The Dorchester Anstys

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

Overview of the Dorchester Anstys

The Dorchester Anstys of Dorset are a sub-branch of the Blandford Forum Anstys, headed by John Ansty (b 1791 Langton Long). In this sub-branch most of the ‘activity’ took place in in Fordington, once a separate village but now a suburb of Dorchester.

John Ansty (b 1791 Langton Long)

John Ansty was born in Langton Long, Dorset in 1791 to parents Joseph Ansty and Sarah Vater. He married Ann Hyne [Hine] (b 1795) in 1817 in Dorchester All Saints, both were “of the parish” at the time and witnesses were Ann Chatly and Joshua Bow. John Ansty and Ann had children in Fordington:

  • Maria Ansty (b 1817 to “John and Ann“, married Christopher Bishop in Fordington in 1839. Per the ‘Dorset County Chronicle‘ 19 December 1839 “Dec 18 at Fordington, Mr Christopher Bishop to Maria, eldest daughter of Mr John Ansty, both of that place“);
  • Sarah Martha Ansty (b 1819, died in 1820);
  • James John [Joseph] Ansty (b 1821 – see below);
  • Selina Martha Ansty (b 1824 to “John and Ann“, unmarried in 1851 living at Cuckolds Row, Fordington, Dorchester. Later in 1851 she married – ‘Hampshire Advertiser‘ 11 October 1851 “On the 8th inst at Fordington Mr Robert Thresher Rowe, eldest son of Mr Edward Rowe of Dorchester, to Selina Martha, eldest daughter of Mr John Ansty“);
  • Sarah Ansty (b ?, baptised 1830 to “John and Ann“, she married in 1849 at the same time as her sister Isabella – per the Salisbury and Winchester Journal on 2 June 1849 “May 30, Fordington, by the Rev. H. Monle, Mr. William Stanford, of Berwick St. James, Wilts, to Miss Sarah Anstey, second daughter of Mr. Anstey, baker, of Fordington. Also at the same time, Mr Charles Galpin baker of Dorchester to Miss Isabella Anstey, third daughter of Mr Ansty of Fordington, and sister of the former bride“);
  • Isabella Ansty (b 1826 to “John and Ann“, married Charles Galpin in 1849 in Fordington at the same time as her sister Sarah – see above);
  • Thomas Ansty (b 1828 – see below);
  • Elizabeth Ansty (b 1832 to “John and Ann“, unmarried in 1851 living at Cuckolds Row, Fordington, Dorchester. She married Benjamin Taylor in 1854 in Fordington);
  • Emily Ansty (b 1837 to mother ‘Hine’, died young?);
  • Anne Ansty (b 1838 to “John and Ann“, died an infant)

Per the ‘Hampshire Chronicle‘ 13 September 1841 edition “A fearfully destructive fire broke out on Thursday night in the dwelling house of Mr John Ansty, baker of Fordington, adjoining the town of Dorchester. As soon as the alarm was given the engines of the different parishes hurried to the scene of conflagration together with the engine from the barracks and a detachment of the 9th Royal Lancers, but from te combustible nature of the property, it being thatched, the devouring element could not be arrested until upwards of 20 houses and other property had been destroyed…the property is but partly insured

Ann Ansty (mother) died in 1842 in Fordington. The ‘Salisbury and Winchester Journal’ on 18 April 1842 reported “Died, April 10, at Fordington, near Dorchester, Ann, wife of Mr. John Anstey, baker, aged 46“.

In the 1851 Census John Ansty, a “baker employing one man” and “widower born Langton in 1791“, was living at Cuckolds Row, Fordington, Dorchester with some of his children.

