The Dyrham Ansteys

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

Note: Access to the biographies of all of the below-listed individuals can now be purchased – see the Anstey Shop for more details

Overview of the Dyrham Ansteys (Code ‘DY’)

The Dyrham Ansteys are the root and principal sub-branch of the South Gloucestershire Ansteys. The sub-branch began when Robert Anstee (DY 1), baptised in Knowstone, Devon in 1624, fought on the side of Sir Ralph Hopton’s Royalist army in 1643 during the English Civil War at the Battle of Lansdowne Hill near Dyrham in South Gloucestershire and settled there, having two sons Robert Anstee (DY 2) and George Anstee (DY 3).

There are numerous sub-branches of the Dyrham Ansteys in existence today – those that we have commenced uploading include the:

The Dyrham Ansteys and their offshoot sub-branches in existence today have become attached to both the ‘Anstey’ and ‘Anstee’ spellings. In fact, ‘Anstey’ is much more prevalent today, hence they are labelled the ‘Dyrham Ansteys’, even though the early patriarchs were all ‘Anstee’.

The entirety of the Dyrham Anstey pedigree has now been mapped out by researchers Gary and Tom, and is documented in detail in ANSTEY: The Stoke Gifford Branch, the fourth book co-authored by Gary and Tom, the first edition of which was privately printed in September 2019.

Further Details on the Dyrham Ansteys

#1. Ansteys are still going strong in Dyrham over 350 years after they first arrived. Certainly Ansteys were still being baptised at St Peter’s Church in Dyrham in the 1950s and likely much later and one was buried there in 1990 (Percy William John Anstey – see DY 60) and likely later.

#2. The ‘Bristol Mirror‘ on 13 April 1822 reported that Robert Anstee Junior was sentenced to two months imprisonment “for stealing potatoes from E. Matthews of Dyrham and Hinton

#3. William Anstey (b c1794 Hinton) married Elizabeth Webb in Tormarton on 10 October 1840. He was a butcher who moved to Devizes in c1855 and thence went bankrupt. In the 1861 Census they were at 32 Northgate Street Devizes – we find no children of this union. The ‘Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette‘ 18 April 1861 reported “In re Win. Anstie, an Insolvent.-At the last court, Wm. Anstie, a butcher, in Northgate-street, Devizes, filed his petition as an insolvent, and came up to-day for his first examination.— His debts, as stated in his schedule, amounted to £300 9s.9d. ; against which there were sets-off to the amount of £121 : but this schedule, it was subsequently shown, was far from being correct, The insolvent was opposed by most of his principal creditors; Mr. Wittey appearing for the largest on the list (Mr. Gaisford), who was entered as a creditor for £99 ; and Mr. WiLToN of Bath for several others. Mr. RAWLINGS appeared on behalf of the insolvent. Insolvent (examined by Mr. Wittey)-I have been carrying on business as a butcher In Devizes over 6 years. I kept two books of account extending over that period,up to within the last 6months; but since Sept. last I have not kept any books, because they were taken away from me. Mr. Cox and others had them. They met at Moore on the 22d of June following. Can’t recollect whether I represented to Mrs. Moore at the time that i had some money coming to me from Aland, which I would pay her if she would trust me for the lambs. Owe Mr. Hampton 13 for sheep and £6 i borrowed of him on the 2d of March. It is not in my schedule. My wife’s maiden name was Elizabeth Webb. There is no money in the Savings Bank in her name. Never heard of the Savings’ Bank Book Can’t tell how I arrived at Mr. Milsom’s debt of 67 9s 6d entered in my schedule.

Then on 18 July 1861 the same newspaper “In re Wm. Anstie, butcher.-This insolvent, who has been confined in Fisherton Gaol for the last two months, came up again to day in custody of the Governor; and all further opposition being withdrawn, he received his final order, and was set at liberty. Application was made by Mr. RAWLINGS that the governors expenses of two journeys to Devizes should be paid out of the estate, as directed by the Act 7 and 8 Vic., which was granted.

Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette‘ 13 November 1862 “Wm. Anstie v. Geo. Lovelock.—The plaintiff in this case is a butcher in Devizes; the defendant, formerly a draper in a small way in Northgate-street, was “sold up” not long since for the benefit of his creditors, and went off to Newbury. He omitted however to make any arrangement with the plaintiff for the payment of 14s. 3d. for butcher’s meat, and hence the present action. -Order made to pay the whole on Tuesday fortnight.

In December 1863 William was again operational, the ‘Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette‘ reporting “Nor must we omit a word in praise of Mr. Anstie, whose shop at the corner Northgate street, contains some very handsome carcasses, and some really prime beef and mutton.

#4. George Anstee (DO 5) of the Doynton Anstees and his family lived in Hinton the Farm, Dyrham from c1870 to at least 1881.

Also see ‘Anstey: A Complete History From the Norman Invasion to World War One‘.

Anybody who finds any mistakes on this page, please contact us at and we will correct them.

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