The Coventry Ansteys

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

Overview of the Coventry Ansteys

Most of the Coventry Ansteys of Warwickshire are sub-branches of the Hampton in Arden Ansteys, though we are yet to prove definitively all of the connections, as there are gaps in various parish registers. However, at least one Coventry Anstey sub-branch is connected to the Swanbourne Ansteys, and we have quite a few unconnected ‘jigsaw pieces‘ still to sort.

Unconnected Jigsaw Pieces

Before we document what we know, we list some entries that still need connecting and are currently lying on the side of the almost completed jigsaw that we call the Anstey story.

The earliest we currently find mention of Ansteys in Coventry is a series of marriages between 1731 and 1743. These are likely all members of the same Anstey family, and we are currently searching for their baptismal records, either in Coventry, Hampton in Arden, or another Warwickshire parish. The marriages are:

  • 1731 William Anstey married Mary Watts (probably William Anstey was baptised in 1702 in Hampton in Arden)
  • 1734 (presumably) the same William Anstey married Elizabeth Simpkins
  • 1743 Sarah Anstey (born in 1703) married Thomas Cross at Holy Trinity Coventry

A generation later, from 1764 onwards, we find marriages of perhaps some of William Anstey‘s children (per above) or perhaps members of Hampton in Arden or Coleshill Ansteys (we still seek the connecting evidence):

  • 1764 Mary Anstey married John Carter
  • 1779 Benjamin Ansty was baptised to George and Mary at St Michaels Coventry

We have some burials which may also help us connect the Coventry Ansteys, being:

  • Elizabeth (b 1740) was buried in 1816 at Coventry St Michaels
  • Josh (b 1740) was buried in 1816 in Coventry. Perhaps this should be ‘Joseph‘, possible eldest son of Samuel Anstey of the Coleshill Ansteys??

We also need to connect:

  • In 1808, Thomas Anstey married Elizabeth Kimberley in Coventry; they had a daughter Maria Anstey (b 1811) and a son David Kimberly Anstey (b 1814).

There is an area of Coventry called Foleshill where a Thomas Ansty married Ann Hubbard (b1797) in 1817. She died in 1818 so Thomas Ansty remarried Hannah Packer in 1819 in Foleshill. They had a son William Ansty (b 1819, died an infant) and Hannah Ansty (b 1821 died an infant). They lived at Brikkiln Lane in Foleshill (see below where John Turner Anstey lived in Foleshill – probably a coincidence).

James Anstey (b 1787 Coventry)

We cannot currently connect this gentleman to the wider Anstey pedigree. James Anstey (b 1787 Coventry) married first Mary Wells in Coventry in 1808. They had children:

  • Susannah Anstey (b 1810);
  • Charles Wells Anstey (b 1812, died in 1813)

Mary Anstey died in c1813 so James Anstey (now a “widower“) married Elizabeth Tunnicliffe in 1814 in Coventry Holy Trinity (Ann Anstey was a witness). They had children:

  • James Anstey (b 1817, died an infant?)
  • William Anstey (b 1818 baptised in Smithford St Presbyterian Great Meeting House, Coventry);
  • Caroline Ansty (b 1821);
  • Emma Anstey (b 1824);
  • Elizabeth Ansty (b 1826); and
  • John Ansty (b 1826, an apprentice watchmaker in the 1841 Census. He married Sarah Mulliss in 1846 in Coventry and was living in Spon Street, Coventry in the 1851 Census, a ‘watch jeweller master’. They had children in Coventry Arthur Anstey (b 1848, a watchmaker, married Elizabeth Steane in Coventry in 1874); Jane Helen Anstey (b 1851); Elizabeth Sarah Anstey (b 1854); Walter Anstey (b 1856, married Maria Bullcock (c1861-1921) in Coventry in 1878 and they had children in Coventry William Anstey (b 1881); Walter Anstey (b 30 Aug 1882, emigrated to America and died in 1965 in Massachusetts (his date of birth matches), though the ‘Social Security Death Index‘ says Rhode Island Social Security Number 038-03-7085); Nellie Anstey (b 1885, married “Auckland“) and Robert Anstey (b 1887). In the 1891 Census they were living in Ryley Street, Coventry St Michael, Walter Anstey was a “watch jeweller“. Walter died later in 1891); and John Anstey (b 1864)).

James Anstey and his family were living in Hertford Square, Coventry in the 1841 Census; James Anstey was a “silk dealer?“. In the 1850 Lascelles Directory, “James and Henry Anstey” were “Linen and Woollen Drapers and silk” at Broad Gate, Coventry. By the 1861 Census, James Anstey had remarried to Harriet Revill (b 1819 London, he married her in Coventry in 1857), he was a “silk plush weaver“; they were living in Little Park Street with another son:

  • James Anstey (b 1859, married Martha Swinton in 1882 in Coventry. He was a watchmaker in Coverntry in the 1891 Census. They had children in Coventry Winifred Harriet Anstey (b 1883, known as Winnie); George Anstey (b 1884, a Canada Anstey Pioneer, he emigrated to Canada in 1913 and married Ruth Annette Simister in 1914 in Sidney, British Columbia (his parents were confirmed as James and Martha and his birthplace Coventry, George was a teacher). They moved to Victoria City, British Columbia where in the 1921 Census they were living at Oakland Road with two children Thomas H. Anstey (b 1918) and David G. Anstey (b 1919) and two of Ruth‘s sisters (George was still a teacher). They also had a son Roger Anstey, and a daughter who married Martin Fowler. George Anstey died in 1966, buried at Royal Oak Burial Park, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada; his widow Ruth was buried with him in 1988. In the ‘Daily Colonist‘ on 1966-8-7 it states “ANSTEY RITES HELD: George Anstey, a man who a fellow teacher says ‘touched the lives of many boys’ died recently at 81. Mr Anstey migrated from Coventry England to Victoria in 1913 and founded the industrial education program in this area. Up till 16 years ago when he retired, he held the post of supervisor of Victoria School District. For a long time Mr Anstey was a director of evening high school here giving much of his time to handicapped people and their craftwork. He also held a number of offices at Emmanuel Baptist Church. Surviving are his widow at the family home 1245 Union, three sons Dr T. H. Anstey director of the Agricultural Science Station at Lethbridge Alta; David G. Anstey of the B. C. Division of adult education; Roger Anstey, an industrial arts teacher at Mount Newton High School and one daughter Mrs Martin Fowler of Victoria. Funeral services were held at Mccall Bros Sunday July 31 with Rev N. K. Archer officiating“); Emily Anstey (b 1888); Frank Anstey (b 1893); William James Anstey (b 1895 known as ‘Willie’); Edith Annie Anstey (b 1897) and Hilda Anstey (b 1899)).

James Anstey (father) died in 1865 in Coventry, buried in London Road Cemetery “aged 78“. Note: the “silk” profession may provide us a link from James to Thomas Anstey (b 1743 Coleshill)?? – see Christian Anstey below

Thomas Anstey (b 1743 Coleshill)

We have not really pieced together this family; what follows is a series of clues awaiting assembly. These ‘Thomas Anstey‘ clues are possibly not even all the same family.

In 1766 Thomas Anstey married Ann Howkins in Coventry. Thomas Anstey is surely of the Coleshill Ansteys, born 1743.

In 1776 Joseph Ansty was baptised to Thomas Ansty and Elizabeth (Joseph likely married Ann Crabdon in Coventry in 1803). Thomas Ansty and Elizabeth also had children Ambrose Ansty (b 1780, died an infant, and 1784, died 1785) and Christian Ansty (b 1782, a “silk winder“, had an illegitimate daughter Ann Anstey (b 1813 Coventry)). We can only postulate that Thomas Anstey who married in 1766 remarried Elizabeth in c1776?

In 1792 Thomas Anstey of “Coventry, St John the Baptist” married Sarah Rogers. They had children Thomas Ansty (b 1797) and Joseph Ansty (b 1800). This gentleman is likely the son of Thomas Anstey (b 1743) of the Coleshill Ansteys.

Thomas Anstey (b 1743) was buried in 1814 at Coventry St Michaels (this is surely Thomas Anstey of the Coleshill Ansteys).

