The Lewisporte, Twillingate Ansteys

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

Overview of the Lewisporte, Twillingate Ansteys

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

Lewisporte Ansteys in McAlpine’s Newfoundland Directory

  • 1898 – Lewisporte
    • ?

Lewisporte Ansteys in 1921 Newfoundland Census

  • Beatrice Anstey (b 1902 – stepdaughter)
    • Henry Freake (b 1863 -stepfather)
    • Annie Freake (b 1874 – mother)
  • John Anstey (b 1862 – head)
    • Maria Anstey (b 1879 – wife)
    • Albert Anstey (b 1895 – son)
    • Ida Watkins (b 1902 – stepdaughter)
    • Abner Watkins (b 1906 – stepson)
    • Amelia Anstey (b 1907 – daughter)
    • Lillian Watkins (b 1909 – stepdaughter)
    • Ena Anstey (b 1915 – daughter)
    • Wesley Anstey (b 1917 – son)
    • Elijah Anstey (b 1921 – son)

John Osmond Anstey (b 1862 Black Island)

John Osmond Anstey was born on 12 December 1862 in Black Island Tickle to William Anstey and Agnes Osmond?. He was brother to Charles Wesley Anstey (b 1864 Black Island); Caroline Anstey (b 1872 Black Island); and Lydia Anstey (b 1879 Black Island). He married Sarah Jane Weir (b 1869, known as Jane) in 1889 in Black Island and they had children in first Birchy Island and later Lewisporte:

  • Selina Anstey? (b 1892, married Norman Bulger in 1911 in Lewisporte);
  • Hilda Anstey (b 1893, died 1909 Lewisporte);
  • Albert John Anstey (b 1895 Birchy Island – an Anstey Hero, see below);
  • Robert Anstey (b 1897, died 1908);
  • Mary Agnes Anstey (b 1898, died 1907);
  • Wilfred Anstey (b 1900, died 1908);
  • Malcolm Anstey (b 1903 Birchy Island, died 1907);
  • Amelia Anstey (b 1907 Lewisporte, with family in the 1921 Newfoundland Census);

Sarah Jane Anstey died in 1910 in Lewisporte so John Osmond Anstey remarried Maria Watkins (mother of Ida, Abner and Lillian Watkins) in 1911 in Lewisporte, having further children:

  • Ford Anstey? (b 1912, died an infant);
  • Gertrude C. Anstey? (b 1913 Lewisporte, died 1914);
  • Eva [Ena] Anstey (b 1915 Lewisporte, died in Lewisporte on 21 August 1934);
  • Wesley [Westey?] Anstey (b 1917 Lewisporte, married Trixie and was living in Lewisporte in the 1945 Census);
  • Kenneth George Anstey? (b 1920, died an infant); and
  • Elijah Anstey (b 1921 Lewisporte)

In the 1921 Newfoundland Census the family was living in Lewisporte where John Anstey was a farmer. John Osmond Anstey, a “labourer aged 73” died of tuberculosis on 14 October 1933 in Lewisporte. His widow Maria died in Lewisporte in 1938.

Albert John Anstey (b 1895 Birchy Island)

Albert John Anstey was born in Birchy Island on 20 May 1895 to parents John Osmond Anstey and Sarah Jane Weir. He grew up in Lewisporte, living there in c1911, then on 22 November 1917, about three years after the commencement of World War One, he signed up for service at St John’s with the 1st Newfoundland Regiment as a Private (Service Number: 4154). On his Attestation Form Albert wrote that he was a 22 year old unmarried brakeman, of Methodist religion, with next of kin given as his father “John Anstey of Lewisporte” and mother “Jane (dead)“.

On 13 January 1918 during initial training in St Johns, Albert was reprimanded for being “absent from Church parade” (in August 1918 he was also reprimanded for having “a dirty rifle“). He was promoted from Private to Lance Corporal on 23 March 1918; further promoted to Acting Corporal on 8 November 1918; and confirmed as Corporal on 24 May 1919 – all with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

On 28 March 1918 Albert embarked by train from St John’s to Halifax, Nova Scotia, thence sailing to Britain. On his arrival, Albert was posted to the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, which acted as a training unit supplying drafts to the 1st Battalion which was fighting on the Western Front. The 2nd battalion was based first at Barry on the Scottish coast before moving in July 1918 to Hazeley Down Camp near Winchester. Even though it was probably envisaged that Albert would eventually be posted to the front with the 1st Battalion, this never actually happened because his Service Record indicates “no active service“, and Albert himself noted that he “did not at any time serve at the front in an actual theatre of war“.

So the only story of note in Albert‘s war was probably when he caught bronchopneumonia on 22 March 1919 and was hospitalised in Winchester for 39 days. In his Medical Report in May 1919 he confirmed that he had suffered “no disability due to the war“.

Albert returned from England to Newfoundland for demobilisation on 24 June 1919, arriving back on 10 July 1919. He formally demobilised at St John’s on 6 August 1919 with intention to “resume former occupation in Lewisporte“.

For his services Albert received the British War Medal. He was also eligible for the ‘War Service Gratuity’.

Albert married Chatfield Earle, known as Chattie, in 1922 in Lewisporte and they had children Viola Anstey (b 1925); Gladys Isabel Anstey (b 1926); and Oswald Anstey (b 1930). The family were living in Lewisporte in the 1935 Census where Albert was a “baggage man“.

Albert died in Lewisporte in 1975 and his widow Chattie died in 1990, buried at St. Matthew’s United Cemetery (New), Lewisporte.

Ralph Anstey (b 1897 Indian Arm)

Ralph Anstey, an Anstey Hero, was born on 13 June 1897 at Indian Arm to parents Joseph Anstey, a Methodist lumberman and labourer, and Elizabeth Ethel Hillier; he was baptised on 15 August 1897. Ralph is surely connected to the sub-branch of John Anstey (Junior) of Twillingate, though we cannot formally make the connection at present.

[Research Note: We are very confident in this connection because a) Joseph Anstey and Elizabeth were in Indian Arm at the same time as Jonathon Anstey; b) they named a son ‘Lloyd‘, as did John Anstey (Junior); c) Joseph Anstey and Elizabeth were in Hart’s Cove at approximately the same time as John Anstey (Junior); d) Joseph Anstey and Jonathon Anstey were both “lumbermen“; and e) the family moved to Toronto, which is where a ‘Joseph Anstey of Toronto‘ obtained the birth certificate of Joseph Anstey (b 1862) in 1937]

Ralph Anstey had siblings:

  • Edith Annie Anstey (b 1886 Hart’s Cove);
  • Lloyd Anstey (b 8 October 1888 Hart’s Cove, baptised 4 January 1889 Twillingate – visited Halifax, Nova Scotia in c1910. He married Bessie Osbourne [Osmond] in Lewisporte in 1910, having children Maxwell Anstey (b 1911 Lewisporte) and Marina Madge Anstey (b 1915 Campbellton). They were living in Lewisporte in c1911 and then moved to Toronto (presumably pre-1921 as we cannot locate them on the 1921 Newfoundland Census) and Lloyd died in 1953, buried at Prospect Cemetery, Toronto, gravestone inscription reading “ANSTEY: In Loving Memory of Lloyd Anstey …Beloved Husband of Bessie Osmond“. Bessie Osmond Anstey was buried there in 1961);
  • George Douglas Anstey (b 24 May 1890 Hart’s Cove, died an infant);
  • Elda Martha Anstey (b 5 September 1893 Indian Arm); and
  • Lucretia Bennett Anstey (b 30 July 1895 Indian Arm, living in Indian Arm in c1911? She married Louis Danzello Everleigh in 1920 in Toronto – parents confirmed as “Joseph Anstey and Elizabeth Hillier“)

We suppose that Ralph was living in Indian Arm in c1911 though this is unclear. Just over three years after the outbreak of World War One, on 19 November 1917 at St John’s, Ralph signed up for active service with the 1st Newfoundland Regiment as a Private (Service Number: 4133 – initially posted to ‘G’ Company). The ‘Twillingate Sun‘ on 20 November 1917 confirmed this, noting “The following young men offered for the Regiment at Headquarters yesterday: …R. Anstey Lewisporte…”.

On his Attestation Form Ralph noted that he was an unmarried lumberman; that he was Methodist; that he was living in Lewisporte; and that his parents were “Joseph and Elizabeth Anstey“. In December 1917 he embarked at St John’s for England, presumably to join the 2nd Battalion of the Newfoundland Regiment for further training.

On 25 May 1918 Ralph crossed into France from Folkestone with the 1st Battalion of the Newfoundland Regiment, attached to the British Expeditionary Force, joining his unit “in the field” on 31 May 1918. He served “in France and Belgium” throughout the summer and autumn of 1918 until he was admitted to hospital on 26 October 1918 after “contracting an illness [illegible] in Belgium“. He was transferred to the ‘3 Can Sty Hospital Malessese Monastery’ on 31 October 1918; then to ’30 General Hospital’ in Calais on 17 November 1918; then to ’12 Con Dep Aubengue’ on 19 November 1918; until finally being transferred to the regiment base depot in Rouen on 13 December 1918, still with “debility“.

Ralph was released from the British Expeditionary Forces on 20 December 1918, returning to England on the same day, classified as “sick“. He was posted to ‘H’ Company at the battalion depot in Winchester on 22 December 1918.

On 22 May 1919 Ralph sailed from Liverpool back to Newfoundland on the ship ‘Corsican‘, arriving on 1 June 1919 at Headquarters in St John’s. He was demobilised at St John’s on 18 July 1919, intending to “resume former occupation“.

For his services, Ralph was awarded the Victory and British War medals; he was also eligibly for the ‘War Service Gratuity’.

After his demobilisation Ralph became a fisherman, marrying Ettie A. Gillard (b 1899) on 30 June 1920 at Springdale – witnesses were T. J. Dove and Alfrida Gillard.

At some point Ralph and his wife moved to Toronto, though the only evidence we have of this currently is from the ‘Western Star‘ newspaper 1 May 1943 edition where it states “The Gillard family wishes to thank all kind friends and relatives who helped in any way during the illness and at the death of their dear father, John W. Gillard, who passed peacefully away at his home in Corner Brook West on April the 5th…Wreaths:…Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Anstey, Toronto“.

Anybody who knows more of what became of Ralph in Toronto, please contact us at

Further Details on the Lewisporte, Twillingate Ansteys

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