The Kamloops, BC Ansteys

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

Overview of the Kamloops Ansteys

The Kamloops Ansteys of British Columbia, Canada are a sub-branch of the Rugby Ansteys, themselves a sub-branch of the Trumpington Ansteys of Cambridgeshire. The patriarch of the Kamloops Ansteys is Francis Senior Anstey (b 1837 Rugby).

Francis Senior Anstey (b 1837 Rugby)

Francis Senior Anstey was born in 1837 in Rugby to parents Charles Alleyne Anstey and Ann Townsend. In 1855 “Francis Senior Anstey gent [became] ensign” to the 1st Regiment, Warwickshire Militia. However, he must have left England very soon after that because he married Anne Doherty in Detroit Michigan, America in 1856, by which time he was already “from Colchester, Essex, Canada“. They had to our knowledge a single son, being:

In the 1861 Canada Census the family was living in Essex, Ontario, Canada, Francis Senior Anstey was described as “gentleman“. By 1881 he was widowed, living alone in Yale & Cariboo, British Columbia. He was still there in 1901, living with his grandson Walter H. Anstey (b 1882).

Francis Senior Anstey died in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada in 1923 (some sources say 1922), buried at Pleasant Street Cemetery Kamloops PLOT Section H, Lot 5, Row 1, Sub Lot S.

From the ‘San Francisco Call‘ May 13 1911 edition “Friend of Two Presidents; Francis Senior Anstey, grandfather of the young man now in this city has devoted the greater part of his life to the task of establishing his claim as a Plantagenet. He is the son of Rev. Charles Alleyne Anstey, M.A. Master of Rugby School England. The youth led such a gay career that his Reverend father sent him to America, where he continued his joyous existence until the well filled wallet given him by his father was practically emptied. He was a close friend of President Buchanan and of President Grant. His father gave him another start and he went to Canada. He established himself at Kamloops, BC. where he lived the life as a hermit. Charles Townsend Anstey son of the hermit, won the hand of Georgina Durno Thayer in Portland.

According to the local Shuswap History website “Born in England in 1830, Anstey was a legend in his time, a 6 foot 6 inches tall, powerful man who often mentioned he was a descendent of the Black Prince, the son of King Edward III. He likely came to British Columbia in the 1850s and helped build the last Hudson’s Bay Fort in Kamloops in the 1860s. The first trees in Shuswap were felled by Anstey in 1878 then in 1880 he preempted 320 acres at the head of the arm named after him, where he logged and cut shakes and shingles that were rafted on to Kamloops.

The ‘Daily Colonist‘ on 4 June 1911 reported “CLAIMS PLANTAGENET DESCENT: Another chapter has just been written in the curious case of Francis Anstey — while at present sojourning, not of his own free will, in the provincial jail at Kamloops, as a result of a transaction in square-face gin of which an Indian was the purchaser — is through near relatives pressing a claim for wealth and title which, if successful, will win for him recognition as one of the bluest-blooded aristocrats of ancient England. The active agent in the advocacy of the Anstey claim has just been in Vancouver. and in connection with his flying visit there, a local daily prints the following: “With the official proof of his blood-connection with the monarch of England of six centuries ago, contained in a ponderous volume, “The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal,” just published by Melville & Co., London, George Roy Anstey is en route from California to join his brothers on their 320-acre ranch near Kamloops, where their grandfather, Francis Senior Anstey, one of the pioneers of that district, still resides. He is in his eighty- second year. ” ‘For three generations our family has been ridiculed for laying claim to this distinction.’ said Mr. Anstey, ‘and those of us who are left are naturally gratified in having that claim finally and officially satisfied.’ “Mr. Anstey, who is a printer by trade, and for many years a resident of Long Beach, Cal., is in his twenty-sixth year, the youngest of four sons of Charles Townsend Anstey, two of whom, Charles A. and Walter F. are managing the Kamloops ranch. The fourth son, James D., resides in Los Angeles, their father left Victoria in 1893 during the gold rush to South Africa, and died there a year later. The grandfather, who, although past eighty-one, contemplates another trip back to the Old Country, is the son of Rev. Charles Alleyne Anstey, M. A., master of England’s famous Rugby school. “A few years ago he received a letter from the Marquis of Ruvigny, stating that he had been instructed by the King to trace the exact line of descent of the House of Plantagenet, and as a descendant Anstey was asked to assist in tracing the family in America. A week ago, the grandson. George Roy Anstey, received a copy of this elaborate work. It contains his own name as the youngest son of Charles Townsend Anstey. On his way to Vancouver with the proofs he visited Portland, where his mother resided and where for years the claim of the family had been ridiculed.

[Note: This Anstey sub-branch is indeed directly descendent from the Plantagenet Kings, but through Ann Calvert (wife of Christopher Anstey the poet), not through the direct Anstey ancestral lineage]

There are numerous places in Kamloops named after Francis Senior Anstey, namely:

  • Anstey Arm: “Shuswap Lake’s Anstey Arm was named after Francis Anstey by George Mercer Dawson in 1888“;
  • Anstey River: a 30 km river, part of Shuswap Lake “named for Francis Senior Anstey, who operated one of the first major logging operations in the area“;
  • Anstey Range: a mountain located in Kamloops Division Yale Land District, British Columbia and has an elevation of 1799 meters.
  • Anstey-Hunakwa Provincial Park: a provincial park in the Shuswap Country of the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Canada

Charles Townsend Anstey (b 1857)

Charles Townsend Anstey was to our knowledge the only son of Francis Senior Anstey. He was born in 1857 in Upper Canada and he married Georgina Durno [Ray] Thayer in Portland “Charles Townsend Anstey, son of the hermit, won the hand of Georgina Durno Thayer in Portland while Senator Jonathan Bourne was his rival“. They had children:

  • Charles Alleyne Anstey (b 1880 San Francisco, in 1911 he was helping his grandfather manage the Kamloops ranch. He married first XXX and then Esther Lovera Newland in 1914 in Victoria, British Columbia. In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, Charles noted that he was a “ship fitter” living at Eddy Street, San Francisco. By 1920 Charles was divorced, living in San Diego. By 1942, during Draft Registration for World War Two, Charles was living at Main Street, Portland Oregan. Charles Alleyne Anstey died in 1963 in Washington – we have no evidence of any children);
  • Walter Herbert Anstey (b 25 January 1882 San Francisco (some sources say Nova Scotia), living with his grandfather Francis Senior Anstey in Yale, British Columbia in 1901 and in 1911 he was helping him manage the Kamloops Ranch. In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, Walter was living at Market Street, San Francisco, an “auto truck driver“, nearest relative “Georgina D. Anstey” . Walter died in Port Townsend, Jefferson, Washington in 1950, buried at Bremerton, Kitsap, Washington);
  • James Durno Anstey (b 1883 Oakland, California, residing in Los Angeles in 1911. He married Lilly Josephine Larson in Kings, Washington in 1909 and they had a daughter Georgina Julia Anstey (b 1909 Los Angeles, married Herbert Riewe in King, Washington in 1929). He also had another daughter Grace Anstey (b post-1920, married “Launt“) and another daughter who married Jack Rutis. In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, James was living in Seattle, King, Washington, a “revising clerk for Pacific Steamship Company“. By the 1920 Census they were still living at King, Washington; James was a “labourer on steam ships“. In 1931 James remarried Anna Baehr in King, Washington. By 1942, during Draft Registration for World War Two, James and Anna were living in Park Street, Portland, Oregon. James died in 1966, buried at Acacia Memorial Park and Funeral Home, Lake Forest Park, King County, Washington); and
  • George Roy Anstey (b 1885 Oakland, California, he was a printer by trade, residing in Long Beach, California in 1911. George married Frances R. Carane [Crane] in Los Angeles in 1915 and they had at least one son George Roy Anstey Jnr (b 1916, died Nov 1966 Santa Cruz). In the April 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, George was living in San Diego, California, a printer for the City Printing Company. By 1940, George was living in Los Angeles with his wife – he was a book binder. George Roy Anstey died in Feb 1966 in Santa Cruz)

Charles Townsend Anstey died in 1894, having “left Victoria in 1893 during the gold rush to South Africa, and died there a year later” per the ‘Daily Colonist‘ 4 June 1911 edition above.

Further Details on the Kamloops Ansteys

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