Edward Anstee (b 1755 Swanbourne)

Edward Anstee was baptised in Swanbourne, Buckinghamshire in 1755 to father Edward Anstee. Edward Anstee (b 1755) married Mary Hughes (died in Potsgrove in 1819 aged 70) in Granborough in 1776 and they moved to Potsgrove, Bedfordshire where they had children in Potsgrove:

  • Edward Ansty (b 1777 – see below);
  • Thomas Ansty (b 1782, died in 1831 in Potsgrove);
  • Sarah Ansty (b 1785);

[Note: Incidentally, Edward‘s brother Thomas Anstee (b 1753 Swanbourne) also moved to Potsgrove, marrying Esther Studds in 1780. They had a son William Anstee who died young in 1782, then Esther died in 1784 in Potsgrove (mistranscribed as ‘Anstead’)]

Edward Anstee (b 1755) was buried in 1825 at Coventry St Michaels as “Edward Ansty age 70” (ie confirming his birth in 1755).

Edward Ansty (b 1777 Potsgrove)

Edward Ansty was born in 1777 in Potsgrove, Bedfordshire to father Edward Anstee of Swanbourne. He married Sarah Huchings [Hutchings?] in Milton Bryan (near Potsgrove) in 1797 and they had children:

  • Martha Anstee (b 1797 Swanbourne, married Samuel Gillings (Jillings) in Coventry in 1820. They had a son William Gillings who according to the ‘Coventry Standard‘ 25 March 1853 “was apprenticed [in 1842] by his father [Samuel Gillings] to his grandfather Edward Ansty of Coventry boot closer for seven years; he served him for about 5 years when he ran away“);
  • Fanny Ansty (b 1800 Milton Bryan);
  • Edward Anstee (b 1806 Woburn, married Ann (probably Ann Doughearty in 1821 in Stafford) and had a child Martha Anstey (b 1824 Potsgove));
  • Thomas Anstee (b ??, married Ann and a child Joseph Anstee (b 1832 Potsgrove));
  • John Anstey (b c1813 Coventry or possibly Harborne, Bedfordshire – see below);
  • William Ansty (b 1814 Coventry – see below);
  • Mary Ann Ansty (b 1816 Coventry);

In the 1841 Census, Edward Anstee (boot closer) and Sarah Anstee were living at Mill Lane, Coventry, with their son William Anstee. In January 1847, Sarah Ansty, “wife of Edward Ansty of Mill Lane, Coventry” died (‘Coventry Herald‘ 15 January 1847 edition). Edward remarried to Hannah (presumably between 1847 and 1851) though we cannot find this marriage entry.

In 1849, Edward Ansty appeared as a witness in the famous ‘Stoneleigh Abbey Case‘ where he stated “My name is Edward Anstey. I live in Coventry and I am a boot closer“. In the 1851 Census, Edward Anstyboot closer born in Woburn [near Potsgrove], Bedfordshire” was living in Coventry Holy Trinity with his second wife Hannah (b 1792 Coventry). Edward Anstee was buried in London Road Cemetery, Coventry in February 1853 “aged 76” living at “New Buildings” in Coventry.

John Anstey (b 1813 Coventry)

John Anstey was born in c1813 in Coventry (or possibly Harborne, Bedfordshire – see below) to father Edward Ansty of the Swanbourne Anstey sub-branch. He married Sarah Turner (whose father was called ‘Hercules‘) in Coventry St John in 1841 (where his father was confirmed as “Edward Anstey“). John Anstey, like his father, was also a “boot closer“, confirmed in the 1851 Census. John and Sarah had a fairly large family in Coventry, being:

  • John Turner Anstey (b 1835, a boot closer in the 1851 Census, married Mary Ann Hirons in 1862 in Coventry, where he was a “boot closer from Much Park Street“. They moved to King Street, Bedworth, Foleshill in Warwickshire and had children William Anstey (b 1861); John Anstey (b 1865, married Mary Ann Russell in Leicester in 1887, having, amongst others, a son Harold Anstee (b 1897 Leicester, an Anstey Hero)); Richard Anstey (b 1869); Hercules Anstee (b 1869, married Clara Wheatley in Leicester in 1891); Sarah Anstey (b 1871); and Martha Anstey (b 1872). By the 1881 Census the family had fallen on hard times and were living at Foleshill Union Workhouse, John was still a boot closer. John Turner Anstey likely was buried in London Road Cemetery, Coventry in 1897 “aged 63“);
  • Hercules Turner Anstey (b 1839, must have died young?);
  • Martha Anstey (b 1843);
  • William Anstey (b 1845, a boot closer in the 1861 Census);
  • Sarah Anstey (b 1847);
  • Frances Anstey (b 1848, a “silk filler” living with her parents in the 1881 Census unmarried);
  • Hercules Anstee (b 1850, married Emma Olivia Taylor in 1874 in Coventry, he was a watch cap maker. They had children William Hercules Anstey (b 1876 Coventry); Elizabeth Anstee (b 1877 Coventry); Sarah Elizabeth Anstee (b 1879 Coventry, married John Easterlow [Easterton?] in Coventry in 1905, her brother Joseph Anstee was a witness); Emma Anstee (b 1879 Coventry); Joseph Anstee (b 1881 Kidderminster) and Edward Anstee (b 1881 Kidderminster). By the 1881 Census Hercules was again “single“, living with his parents in Coventry but by the 1901 Census Hercules was back living with Emma and most of his children in Coventry. Hercules Anstee was buried in London Road Cemetery, Coventry in 1926, the gravestone inscription reading “In loving memory of Hercules Anstee died Mar 20 1926 aged 76 also of his wife Emma Olivia died April 25 1925 aged 75. [Urn no 1] Ada Easterlow, Grandchild died Mar 19 1910 aged 4. [Urn no 2] In loving memory of Mum and Dad C.J.L~E.J.L“);
  • Mary Ann Anstey (b 1851, died 1852).

In the 1851 & 1861 Censuses the family were living at St John Street Coventry St Michaels. By the 1881 Census John was a ‘cordwainer’ living at Ct 10 HO, 25, M Park Street, Coventry St Michael with St John. His wife Sarah was a “silk filler“. In the 1891 Census, John Anstee was an inmate at a workhouse – his birth details were given as “1810 in Harborne, Bedfordshire” rather than Coventry, which is certainly possible given some of his siblings were born around there. John Anstey died in 1894, buried at London Road Cemetery in Coventry “age 81” – his residence was given as “workhouse, Coventry“.

William Ansty (b 1814 Coventry)

William Ansty was baptised June 1814 in Coventry, St Michael to father Edward Ansty (“shoemaker“) of the Swanbourne Anstey sub-branch. William Ansty (a “dyer and presser” in the 1841 Census) married Hannah Hinton in Coventry in 1841. By the 1851 Census, William was a “silk dyer” living in West Orchard, Coventry Holy Trinity with Mary Anstey of Dublin, Ireland, together with a daughter Fanny Ansty (b 1851 Coventry, must have died young).

Matters get rather murky here because “Mary Anstey” was certainly “Mary Gamble” for reasons which will become clear, but formal documentation has them marrying a) in Coventry on 11 June 1865 and b) again in Coventry on 15 April 1873 when William Ansty was described as “Dyer, widowed and son of Edward Anstee, boot closer” residing at Hales Street. Furthermore, according to the gravestone inscription (see below), Hannah Anstee did not die until 1863, so our best guess is that William and Hannah separated in c1850, but William Anstee did not ‘officially’ marry Mary Gamble until 1865, even though he was living with her from c1850.

William Anstee and Mary (Gamble) had children in Coventry:

  • Mary Ann Gamble Anstee (b 1851, married Richard Andrews in 1871 in Coventry, witness was her brother John Alexander Gamble Anstee);
  • William John Anstee (b 1853, mother confirmed as Mary Gamble, must have died young);
  • John Alexander Gamble Anstee (b 1853, married Mary Ann York in 1879 in Sparkbrook. In the 1881 Census they were living in Coventry with Mary Ann‘s mother. John Anstee was a watchmaker. They had children in Coventry Sidney Alexander York Anstee (b 1880); Mary Constance Anstee (b 1882); John Garnet Anstee (b 1883); and Jessie Agnes Anstee (b 1885). By 1891 the family had moved to Barrow upon Soar where John Anstee was a chemists assistant);
  • Agnes Anstee (b 1855);
  • Fanny Anstee (b 1857);
  • William Thomas Gamble Anstey (b 1859, married Caroline Lynes in Coventry in 1881);

In the 1861 Census, William Anstee was a “dyer and presser” living with his family at Market Place, Coventry. By the 1871 Census, William Anstee was a widower and dyer living with certain members of his family in Hales Street, Coventry, and in the 1881 Census he was a “dyer and presser” living at Priory Row, Coventry. William Anstee died later in 1881, buried at London Road Cemetery, Coventry, the inscription on his headstone reading “In remembrance of Hannah wife of William Anstee who died Nov 16 1863 aged 42 years. My flesh shall slumber in the ground till the last trumpets joyful sound, and burst the chains with sweet surprise, and in my saviour’s image rise. Also of Mary Ann Andrews wife of Richard Andrews and eldest daughter of William Anstee who died at Dublin Dec 5 1874 aged 23 years. Also of William Anstee who died Aug 24 1881 aged 66 years. Also of Mary Anstee __ [inscription buried] [stonemason] Seager

John Anstey (b 1808 Hampton in Arden)

John Anstey was born in Balsall, Hampton in Arden in 1808 to parents Thomas Anstey and Ann Maynar. He married firstly Elizabeth Docker in Allesley in 1837 (described as “son of Thomas Anstey“), by which time he was living in Bishop Street, Coventry Holy Trinity, a grocer and maltser by trade. John Anstey and Elizabeth had a large family of sons, then when Elizabeth died in 1858 (see below for gravestone details) John remarried to Rebecca Clarke in 1859 in Coventry. John Anstey‘s children (all born in Coventry) were:

  • Elizabeth Anstey (b 1839, with Elizabeth Docker, died in 1841);
  • Ann Anstey (b 1839 died 1849);
  • Thomas Anstey (b 1841, mentioned in his father’s 1869 will as being a “banker’s clerk“. Thomas married Lucy Annie Docker in Coventry in 1874. In the 1881 Census they were living in Coventry, Thomas was a bank cashier. Thomas died in 1882, they appear to have had no children. Executors of Thomas Anstey‘s will were Lucy Annie Anstey (his widow) and “Joseph Anstey draper uncle“. His widow Lucy Annie Anstey was still living in Coventry in the 1911 Census, she died in 1937 – see below for details of Thomas‘s gravestone);
  • John Anstey (b 1842, died an infant);
  • William Anstey (b 1843, a warehouseman in the 1861 Census, he married Emma Elizabeth Bridge in Coventry in 1865. They had children Annie L. Anstey (b 1868 Coventry); Amy G. Anstey (b 1873 West Bromwich); and William Henry Anstey (b 1875 West Bromwich, was “of Coventry, commercial clerk” in 1900 – see below). William Anstey (father) died in West Bromwich in 1900);
  • John Anstey (b 1844, died an infant);
  • Mary Elizabeth Anstey (b 1845, married Charles Ling in 1867 in Coventry);
  • Joseph Anstey (b c1847, was an unmarried draper’s assistant in Rugby in the 1871 Census)
  • John Anstey Junior (b 1848, was a grocer in 1867 living in Kenilworth. He married Fanny Louisa Snape in 1878 in Bilston, Staffordshire and they had children in Bilston and later West Bromwich, Frances M. E. Anstey (b 1880); Arthur Harold Anstey (b 1881 Bilston); Hubert John Anstey (b 1884 Bilston); Joseph Gordon Anstey (b 1885 Bilston); William Leslie Anstey (b 1888 Bilston); Thomas Reginald Anstey (b 1890 West Bromwich, an Anstey Hero); Hilda Mabel Anstey (b 1892 West Bromwich). In the 1901 Census the family were living at Beeches Road, West Bromwich – John Anstey (father) was still a grocer);
  • Sarah Ann Anstey (b 1850, died 1852);
  • Henry Anstey (b 1852, died an infant)
  • John Clarke (b c1856, this was presumably Rebecca Clarke‘s child from a previous relationship);
  • Ann Rebecca Anstey (b 1860 with Rebecca Clarke, died 1865 buried in Coventry, London Road Cemetery. The family were still living at Bishop Street Coventry in 1865);
  • Charles Henry Anstey (b 1863, living in Bishop Street Coventry with his mother in 1871. Charles married Fanny Louisa Morley in 1885 in Coventry and they had children in Coventry Rose E. Anstey (b 1888); Charles Henry Anstey Junior (b 1890, known as ‘Charlie’); Annie Anstey (b 1892); and Albert Edward Anstey (b 1892). Charles Henry Anstey Senior was a “fitter and turner at a motor branch” in 1901. He died in Coventry in 1942);
  • Albert Edward Anstey (b 1868, living in Bishop Street, Coventry with his mother in 1871. He was a “draper of Coventry” in 1900 – see below);

In the 1851 Census, the family were living at Bishop Street, Holy Trinity, Coventry; John Anstey was a grocer. By 1861, John Anstey was a “grocer and maltser“, still living with the family at Bishop Street, Holy Trinity, Coventry. In the ‘Coventry Herald‘ newspaper 17 September 1869 edition, it reported “DEATH: on the 12th instant in the 62nd year of his age, John Anstey of Bishop Street, deeply regretted“. In October 1869, the “substantially built 8 quarter malthouse, situated in West Orchard in the in the city of Coventry and now in the occupation of the executors of the late Mr John Anstey” were advertised to be sold at auction (‘Coventry Standard‘ newspaper 1 October 1869 edition).

John Anstey was buried at London Road Cemetery, Coventry, the inscription on his gravestone reading “In affectionate remembrance of Elizabeth wife of John Anstey who died Feb 9 1858 aged 49 years. Also of John Anstey who died Sep 15 1869 in the 62nd year of his age. Also Thomas Anstey son of the above who died Apr 20th 1882 aged 41 years.

The National Archives (reference PA 202/5/4) gives some interesting information on this family in 1900, where it states: “Appointment of New Trustees whereby, having recited: firstly, that John Anstey (of Coventry, grocer and maltster) by will appointed his wife Rebecca (in 1900 of Coventry, widow), his sons Thomas and William [II] and his brother William [I] executors who should sell his estate and pay the proceeds to Rebecca for life; secondly, that John Anstey died on 15th. Sept., 1869 and that his probate was granted on 27th. Oct., 1869; thirdly, that Thomas Anstey died on 6th. Apr., 1882; fourthly, that William [I] Anstey died on 9th. Nov., 1897; fifthly, that William [II] Anstey died at West Bromwich, Staffs. on 5th. Jan., 1900 intestate; sixthly, that W. [II] Anstey’s administration was granted to Emma Elizabeth Anstey (of West Bromwich, widow) on 3rd. Feb., 1900; seventhly, that the proceeds from the sale of J. Anstey‘s estate were so invested that £1,800 was mortgaged upon Coventry property by an 11th. May, 1897 deed (made by both William Ansteys with Frederick John Harker), whilst £707/17/6 has been deposited with the London and Midland Bank (Coventry branch); and eighthly, that Rebecca Anstey, Albert Edward Anstey (of Coventry, draper) and William Henry Anstey (of Coventry, commercial clerk) have consented to become trustees of W. [II] Anstey‘s estate: therefore Emma Elizabeth Anstey appoints R., Albert Edward and William Henry Anstey trustees.

Further Details on the Coventry Ansteys

#1. In the ‘1826 Coventry Suitors List‘ there were three ‘Ansteys’ listed, being James Ansty, Broadgate, Joseph Ansty Bishop Street, and Joseph Ansty, Cross Cheaping.

#2. Francis Albert Anstey and his family lived in Coventry in the 1920s and 1930s. However he is of the Birmingham Anstey sub-branch.

We are always on the lookout for Coventry Anstey experts alive today who are willing to add their findings and knowledge to this project. We are particularly interested in research regarding Coventry 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 research@theansteystory.com.

We have already uploaded bits of information and documentation about the Coventry 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 ‘Coventry’ 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 research@theansteystory.com and we will correct it.

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