This family was of high station in Dorset at a very remote period (its name appearing in the Domesday Book).
As early as the reign of EDWARD I, several of its members represented the borough of Shaftesbury in Parliament.
The pedigree and history, as anciently of Ancketill's Place, near Shaftesbury, and east Aimer, near Sturminster Marshall, and more anciently of Lye, near Wimborne, and represented by Ancketill, of Ancketill's Grove, are given in the 3rd edition of Hutchins' History of Dorset, and there carried down to 1868; the pedigree extends to twenty-three generations, and shows intermarriages with the most distinguished of the old Dorset families.The first ancestor of this line,
The history shows the active part which this family took as Royalists in the time of CHARLES I in Dorset, and that its descendants and representatives in Ireland, when called upon, were not found wanting in devotion to what they considered the right cause.
CAPTAIN OLIVER ANCKETILL JP (1609-66), of Shaftesbury, Dorset, son of William Ancketill, was a Royalist. Captain Ancketill settled in Ireland, in 1636; High Sheriff of Monaghan, 1662.
He acquired lands in the counties of Monaghan and Fermanagh.
The Captain died in 1666 and, on his tombstone, which is in the tower of Monaghan Church, he is called "of Ancketill's Grove," and it is there stated that he was "descendant of the ancient family of Shawstone in Dorsetshire in England."
He married Joan, daughter of John Bulinbroke, of Galway, and left (with a daughter Sarah, who married, in 1660, James Corry, ancestor of the Earl of Belmore), two sons, one of whom, an officer in the army, was killed in Scotland.
The other, his son and successor,
MATTHEW ANCKETILL, of Ancketill's Grove, to whom the Ancketill's Grove estate was confirmed by patent, in the reign of CHARLES II.
In 1688, he collected two troops of horse and three companies of foot, in defence of the protestant cause. He was treacherously killed at Drumbanagher, in 1688, aged 37, after having defeated the Irish. His body was buried at Donagh, County Fermanagh, but subsequently was removed to Glaslough, County Monaghan, with great solemnity, on the building of that church.
He was wedded to Matilda, daughter of Robert Moore, of Ravella and Garvey, County Tyrone, and left (with one daughter), three sons surviving childhood,
WILLIAM, his heir;Mr Ancketill was succeeded by his eldest son,
OLIVER, successor to his brother;
WILLIAM ANCKETILL, of Ancketill's Grove, who dying young and without legitimate issue, was succeeded by his brother,
OLIVER ANCKETILL (1680-c1760), of Ancketill's Grove, MP for the borough of Monaghan.
This gentleman married, in 1716, the Hon Sarah Caulfeild, second daughter of William, 2nd Viscount Charlemont, by Anne Margetson, his wife, only daughter of the Most Rev James Margetson, Lord Archbishop of Armagh.
By this lady, who died in 1742, Mr Anketell (for he adopted that mode of spelling the name) had only one son surviving infancy,
WILLIAM ANKETELL (1724-56), who married, in 1748, Anne, eldest daughter of Charles Coote, of Cootehill, MP for County Cavan.
She was descended from the Lords Coote of Colooney, of which family the Earls of Bellamont were a branch; on its becoming extinct, her brother was created Earl of Bellamont, with precedence according to the first creation, and appointed a Knight of the Bath.
The issue of this marriage were four sons, of whom the youngest,
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL MATTHEW ANKETELL JP (1756-1828) married firstly, Prudentia Martha, daughter of John Corry; and secondly, Mary, daughter of Rev Richard Norris.
In 1776, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, he obtained, for 2,000 Guineas, part of the 57th Regiment to form a Light Company; High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1783; Lieutenant-Colonel, The Monaghan Militia.He lived at Arlington Castle, Portarlington, County Offaly. His only son,
WILLIAM ANKETELL JP DL (1790-1851), of Anketell Grove, County Monaghan, married Sarah, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel John Charles Frederick Waring Maxwell, in 1809.
As of 1828, William Anketell was considered the head of the Ancketill or Anketell family, succeeding his uncle, Charles Anketell. He was High Sheriff in 1830.
They had nine children, of whom the eldest son,
MAJOR MATTHEW JOHN ANKETELL JP DL (1812-70), of Anketell Grove, married Catherine Frances Anne, daughter of David Ker, in 1840. High Sheriff, 1834; major, the Monaghan Militia.
As of 1851, Major Anketell was considered the head of the Anketell family.
Major Anketell's younger brother, William Robert Ancketill JP (1820-89), was given the name of Anketell at birth; captain, the Monaghan Militia. He was an author of novels of Irish life; lived at Quintin Castle, Portaferry, County Down.
Major Anketell had a large family of twelve children; his eldest son, Matthew, died in an equestrian accident.
His third son,
WILLIAM ANCKETILL DL (1851-1931), of Anketell Grove, married Jean Laing, daughter of Robert Falkner, in 1875. He was a violinist; lieutenant, Royal Tyrone Fusiliers.
As of 1872, William Ancketill was considered the head of the Ancketill family, succeeding his brother Matthew David.
In 1874, his name was legally changed to William Ancketill, the family reverted to the original spelling of their patronymic by Deed Poll.
ANKETELL GROVE, near Emyvale, County Monaghan, was originally built by Captain Oliver Ancketill about 1640, on low ground.
His grandson Oliver rebuilt the house on higher ground at the head of the copper beech avenue.
This house was demolished in 1781, when a third dwelling was erected on another site: A two-storey, five-bay, gable-ended main block with a small pediment, joined by curved sweeps to single-storey, two-bay wings.
There are Georgian-Gothic windows in the wings.
The house was extensively remodelled about 1840, boasting an central Italianate attic tower at the centre, which rises from ground level.
The estate was mortgaged by William Anketell, early in 1884, to the Scottish Provident Insurance Association. Mr Anketell had been, by that stage, in financial difficulties.
Scottish Provident began evictions almost at once: The estate was put up for sale in the Encumbered Estates Court in 1886 and the Scottish Provident became absolute owners of the whole estate, with the exception of Anketell Grove House, demesne and three townlands.
In 1899, Scottish Provident received £4,800 in advances from the Government for sales to sixty two tenants.
In 1901, William Anketell received £3,820 for sales to thirty-three tenants (Dublin Gazette, 26th July, 1901, pps 1045-6).
Some time thereafter the Anketells removed to Killyfaddy, near Clogher, County Tyrone.
Anketell Grove was purchased from the Irish Land Commission in 1922 by Patrick McKenna, of Derryhee, nearby.
In 1970, Anketell Grove and ninety acres of land were purchased by Mr Laurence Clerkin, the present owner.
I AM GRATEFUL TO HENRY SKEATH FOR HIS INVALUABLE ASSISTANCE IN THE COMPOSITION OF THIS ARTICLE.
First published in April, 2013.