The Coventry Ansteys

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

The Coventry Ansteys of Warwickshire are likely a sub-branch of the Hampton in Arden Ansteys, though we are yet to prove that connection. The following analysis is very much work in progress and we are actively on the lookout for Anstey researchers who have already mapped this sub-branch who are willing to share their findings.

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
  • 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 (presumably) William Anstey‘s children (though we have no evidence for that):

  • 1764 Mary Anstey married John Carter
  • 1766 Thomas Anstey married Ann Howkins
  • 1776 Joseph Ansty was baptised to Thomas and Elizabeth (they also had Ambrose b 1780 and 1784, died 1785, and Christian b 1782)
  • 1779 Benjamin Ansty was baptised to George and Mary at St Michaels Coventry
  • 1792 Thomas Anstey of “Coventry, St John the Baptist” married Sarah Rogers. They had children Thomas (b 1797); Joseph (b 1800). This gentleman is likely the son of Thomas who married in 1766.

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

  • Thomas Anstey (b 1744) was buried in 1814 at Coventry St Michaels (this is likely the Thomas who married in 1766)
  • Elizabeth (b 1740) was buried in 1816 at Coventry St Michaels
  • Josh (b 1740) was buried in 1816 in Coventry
  • Edward (b 1755) was buried 1825 at Coventry St Michaels. Edward must have had a son, also Edward (born say c1780), who was a “boot closer” living in Coventry in 1849 (he appeared as a witness in the ‘Stoneleigh Abbey Case‘.) Edward had a son John, born c1813 in Coventry, who married Sarah Turner (whose father was called ‘Hercules’) in Coventry St John in 1841; John was also a “boot closer“. They had at least five sons, some of whom (for example John Turner Anstey b 1842) also had large families packed with sons.

The above are likely also children of William Anstey who married in 1731 and 1734.

In 1803 Joseph Anstey (b 1776 per above) married Ann Crabdon. In 1808 James Anstey married Mary Wells (they had a daughter Susannah b 1810 and a son Charles Wells b 1812 d 1813). Also in 1808, Thomas Anstey married Elizabeth Kimberley (they had a daughter Maria b 1811 and a son David Kimberly b 1814).

James Anstey and Elizabethof Holy Trinity Coventry” had children James (b 1817) and William (b 1818) baptised in Smithford St Presbyterian Great Meeting House, Coventry.

There is another family of Ansteys who lived in Coventry from c1840 onwards. John Anstey (b 1808 in Balsall to Thomas Anstey – possibly the Thomas who married Sarah in 1792 per above) married Elizabeth Docker in Allesley in 1837 and they moved to Coventry, where John became a grocer. They had a large family of sons, then when Elizabeth died John remarried to Rebecca Clark in 1859 in Coventry. We are struggling to definitively connect John (b 1808 in Balsall) as we cannot find any Balsall parish registers at that time, however given that Balsall is a mile from Hampton in Arden, surely he was from that parish.

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.

We are clearly missing a lot of parish register entries to enable us to expand this pedigree. This could well be because there are many possible churches in Coventry to investigate. One thing of note which could help us – it seems to have been a family tradition to name some of the children with the maiden name of the mother.

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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