The Hampreston Ansteys

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

Overview of the Hampreston Ansteys

The Hampreston Ansteys are the root and principal sub-branch of the Dorset (III) Ansteys and they are covered in detail in ‘ANSTEY: The Cambridgeshire Branch of the 1400s and Early 1500s‘.

[Note: Hampreston in the 1500s to 1700s consisted of three settlements: Little Canford, Hampreston and Longham, as well as the nearby manor of Canford Magna.]

The sub-branch began in c1550 with Thomas Anstey, who became Rector of Witchampton and later Parson of Hampreston, where the family settled. Thomas Anstey had a son, Nicholas Anstey, who married Dorothy Dugdale in Hampreston in 1620. They had children baptised in both Hampreston and Tarrant Hinton (because Dorothy‘s father Thomas Dugdale was Rector of Tarrant Hinton*), however to the best of our knowledge Nicholas Anstey and Dorothy Dugdale resided permanently in Hampreston.

Nicholas Anstey appears in the 1641 Protestation Returns in Hampreston, by which time he was Churchwarden. He was also involved in a marriage settlement in Hampreston in 1658 involving “capital messuage in Witchampton with many closes of land“. Indeed, so important was Nicholas Anstey in Hampreston, that he was buried in Hampreston Church. A rather large floor slab in the centre of the church, which can still be seen today, commemorates the spot where he lies, reading

[h]ere lieth the body of Nicholas Anstey, buried November the second 1676

In the 1600s and early 1700s, certain members of the Hampreston Ansteys were also resident in Wimborne Minster, three miles away, however this seemed to consist of a single family (headed by John Anstey, an issuer of trade tokens). ‘Anstey’ descendants of Nicholas remained in Hampreston until c1750.

We are currently of the opinion that the Hampreston Ansteys became Anstey-extinct in c1750, given no evidence to the contrary…however research is still very much ongoing into this matter.

Early Hampreston (and Tarrant Hinton*) Register Entries

  • 1620: Nicholas Anstie married Dorothy Dugdale
  • 1622: Thomas Anstie baptised to Nicholas in Tarrant Hinton (died by 1672, had a son Thomas who was alive in 1672)
  • 1623: Dorcas Anstey baptised to Nicholas (a widow in 1672, married “Bramble“)
  • 1626: Samuel Anstie baptised to Nicholas in Tarrant Hinton (alive in 1672)
  • 1627: Frances Anstey married John Frampton
  • 1627: Jone [Joan] Anstey married Thomas Knapton
  • 1628: Johannes Anstie baptised to Nicholas in Tarrant Hinton (alive in 1672)
  • 1630: Daniel Anstie baptised to Nicholas in Tarrant Hinton (alive in 1672)
  • 1632: Nicholas Ansty baptised to Nicholas in Tarrant Hinton (deceased in 1672)
  • 1635: Maria Anstie baptised to Nicholas in Tarrant Hinton (never married)
  • 1638: Avis Anstie buried (spouse of Anitis Reed??)
  • 1642: Nicholas Anstey baptised to Nicholas and Dorothy (presumably this is a duplicate of the 1632 entry?)
  • 1676: Nicholas Anstey buried (floorslab)
  • 1677: Mary Anstey buried (floorslab)
  • 1679: Samuel Anstey married Mary Brixey
  • 1680: Dorothy Anstey married Roger Plowman
  • 1680: Mary Ansty baptised to Samuel and Mary
  • 1682: John Ansty baptised to Samuel
  • 1684: Sarah Ansty baptised to Samuel and Mary
  • 1685: Samuel Ansty buried
  • 1688: Elizabeth Ansty (junior) buried
  • 1692: Elizabeth Ansty married Richard Pitman
  • 1694: Mary Ansty baptised to Daniel and Mary (Note: this was Daniel’s only child; he was in his sixties when she was born (see below for his will). Mary married William Oakely at Blandford St Mary in 1725/6)
  • 1706: Thomas Ansty (“clerk“) buried
  • 1717: Daniel Anstey (“born 1629“) buried (see below for his will)
  • 1720: John Ansty (“bachelor“) buried
  • 1737: Mary Ansty (“Mrs Widow“) buried (this is certainly Mary Anstey nee Perkins, widow of Daniel Anstey who died in 1717 per above – see below for her will)
  • 1752: Susannah Anstey baptised to Daniel
  • 1754: Henry Anstey baptised to Henry and Molly (this is likely not a Hampreston Anstey)
  • 1754: Henry Anstey Kelloway? buried, son of Henry and Molly

We find no ‘Anstey’ entries in Hampreston after this.

Note on Tarrant Hinton*: the only parish register entries we find in Tarrant Hinton pre-1737 (when Richard Anstey of the Gussage Ansteys married Joan Wheeler in Tarrant Hinton) are connected to Nicholas Anstey and Dorothy Dugdale in the 1620s & 1630s. There was no ‘Anstey’ presence in Tarrant Hinton between 1635 and 1737.

Note on Witchampton: we find absolutely no ‘Anstey’ entries in Witchampton at all – therefore any Anstey activity in that parish must have occurred before parish registers began in 1656.

Early Wimborne Minster Register Entries

  • 1670: Thomas Anstye baptised to John
  • 1698: Penelope Ansty married Russell William
  • 1700: Elizabeth Ansty baptised to John (some sources incorrectly say Stephen)
  • 1701: Elizabeth Ansty baptised to John
  • 1703: Jane Ansty baptised to father John
  • 1704: Constantine Ansty baptised to John
  • 1713: John Ansty “gent ye elder” buried
  • 1719: Mary Ansty “widow” buried (presumably wife of John the Elder)
  • 1726: Elizabeth Ansty buried “wife of Mr John Ansty
  • 1732: Constantine Ansty married Philip Cox
  • 1733: Jane Ansty married Robert Harvey
  • 1734: John Ansty “gent” buried

After this, the next parish entry in Wimborne Minster is in 1797 when Richard Ansty married Mary Burroughs, however Richard Ansty was “of Nursling in the County of Hampshire, bachelor” and likely nothing to do with this sub-branch.

Thomas Anstey’s 1612 Will

A summary of Thomas Anstey’s 1612 will can be found in ‘The Genealogical Magazine’ April 1905 edition, where it states: “Thomas Anstie, Clarke parson of Whichampton, Dorset. Will 16 September 1612; proved 15 January 1612/3. To be interred in chancell of Whichampton Church. To church 3s. 4d. To poore one Bushell of wheate and ditto of Barley. To church of Hampreston 3s. 4d. and poore ditto. To godsonnes Thomas Hobbie, Thomas Bason, and Thomas Durneford one ewe each. To goddaughter Emme Skoveil ditto or 8s. To Nick Deane sonne of Francis Deane ditto. To Lidea Hayne daughter of brother in law Parson Hayne ditto. To servaunts Thomas Maimsell and Luce Wylsheare 20s. To daughter in law Penelope Fay £20. To sonne Nicholas Anstey silver salte and five silver spoons. Wife Avice Anstey to have use of goods she brought. As I have other daughters which I would give £100 each to at marriage, Mr. Nicholas Ware, vicar of Shapwich, Joseph Collet, and brother in law John Skoveil authorized to raise out of lands for education and said portions. Executors: Nicholas Ware, Joseph Collet, John Skovell. No witnesses. Administration to widow Avice Anstie, executors renouncing.

Thomas Anstey’s 1668 Will

Please be patient – we will upload shortly

Nicolas Anstey’s 1672 Will

Nicholas Anstey wrote his will in 1672, probate was in 1677. The will begins “I Nicholas Ansty of Hampreston in the County of Dorset, gent, being at this time in health and sound and perfect mind” – he then bequeathes:

  • my soul into the hands of Almighty God my creator“;
  • my body to the earth from where it came“;
  • to the reparations of the Church of Hampreston, five shillings“;
  • to the poor of the parish of Hampreston twenty shillings“;
  • to Thomas Ansty my grandchild, son of my eldest son Thomas Ansty clerk deceased…all of my lands, tenements and messuages in Hampreston..rents“;
  • [other] messuages, lands and tenements to my sonne Samuel Ansty and the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and for want of such issue..then I do hereby give [said lands etc] unto John Ansty another of my sonnes and the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and for want of such issuethen I do hereby give [said lands etc] unto Daniel Ansty, youngest son of me the said Nicholas Ansty“;
  • for the want of such issue [per above] I do bequeath [unto]…the heires females of the said Thomas Ansty my grandchild, the said Samuel, John and Daniel Ansty my sonnes and of Dorcas Bramble? widow and Mary Ansty my daughtersthe sum of six hundred pounds to such heirs equally divided
  • unto my sonne Samuel Ansty the sum of five pounds which he hath already in his hands, and to his wife I give ten shillings. I give and bequeath unto their two daughters twenty shillings
  • unto my said son John Ansty the sum of twenty shillings and to his wife ten shillings and to their five children now living the sum of forty shillings“;
  • unto my son Daniel Ansty our feather bed, feather pillow, brass potts…
  • the said somme of thirty pounds to Rebecca and Mary Bramble my grandchildren
  • unto William Bramble my grandchild forty shillings“;
  • unto my said grandchild Thomas Ansty my silver case and a silver spoon
  • appoint my said sonne John Ansty and Daniel Dugdale of Wareham in the County of Dorsett gent to be overseers of this my last will and testament

Daniel Anstey’s 1711 Will and his Widow Mary’s 1737 Will

Daniel Anstey wrote his will in 1711; probate was in 1718. His will begins “I Daniel Anstey of Longham of the parish of Hampreston in the County of Southton, yeoman, being in a competent measure of health considering my great age” – he then bequeathes:

  • to my loving wife for her natural life and no longer…one half part of all the profits of all the yearly rents of all my lands and tenements lying in the parish of Craford Parva otherwise Little Craford” [which we presume is Little Canford near Hampreston rather than Craford Parva, Tarrant Crawford]
  • unto my wife the one half part of the yearly rents of all my lands and tenements lying in the parish of Craford Magna otherwise Great Craford” [presumably Canford Magna near Hampreston]
  • unto my wife the one half part of the yearly rents of all my lands and tenements lying in the parish of Shapwick, Dorset
  • unto my daughter Mary Ansty and her heirs forever all my lands and tenements and profits whatsoever lying in the parish of Craford Magna otherwise Great Craford and also all the lands and tenements lying in the parish of Craford Parva otherwise Little Craford, also all the lands and tenements lying in the parish of Shapwick
  • unto my wife for her natural life and no longer all m houses and lands that I bought off Abel Bement lying in Longham in the parish of Hampreston
  • all my goods and chattels … to my loving wife and daughter Mary Ansty equally to be divided between them whom I do hereby appoint my whole and sole executrixes“.

His widow Mary Ansty wrote her final will on 20 January 1737 (she was buried on 26 January 1937, confirmed deceased by 14 March 1737 per notes on her will) beginning “me Mary Ansty of Longham in the parish of Hampreston widow being weak and infirm in body by reason of old age” and bequeathing to:

  • my daughter Mary the wife of Mr William Oakeley
  • my granddaughter Molly Ansty Oakeley
  • my brother Thomas Perkins
  • Clare Perkins, daughter of my said brother Thomas Perkins
  • Elizabeth Perkins, another daughter of my brother Thomas Perkins, who now lives with me
  • twenty shillings shall be distributed amongst the poor of Hampreston
  • after the death of my said daughter Mary Oakely, I give and bequeath unto my said granddaughter Molly Ansty Oakely whom I also make and appoint whole and sole executrix and residuary legatee
  • my loving friend Mr Roger Bramble of West Parley [in Dorset] and farmer Lowry Kellaway? of Longham” to be overseers and trustees of this my last will

Further Details on the Hampreston Ansteys

We are actively on the lookout for Hampreston experts alive today who are willing to add their findings and knowledge to this project. We are particularly interested in research regarding whether there exist Anstey sub-branches today which descended from the Hampreston Ansteys. 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 Hampreston 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 ‘Hampreston’ 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.

%d bloggers like this: