Medieval Anstey Population Numbers

by Gary. M. Anstey, chief researcher of the Anstey story project.

Throughout our research we have done a lot of work in trying to establish medieval Anstey population numbers at various points in our history. In each of the editions of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry, we provide updated estimates and we shall do so again in the fourth edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry, when it is published. According to our research, the figures that we present below for the surname ‘Anstey’ (and equivalent spellings) are accurate:

  • pre-1143: The population of medieval Ansteys worldwide was ZERO, as the surname had not yet come into being.
  • 1143: The population of medieval Ansteys worldwide was FIVE, being Hubert, Agnes, Richard, John and a daughter – they all resided in England.
  • c1160: After remaining at FIVE or below (depending on when Hubert and Agnes died), the medieval Anstey population worldwide gradually began to grow from c1160 onwards as Richard and John married and had children – they all resided in England.
  • 1225: Richard‘s descendent sub-branch became Anstey-extinct, leaving all medieval Ansteys alive worldwide (numbering around TWENTY and all residing in England) being descendent from Hubert and his son John.
  • 1250: in the fourth edition of our first book we note that the global population of Ansteys in c1250 was approximately THIRTY, including wives and children, all residing in England.
  • 1280: in the fourth edition of our first book we note that the global population of Ansteys by 1280 had risen to around the FIFTY mark, including wives and children, all residing in England.
  • c1350: The Black Death decimated the population of England, almost cutting it in half. Medieval Anstey population numbers worldwide were likewise drastically reduced, from around ONE HUNDRED back to around SIXTY, all living in England.
  • 1380: in the fourth edition of our first book we note that the global population of Ansteys in 1380 would have been approximately EIGHTY individuals, including wives and children, all residing in England.

Post the medieval period, our estimates for Anstey populations to modern day are as follows:

  • c1600: According to models based on our ‘1600 Parish Register Dataset‘, the worldwide Anstey, Ansty, Anstee and Anstie population in c1600 was around SIX HUNDRED, practically speaking all residing in Britain. All of these Anstey, Ansty, Anstee and Ansties were direct descendants of the medieval Ansteys Hubert and his son John.
  • 1770: According to our best estimates, just over ONE THOUSAND Anstey, Ansty, Anstee and Anstie were alive worldwide, with a very small fraction beginning to migrate abroad, but the overwhelming majority (maybe as high as 98%) still residing in Britain. All of these Ansteys were direct descendants of the medieval Ansteys Hubert and his son John.
  • 1911: We are increasingly very confident that there were very close to THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED Anstey, Ansty, Anstee and Anstie alive worldwide in the period just before World War One, of which around 2,500 were living in the UK. Work is proceeding on mapping all of them to their respective sub-branches – see the 1911 Census page
  • 2022: The population of Anstey, Ansty, Anstee and Anstie alive today worldwide is approximately EIGHT THOUSAND. Of these, around 2,000 live in Britain, with the rest scattered across the world, predominantly in Commonwealth countries. Over seven thousand of these Ansteys are direct descendants of the medieval Ansteys Hubert and his son John; the rest are Ansteys who do not connect to the medieval Anstey pedigree, evolving from other surnames to ‘Anstey’ at some point post-1770.
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