The Wentworth, Ontario Ansteys

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

Many thanks to Julia for her help in constructing these pedigrees

Overview of the Wentworth, Ontario Ansteys

The Wentworth County, Ontario Ansteys (including townships such as Saltfleet, Barton and Ancaster) of Canada are actually three separate sub-branches headed by:

Given that Hamilton is a port, it is not surprising that any Ansteys living there do not form a single coherent sub-branch. It is likely that other ‘Anstey’, Ansty’, ‘Anstee’ and ‘Anstie’ families used Wentworth County (particularly Hamilton) as a transit point on the way to other places in Canada or America.

William Anstey (b 1828 East Worlington)

William Anstey was born on 15 November 1828 in East Worlington as ‘William Anstice‘, son of John Anstey (Anstice) and Mary. He was baptised on 29 November 1828 at East Worlington (again as ‘William Anstice‘). William Anstey became a carpenter, living with his parents in Higher Adworthy, Witheridge in the 1851 Census; he was unmarried at that time.

William Anstey first married Charlotte (b 1826 England, possibly surname White?) in c1857 or so? and they had sons:

  • William W. Anstey (b 1859 Ontario, living with his father and stepmother in St Lawrence, Hamilton in the 1871 Census. He married Jessey and they were living in Hamilton in the 1881 Census, where he was a plumber. He was still a plumber in the 1884 Tax Assessment in Hamilton);
  • Charles White Anstey (b 1862 Ontario – see below); and
  • Frederick Anstey (b 1865 Ontario – see below)

In the 1861 Census, William Anstey, Charlotte and their son William were living in Hamilton (mistranscribed as ‘Astey’).

Charlotte must have died soon after 1865 because William Anstey then married Margaret Ann Goodfellow (b 1843 in England or Scotland depending on source, once her surname was given as ‘Sims‘/’Timms‘, so presumably she was born ‘Goodfellow’ and first married ‘Timms’) in c1868 and they had children:

  • Elizabeth Alice Anstey (b 1869 Hamilton, Wentworth, died 1870);
  • John Albert Anstey (b 1871 Hamilton, Wentworth, known as Albert, married Mahala Maud Smith in November 1894 in Red Hill, Ancaster, Wentworth and they had children Ann Pearl Anstey (b 1895 Hamilton); Percy Anstey (b 1897); Grace Anstey (b 1898 – her parents were written as “George Albert Anstey and Mahala Maud Smith“); and Bruce Archibald Anstey (b 1909). In 1895 John Albert Anstey was an “Inspector” living in Hamilton and by 1909 he was an “overseer” living at 172 John Street);
  • Margaret Ann Anstey (b 1873 Hamilton Wentworth to parents “William Anstey carpenter of Hamilton and Margaret Ann Sims” which is presumably a typo);
  • Philip Henry Anstey (b 1878 Hamilton, Wentworth, married Nellie Mathews in Hamilton in 1904. They had a daughter Phyllis Margaret Ellen Anstey (b 1911 Hamilton). In 1911 Philip was a machinist living at 26 Alanson Street. Nellie Anstey died in 1911, buried at Hamilton Cemetery and Philip Henry Anstey died in 1919, buried at Hamilton Cemetery with his parents, see below);
  • Jessie Anstey (b 1881 Barton, Wentworth, married David Carson Valentine in 1904 in Hamilton, Ontaria)

In the 1859 Tax Assessment for Hamilton, William Ansteycarpenter aged 27” owned 88 East Avenue. He was still a carpenter in Hamilton in the 1867 Tax Assessment. William Anstey was a carpenter when his daughter was born in 1869.

In the 1871 Census, William Anstey, religion ‘W. Meth‘ was living in St Lawrence, Hamilton with his three sons from his first marriage and his second wife Margaret Ann Anstey.

By 1878 William Anstey was a foreman in Hamilton and by 1881 he was a carpenter in Hamilton again.

The 1881 Census links this family together nicely because they were living in Ward 6 Hamilton, William Anstey was a carpenter, his son Charles White Anstey (b 1862) from his first marriage was a “letter carrier” and his children from his second marriage were at school or infants. Also living with them in 1881 was Frederick Timms (b 1865), presumably son of Margaret A. Anstey‘s from her first marriage.

By the 1893 Tax Assessment William Anstey was a foreman. William Anstey died on 3 February 1900 in Barton, Wentworth “aged 71“; he was a foreman at the time of his death and buried at Hamilton Cemetery, see below.

In the 1911 Census, Margaret A. Anstey (widow) was living in Saltfleet with her granddaughter Phyllis Margaret Ellen Anstey. Margaret Anstey (widow) died in 1923, buried with her husband William and son Philip in Hamilton Cemetery. The inscription on their gravestone reads “William ANSTEY born Nov. 15, 1828 died Feb. 3, 1900 his wife Margaret Ann born Jan. 21, 1843 died May 9, 1923 Phillip Henry ANSTEY died June 17, 1919 in his 41st year.

Charles White Anstey (b 1862 Ontario)

Charles White Anstey was born in 1862 in Ontario to parents William Anstey and Charlotte. In the 1871 Census he was living with his father, stepmother and two brothers in St Lawrence, Hamilton. In the 1881 Census he was living in Hamilton Ward 6 with his father and stepmother, and his half siblings – he was a “letter carrier“. Charles married Sarah Jane Davey in 1884 in Lambeth, Middlesex, Ontario (he was a Post Office Clerk in Hamilton – the marriage entry also confirms his parents’ names and his age and that both Charles and Sarah were Methodist) and they had the following children in Wentworth, Ontario:

  • William James Anstey (b 1885 – an Anstey Hero);
  • Charles Anstey (b April 1887);
  • Ethel Thomazine Anstey (b 1889, married Earl A. Jepson in 1920 in Hamilton and died in 1927); and
  • Florene Elizabeth Anstey (b 1891, died before 1901?).

In the 1884 Hamilton Tax Assessment, Charles W. Anstey was a “letter carrier aged 24“, owning a plot of land. In 1885 Charles W. Anstey was still a “letter carrier” of Hamilton. By 1889 he was a Post Office Clerk in Hamilton and in 1891 the birth registration of his daughter confirmed his name as “Charles White Anstey“. He died on 22 December 1891 in Hamilton, at which point he was a Superintendent “age 29“.

In the 1901 Census, Sarah Anstey (widow) was living with her children James, Charles, and Ethel in Hamilton.

Frederick Ansty (b 1865 Ontario)

Frederick Ansty was born on 28 March 1865 in Ontario to parents William Anstey and Charlotte. In the 1871 Census he was living with his father, stepmother and two brothers in St Lawrence, Hamilton. Frederick Ansty married Mary (b 9 January 1871) in c1892 and they had children in Ontario:

  • Frederick W. Ansty (b 1893);
  • Mathew F. Ansty (b 1895); and
  • Hazel M. Ansty (b 1899)

In the 1901 Census Frederick Ansty was a “fruit grower?” living with his family in Wentworth South.

William Anstey (m 1848 Exeter)

William Anstey was possibly born in 1829 in Bradninch to father Thomas Anstey though our reasoning behind this is merely the ‘Tremlett’ link (see below and see the Bradninch page) and we seek further evidence.

What we do know is that William Anstey married Sarah Lightfoot (b c1823) in 1848 in Exeter and they immediately set sail for Hamilton, Ontario. They had children:

  • William Anstey (b 1849 Toronto – see below);
  • John Anstey (b 1851 Upper Canada);
  • Sarah Anstey (b 1852 Upper Canada. She never married and died in 1936 at the ‘Aged Women’s Home’ in Hamilton “aged 84“. On her death certificate it confirms that her father’s name was “William Anstey born in England“. The informant of the death was W. B. Anstey, her nephew – see below); and
  • Ann Anstey (b 1854 Upper Canada, known as Annie, married William Burridge in 1872 in Hamilton. She died in 1934, buried at Lake View Cemetery Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. On her death certificate was written her parents’ names “William Anstey and Sarah Lightfoot“; also that she died of bronchial pneumonia and senile dementia; and that she was widowed).

In the 1851 Tax Assessment, William Anstey appears in St James, York, Toronto, Ontario and in the 1853 Tax Assessment William Anstey appears in Hamilton as a “shoemaker“. He must have died between 1854 and 1861 because by the 1861 Census, the family were living in St Lawrence Ward District 2, Hamilton – Sarah Anstey was by now a widow living with her four children.

William Anstey (b 1849 Toronto)

William Anstey was born 28 August 1849 in Toronto, Canada to parents William Anstey and Sarah Lightfoot. He married Rebecca Benson (b 25 December 1848 in Ireland) in c1875 and they had children in Hamilton:

  • Sarah Jennie Anstey (b 1876, known as Jennie, married Herbert Green Robertson in 1900 in Hamilton. They were living in Barrietown Ward 3 in the 1921 Census);
  • William Benson Anstey (b 1877, married Florana [Florence] Louisa Tallman [Tollman] in 1904 in Hamilton at which time William was a clerk. They had a stillborn child in 1909. In the 1911 Census they were living in Wentworth without children – William was an “office manager for a store foundry“. When his father died in 1920, William was the informant, living at 130 Balsam Avenue. When his aunt Sarah Anstey died in 1936 William, the informant, was living at 60 Delaware Avenue);