John Ansty died in Fordington in 1858, the ‘Wells Journal‘ on 17 April 1858 reporting “Death: April 13 at Fordington Mr John Ansty for many years a respectable tradesman of that parish“. He was buried in April 1858 “aged 69?”. The inscription on his gravestone reads “In memory of John ANSTY who died March 9 1858 aged 6[-] years.   Also Ann ANSTY wife of the above who died April 19th aged 49? years.  Also Rebecca ANSTY wife of Thomas ANSTY.  Also of Walter George.” [Note: Walter George was the son of Thomas Ansty and Rebecca – see below]

James John Anstey (b 1821 Fordington)

James John Ansty was born in 1821 to parents John Ansty and Ann Hyne [Hine]. He was actually baptised in Fordington on 22 December 1821 as “James Joseph Ansty, son of John Ansty and Mary” though the ‘Joseph’ and ‘Mary’ must be mistranscriptions.

He married Caroline Elizabeth Vatcher [Valcher] (b 1821 Exeter) in 1844 in Weymouth and they had children in Fordington and later Lambeth:

  • Caroline Elizabeth Ansty (b 1845 Fordington, died 1846);
  • Margaret Ansty (b 1845 Fordington);
  • Frederick James Ansty (b 1846 Fordington – see below);
  • William Kensett Ansty (b 1848 Fordington, he married Eleanor [Helena] Tizard Rolls in 1872 in Wandsworth. By the 1881 and 1891 Censuses they were living in Broughton Street, Battersea near the rest of the family, where William was a “compositor“. We find no children of this marriage and William Ansty died in 1916 in Wandsworth);
  • Stephen Vatcher Ansty (b 1850 Fordington – see below);
  • Henry Vatcher Ansty (b 1851 Fordington, baptised at St Peter’s Dorchester in 1851. He was a labourer living at Broughton Street, Battersea, Wandsworth in the 1871 Census. Henry married Amelia Kerswell in 1880 in Wandsworth and they had children Beatrice Helen Ansty (b 1881); Winifred Maud Ansty (b 1885, married John Thomas Gilson in 1905 in Wandsworth); and Millie Leonora Ansty (b 1887). In the 1881 Census Amelia and Beatrice were living at 4, Broughton Street, Battersea near the rest of the family. In the 1891 Census they were living at Heath Road, Clapham, Wandsworth with Henry‘s brother Arthur Charles AnstyHenry was a “machinist“. Henry died in Wandsworth in 1896 and in the 1901 Census Ameliawidow” was living with her three daughters at 146, Heath Road, London, Clapham. Amelia remarried to Henry‘s brother Arthur Charles Ansty in 1903 and they were living at 146, Heath Road, London in the 1911 Census);
  • Fanny K. Ansty (b 1856 Lambeth, Surrey);
  • Arthur Charles Ansty (b 15 January 1858 Lambeth, Surrey a candle maker living at Broughton Street, Battersea, Wandsworth in the 1871 Census and a house porter in the 1881 Census at the same address. In 1877 Arthur Charles Ansty was in the Staff List for the Lord Chamberlain’s Department, joining the staff at St James’ Palace as a House Porter. He was “appointed firelighter on 1 January 1892 changed to Lord Steward’s as Kitchen Porter and scourer Aug 1 1896“. In the 1891 Census he was an unmarried “fireman” living with his brother Henry and his family at Heath Road, Clapham, Wandsworth. In 1903 Arthur Charles Ansty married Amelia Kerswell (his brother Henry‘s widow per above) in Wandsworth. By the 1911 Census he was a “pensioned sculleryman in the Royal Household” living with his wife Amelia and her children from his brother Henry at 146 Heath Road Clapham);
  • George Ansty (b 1860 Vauxhall – see below);
  • Alfred Henry Croft Ansty (b 1862 Lambeth, Surrey, a carpenter living at 7, Broughton Street, Battersea in the 1881 Census. He married Rose Ann Flood (b 1863 Hull) in 1886 in Wandsworth and they had children Maud Ansty (b 1887); Rose Gertrude Ansty (b 1890, married her first cousin Peter James Ansty in 1918 in Wandsworth); Daisy Ellen Ansty (b 1896); Emma Ansty (b 1899); and Nellie Ansty (b 1905). In the 1891 Census the family were living at Robertson Street West, Battersea, Wandsworth where Alfred was a “railway carriage builder“. By 1901 they were at 16, Peardon Street, London, Clapham, Wandsworth where Alfred was a “railway coachmaker“. By 1911 the family was at 7 Rozel Road Clapham S W, Wandsworth. Alfred Henry Croft Ansty died in 1930 in Portsmouth)

In the 1861 Census, the family were living at 5 Langley Lane Hales Place, Lambeth. James Ansty was a baker. He died in 1867, the ‘Bridport News‘ on 10 August 1867 reporting “DEATHS: Aug 6 in London Mr James John Ansty baker, formerly of Fordington Dorchester, aged 45“.

In the 1871 Census Caroline Ansty (widow) was living with her children at Broughton Street, Battersea, Wandsworth. They were still there in the 1881 Census.

Thomas Ansty (b 1828 Fordington)

Thomas Ansty was born in 1828 in Fordington to parents John Ansty and Ann Hyne [Hine], baptised to “John and Ann“. He was unmarried in 1851 living at Cuckolds Row, Fordington, Dorchester. Then in 1856 in Wimborne Minster he married Rebecca Groves as reported in the ‘Salisbury and Winchester Journal‘ on 20 September 1856 “On the 11th inst at Wimborne Minster by the Rev. C. Onslow, Mr T. Ansty baker of Fordington to Miss Rebecca Groves of Dorchester“. They had children in Fordington:

  • Charles John Ansty (b 1857, married Emma Maria Barton in 1883 in Southampton. In the 1901 Census they were living at 45, Westridge Road, Southampton where Charles was a mercantile clerk. There appear to have been no children to this marriage. Charles died in 1917 living at 76 Belmont Road, Portswood Southampton; probate to his sister Eliza Ann Nashwidow“);
  • Eliza Ann Ansty (b 1858, married William James Nash in 1885 in South Stoneham. She was a widow by the time she was executor to her brother Charles‘ will in 1917);
  • George Walter Ansty (b 1860, died an infant, buried with his mother – see above and below);

Rebecca Ansty died in October 1860; she was buried in the family grave in Fordington together with her son George Walter Ansty and her husband Thomas‘s parents (see above). In the 1861 Census Thomas Ansty (widower) was living with his children at Cuckolds Row, Fordington. Thomas Ansty remarried Mary Ann Green in 1863 in Brighton, the ‘Salisbury and Winchester Journal‘ reporting on 22 August 1863 “On the 13th inst., at Brighton, by the Rev. 11. M. Wagner, vicar, Mr. Thomas Ansty, of Dorchester, to Miss Mary Ann Green, second daughter of the late Mr. John Green, Woodhall Farm, Mepershel, Bedfordshire“. They had two further children:

  • Edith Ansty (b 1865 Dorchester, died in 1878 per the ‘Hampshire Advertiser‘ 26 October 1878 edition “Deaths:On the 20th inst., Edith Ansty, second daughter of the late Thomas Ansty. 17, Spa-road, Southampton, aged 13“);
  • Kate E. T. Ansty (b 1868 Millbrook Hampshire)

In 1863 Thomas Ansty was a “grocer and provision dealer of High West Street, Fordington“, as well as a “baker of Fordington“. In the ‘Weymouth Telegram‘ on 11 June 1863 appears the following advert “THOMAS ANSTY, BAKER, GROCER, and GENERAL PROVISION DEALER, begs to inform his friends that he is now enabled to supply, to any extent EVERY description of genuine GROCERY GOODS. Contracts entered into for the supply of bread and every other kind of PROVISION“.

By the 1871 Census Thomas Ansty and family were living in Alessandro House, All Saints, Southampton where Thomas was a “coach builder employing 17 men“. Thomas Ansty died in South Stoneham, Hampshire in 1878 “aged 49“. The ‘Hampshire Advertiser‘ on 6 July 1878 reported “Mr. Thomas Ansty, late of Spa-road, Southamp- ton, coachbuilder, aged 49

Frederick James Ansty (b 1846 Fordington)

Frederick James Ansty was born in 1846 in Fordington to parents James John Ansty and Caroline Elizabeth Vatcher. He was a carpenter in Broughton Street, Battersea, Wandsworth in the 1871 Census and then in 1876 he married Caroline Wright (b 1858 Coventry) in Wandsworth. They had children in Wandsworth and Battersea:

In the 1891 Census the family were living at Beaufoy Road, Battersea, Wandsworth where Frederick was a carpenter. In the 1901 Census the family were living at 33, Bramwell Street, Battersea, Wandsworth where Frederick was still a “carpenter born in Dorchester“.

Frederick James Ansty died in 1904 in Wandsworth. In the 1911 Census Caroline Ansty (widow) was living with her younger sons at 47 Scholars Road Balham S W, Wandsworth.

Stephen Vatcher Ansty (b 1850 Fordington)

Stephen Vatcher Ansty was born in 1850 in Fordington to parents James John Ansty and Caroline Elizabeth Vatcher. He was a labourer living at Broughton Street, Battersea, Wandsworth in the 1871 Census and then in 1877 in Greenwich he married Emma Knights. They had children in Battersea and later Clapham:

  • Margaret Emma Ansty (b 1877 Battersea);
  • Louisa Marion N. Ansty (b 1879 Battersea);
  • Ethel Kathleen Ansty (b 1880 Battersea);
  • Frank Stephen Ansty (b 1882 Battersea, known as Stephen, baptised on 27 September 1882 at St Philip, Battersea. He was a locomotive foreman living with his family at 19 Lillieshall Road Clapham S W, Wandsworth in the 1911 Census. He married Mabel S. Daborn later in 1911 and they had children in Wandsworth, living at 47 Lidiard Road, Wandsworth in the 1939 Register. Frank died in 1950 in Battersea);
  • Stephen Ernest Ansty (b 1885 Wandsworth, buried in Brompton Cemetery on 12 April 1887 (burial reference: ‘Burial Register no. 94, references 134871-136375‘));
  • Hilda Ellen Ansty (b 1887 Clapham);
  • Bertie Ansty? (b 1888 Clapham, this could be the same person as Albert Arthur Ansty below);
  • Albert Arthur Ansty (b 1889 Clapham, he married Alice Charlotte Durrant in 1917 in Erpington, Norfolk (we currently find no children of this marriage). Albert died in 1964 in Cromer, Norfolk, living at 15 Station Road, Cromer – probate to his widow Alice Charlotte Ansty);
  • Arthur Edward Ansty (b 1892 Clapham – an Anstey Hero); and
  • Evelyn Ansty (b 1895 Clapham, known as Eva)

In the 1881 Census the family were at 13, St Philips Cottages North, Battersea, Wandsworth where Stephen was a “railway engine driver“. They were at (Beerhouse), 19, Lillieshall Road, Clapham in the 1901 Census, Stephen was still a “locomotive engineman“. They were still living there in the 1911 Census, together with a grandson Leslie Ansty (b 1903 Clapham). Stephen Ansty died in 1919 in Wandsworth.

George Ansty (b 1860 Vauxhall)

George Ansty was born in 1860 in Vauxhall to parents James John Ansty and Caroline Elizabeth Vatcher. He was a clerk living in 7, Broughton Street, Battersea in the 1881 Census then George married Elizabeth Ann Hall later in 1881 in Wandsworth and they had children:

In the 1891 Census the family were living at Heath Road, Clapham, Wandsworth – George was a commercial clerk. In the 1901 Census they were at 4, Milton Street, Clapham, Wandsworth where George was a railway clerk. In 1911 they were at 441 Wandsworth Road S W, Wandsworth. In c1915 they were living at 60 Park Road, Cheriton, Folkstone, Kent. George Ansty died in 1920 in Elham, Kent “aged 60“.

Further Details on the Dorchester Anstys

#1. James Anstey (b 1809) who was in Cokers Froome, Dorchester in the 1861 Census, is of the East Stoke Ansteys.

#2. John Ansty married Ruth Barrett in 1866 in Dorchester and they had children in Dorchester in the 1860s/70s. They are of the East Stoke Ansteys.

#3. Nathaniel Anstey who married Rhoda Clothier in 1898 in Dorchester is of the Milborne Port Anstys.

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