The Witheridge Ansteys

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

The Witheridge Ansteys of Devon are a sub-branch of the Tiverton Ansteys and thus form part of the South West Peninsula Ansteys. The patriarch of this sub-branch is Abraham Anstey (b c1712 in Tiverton) who married Elizabeth Gill of Calverleigh in Tiverton in 1739. They had eleven children, all baptised in Tiverton, the family moving en-masse to Witheridge in the late 1760s or early 1770s (Elizabeth died in Witheridge in 1775 and Abraham died in 1789). Abraham and Elizabeth‘s children were:

  • Mary (b 1741);
  • Abraham (b 1743);
  • Elizabeth (b 1745, married William Venn in Witheridge in 1777);
  • Hannah (b 1747);
  • Grace (b 1749, married Richard Dark in Witheridge in 1774);
  • Joan (b 1751);
  • Thomas (b 1753);
  • John (b 1755, married Hannah Anstey in Witheridge in 1789);
  • William (b 1757);
  • George (b 1760);
  • Hannah (b 1762).

One of these sons (we are not currently sure which) had a son William, born in West Worlington (three miles from Witheridge) in c1788, who married Mary Cole in 1809 in Witheridge. They had the following children baptised in Witheridge:

  • William (b 1810, in 1849 he was an ‘Assessor of Land and Assessed Tax‘ in Witheridge);
  • John (b 1812 married Ann Patmore Hodder in 1838 in Witheridge, he was a carpenter in both 1850 and 1878 Witheridge Directories);
  • Samuel (b 1815, he was a boot and shoe maker in Witheridge according to both 1850 and 1878 Witheridge Directories);
  • Edmund (b 1816 died an infant);
  • Edward (b 1817);
  • Henry Charles (b 1826, an American Anstey pioneer and patriarch of the Waukesha County, Wisconsin Ansteys)

Today there is a street called ‘Anstey’s Court’ in Witheridge. We are currently trying to establish why it was so named and whether it was in honour of an Anstey who lived there (and if so, which one and why). All we currently know is that “Anstey’s Court, on the old garage plot, took its name from former dwellings across the road” and that the previous ‘Anstey’s Court’ in Witheridge existed in 1894 and was demolished after the Second World War (photo of Anstey’s Court on the right hand side in the 1930s).

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