The East Stoke Ansteys

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

Overview of the East Stoke Ansteys

The East Stoke Ansteys are a sub-branch of the Sixpenny Handley Ansteys, headed by William Anstey (b 1777 Sixpenny Handley). This family migrated to en-masse to Bloxworth in c1820, hence the overwhelming majority of ‘East Stoke’ sub-branch events actually occurred in Bloxworth.

William Anstey (b 1777 Sixpenny Handley)

William Anstey (b 1777 Sixpenny Handley to father John Anstey) was a labourer. He married Charlotte Angel in 1802 in East Stoke, witnesses were James Vincent (see the Sixpenny Handley page for more on this gentleman) and Martha West. They had children in East Stoke (and later Bloxworth where they moved c1820):

  • William Anstey (b 1802 East Stoke, buried 1803);
  • Robert Anstey (b 1805 East Stoke, married firstly Ann Foot in Bloxworth in 1827, having a child Jane Maria Anstey (b 1828 Bloxworth) but Ann died in Sep 1835 in Bloxworth so Robert then married Frances White in Bloxworth in 1836 – his brother James Anstey was a witness. In the 1841 Census Robert and his family were in Bloxworth with his mother Charlotte. Robert Anstey and Frances had children Ann Anstey (b 1841); Robert Angel Anstey (b 1846 – see below); and Maria Anstey (b 1847). By the 1861 Census Robert Anstey (father) was a farmer of 80 acres in Bloxworth)
  • Sarah Anstey (b 1806 East Stoke, married John James in Bloxworth in 1828);
  • James Anstey (b 1809 East Stoke, married Rachel Soper in Bloxworth in 1833 (his brother Robert Anstey was a witness), they had a son John Ansty (b 1835 Bloxworth – see below) but Rachel died in May 1835 in Bloxworth so James then married Sarah Foster in Wareham in 1839. They were living in Bloxworth in the 1841 Census and had children in Bloxworth Ann Anstey (b 1839); James Ansty (b 1846, an Australian Anstey pioneer and patriarch of the Newcastle, NSW Anstys of Australia); Sarah Emily Anstey (b 1849, known as Betsy). By the 1861 Census the family were at Cokers Froome, Dorchester and by the 1871 Census, the family had moved to Piddlehinton where James Ansty (father) was an agricultural labourer foreman and James Ansty (son) was a carpenter and journeyman);
  • Charlotte Gregory?? Anstey (b 1811 East Stoke, married George Blunden in 1836 in Bloxworth, witness was her brother John Anstey);
  • John Anstey (b 1815 Wareham – see below);
  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1817 East Stoke – in some sources the mother is incorrectly given as ‘Mary’, but others correctly give ‘Charlotte’. She had an illegitimate son William Anstey (b 1833 Bloxworth – see below) and then married Henry Biles (Biels) in East Stoke, Wareham in 1845 (witness was her sister Harriet Anstey). In the 1851 Census they were at Holme Bridge, East Stoke);
  • Mary Anne Anstey (b 1820 Bloxworth, married William Pike in Wareham in 1840);
  • Jane Maria Anstey (b 1822 Bloxworth, died 1826);
  • Harriet Anstey (b 1826 Bloxworth, an agricultural labourer in East Stoke in the 1841 Census. She married William Lucas in 1847 in Wareham);

William Anstey and his wife Charlotte were witnesses to Charlotte‘s brother Robert Angel’s marriage in East Stoke in 1805. In the 1841 Census, William Anstey (b 1777) was living in East Stoke; his wife Charlotte was with her son Robert Anstey in Bloxworth. Then matters get somewhat bizzare because in the 1851 Census William Anstey was a “widower” living with his son John Anstey in Morden (his birth town was incorrectly stated as “Morden“). However in the 1861 Census, William was in Morden, a retired farmer born in “Handley, Hampshire” (surely Handley, Dorset) with his wife Charlotte Anstey!

Charlotte Anstey died in Bloxworth in 1862, “aged 82” and William Anstey died in Bloxworth “aged 85” a year later in 1863.

John Anstey (b 1815 Wareham)

John Anstey was born in 1815 in Wareham to father William Anstey. He was a servant at East Farm in Bloxworth in the 1841 Census. He married Mary Ann Lawrence in Wareham in 1849 and by the 1851 Census he was an agricultural labourer living in Mordern with his family and father William Anstey.

