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ANSTEE Family Crest / ANSTEE Coat of Arms

ANSTEE Family Crest / ANSTEE Coat of Arms

The surname of ANSTEE was a locational name 'of Ansty' places in Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Wiltshire and Warwick. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as "de", "atte", "by" or "in". The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. The name was also a baptismal name originally rendered from the Greek 'Avotaois' meaning resurrection. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Anstasius de Schirbec, who was documented in London in the year 1188, and Osegood William Abastasie appears in Berkshire in the year 1221. Edward Ansty of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people. Later instances of the name include Anstey Mankyswell, who registered at Oxford University in the year 1520, and Anstey Hicks was documented in Cornwall in 1657. Richard Anstye and Anne Churchley were married in London in 1642 (no church given) and John Anstice married Mary Selby at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1785. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The surname has numerous spellings.


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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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