The Twillingate Ansteys

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

Many thanks to David Anstey who has performed much work into the early members of this sub-branch. Also many thanks to Julia for her work in constructing the later pedigrees.

Overview of the Twillingate Ansteys

The patriarchs of the Twillingate, Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland, Canada Ansteys are Charles Anstey and William Anstey, brothers of Poole in Dorset, England, who inherited a plantation in Twillingate in the will of William White of Wimborne Minister, Dorset in 1765, and thence emigrated there. So the Twillingate Ansteys are a sub-branch of the Poole Ansteys of Dorset.

There is a common thread running through both the Poole Ansteys and the early Twillingate Ansteys in that in the early 1700s Charles Anstey of Poole (bricklayer, married in 1700) and John & Ann Slade were in serious business together, and that connection carried over to Twillingate, where both Charles Anstey (b 1737) and his likely son Thomas Anstey (b 1769) were also connected to John Slade and the ‘John Slade & Co‘ company.

[Note: Complicating matters somewhat, as Newfoundland did not become a province of Canada until 1949, it was not included in the Canadian census returns of 1851 to 1911. Only a few local census returns have survived for some areas of the province during that period. The first complete census of Twillingate is thus the 1921 Census. Having said that, we have unsourced reports that in 1767 a “Charles Anstey appears on the Twillingate Census“]

There are so many Twillingate Ansteys that we have separated them by the area of Twillingate in which they lived [see Google Map] before or in the 1921 Newfoundland Census – however to be clear they are all the same Anstey sub-branch descendent from Charles Anstey (b 1737) and his likely son Thomas Anstey (b 1769). Those sub-divisions that we have begun uploading thus far are:

Charles Anstey (b 1737 Poole)

Charles Anstey was born in Poole, Dorset in 1737 to parents Charles Anstey (b 1704) and Melior Thorne. “Charles Anstey of Poole married Elizabeth Reeks of Poole by Licence on February 5, 1764” and then a year later in 1765, together with his brother William Anstey, Charles inherited a plantation in Twillingate, Newfoundland in the will of William White of Wimborne Minister, Dorset. Per Thomas R. Cole “Charles and William ANSTEY sons of Charles in Poole, Dorset were in Twillingate prior to 1766, when they inherited the fishing premises of William WHITE of Wimborne Minster, Dorset“.

[Note: William White‘s will was actually a North American Will written on 4 December 1765. He was described as “of Wimborne Minster, Dorset, late planter of Twillingate, NL. Charles and William Anstey, sons of Charles Anstey of Poole to have a plantation in Twillingate NL, nephew William White, son of brother Richard White to have a house in Wimborne; brother Robert White; daughters-in-law Mary wife of James Omerod and Anne Brenton; sister Katherine White; Mary Dewy of Wimborne widow; George Rogers of Wimborne cordwainer; residue to sister Dinah wife of Samuel Bowden Witnesses William King, Thomas Green and Richard Corpe Probate 18 February 1766 by Dinah Bowden“.]

Charles and Elizabeth emigrated immediately to Twillingate, very likely having sons there:

  • Thomas Anstey (b 1769 – see below); and
  • John Anstey? (b c1771 at a guess)

According to unsourced reports, Charles Anstey appears in a 1767 Census in Twillingate. Also in 1767, Colonial Records note “Charles Anstey previously dealt with Jermiah Coughlan, at Newfoundland. Jeremiah Coughlan was late agent to James Bombanous, Merchant of Bristol, now bankrupt. Charles Anstey, John Burt, Richard Pickett, Cornelius Lenahan, John Dwyer, Dennis Lane, John Quinland & John Hapgood, ordered by Governer Hugh Palliser at Pitts Harbour, Labrador, to pay Jeremiah Coughlan with Merchantable fish for supplies received.”

In 1768 Colonial Records note “Charles Anstey at Twillingate, Newfoundland, taxed 12 / 6 towards cost of Jeffery Tizzard murder trial

Charles Anstey was still in Twillingate in June 1770 when he was signatory to a denouncing the Sabbath-breaking fishing trip of Captain De La Rue (also signed by John Slade and others).