In the 1871 Census William Ansty, unmarried, a shoemaker and ‘W. Meth’ religion, was living in St Lawrence Ward, Hamilton, together with William Tremlett [possibly Trimlett] (b 1815 Crediton to parents William and Ann, remarried Elizabeth Rowe in 1882 in Hamilton as a “widower“), his wife Elizabeth Tremlett (b 1811 England) and their son Henry Tremlett (b c1847 England). All four of these people were ‘W. Meth’ and all three men were shoemakers…so they clearly knew each other well

[Note: this is confirmed by the 1868 Hamilton Tax Assessment where William Anstey, William Tremlett and Henry Tremlett (all shoemakers) can be found right next to each other at 31 King’s Street, St Andrews Ward, Hamilton.]

William Ansty was a shoemaker in 1876. In the 1881 Census the family were living in Hamilton Ward 7 – William Anstey was a shoemaker and ‘W. Meth‘ by religion.

In the 1901 Census William Anstey, his wife Rebecca and their son William were living in Hamilton. By the 1911 Census William Anstey and his wife Rebecca were living in Hamilton East – William was ‘Methodist’ and a “burnisher” in a shoe factory.

William Anstey died on 4 March 1920 in Hamilton of influenza and pneumonia – at the time of his death he was living at 130 Balsam Avenue with his son William Benson Anstey. His death entry states that he was a shoeworker for McPherson Shoe Company, for whom he had worked for many years. He had lived in Ontario “all his life“.

William Anstey was buried in Hamilton Cemetery on 8 March 1920. After his death, his widow Rebecca moved in with her daughter Jennie Robertson and her family in Barrietown Ward 3, Ontario per the 1921 Census. Rebecca was also later buried in Hamilton Cemetery in 1938. The inscription on their gravestone reads “ANSTEY In memoriam WILLIAM ANSTEY AUG. 28, 1849 – MAR. 4, 1920 at rest his wife REBECCA ANSTEY died 1938“.

George Anstee (b 1842 Evenley)

George Anstee was born in 1842 in Evenley, Northamptonshire to father William Anstee (per his death entry below) and Sarah (Ashton). He was baptised in November 1842 at Evenley, Northamptonshire. He married Phoebe Elizabeth Groves [Grove] (b 1848, sometimes known as Elizabeth) in 1867 in Brackley, Northamptonshire and they children:

  • Stephen William Anstee (b 1868 Brackley, Northamptonshire);
  • Mary Ann Anstee (b 1871, though some later sources say between 1873 and 1876, England, married Arthur Wilberforce Hawley in Hamilton in 1909);
  • George Anstee Junior (b 1876 England, living at 17 Ferrie E. in 1919);
  • Thomas Anstee (b 1879 England);
  • Sarah Elizabeth Anstey (b 1881 Saltfleet, Wentworth to “George Anstey and Elizabeth Groves“; and
  • Fanny Anstee (b 1883 in Clinton, Lincoln, Ontario to “George Anstey and Elizabeth Groves“).

In the 1871 Census, the family were living in Evenley, Brackley, Northamptonshire – George was an agricultural labourer. By the 1881 Census, the family were living at Wentworth South, Ontario, Canada – they were religion ‘Church of England’ and George was a labourer. It seems likely therefore that the family had arrived in Ontario from England in c1880. George Anstee was still living in Hamilton at the time of his daughter’s 1909 marriage.

George Anstee died on 11 December 1919 in Hamilton. He was living at 17 Ferrie E at the time of his death and he was “aged 79” (his father confirmed as William Anstee). Informant to the death was his son George Anstee Jnr. George Anstee was buried at Hamilton Cemetery, inscription on the gravestone reads “ANSTEE George Anstee 1840-1919 Phoebe Elizabeth his wife 1848-1920“.

Further Details on the Wentworth, Ontario Ansteys

#1. In the 1871 Census we find a George W. Ansty aged 4, born in England, living in Saltfleet, South Wentworth, Ontario with Thomas Woodman (a gardener, Church of England) and his wife Elizabeth (both also born in England) who we can only presume are his grandparents.

#2. There is a Sarah Anstey (b 1856 Ontario) in the 1871 Census living with the Carpenter family headed by Charles P. Carpenter (b 1826 Ontario) and Catherine M. Carpenter (b 1832 Ontario, but of Welsh ancestry). We suppose that Sarah Anstey is Catherine M. Carpenter‘s daughter from a previous marriage to an ‘Anstey’ who died in 1856 or 1857. She was still living with the Carpenter family in the 1891 Census in Wentworth.

#3. Walter John Anstey popped into Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1911 where he married Dorothy Emaline Hess. He is of the Dyrham Anstees.

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