The Bluff Head Cove, Twillingate Ansteys

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

Overview of the Bluff Head Cove, Twillingate Ansteys

The Bluff Head Cove, Twillingate Ansteys are a sub-division of the Twillingate Ansteys of Newfoundland, Canada, consisting of the Twillingate Anstey families that lived in Bluff Head Cove, Twillingate [see Google map] before or in the 1921 Newfoundland Census.

Bluff Head Cove Ansteys in McAlpine’s Newfoundland Directory

Bluff Head Cove Ansteys in 1921 Newfoundland Census

  • Frederick Anstey (b 1878 – head)
    • Mary Anstey (b 1885 – wife)
    • Louis Anstey (b 1904 – son)
    • Lydia Anstey (b 1906 – daughter)
    • Maggie Anstey (b 1910 – daughter)
    • Samuel Anstey (b 1913 – son)
    • Mary Anstey (b 1915 – daughter)
    • Mable Anstey (b 1918 – daughter)
  • Abel Anstey (b 1878 – head)
    • Lily Anstey (b 1882 – wife)
    • Susan Anstey (b 1854 – widowed mother)
    • Winnifred Anstey (b 1905 – daughter)
    • Arthur Anstey (b 1907 – son)
    • Lilian Anstey (b 1908 – daughter)
    • Alva Anstey (b 1913 – daughter)
    • Chesley M Anstey (b 1921 – son)

Thomas Anstey (b 1851 Twillingate)

Thomas Anstey was born in c1851, likely in Bluff Head Cove – he was Methodist. He married Susan Barnes and they had children in Bluff Head Cove:

  • Frederick Anstey (b 1871 or c1878 – see below);
  • Mary Jane Anstey (b 1874)
  • Abel Anstey (b 1878 – see below)
  • William John Anstey (b 1881, married Margaret S. Knox (b 1883 Scotland) in Boston, Massachusetts in 1908 (parents confirmed as “Thomas Anstey and Susan Barnes“). In the 1910 American Census he was living in Everett, Massachusetts near his brother Abel Anstey. They had at least one daughter Kathron M. Anstey (b 1917). In 1914 he was described as “Mr. W.J. ANSTEY of musical fame, and now in Boston.” In the September 1918 Draft Registration for World War One, William John Anstey was a self employed contractor living at 48 Washington, Malden, Massachusetts. In the 1940 Census the family were living at 48 Washington Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts where William was a painter. William John Anstey died in Malden, Massachusetts in 1974)

In 1898 Thomas Anstey was a fisherman in Bluff Head Cove. He died in 1914, the ‘Twillingate Sun‘ reporting on 19 December 1914 “The death of Thomas ANSTY of Bluff Head Cove occurred Thursday at an advanced age. The late Thos ANSTEY was father of Mr. W.J. ANSTEY of musical fame, and now in Boston.

In the 1921 Newfoundland Census his widow Susan Anstey was living with her son Abel Anstey.

Frederick Anstey (b 1871? Bluff Head Cove)

Frederick Anstey, known as Fred, was born on 18 October 1871, baptised 19 February 1872 in Bluff Head Cove to parents Thomas Anstey and Susan Barnes, though the 1921 Census states that he was born in June 1878 and his death record indicates a 1877 birth. As such we believe that the first ‘Frederick Anstey‘ (b 1871) may have died young, so Thomas Anstey and Susan Barnes then had a second ‘Frederick Anstey‘ (b c1877), though we seek confirmation of that.

Frederick Anstey was a fisherman, and he married Mary Walsh [Welsh]. They had children in Bluff Head Cove:

  • Louis [Lewis] Anstey (b 1904, a mason in 1935 living at Bluff Head Cove with his brother Samuel and sister Amy – still living in Bluff Head Cove in 1945, unmarried);
  • Lydia Anstey (b 1906);
  • Maggie Anstey (b 1910);
  • Samuel Anstey (b 1913, a labourer living with his brother Lewis in the 1935 Census – still living in Bluff Cove in 1945, unmarried);
  • Mary Anstey (b 1915);
  • Mable Anstey (b 1918, probably living with her aunt and uncle James and Elizabeth Troake in Twillingate in the 1935 Census); and
  • Amy Anstey (b 1922, living with her brothers Lewis and Samuel in the 1935 Census)

In c1911 the family were living at Bluff Head Cove. In the 1921 Newfoundland Census Frederick Anstey and his family were living at Bluff Head Cove where he was a fisherman at a cod fishery, religion ‘Salvation Army’. Fred Anstey committed suicide in Bluff Head Cove on 25 July 1927 “aged 50“; he was buried at Bluff Head Cove.

Abel Anstey (b 1878 Bluff Head Cove)

Abel Anstey was born on 17 January 1878 to parents Thomas Anstey and Susan Barnes. He married Lilly [Lilya] Martha Elliot in c1900 and they had children:

  • Arthur Gilman Anstey (b 1903 Massachusetts, died in 1904 in Massachusetts);
  • Winifred Ann Anstey (b 1904 Massachusetts, living with parents in the 1910 USA Census);
  • Arthur William Anstey (b 1906 Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts, living with parents in the 1910 USA Census. He married Phoebe A. In the 1935 Census he was a mason in Bluff Head Cove);
  • Lillian May Anstey (b 1908 Massachusetts, living with parents in the 1910 USA Census);
  • Albert Anstey (b 1909 Twillingate, died an infant);
  • Alva Greta Anstey (b 1912 Twillingate);
  • Maxwell Chesley Anstey (b 1921 Twillingate)

As can be seen by the birth locations of their children, Abel and his wife crossed frequently between Canada and America in the early 1900s. In 1909 when he crossed into Boston Massachusetts he described himself as a ‘carpenter’; bizarrely in 1914 when he crossed he described himself as a ‘cook’.

In the 1910 USA Census the family were living in Everett Ward 5, Massachusetts, where Abel Anstey incorrectly wrote that he was “English, born in England” – however it is clearly the correct family. He noted that they immigrated into America in 1902 and he was a carpenter.

However, they must have soon returned to live in Twillingate because on 17 February 1912 in the ‘Twillingate Sun‘ “A large number of men attended at the Court House on Friday morning when three cases were set for hearing – a case between two residents of Friday’s Bay, the case of Dr. LeDREW vs. Mr. Abel ANSTEY for alleged libel, and that of George PARDY vs. LAMBERT for alleged trespass. The first case called was that of Dr. Le DREW vs. Mr. Abel ANSTEY. Dr. LeDREW’s deposition made before the Magistrate on Feb 5th, stated that on Jan 31st., Abel ANSTEY did say to him, while standing in his front door during a conversation, “You are dishonest, Doctor, and I can prove it.” Abel ANSTEY, asked what he had to say to the charge, denied saying the words quoted, but stated that in reply to something from the Doctor about being honest with him said, “Your are just as dishonest as I am, Doctor, and I can prove it.” Asked by the Magistrate if he (ANSTEY) considered himself an honest man, ANSTEY replied “Yes”, and handed testimonials as to his honesty, from Mr.NOTT, Agent for H.J. EARLE, C.V. SMITH, M.D., W. ASHBOURNE, (per S. LOVERIDGE), and F. LINDFIELD, and stated he could produce others.Dr. I.S. LeDREW (Sworn) produced his notebook in which he had written down, 20 minutes afterwards, the words which he claimed ANSTEY used. That he had asked ANSTEY on the spot to apologise. LeDREW repeated the words which he claimed ANSTEY used “You are dishonest, Doctor, and I can prove it.” and swore thereto. Asked if he had any witnesses to call Doctor LeDREW replied he had not. In reply to questions by the Magistrate, LeDREW said he was called in 1908 to attend Abel ANSTEY’S child, which was sick; for which services he charged ANSTEY $2.00. Asked if he had sent any bill LeDREW replied he did not remember sending any. Abel ANSTEY stated that in 1908 he was in Boston, and that his wife was here, but went to Boston afterwards. When she arrived there, he asked her about the bill, and she wrote to his mother, who said she saw the Doctor, who said it would be all right. Mrs. ANSTEY, (sworn) corroborated this. Abel ANSTEY further stated that on the day in question, Dr. LeDREW came to his house and asked to see his wife. He said she was sick and couldn’t talk to him (Dr.). Some further conversation ensued and the Doctor said to him “Be honest with me,” and he (ANSTEY) replied, “Your are just as dishonest as I am, Doctor, and I can prove it.” During some further questions, ANSTEY stated that last year, his father, who was on Dr. SMITH’s books, was taken very sick. Dr. SMITH was away at Herring Neck and he sent for Dr. LeDREW, who charged him $8.00 and ANSTEY gave him a tenspot. When ANSTEY went for medicine to LeDREW’S surgery, the latter told him there was no change, but that the two dollars was for his attendance on the child in 1908. He (LeDREW) asked ANSTEY if he would give him and his father’s names for $5. ANSTEY would not consent till he had talked over the matter with his wife. Three days later Dr. LeDREW called at ANSTEY’s house and the latter declined to put his name on LeDREW’s books. Lily ANSTEY, wife of Abel ANSTEY, deposed that on Jan 31st., when Dr. LeDREW called, she was on the lounge in the kitchen, and was very sick. The voices of her husband and LeDREW annoyed her somewhat, though she could not hear what was said. The Magistrate said that he had asked these questions in order to try and elucidate something in reference to the case, though they had really no bearing on the matter. He dismissed the case for want of evidence, and stated that he was surprised at a man like Dr. LeDREW, bringing in a case on the mere evidence of what he himself had written in his notebook. Plaintiff LeDREW to pay Court charges.

Abel Anstey and his family were at Bluff Head Cove in the 1921 Newfoundland Census, where Abel was still a carpenter. He died in 1970 in Twillingate.

Further Details on the Bluff Head Cove, Twillingate Ansteys

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