The Tywardreath Ansteys

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

Overview of the Tywardreath Ansteys

The Tywardreath Ansteys of Cornwall are a sub-branch of Broadclyst Ansteys, who themselves are a sub-branch of the Tiverton Ansteys, and thus form part of the South West Peninsula Anstey pedigree. Indeed the Tywardreath Ansteys were the first South West Peninsula Anstey family to settle in Cornwall (at least until 1893 which is the latest we hear of them in the parish).

The patriarch of the Tywardreath Ansteys is Samuel Anstey, who settled there in c1838.

Samuel Anstey (b 1807 Broadclyst)

Samuel Anstey was born in 1807 in Broadclyst, Devon to parents Thomas Anstey (a yeoman) and Thomasin. He married Ann Davis (b c1813 Probus, daughter of James Davis) in Probus in 1838, he was described at some point as “a yeoman of Menabilly Farm, Tywardreath, son of Thomas Anstey, yeoman”. After marriage, the couple returned to live in Tywardreath in Cornwall, having a large family with at least five sons, being:

  • Ann Anstey (b 1841, died very young);
  • Thomas Anstey (b 1842, farmers son in Tywardreath in the 1861 Census and an unmarried farmer visiting Bodmin, Cornwall in the 1871 Census. He moved to Tregeagle, New South Wales, Australia, living with his brother Charles Anstey at Cedar Grove, Tregeagle in the 1901 Census. Thomas Anstey was buried at Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney, Australia in June 1914, the inscription on his headstone reading “eldest son of late Samuel Anstey of Menabilly, Cornwall, England” );
  • Samuel Anstey (b 1845, a New Zealand Anstey pioneer – see below);
  • Ann Anstey (b 1848, known as ‘Annie‘, their only adult daughter. In the 1871 Census she was unmarried living at Helland, Probus, Truro (described as “sister” but very unclear as to whom). She married her first cousin Thomas Ansteyof Lyncombe Hill, Bath” in January 1874 at Fowey near Tywardreath in Cornwall (per the ‘Cornish Telegraph‘ 29 January 1874 edition). Thomas Anstey was son of Thomas Anstey (b 1801 Broadclyst) – see the Broadclyst page for more on Annie);
  • Charles Anstey (b 1850 – an Australian Anstey pioneer);
  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1852, died an infant in 1853)
  • John Anstey (b 1854, he was a pupil at Abbey Street Boarding School in Penzance in 1871. Then in 1878 he boarded the ‘Garonne‘ ship to Sydney Australia, becoming an Australian Anstey pioneer. John Anstey settled in West Maitland, New South Wales, marrying Louisa M. J. Morris there in 1890. They had a son John Percy Morris Anstey (b 1892 – an Anstey Hero who died in 1916). Tragically John Anstey died in January 1892 in Maitland, the ‘New South Wales Deaths 1788-1945‘ confirming that his parents were Samuel Anstey and Ann. John Anstey was buried in East Maitland Cemetery; his gravestone states “My Dear Husband John Anstey who was taken home on the 16th January 1892 aged 36” (his son John Percy Morris Anstey is also commemorated on the gravestone). His widow Louisa M. J. Anstey remarried Colin C. McKenzie in 1900 in Maitland);
  • Harry Anstey (b 1856, sometimes known as ‘Henry‘, he was a pupil at Abbey Street Boarding School in Penzance in 1871. In 1878 he obtained his ‘Masters and Mates Certificate‘ allowing him to be a seafarer “Harry ANSTEY – Fowey [near Tywardreath] – 18 Nov 1856 – Second mate – 4 Sep 1878.” By 1881 he was married)

Samuel Ansteyof Menabilly Farm” was Chair of a local farmers meeting in 1840. In the 1851 Tywardreath Voting List, Samuel Anstey appears by qualification of “Menabilly in Tywardreath House and lands as occupier Menabilly Farm“. He was a renowned bull and cattle breeder, entering numerous local competitions which were reported widely in local newspapers from c1840 onwards. In the 1851 Census Samuel Anstey was described as a “Farmer of 360 acres employing 9 men 5 boys & 3 women“, living with his family as well as a ‘governess’ and numerous servants – they were clearly a well-to-do family. In an 1857 Administration Bond for his wife’s brother James Davis, he was referred to as “Samuel Anstey of Tywardreath in the County of Cornwall, Yeoman“. Samuel Anstey died in 1871 in Tywardreath, though his probate was not until 1878.

Samuel Anstey (b 1845 Tywardreath)

Samuel Anstey was born in 1845 in Tywardreath to parents Samuel Anstey and Ann (not to be confused with his first cousin Samuel Anstey born in 1843 in Tiverton). Samuel Anstey was living in Tywardreath in 1871, an unmarried civil engineer. Then in c1880 Samuel emigrated to Christchurch, New Zealand, becoming a New Zealand Anstey pioneer, where in 1881 he married Rosa Maria Worthington. They had a single daughter:

In the 1881 Electoral Roll, Samuel Anstey was a draughtsman of Aikman’s Road. By 1893 he was living at Wairarapa Terrace in Riccarton, Christchurch and by 1911 he was described as a civil engineer living at 35 Innes Road, Christchurch. Samuel Anstey also owned a fairly large farm in Fendalton at some point.

Rosa Maria Ansteywife of Samuel Anstey, gentleman” died in Christchurch in 1912. As she died intestate her daughter “Winifred Ethel Anstey of Christchurch, the only child of the said Rosa Marie Anstey deceased” consented to Letters of Administration being granted to her father Samuel Anstey.

Samuel Anstey died in 1919. There is an obituary in the ‘Lyttleton Times‘ on 1 September 1919 which states “OBITUARY. SAMUEL ANSTEY: The death occurred on Friday morning of Mr Samuel Anstey, at his residence. Innes’s Road, [Christchurch]. The late Mr Anstey, although of a retiring disposition, was a deeply read and well-informed man. He was at one time one of the leading amateur florists of Christchurch. He was largely instrumental in forming the Sweet Pea and Carnation Society, and also wrote the gardening notes for various weekly journals. He took a keen interest in the work of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In his profession as a surveyor Mr Anstey, worked for many years in North America, surveying in the Rocky Mountains in connection with the transcontinental railways. During the year 1882 he came to New Zealand, and was engaged in the Government Survey Office. About twenty years ago he became proprietor of the Antigua boatsheds, which he owned up till the time of his death. The late Mr Anstey was a native of Cornwall, and was educated at King’s College, London, being a fellow-student of Bishop Julius. The only daughter left to mourn his loss married Lieutenant-Commander Williams of the Royal Navy, and now resides in Newcastle. Mr Anstey’s wife predeceased him a little over seven years ago.

There are today a well known collection of images from dry glass plate negatives which once belonged to Samuel Anstey. According to the Canterbury Stories website, “The images are of boaters in canoes and rowboats from the Antigua Boat Sheds, Christchurch buildings and scenes, and some images of a North Island tour. Some photograph subjects are named in a handwritten caption on the plate but many are unidentified. The creator of the plates is believed to be Samuel Anstey. In the early 1900s, Samuel Anstey, the Antigua Boat Sheds proprietor, advertised in The Press that he had ’70 well-built boats to choose from’ and a ‘Photographic dark room for the use of visitors’.

Fendalton-based Anstey, an English surveyor who arrived in New Zealand in 1882, soon built up a remarkable photographic record. Many of those glass-plate negatives remained in the space under the roof of the Boat Sheds until the early 1970s, when Canterbury Public Library librarian R. C. Lamb collected the images from the then owner of the site, W. S. Dini.

Charles Anstey (b 1850 Tywardreath)

Charles Anstey was born in 1850 in Tywardreath to parents Samuel Anstey and Ann. He was still living at the family farm, Menabilly Farm in Tywardreath, with his parents in the 1871 Census, occupation “farmers son“. By 1878 Charles had emigrated to Tregeagle in New South Wales, Australia, marrying Jane Raby in Sydney in 1887. They had children:

  • Muriel Faith Anstey (b 1889 Tregeagle, living in Australia in c1910. She died unmarried in 1927, buried at Macquarie Park Cemetery with her parents – see below);
  • Charles Raby Anstey (b 1891 Tregeagle, an Anstey Hero);
  • Irene Anstey (b 1893 Tregeagle, living in Australia in c1910. She married Arthur Farouhar Gomm in 1936 in Chatswood)

Members of the family lived in Tregeagle near Lismore from at least c1878 until 1920. Indeed, in an article in the ‘Northern Star (Lismore)‘ on 28 July 1920, it stated that “Mr Anstey had been the first settler in the district [of Tregeagle]… Mrs Anstey was the first trained nurse in the district” and that “Mr and Mrs C. Anstey, after a residence of 42 years in the district [ie arriving in 1878], have retired from active life to take up their residence in Sydney“. It also stated that “Mr Anstey was the cream of the earth…a Cornishman“.

In the 1901 Census, Charles Anstey and his family of a wife and three children were living at Cedar Grove, Tregeagle, together with Thomas Anstey (Charles‘ brother, born 1842 – see above). They were still there in 1913 per the Electoral Registers.

Charles Ansteyof Tregeagle” was appointed to the Commission of the Peace for Lismore in 1908; he was also appointed a magistrate in the same year. In 1913 “Charles Anstey of Tregeagle” was appointed President of Mr Nesbitt’s Campaign.

Charles Anstey died in 1924 at Chatswood near Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, the ‘Northern Star (Lismore)‘ 8 October 1924 edition reported “LATE MR C. ANSTEY: The death of Mr Charles Anstey occurred at his residence at Chatswood on Saturday the 4th inst. Deceased was a well known figure on the Richmond. He sold his property at Tregeagle about five years ago and retired and went to live in Sydney. He leaves a widow and two daughters.” He was buried in Macquarie Park Cemetery (Section G Row 8 Number 37/38) with gravestone inscription “b. Cornwall, England, 1 Sep 1850“. His widow Jane Anstey was buried next to him in February 1935, her inscription reading “wife & mother. b. Cornwall, 14 Jun 1851“.

Further Details on the Tywardreath Ansteys

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

%d bloggers like this: