Anstis 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 Anstis family

The surname Anstis 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 Anstis family

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

Anstis Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Anstis have been found, including Anstey, Anstie, Ansty, Anstay, Anstee and others.

Early Notables of the Anstis family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Christopher Anstey (1724-1805), English writer and poet. 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...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Anstis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Anstis migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Anstis, or a variant listed above:

Anstis Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Harold Anstis, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States from Ivybridge, England, in 1911

Australia Anstis migration to Australia +

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

Anstis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Anstis, (b. 1824), aged 19 born in St Germans, Cornwall, UK convicted in Bodmin on 17th October 1843, sentenced for 10 years for stealing a mare, transported aboard the ship "Lord Auckland" in 1844 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Joseph Anstis, (b. 1824), aged 19, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 17th October 1843, sentenced for 10 years for stealing a mare, transported aboard the ship "Lord Auckland" on 13th July 1844 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [6]

New Zealand Anstis migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Anstis Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Anstis, aged 32, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873
  • Charlotte Anstis, aged 31, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873
  • William Anstis, aged 7, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873
  • Edward Anstis, aged 7, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873
  • Alfred Anstis, aged 5, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Anstis (post 1700) +

  • John Anstis the Younger (1708-1754), English officer of arms at the College of Arms, son of John Anstis the Elder (1669–1744), English officer of arms and antiquarian [7]
  • Toby Anstis (b. 1970), British radio and television presenter on the Global Radio-owned Heart network
  • Stuart Anstis, British guitarist and songwriter

HMS Dorsetshire
  • Francis Albert Anstis, British Stoker 1st Class aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [8]


  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. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/tasmanian_convicts_cornish.pdf
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  7. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 17 Apr. 2019
  8. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html


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