John Anstey and Mary Ann had children in Morden:

  • George Anstey (b 1850, married Emma Down in Warminster in 1874 and they moved to Tyn Y Pren, Llanfor, Bala, Merionethshire by 1881 where George was a “kennel man (huntsman)“. They had children Thomas John Anstey (b 1875); Bessie Amelia Anstey (b 1877 Bala); Herbert Henry Anstey (b 1879 Llanfor – an Anstey Hero); Sarah Ethel Anstey (b 1880 Llanfor, known as Ethel – in the 1911 Census she was an unmarried teacher boarding at 32 Charles Street Kettering Northants); Charles James Anstey (b 1881 Bala – an Anstey Hero); and Reginald John L. Anstey (b 1888 Cranfield – an Anstey Hero). By the 1891 Census the family were living at Keepers Lodge Dodswell, Wood End, Cranfield, Bedfordshire – George was a gamekeeper. He was still there in the 1911 Census and he finally died in 1928 in Ampthill, Bedfordshire);
  • Joseph Anstey (b 1851, in the 1871 Census he was a blacksmith lodging at the Nag Head (Inn) Public House, Canford, Poole. He married Ann Marie Sharland in 1878 in Poole and they had children in Wareham John Lawrence Anstey (b 1880, known as Lawrence, died 1894); Walter Frank Anstey (b 1881 – an Anstey Hero); Edith Annie Anstey (b 1883, buried in Bloxworth on 9 March 1886); and Charlotte Anstey (died in childhood). In the 1881 Census they family were living at Snailsbridge Farm Cottage, Morden (taking over the farm from his father) where he was a “farmer of 60 acres“. Ann Marie (wife) died in 1887, buried in Bloxworth on 1 November 1887, so Joseph Anstey remarried Bessie Eleanor Stephens (b 1868 Lutton) in 1890 in New Forest and they were all living in Morden in the 1891 Census. They had a child Maud Marion Anstey (b 1895 Bloxworth, living with her mother in the 1911 Census – she married Robert Steerment on 20 March 1915 in Broadstone) but a year later in 1896 Joseph Anstey died in Wareham. By the 1911 Census Bessie Anstey (widow) and her daughter Maud were living with her parents at Hillbourne Broadstone, Canford Magna);
  • Henry Anstey (b 1853, married Anna Hill in Alderholt in 1876 having children Edith Anstey (b 1877 Abbeyleix, County Kilkenny, Ireland); Frederick Anstey (b 1880 Durrow Queen’s County, Ireland, known as Fred); Rose Anstey (b 1882 Hereford) and Ethel Anstey (b 1884 London, living with her father and stepmother in Gloddaeth Kennels, Penrhyn, Conway in 1901). Henry was a gamekeeper who lived for a short period in Ireland after marrying. In the 1881 Census he was living at Stocking Cottage, Clifford (Hereford), Hay, Herefordshire, a “Gamekeeper for clifford place“. His first wife Anna must have died because in the 1891 Census Henry Anstey was living at Shepherds Farm, Wickham Road, Speen, Newbury, Berkshire – a “Dog trainer domestic servant” married to Ellen. However she must have died too because he remarried Annie Wood in 1900 having another son Frank Selvil Anstey (b 1900 – an Anstey Hero). In the 1901 Census Henry was living with his children Ethel and Frank, as well as his new wife, at Gloddaeth Kennels, Penrhyn, Conway, Caernarvonshire where he was Head forester and gamekeeper. By the 1911 Census the family were living at Honeysuckle House Cardington where Henry Anstey was a dog trainer);
  • Caroline Anstey (b 1854);
  • Charlotte Jane Anstey (b 1855, known as Jane);
  • Sarah Rebecca Anstey (b 1857, died 1859 buried in Bloxworth);
  • Isabel Anstey (b 1858);
  • James Anstey (b 1860, in 1881 he was a boarder in Morden, occupation “gamekeeper“. He married Mary Ann Couzens in 1886 at All Saints, Ennismore Gardens, Knightsbridge and they moved to The Kennels, Main Road, Norton, Worksop, Nottinghamshire where in 1891 James was a gamekeeper. By 1901 they were living in Berriedale Langwell, Latheron, Caithness, Scotland; James was still a gamekeeper. They had children Herbert Lawrence Anstey (b 1888 Norton – an Anstey Hero); William George Anstey (b 1889 Norton – an Anstey Hero); Reginald Anstey (b 1891 Norton – an Anstey Hero); and Edith Anne Anstey (b 1896 Latheron, Caithness). The family were still in Caithness in the 1911 Census. James Anstey died in Scotland in 1935 “aged 74“; he was buried at Berriedale Parish Churchyard);
  • Bessie Amelia Anstey (b 1863); and
  • Clara Ruth Anstey (b 1870, known as Ruth).

The ‘Poole & Dorset Herald‘ on 04 October 1855 reported “THE MORDEN CLAIMS. The first case was that of Mr. Anstey, who claimed to be inserted on the list, in respect to land occupied by him at Morden. Mr. Warburton Pike, (of the Temple, London,) instructed by Messrs. C. and F. Filliter, appeared on the part of the objectionists and Mr. Brown, (of the firm of Thompson, Debenham, and Brown, Salters Hall, London,) instructed by Messrs. Phippard and Son, on behalf of the claimants. Mr. J. Hillier. overseer of Morden, was the first witness called, who, on being sworn, proved that the claim was left at his house in due time. Mr. Anstey sworn :-I occupy land at Morden,I have done so now seven years, and pay £12 a year for it. I live at Snalesbridge, which is situated near Morden Mills.“. By the 1861 Census, John Anstey had risen to become a “Farmer of 33 acres employing 1 boy” at Snail’s Bridge Farm, Morden. In the 1871 Census the family were still there – John Anstey was a farmer of 25 acres.

John Anstey died in Morden in 1875; he was buried in Bloxworth. Mary Ann Anstey (widow) was living at Old Mill House Cottage, Morden in the 1881 Census.

William Anstey (b 1833 Bloxworth)

William Anstey was born in 1833 in Bloxworth to single mother Elizabeth Anstey – an anecdote passed down the Anstey family line to modern times is that he was the son of the (Cavendish) Bentinck family – anybody who can substantiate or refute this please contact us at William was living with his grandfather William Anstey in East Stoke in 1841 then in 1870 he married Elizabeth Collins Hatchard (b 1852 Newfoundland) and they had children in Branksea Island, Studland:

  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1872);
  • William Anstey (b 1877 – an Anstey Hero);
  • Charlotte Ann Anstey (b 1880, known as Annie, married John Henry Hodges (brother to William Anstey‘s wife Sarah Jane Hodges) on 1 August 1899 in Hamworthy and was living at 16, Standford Street, Southampton in the 1901 Census with her husband and sister Susan); and
  • Susan Anstey (b 5 November 1882, married Frederick Ernest Woodford on 9 April 1902 in Hamworthy. In the 1911 Census they were living at 14 Clovelly Road, Southampton and the following year Frederick Ernest Woodford died on the ship ‘Titanic’, where he was working as a “greaser“. Susan died in 1915)

In the 1871 Census they were living at Pottery Cottages, Studland where William Anstey was a “pottery labourer“. In the 1881 Census they were living at Branksea Island, Studland, where William Anstey was a labourer.

William Anstey died in Poole in 1886 – the ‘Western Gazette’ on 12 November 1886 reporting “Death: Nov 7 at Poole William Anstey aged 51“.

John Ansty (b 1835 Bloxworth)

John Ansty was born in 1835 in Bloxworth to parents James Anstey (b 1809 per above) and Rachel Soper. His mother died when he was very young, so in the 1851 Census John Ansty was living in Bloxworth with James Soper his grandfather. In c1856 John Ansty joined the Army, serving for around nine years with the 15th Brigade of the Royal Regiment of Artillery as a Gunner (Service Number: 1065 – including a stint abroad in Nova Scotia, Canada for around three years). He was discharged in 1865 due to “ill health and being unfit for further service” but having had “exemplary service” and intending to reside at “Piddlehinton near Dorchester” (where his family were residing per above).

John Ansty married Ruth Barrett in 1866 in Dorchester and they had a son:

  • George Frederick Ansty (b 1863 Piddlehinton/Dorchester, sometimes known as Fred. He was a servant baker in Wood Street, Swindon, Highworth, Wiltshire in the 1881 Census. In 1890 he married Emma Grant in Highworth and they had children in Swindon Hilda Rose Ansty (b 1891, with family in the 1911 Census. She married George H. Bunce in Swindon in 1912 – she attended the funeral of her uncle Alfred Ernest Ansty in 1936, see below); Harold Ansty (b 1893 – an Anstey Hero); Frederick Cecil Ansty (b 1895 – an Anstey Hero); Edward James Ansty (b 1898 – an Anstey Hero); and Edgar Charles Ansty (b 1901, aka Charles Edgar Ansty, mother confirmed as ‘Grant’, with family in the 1911 Census. When his brother Harold Ansty died in 1959, Charles (executor) was an “iron moulder” – incidentally spelling his surname ‘Anstey’. He died in 1970 in Swindon). In the 1901 Census the family was living at 18, Western Street, Swindon where George was a labourer at the Great Western Railways works (next door to his half siblings – see below). They were at 33 Farnsby St Swindon in the 1911 Census where George was calling himself Frederick. George F. Ansty died in 1915 in Swindon)

However John Ansty died in Dorchester in 1868 “age 33“. By the 1871 Census Ruth Ansty was a widow living in Princes Street, The Holy Trinity, Dorchester – she was a dressmaker. By the 1881 Census, Ruth Ansty was living at 12, Western Street, Swindon – she was a laundress and though still a widow had managed to have two further children:

  • Rose Ansty (b 1870 Dorchester, a laundress in Swindon in the 1891 Census. Unmarried living with her brother Ernest at 21, Western Street, Swindon in the 1901 Census – ditto 1911); and
  • Alfred Ernest Ansty (b 1875 Swindon or Dorchester, sources vary, sometimes known as Arthur and sometimes as Ernest. A printers apprentice in Swindon in the 1891 Census. He was living with his sister Rose at 21 Western Street (next door to his half brother George per above), Swindon in 1901, a grocer’s porter and he was still living there in the 1911 Census, by now a woodchopper. Alfred Ernest Ansty died in Swindon in 1936 having never married. The ‘North Wilts Herald‘ on 11 December 1936 reported “Swindon Man’s Work for Blind Institute: The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon of Mr Arthur Ansty, aged 61, late of Western Street, Swindon who died under somewhat tragic circumstances. A fortnight ago he had a slight stroke while walking home. He received medical attention and was conveyed home but acute bronchitis developed and he died last Friday. Mr Ansty, who was a bachelor, was apprenticed to the printing trade at the North Hilts Herald Office but owing to failing eyesight he had to give up his trade. For some years he has been a well known figure in the streets of Swindon selling matches for the benefit of the new Social Institute for the local blind…[Arthur] was not only blind but deaf and his high pitched voice often attracted the attention of the buyers of his matches…the chief mourners were Miss G. Rolls and Mrs H. Bunce (nieces)…and friends…“)

Ruth Ansty (widow) and her children were at Western Street, Swindon in the 1891 Census. Ruth Ansty died in 1895 in Highworth, Swindon.

Robert Angel Anstey (b 1846 Bloxworth)

Robert Angel Anstey was born in Bloxworth in 1846 to parents Robert Anstey (b 1805) and Frances White. He was named after Charlotte Angel, and he married Fanny Dymot Ames in 1869 in Sturminster Marshall, the ‘Western Gazette‘ reporting on 30 April 1869 “April 22, at Sturminster Marshall, the Rev. C. Paul, Fanny, only daughter of Mr. Charles Ames, to R. Anstey, of Bloxworth.” They had children in Owslebury Winchester Hampshire:

  • Louisa Frances Anstey (b 1871, a dairy worker living in Owslebury in the 1911 Census and a spinster in 1934. In the 1939 Register she was living at Great Hunts Owslebury with her siblings Agnes and Charles. She died in 1953);
  • Agnes Maria Anstey (b 1871, never married, was an unmarried poultry farmer living in Owslebury in the 1911 Census. In the 1939 Register she was living at Great Hunts Owslebury with her siblings Louisa and Charles. She died in Owslebury in 1954 probate to her brother Charles Robert Anstey);
  • Amy Beatrice Anstey (b 1872 – an unmarried cat fancier living in Owslebury in the 1911 Census – she married Charles Edward Hunt in Croydon in 1921);
  • Charles Robert Anstey (b 1881 – an unmarried bailiff at home living in Owslebury in the 1911 Census. He represented Owslebury at the Winchester Rural District Council on numerous occasions in c1910. He was a farmer in 1934 and a retired farmer in 1954. In the 1939 Register Charles Robert Anstey was married (probably to Muriel H. Kimber in 1913 in Southampton), living with his sisters Louisa and Agnes at Great Hunts, Owslebury);

The family lived at Lower Farm, Owslebury, Winchester, Hampshire in the 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 Censuses where the supposed ages of the children vary wildly. In the 1881 Census Robert Angel Anstey was a “Farmer 246 acres employing 4 labourers & 3 boys“. Robert Angel Anstey died in 1914 in Owslebury and Fanny Anstey died a widow in 1929 in Owslebury, probate was in 1934 to her four children.

Further Details on the East Stoke Ansteys

#1. We have a Rebecca Anstey (b 1837), buried in Bloxworth in 1839 “daughter of John and Mary Anstey“. This is NOT the Rebecca Anstey (b 1837 Sandford Orcas to William and Elizabeth) who is a Milborne Port Ansty, however we find no “John Anstey” / “Mary” marriage at this time.

#2. Some sources have a “James Anstey and Rebecca” in the 1841 Census in Bloxworth – this family is actually ‘Arnold‘ not ‘Anstey‘ and nothing to do with our story.

#3. In c1850 two families, headed by Charles Hart Anstey and Edna Amelia Hardiman and Thomas Anstey and Charlotte Martin, moved to Wareham/Morden near Bloxworth – they are brothers and both of the Tarrant Keyneston Ansty sub-branch

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