The Huron, Ontario Anstays

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

Many thanks to Julia for her help constructing this sub-branch

Overview of the Huron, Ontario Anstays

The Huron, Ontario Anstays of Canada have not yet been connected into the wider Anstey pedigree – as such we can make no formal conclusions as to their origins.

This is the only ‘potential’ Anstey sub-branch we have found which settled on the ‘Anstay’ spelling – if indeed it was an Anstey sub-branch. In any case, as far as we can tell it is now Anstey-extinct, certainly most sources do not recognise the existence of any ‘Anstay’s alive today and we cannot find any living ‘Anstay’ descendants of this sub-branch.

The patriarch and matriarch of the Huron Anstays are William Anstay (b 1846) and his wife Nancy Jane Kater, whose sons settled in Goderich, Huron.

William Anstay (b 1846)

William Anstay was born in 1846 in Ontario of ‘English’ origin. He married Nancy Jane Kater [Cater/Carter?] (b 1834 in Almont, Pennsylvania or possibly Ontario, sources differ, to father Maliki Kater, Church of England by religion and of ‘English’ origin – known as Jane – she arrived in Huron in 1851) in c1867 and they had children:

  • Nancy Anstey (b 1868, Ontario – living with her mother in the 1871 Census);
  • William Anstay (b 1870 Ontario – see below); and
  • Nicholas Anstay (b 1871 Ontario – see below)

In the 1871 Census William Anstay (b 1846 Ontario, of ‘English’ origin and church of England), Nancy Jane Anstay and their children, together with a Mary Lawrence (b 1864 Ontario) were living in Huron South, Ontario. [Note: Also living in Huron South in 1871 was Elizabeth Anstey (b 1852 Ontario) – she was residing with John and Elizabeth Henley (Hurley?) – perhaps she was related to William Anstay?]

William Anstay was a baggageman on the Grand Trunk Railway – he died on 16 September 1882 after being “killed by a GTR train“. He was buried at Maitland Cemetery Goderich Township, Huron County with gravestone inscription “In Memory of William Anstay Died September 16 1882 Aged 36 Years“.

By the 1891 Census Jane Anstay was a “widow and Presbyterian“, living in Huron West with her two sons and she was still there in the 1901 Census living with her son William. Nancy Jane Anstay died on 20 December 1926 of senile debility and dementia, living at South Street, Goderich – informant of the death was her son William. She was buried on 22 December 1926 at Maitland Cemetery.

William Anstay (b 1870 Huron)

William Anstay was born in 1870 in Huron (though one source incorrectly says 1881 – see below) to parents William Anstay and Nancy Jane Kater. He was living with his mother in the 1871 and 1891 censuses where he was a baker – he was also living with her in 1901. He married Elizabeth Jane Doak on 5 December 1906 in Huron and they had a son:

  • James William Anstay (b 1 March 1909 Goderich, married Hilda C. Green and was buried in Maitland Cemetery Goderich Township, Huron County in 1970, gravestone inscription “ANSTAY: James W. 1909-1970. His Wife Hilda C. Green 1907-1988” – we find no children of this union).

In the 1911 Canadian Census they were living at South Street, Goderich, Huron West, as ‘Ansty‘ – note William‘s birth year in the 1911 Census was incorrectly given as 1882 but his age is (approximately) correctly given as 39 – he was a labourer and Presbyterian at this time. He was still living in Goderich in 1917 when he was informant of his brother Nicholas‘ death and he was still there in 1926 when he was informant of his mother’s death. William Anstay was buried in 1944 in Maitland Cemetery Goderich Township – his widow Elizabeth Jane Anstay died in 1969, buried in the same cemetery.

Nicholas Anstay (b 1871 Huron)

Nicholas Anstay was born in 1871 in Huron (though some sources say 1874 or 1875) to parents William Anstay and Nancy Jane Kater. He was living with his mother in Huron West in the 1891 Census where he was working as a labourer, and in 1901 he was boarding at Algoma, Ontario. On 8 June 1903 he married Mary Edwin [Edwine, Erwin?] (b c1882 Ireland) in Goderich, Huron, Ontario. They had children:

  • William Anstey (b 19 August/October 1903 Goderich, died an infant/stillborn on 19 October 1903);
  • Charles Nicholas Anstay (b 12 August 1906 Goderich, living with his parents in 1911. He married Alice Marie Govier in 1932 and they had at least two children, one of whom was a son who died aged 21. In 1959 “Mr and Mrs Robert Govier and family…attended the picnic of Mr Charles Anstay and family of Goderich” – per the ‘Blyth Standard‘. He likely lived at this time at Rockaway Beach in Goderich. In c1960 “Goderich and District Labour Council Secretary Charles Anstay, 10 Regent St., P.O. Box 891, Goderich, Ont.Charles died 22 December 1988, buried at Maitland Cemetery Goderich Township, Huron County with gravestone inscription “ANSTAY: Charles N. 1906-1988 Father Alice M. 1912-1989 Mother Wm Charles 1938-1959 Son“);
  • William Robert Anstay (b 29 June 1908 Goderich, died on 26 March 1910 aged 2);
  • Edward Anstay (b 2 September 1911 Goderich – a twin, died aged 1 day); and
  • Jefferson Anstay (b 2 September 1911 Goderich – a twin, died aged 8 days)

In the 1911 Canadian Census Nicholas, Mary and Charles Anstay were living in Quebec Street, Huron West where Nicholas was a labourer and Methodist. Nicholas Anstay died on 7 February 1917 of double pneumonia – informant to the death was his brother William Anstay. His widow Mary died in 1923.

Further Details on the Huron, Ontario Anstays

#1. Elmer Charles Anstay was buried in Maitland Cemetery Goderich Township in 1986 together with his spouse Eva Madge Eagles (died 1975). We have unsourced reports that Elmer Charles Anstay was born in Nova Scotia on 15 June 1919 – this could possibly be a lead into the origin of the Huron, Ontario Anstays, or it could be coincidence.

We are actively on the lookout for Huron, Ontario Anstay experts alive today who are willing to add their findings and knowledge to this project, specifically regarding how the connect to the wider Anstey pedigree. Anybody who has such expertise and inclination, please contact us at

We have already uploaded bits of information and documentation about the Huron, Ontario Anstays, 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 ‘Huron’ 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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