Reports state that “Charles Anstey was a Twillingate Planter, engaged by John Slade & Co“. By 1774 he was very sick (or dead), however his mounting debt was kept on the Slade Ledgers. These debts were probably taken on by his son Thomas Anstey, who worked for John Slade & Co. In 1787 “Slade Ledger, Fogo, Charles Anstey owed 89 Lbs, 11 Shillings balance accumulated from 1774, now desperate” which again suggests that Charles Anstey died or disappeared in 1774.

Thomas Anstey (b 1769 Twillingate)

As far as we know, all of the Twillingate Ansteys alive today descend from Thomas Anstey, who was very likely son of Charles Anstey; he was born in Twillingate in 1769. Per Isaac Lester‘s diary, dated of November 27 1776 at Poole, there is an entry “My neighbour John Slade arrived this morning in 16 days from Twillingate. His hopeful son was from home when he came but the father has brought home another boy, supposed to be his son by Charles Anstey‘s wife.” – this is likely referring to Thomas Anstey, who was clearly taken under the wing of John Slade when his father Charles Anstey died in c1774.

Thomas Anstey married twice, first in c1792 and second in c1815 (possibly one of the wives was Barbara Picot). He had children in Bluff Head Cove, Twillingate:

  • Kezia Anstey (b 1793, married Robert Roberts and died in Twillingate in 1862. She was buried at South Side United Church Cemetery, Twillingate, with gravestone inscription “In memory of Kezia Beloved wife of Robert Roberts who died Sept 7, 1862 Aged 69 years“);
  • James Anstey (b 1799 – see the Purcell’s Harbour page);
  • Charles Anstey (b c1800, likely married Mary Anne and had children Joseph Anstey (b 1825 – see below); Charles Anstey (b 1826 – see the Exploits, Twillingate Anstey page); and Kezia Anstey (b 1840 Bluff Head to “Charles and Mary“). He died on 15 August 1885 in Paradise Cove);
  • John Anstey (b 1800 – see below);
  • Samuel Anstey (b c1800 – see the Purcell’s Harbour page);
  • Joseph Anstey (b c1800, married Betty Wyatt? There is a report in the ‘Twillingate Sun‘ on 28 June 1884 which reads “What had near been a sad accident occurred near the White Ground near Ragged Point on Thursday last. It appears that Messrs Archibald Young and Joseph Anstey were out in a small boat for the purpose of setting a cod trap when a pan of ice drifting close by foundered, imeediately upsetting their boat. Fortunately there was another punt close by in which one of the men jumped but the other was not so fortunate, but succeeded in getting on the bottom of the capsized boat…if the other boat had not been near the consequences might have been serious” – we cannot yet connect this clue);
  • Esther Anstey (b c1806??, possibly at 96 Portkockie, Seafield, Scotland. She married William Roberts and died in 1874 at Bluff Head Cove);
  • William Anstey (b 1817 – see the Little Bay, Twillingate Ansteys);
  • Thomas Anstey (b 1819); and
  • Richard Anstey (b 1821, married Fanny (Frances) Russell and they had at least three children Thomas Anstey (b 16 August 1848, married Deborah Sarah Mudge in 1873 in Bonne Bay, however she died in 1876 so he remarried Sarah Elizabeth Parsons in 1877, having children in Rocky Harbour Elizabeth Alice Anstey (b 1879, died 22 August 1906 in Cow Head); Georgina Anstey (b 1881, married Enos Watts in 1903 in Rocky Harbour); and Samuel Anstey (b 1895, married Cinderella? and died on 28 January 1921 – in the 1921 Newfoundland Census Cinderella was a widow living alone in Rocky Harbour). In c1911 the family were living in Rocky Harbour. In the 1921 Newfoundland Census the family was living at Rocky Harbour, where Thomas Anstey died in 1926 of “paralysis“, buried at St Matthew’s Anglican Cemetery); Lucy Anstey (b 1850); and William Anstey (b 1853, died 1879))

It is likely that from a young age Thomas Anstey worked for John Slade & Co – likely as early as 1776, and perhaps to repay his father’s debts to the company. In 1806 we find “Twillingate Fishing Rooms Thomas Anstey & John Anstey. At Simm’s Path End.” In 1812 “Thomas Anstey of Twillingate receives a 12 lb credit note from John Slade & Co.

In 1839 there exists a land deed between Thomas Anstey and William Roberts (presumably husband of Thomas‘s daughter Esther) “Memorial of a Deed bearing date the Nineteenth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty nine which Thomas Anstey of Twillingate Island of Newfoundland for and in consideration of the sum of Ten pounds current money of Newfoundland then in hand and the receipt whereof is acknowledged did sell assign make over confirm and deliver unto William Roberts likewise of Twillingate Island Planter ‘All his the said Thomas Ansteys moiety or one halfpast of a certain Plantation and Fishing Room situated and being in Bluff Head Cove on the Island of Twillingate aforesaid and all and singular the erections and buildings situate thereon and all moveables and appurtenances thereon and thereunto belonging. To have and to hold unto him the said William Roberts his heirs successors administrators and assigns forever.” Both men sealed the document, witnesses were George C. Hayward and
Robert Roberts.

Thomas Ansteyof Bluff Head Cove” was buried in in the Methodist Church in Twillingate on 17 September 1847 “aged 78“.

John Anstey (b 1800 Twillingate)

John Anstey was born in 1800 in Twillingate to father Thomas Anstey. He possibly married Isabella Hender and they had sons:

John Anstey must have gone to live with his son Samuel Anstey in his later years because he died in August 1885 in Paradise Cove. The ‘Twillingate Sun‘ newspaper reported “DEATH: At Paradise on the 15th inst, Mr John Anstey aged 85 years“.

Joseph Anstey (b 1825 Twillingate)

Joseph Anstey was born in 1825 to father Charles Anstey. He married Isabella Hinder and they had children in Black Island/Black Tickle:

  • Druscilla Anstey (b 1859);
  • Andrew Anstey (b 1861);​
  • Job [Joseph] Anstey (b 25 February 1864 in Black Tickle. He married Elizabeth Perry in 1887 in Cottle’s Island (aka Cottlesville) and they had a daughter Isabella Sarah Anstey (b 1889). Elizabeth (wife) must have died because Job remarried Annie Elizabeth Curtis in South Side in 1892 having children Arthur John Anstey (b 1893, probably living in Cottle’s Island in c1911 – he married Bessie M. Mores in 1917 in Cottle’s Island, witness was Eli Anstey); Ettie Anstey (b 1894, probably living in Cottle’s Island in c1911 – she probably married George Bragg in Lewisporte in 1917); Frank Anstey (b 1895 – an Anstey Hero, see below); and Hilda Beatrice Anstey (b 1902, known as Beatrice, living in Lewisporte with her mother (probably in c1911 and) in the 1921 Census). Job Anstey and family were living at Cottlesville in 1889 and still there in 1896. Job Anstey died on 25 October 1902 at Cottle’s Island (he drowned in Blackhead Cove, Cottlesville possibly falling “right off the wharf at his house“), so his widow Annie Elizabeth remarried William Henry Freake, also in 1902 and went to live in Lewisporte by the 1921 Census);
  • Martha Anstey (b 1870); and
  • Eli Anstey (b 1873, “Eli Anstey, bachelor of Cottle’s Island, married Jane Dorey, of Black Island, on October 29, 1898 at Cottle’s Island“. They had children in Cottle’s Island Andrew Anstey (b 1901); Nellie Anstey (b 1904); and Walter Anstey (b 1914). In c1911 and still in the 1921 Newfoundland Census they were living at Cottle’s Island)

Joseph Anstey was already living in Cottle’s Island in 1884. Joseph Anstey and his son Job Anstey were listed in the 1889 Voter’s List at Cottle’s Island, New World Island. Joseph Anstey died at Cottle’s Island in 1889.

