Ansteys in Medieval Censuses

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

There are three well-known proxy medieval ‘censuses’, being:

  • The Hundred Rolls of the late 13th century (effectively a very early form of census, consisting of enquiries into the rights of the Crown over land and property, conducted between 1255 and about 1284);
  • The Lay Subsidy Rolls of the early 1300s (a tax, being a subsidy based on a fraction of the value of moveable goods); and
  • The Poll Tax Returns of 1377 to 1381 (another tax, attempting to shift the basis of taxation from property to the individual, levied on three occasions in 1377, 1379 and 1381).

Throughout our research we have hunted high and low for mention of medieval Ansteys in these three sources, and we continue to search (see for example our appeal for help accessing The Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379, and 1381). Even though these ‘censuses’ are in no way comprehensive, and any genealogical conclusions drawn must necessarily be peppered with warnings, their analysis is a vital part of our medieval Anstey research.

As such, anybody who has knowledge of any missing ‘Anstey’ sightings in these three medieval sources please contact us at

Within all three ‘censuses’ there are multiple transcription issues, and thus deciding whether an entry is a genuine medieval Anstey or an ‘Anstey imposter‘ (ie not a medieval Anstey at all but a similar unconnected surname) is a continuous process. It is therefore important that we also list those who we have filtered out as NOT being part of the medieval Anstey pedigree, as well as those that are. Therefore each list below is split into those that are:

  • Certain or highly likely to be medieval Ansteys; and
  • Unlikely to be medieval Ansteys (ie Anstey imposters).

The lists below are the most updated that we have, they will be printed in the fourth edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry, due for publication next year, subject to demand. In the fourth edition, we also provide detailed information about the lives of each of the medieval Ansteys appearing in each list, as well as how and precisely where they fit into the overall medieval Anstey pedigree emanating from Hubert the Anstey patriarch.

We also provide our reasoning as to why we have rejected those in the list deemed to be Anstey imposters.

Hundred Rolls

Certain or highly likely to be medieval Ansteys:

  • Ric’ de Anesty” of Edmonton, Middlesex
  • Roger de Anesti” of Cambridge
  • Ingenosus de Anesti” of the hundred of Whiteway in Dorset

Unlikely to be medieval Ansteys (ie Anstey imposters):

  • Petro de Anesy” in the Hundred of Sloteford in Berkshire
  • Simon de Aneseye” in the Hundred of Alnestowe in Rutland
  • Heres Rici de Anesye” in the Hundred of Westbury in Wiltshire
  • Will (or Wilf) de Aneyse” in Huntingdonshire
  • Hugh and Roger Ansray or Anfray” in the Hundred of Bampton in Oxon

Lay Subsidy Rolls

Certain or highly likely to be medieval Ansteys:

  • Galfrido de Anesty” 1319, Castle Baynard, London
  • Richard de Anesty”   1332, Long Lawford, Warwickshire
  • William de Ansty”     1332, Warwickshire
  • Robti Aynesti”          1327, Apuldram, Chichester, Sussex
  • John de Ondestye”    1332, Cuckfield, Sussex
  • Edwardo de Ansty”   1327, Dulverton, Somerset
  • Simon de Anestie”   c1280, Clifton, Worcestershire
  • Rob’to de Ansti”        1327, Wanlip, Leicestershire
  • Simon de Ansty”       1327, Glenfield, Leicestershire

Unlikely to be medieval Ansteys (ie Anstey imposters):

  • Radulpho Anstayse” 1327, Wincanton, Somerset
  • Agneta de Anstye”    1332, Middeltone, Wotton, Surrey

Poll Tax Returns

Certain or highly likely to be medieval Ansteys:

  • Johannes atte Anesty”          1379, Cuckfield, Sussex
  • Willelmus Ansty”                   1379, Bowcombe, Hampshire
  • Willelmus Ansty”                   1379, Pailton, Warwickshire
  • Ricardus Ansty”                    1379, Long Lawford, Warwickshire
  • Henricus Ansty”                    1379, Long Lawford, Warwickshire
  • Ricardus Ansty”                    1379, Stoneleigh Hund, Warwickshire
  • Johannes Ansty”                   1379, Finham?, Warwickshire
  • John Ansty” rector                1381, Little Canfield, Middlesex
  • Johannes Ansty”                   1381, Holbeach, Lincolnshire
  • Willelmus Hansty”                1377, Dulverton, Somerset
  • Johanne Ansty”                     1379, Langford, Bedfordshire
  • Johanne Ansty”                     1379, Stoughton, Leicestershire

Unlikely to be medieval Ansteys (ie Anstey imposters):

  • Adam de Ansty”                    1377, Ansty, Wiltshire
  • Edward Anstey”                    1379, Yorkshire
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