Show ContentsAnstey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

This surname was found in various counties and was derived from the Old English "anstiga" which meant "narrow or lonely track" There are multiple listings in the Domesday Book [1] including: Leicestershire (Anstige), East and West Anstey, Devon (Anestinga) Ansty, Warwickshire (Anestie), Ansty Cross, Higher Ansty, Dorset (Anesty) [2]

Early Origins of the Anstey family

The surname Anstey was first found in Warwickshire at Anstey. "This place is situated on the road from Coventry to Wolvey heath, and thence to Leicester; it was originally called Heanstige, from the Saxon hean, high, and stige, a path-way. " [3]

Significantly the same source notes that Anstey in Leicestershire was "formerly called Hanstigie or Anstige," some one can easily see exact spelling of places did not apply in ancient times. Later the more commonly used today spelling of Anstey prevailed as "in 1376, certain lands, described as 'lying in the fields of Anstey in Wolfdale,' were granted by John Lenerych, of Leicester." [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 continued to show early spellings: Roger de Anesti, Cambridgeshire, 1273; and Richard de Anesty, London. [4]

Early History of the Anstey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Anstey research. Another 240 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1692, 1520, 1657, 1717, 1623, 1724, 1805, 1669, 1669, 1744, 1718, 1669, 1685, 1688, 1702, 1708, 1754, 1708, 1725, 1727, 1736, 1749, 1754, 1724, 1805, 1724, 1742, 1745 and 1723 are included under the topic Early Anstey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Anstey Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Anstey family name include Anstey, Anstie, Ansty, Anstay, Anstee and others.

Early Notables of the Anstey family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Anstis the Elder (1669-1744), was an English officer of arms and antiquarian who became Garter King of Arms in 1718. Born at St. Neots, Cornwall, 28 (or 29) Sept. 1669, he entered Exeter College, Oxford, in 1685, and was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1688. "Of a good family, and possessed of considerable fortune, Anstis was chosen one of the members for St. Germains in 1702. Although a strong Tory, he voted against the bill for the prevention of occasional conformity, which caused his name to appear among the 'tackers' in...
Another 263 words (19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Anstey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Anstey Ranking

In Newfoundland, Canada, the name Anstey is the 160th most popular surname with an estimated 245 people with that name. [5]

United States Anstey migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Anstey surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Anstey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Anstey who landed in Philadelphia in 1701 then proceeded westward
Anstey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Anstey in Vere Island in 1830
  • Mrs. Mary Anstey, (b. 1852), aged 47, American , returning from Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 16th September 1899 en route to New York, USA [6]

Canada Anstey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Anstey Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Anstey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

Australia Anstey migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Anstey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Anstey, (b. 1831), aged 22, Cornish agricultural labourer, from St. Gluvias, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Ellenborough" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 12th October 1853 [8]
  • Mrs. Fanny Anstey, (b. 1825), aged 28, Cornish settler, from Penryn, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Ellenborough" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 12th October 1853 [8]
  • Caroline Anstey, aged 18, a maid, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Melbourne"

Contemporary Notables of the name Anstey (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Chisholm Anstey (1816-1873), English lawyer and politician, Attorney General of Hong Kong [9]
  • John Anstey (d. 1819), English poet and barrister of Lincoln's Inn and a commissioner for auditing public accounts, second son of Christopher Anstey [9]
  • Christopher Anstey (1724-1805), English writer and poet, known for his New Bath Guide, the only son of the Rev. Christopher Anstey, D.D., of Brinkley in Cambridgeshire [9]
  • F. Anstey (1856-1934), pseudonym for Thomas Anstey Guthrie, an English novelist and journalist
  • Brendel Anstey (1887-1933), English footballer who played for Aston Villa and Leicester City from 1911 to 1919
  • Edgar Anstey OBE (1907-1987), British documentary film-maker
  • Bruce Anstey MNZM (b. 1969), New Zealand professional motorcycle road racer
  • Nigel Anstey, British geophysicist, known for his work in seismic exploration
  • Harry Anstey (1847-1927), Australian prospector and politician; he led the prospecting expedition that discovered gold in the Yilgarn leading to the gold rush that established Western Australia's Eastern Goldfields
  • Francis George "Frank" Anstey (1865-1940), Australian politician who served 38 years as a Labor member of the Victorian and Commonwealth parliaments, Member of the Australian Parliament for Bourke (1910-1934)
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Peter Robert Anstey (b. 1924), English Boy 1st Class from Budleigh Salterton, Devon, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and died in the sinking [10]

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  6. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  7. Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  8. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  9. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 17 Apr. 2019
  10. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook