The patriarch of the medieval Ansteys (and indeed almost all Ansteys alive today) is Hubert de Anstey, the first holder and originator of the Anstey surname. Hubert was not born an Anstey, but he became an Anstey during his mid-adulthood, passed his ‘Anstey’ surname onto his children and died an Anstey. We can pinpoint to the year the moment that Hubert’s surname (and therefore also the surname ‘Anstey’) first came into existence ex nihilo, that year being 1143.
Hubert married Agnes de Sackville c1125, and they had two sons, Richard de Anstey and John de Anstey (who head the two major medieval Anstey sub-branches) and a daughter, Maud. A lot is known about Hubert’s life, including the fact that he was Chamberlain to Matilda of Boulogne, wife of King Stephen of England – however by far the most important aspect of his life concerns the events that brought about the birth of our Anstey surname in 1143.
Hubert de Anstey has been extensively researched by G. M. Anstey (Gary) and T. J. Anstey (Tom), the overseers and chief researchers of this ‘Anstey Story‘ project; his life, and the birth of our Anstey surname in 1143, are documented in great detail in Chapter One of their first co-authored book:
‘Anstey: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