Tiverton:

  • E12a. Headstone: In memory of Ann ANSTEY who died Oct 1815 aged 76 years. Also of William Anstey husband of the above who died 25th March 1818 aged 75
  • E25. Headstone: Sacred to the memory of Mary ANSTEY who died Dec 12th 1851 aged 61 years. The sweet remembrance of the just Shall flourish when they sleep in dust

We are actively on the lookout for Tiverton Anstey experts alive today who are willing to add their findings and knowledge to this project. We are particularly interested in research regarding Tiverton 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 quite a bit of information and documentation about the Tiverton 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 ‘Tiverton’ 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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