John Anstey Junior (b c1835/40 Twillingate)

John Anstey Junior was born in c1835/40 in Twillingate to father John Anstey (b c1800 per above). He was a fisherman who married Jane Ann Curtis on 13 October 1859 in Wolf Cove, Newfoundland and they had children:

  • Sophia Anstey (b 1860 Lewisporte, married William Wells Hull in 1878 in Little Bay Islands, Green Bay);
  • Joseph Anstey (b 1862 Twillingate – see below);
  • Mary Ann Anstey (b 1865 Twillingate);
  • Salome Anstey (b 1867 Twillingate);
  • Jonathan Anstey (b 1870 Purcell’s Harbour – see the Springdale, Twillingate Ansteys page);
  • Lloyd Anstey (b 1874 Hart’s Cove, died 1888);
  • Emma Anstey (b 1877 Hart’s Cove); and
  • Georgina Lucy Anstey (b 1880 Hart’s Cove, died 1888).

John Anstey Junior died in Twillingate before 1888, probably in 1880

Joseph Anstey (b 1862 Twillingate)

Joseph Anstey was born on 10 October 1862 to parents John Anstey Junior and Jane Ann Curtis [Note: His birth was not registered until 1937 in York Township by “Joseph Anstey of Toronto, Ontario“, we are not sure who this was – though see Ralph Anstey for some clues in this regard].

Joseph Anstey married first Olivia Clarke in 1886 in Twillingate, at which time he was a fisherman. They had children:

Joseph Anstey may have lived in Little Bay in 1895. Olivia (wife) died pre-1911, so Joseph Anstey remarried Susan Sansome in December 1911 in Springdale, having another son:

  • Raymond Joseph Anstey (b 26 January 1913 Green Bay, he was adopted at a very young age after his father died before he was born. In the 1921 Census he was living in Twillingate with his adoptive parents William and Elizabeth Winsor – religion ‘Salvation Army’. Raymond married Lulu and they had a son Archie C. Anstey (b 1936, who has Anstey descendants alive today). Raymond died in 1973 Bathhurst, NB, buried at Triton Community Cemetery Triton, Notre Dame Bay)

Joseph Anstey (father) actually died before his son Raymond was born, on 16 October 1912 in Springdale.

John Anstey (b 1892 Newfoundland)

We are almost certain that John Anstey, also known as Jack Anstey, is of the Twillingate Ansteys, though we still seek formal verification of that (the closest we get so far is that he put his place of birth as “TerventyGate, Newfoundland” on his World War One Draft Registration Card – which surely can only be Twillingate?). He was born 16 June 1892 (one source say 16 June 1888) in Newfoundland to parents also both “of Newfoundland“. At a young age he emigrated to Indiana in America, marrying Eva Russell at Lake, Indiana on 9 March 1910. They had children:

  • Claude John Anstey (b 1911 Gary, Lake, Indiana, died in 1988 in Lake, Indiana)

In the 1910 American Census they were living at Gary Ward 2, Lake, Indiana, with Eva Russell‘s mother Laura J. Starkey and her stepfather George B. Starkey. John Anstey was an electrician at a steel mill – he indicated that he was born in “Canada“. In the June 1917 Draft Registration for World War One, John Anstey indicated that his date of birth was 16 June 1888; that he was born in “TerventyGate, Newfoundland“; that he was living at 320 W. Fourth, Gary, Indiana; that he was a “mill worker at a steel company“; and that he had a “wife and child” – also that he only had one eye.

