The Riccarton, New Zealand Ansteys

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

Overview of the Riccarton Ansteys

The Riccarton Ansteys of Christchurch, New Zealand are headed by William Anstey (b 1835). We are currently unable to definitively connect this sub-branch into the Anstey pedigree as we still seek proof of William Anstey‘s birth town.

As far as our research shows, this sub-branch is now probably Anstey-extinct (in correspondence with a Timaru Anstey in 2021, he stated that he “had never heard of any unrelated Ansteys in the South Island since [the early 1900s]“, which does support this conclusion).

William Anstey (b 1835)

William Anstey was born in 1835 in England, though currently we know not where. He emigrated to Australia/New Zealand in September 1852, departing from Bristol on the ship ‘Deborah‘. He was described as “age 17” and a “labourer” and as far as we know he travelled alone. In 1873 in New Zealand William Anstey married Jemima Robinson and they had children:

  • Julia Anstey (b 1874, married Thomas Duckworth in 1901. The ‘Star Christchurch‘ reported on 17 April 1901 “DUCKWORTH-ANSTEY Apr 6th, at the residence of the bride’s parents South West Belt, Thomas, third surviving son of the late Thomas Duckworth of Blackburn, England to Julia, oldest daughter of William Anstey“);
  • William Henry Anstey (b 1875, known as William Junior – see below. He married Emily Clayton in 1909 and was likely living in Spreydon in c1911. In c1917 during New Zealand conscription he was an engine driver living at 126 Edinburgh Street, Spreydon, classified as having three children, who were Ethel Anstey (b 1911); Emily Anstey (b 1912); and Irene Anstey (b 1917). It is unlikely that William Henry Anstey served during World War One. He died in 1957 “aged 82“);
  • John Robinson Anstey (b 1877, a labourer living at 31 Princess Street, Riccarton in c1917 during New Zealand conscription, classified as married with one child. He married Mary Ann and had a daughter Doris Anstey (b 1915). In July 1918 the “appeal for John Robinson Anstey (Dunsandel) classed for Home Service was adjourned sine die“. It is unlikely that John served during World War One. He died in 1948 in Christchurch “aged 71“);
  • Sarah Isabella Anstey (b 1879, died 1880 as reported in the ‘Globe‘ on 24 January 1880 “Anstey—January 19th, Colombo Road, Sydenham, Sarah Isabella, daughter of William and Jemima Anstey, aged 11 months“);
  • Jemima Jane Anstey (b 1881, married Marlborough Lorne in 1906);
  • Emily Matilda Anstey? (b 1882);
  • Charlotte Anstey? (b 1885); and
  • Lucy Anstey (b 1887, likely living in Riccarton in c1911. She married Harold Stanley Clifford Kerr in 1915)

In 1874, William Anstey held a “leasehold” at “Part rural section 76, east side Lincoln road, Heathcote provincial district“. By 1882 he was a “carter” at Addington (presumably already living at Princess Street – see below) and by 1893 he was a farmer in Lower Riccarton near Christchurch. In 1899 according to the ‘Star (Christchurch)‘ “Abusive Language. — William Anstey, snr. and William Anstey, jun. were each fined £1 and costs for using abusive language to Mary Magdalene Hoft on Feb. 13, at Addington“.

In 1901 William Anstey was living at “South West Belt, Christchurch” when his eldest daughter married. In 1907 Jemima Anstey (wife) died “aged 60“, the ‘Lyttleton Times‘ reporting on 12 June 1907 that “ANSTEY.—June 11, at Dudley Street, Lower Riccarton, Jemima, beloved wife of William Anstey; aged sixty years. Safe in the arms of Jesus.” and “FUNERAL NOTICES. The friends of Mr William Anstey are invited to attend the Funeral of his late Wife, Jemima, which will leave his residence, Dudley Street, Lower Riccarton, on Thursday, at a quarter to two, for Addington Cemetery.

By 1911 William Anstey was a gardener at 25 Princess Street Riccarton. In 1913 in ‘The Press‘ 30 July 1913 edition it states that “William Anstey, for thirty years a resident of Princess Street..”.

William Anstey died in July 1918, the ‘Lyttleton Times‘ reporting on 30 July 1918 “ANSTEY: July 29th at the residence of his son 123 Edinburgh Street, Spreydon, William Anstey, aged 84 years, passed peacefully away“.

William Anstey was buried at Addington Cemetery, Christchurch City, Canterbury, New Zealand plot ‘Block 0. Plot 400C‘. “The Friends of the late William Anstey are invited to attend his Funeral, which will leave his late residence, 126 Edinburgh street, Spreydon, on Wednesday, at 2 p.m., for Addington Cemetery” per ‘The Press‘ 30 July 1918 edition.

Further Details on the Riccarton Ansteys

#1. Samuel Anstey, who was living in Wairarapa Terrace in Riccarton, Christchurch in 1893, is not of this sub-branch – he is a Tywardreath Anstey.

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