By the 1920 Census the family were in Gary Ward 2 – John was now an operator at a steel mill, indicating he was born in “Newfoundland“. On 26 September 1930 John Anstey remarried Mildred Marie Bristow in Lake, Indiana, and they had children:

  • Dorothy Mae Anstey (b 1932, married Billy Edwin Cooke)

John Anstey also had a son:

  • Jack Anstey (b after 1917, lived in Houston, Texas in 1981)

By the 1940 Census the family were living at Leroy, Winfield Township, Lake, Indiana where John Anstey was a rigger at a steel mill. John Anstey (Jack) died on 5 January 1981 at Leroy, buried at Calumet Park Cemetery Merrillville, Lake County, Indiana, gravestone inscription ” Jack’ John Anstey 1893 – 1981

An obituary published in ‘The Times (Munster, Indiana)‘ on 6 January 1981 states “John Anstey, age 87, of Leroy, Ind., passed away Monday, January 5, 1981 at his home. Survivors: wife, Mildred; one daughter, Mrs. Bill (Dorothy) Cooke of Hebron; two sons, Jack (Vicke) Anstey of Houston, Texas, Claude John (Marjorie) Anstey of Crown Point; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild. Funeral services will be held Thursday, January 8th at 11 a.m. from the Geisen Funeral Home, 109 N. East St., Crown Point with Rev. James Russell officiating. Burial, Calumet Park Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home Wednesday, 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

Frank Anstey (b 1895 Black Island)

Frank Anstey was born on 14 December 1895 at Black Island, Twillingate to parents Job [Joseph] Anstey and Annie Elizabeth Curtis. His father drowned in 1902, and when his mother remarried in the same year Frank, aged seven, was placed with a foster family. Soon after that he emigrated to Massachusetts, America with his foster family. We cannot locate Frank in the 1910 American Census.

According to his ‘Declaration of Intention to Naturalise in the United States‘, which he completed in 1916, at which point he was an unmarried machinist living at 7 Shute Street, Everett, Massachusetts, Frankemigrated to the United States of America from Sydney, Nova Scotia by rail, [his] last foreign residence was Black Island, Newfoundland; [he] arrived at the port of Boston in the State of Massachusetts on or about 1902.”

In the June 1917 Draft Registration for World War One, Frank noted that he was a “single machinist living at Everett, Massachusetts living at 7 Shute Street“. He also noted that he had been “in the Militia branch of the Army for a year“. In fact he had signed up for service on 22 June 1916 with the ‘Massachusetts Volunteer Militia’, which was redesignated as the 104th Infantry Regiment (part of the 26th Division, American Expeditionary Force) when America entered the war in April 1917.

Frank was posted to Company ‘H’, 104th Infantry Regiment, A. E. F. as a mechanic (Service Number: 72751), sailing to Europe with the Division and arriving at Saint-Nazaire, France in September 1917. He remained with them in France throughout the war, taking part in six major campaigns, namely: Chemin Des Dames; Apremont; Campagne-Marne; Aisne Marne; St. Mihiel; and Meuse-Argonne. Whilst in France, “the men of the 104th Infantry Regiment experienced some of the heaviest fighting and suffered the greatest number of casualties of the U.S. 26th Division“.

After the war was over, Frank was given temporary leave in February 1919 in France, thence returning to Massachusetts for demobilisation on 3 May 1919 at Camp Devens. By the 1920 Census Frank was back living in Everett, Massachusetts, still unmarried and boarding with the ‘Capen’ family, working as a “mechanic at a mechanic shop“.

Frank married Helen C. Tomlinson (b 1903) on 18 August 1924 in Everett, Massachusetts (his parents confirmed as Joseph Anstey and Anna Curtis), at which time he was a “28 year old machinist“. They had children:

  • Frank William Anstey (b 1927);
  • Arthur Anstey (b 1930); and
  • Alice Marie Anstey (b 1934)

In the 1930 Census the family was living at Everett, Middlesex, Massachusetts where Frank was an auto mechanic. By the 1940 Census they were living at Stoneham, Middlesex, Massachusetts – he was still a “machinist“.

Frank died in February 1968, a resident of Stoneham, Massachusetts. He was buried in Boston, his gravestone inscription reads “Frank Anstey 1895-1968. His wife Helen C. Anstey 1902-1970

Further Details on the Twillingate Ansteys

#1. There are a few places in and around Twillingate named ‘Anstey – for example Anstey’s Cove by Little Bay Islands, surely named after William Anstey; Anstey’s First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Ponds; Anstey’s Brook near Sprucy Cove; and Anstey’s Road [Lane] in Purcell’s Harbour.

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