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Sunday, October 7, 2012

This blog is now in print.........

I have self published my blog. I wanted a permanent record of all my research and all the posts contributed by people who were interested in the Butler Family History.Go to and search for Butler Family

Monday, August 27, 2012


Here in the South, we see our cousins as close kin. Maybe it's from years past when people married into other families that lived close by. Many times in my research I found brothers from one family marrying sisters from a neighboring family. Their children were double first cousins and had close connections on both sides. The cousins would have the same grandparents!
Even 2nd and 3rd cousins were kept up with and everyone knew who they were related to and how.
People move so much now that cousins are not involved with each other like they were before.
Call your cousin.write them a letter. Friend them on face book. You will be glad you did.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Birthday of our Nation........

As we celebrate the birthday of our country I wonder what the future holds. All great nations seem to follow a pattern of ascent and then decline. When Zachariah Butler joined the Va. Continental Line at the age of 44 in Sept. of 1780, did he have any idea what lay ahead? A planter from Virginia suddenly having to fight against the most powerful nation in existence. What made them think they could win against polished British troops? No doubt the fighting they copied from Native Americans soon hurt the disciplined troops from England who formed a line and began shooting. Guerrilla warfare started in the American Revolution and finally defeated the British.
I'm proud to be an American. Are we perfect? Of course not. Are we on the other side of the mountain and about to go toward our decline like so many other nations before? I don't know, but it looks that way.
Can we do anything to stop it? I hope so.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Zachariah Butler and his son Joseph.......

I would like to thank Dr. Janice Turner and her brother Larry Butler for their kind help they have given me in my search for my roots. Dr. Turner and I first spoke around 1980 by phone and she was a great help to me. She shared what she had found on the Butler family and was eager to tell me about our rich family history. The following is some added information that I found interesting. Thank you Larry and Janice for sharing with all of us.

The following information was submitted to this site by Dr. Janice Butler Turner and me. Janice was recognized around the CSRA (The counties around Richmond County Georgia) for 20 years. I spent many days pouring over records to try to prove or disprove the few facts that are actually in print about our ancestor Zachariah. We all fall victim to father time and I miss her input and companionship greatly. Larry R. Butler-baby brother

Listed in the "Official History of Elbert County Georgia 1790-1935 by John H. McIntosh. Butler Family Cemetery is located in Fortsonia Ga. right outside of Elberton Ga. on what is now the Dye homestead. When Janice and I were there about 20 years ago there were two Revolutionary War Markers standing. Zachariah and Patrick Butler. We have since heard they have been vandalized and are no longer completely visible. (In November 2011 the Elbert Co. Ga. SAR cleaned up this cemetery and the markers and had a dedication ceremony)

Marriage date from Zachariah family Bible as copied by Randy Butler. This bible information is still debatable but we have no legitimate argument to deny the information found in this book. We would, however like to know where this Bible is now located or if it is still in existence. The 1820 Census does not show a Zachariah Butler in Elbert County Georgia. There are no financial dealings of him and his wife after 1814. He paid taxes in 1814 but is not on the 1817 tax list. There is no male of his age in any of the Butler Households in Elbert County Georgia in 1920. It is out opinion that he dies between 1814 and 1820. He would have been 84 years old in 1820. He bought 700 acres of land in 1811 from a Rich who sold the land the next year. We have to accept that he is alive in 1813 since he shows in a book of Taxpayers 1791-1813, but the entries are not dated. But Rich is paying taxes on land he bought from Zachariah and Zachariah is still listed as owner of adjacent land in 1812 and he is therefore assumed to be alive in 1812

 Nancy Butler born in 1792 is said to be his daughter in some DAR records. She is actually Patrick’s as evidenced by the date of her birth and the naming of her first son.

Have in our possession a copy of microfilm record from Virginia confirming his birth year as 1736 prior to September or 1735 after September. On Sept 2 1780 he was listed as 44 years old five feet four and 1/2 inches tall, with black hair and blue eyes and fair complexion. Listed in Chesterfield House as belonging to Militia and having signed up for eight months in September 1780. Private in Anderson's Company Nelson's Reg Virginia Troops.(Do not know if reg stands for regiment or regular)

In 1782 "Heads of Families" he is in Mecklenburg Virginia in list of Lewis Parham with 9 white in household. So he has a wife and seven in house. James is married and his first child was born in 1782. There is a James in the same tax list not far from Zachariah with 4 in house. Patrick is also married with a child 1782but does not appear near Zachariah in the tax list so he is possibly still at home. This places Zachariah, his wife, Patrick, Joel, Anna, Patrick’s wife and possibly their child.


In "General Indexes to Deeds Mecklenburg Virginia page 77 if found the following. November 3 1784 Zachariah Butler and wife Mary Deed to Joshia Butler (this is in error, it later appears as Joseph), land in Book 6 page 418.So Zachariah was married to Mary at least that early. The index was incorrect, the person was Joseph Butler and the land was 100 acres and sold for 5 shillings of the current money of the county. (This is a very small amount for 100 acres)

We conclude that a Joseph was probably a son of Zachariah. A Joseph marries Frances Oliver in June 9 1783 in Mecklenburg County, but records say he was born in Caroline Virginia. This is not our Joseph

In Book B page 194 Wilkes County Georgia Land Grant. Head right for self and two in family. This was in 1785. We firmly believe there was a son Joseph who stayed in Virginia and kept the family land, simply because of the sum of money paid

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Soldiers' Life.......

So many Butler men and women too have served our country, its about impossible to name them all. Look in your branch and you will find a number of heroes. Here are two. Samuel L. Butler and William Butler. Father of Gary Butler from Tenn. gggrandson of Zachariah Butler and James Butler.
Don't they look dashing in their uniforms. They were part of the "Greatest Generation"
Thank you for everything you did for America. We won't forget.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thanks To You Mom.....

The family history of the Butler family would not be complete without the many mothers and grandmothers that have gone before us. I'm afraid I have been remiss in writing about the many Butler women who helped shape hearth and home over the generations.
Just becoming a mother has always been the nearest to death that many women would come and many did die in childbirth from complications. Many Butler men have more that one set of children because of the death of their first wife and subsequent remarriage. The onset of widowhood would plunge most of our grandmothers in days past into poverty. The children would be considered orphans even if only one parent died. These children were asked to grow up and take adult responsibilities to help the remaining parent. This was a matter of life and death in many cases. The winter food supply being dependant on the harvest of gardens grown by the remaining parent and children.
The civil war was perhaps the most devistating occurence in American history that tested the will to survive of those left after the shooting had stopped. In all my research I have yet to find a single branch of our Butler family that did not suffer the loss of someone through either injury or disease from that terrible conflict.
Martha Garner Butler
Thank you to all the Butler mothers past and present. We appreciate your courage, sacrifice, and love.
Mary Whitley Butler

Lydia Braswell Butler

Georgia Butler

Monday, May 7, 2012

Butler And Naish Connections

Daniel Butler b1794 son of Nathaniel Butler married Martha Naish in Elbert County, her father was John Naish a Revolutionary War Veteran from Mecklenburg Co. Va. Martha's brother Abraham Naish married Mary Elizabeth Butler b1/19/1795 daughter of James Butler and Sally Christopher Butler.
Daniel was my ggggrandfathers brother. So my branch of Butlers is connected to the patriot family of John  Naish.
                  Mary Elizabeth Butler Naish

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Butler Women..........

The women who were born with the Butler name or married Butler men were brave, smart, hardworking, and industrious. Women in the 17th and 18th century had to be survivors. Their work never stopped and the dangers they faced every day tested them almost beyond measure. Childbirth was one of the leading causes of death for young women and we are all here because our grandmothers faced death to become mothers. Sorrow from the high mortality of children weighed heavily on their hearts too. As I researched I found that death of a young child was a frequent event in almost every family.
The Butler women along with their husbands made a life in the new America.
One of them was Elizabeth Francis Butler Dye, The following is a short article about her.              

Madisonian 1919  ELBERTON LADY NEARS 100 YEARS With Clear Mental Vigor and Remarkable Memory Visits Relatives in Morgan County.

 Mrs. Elizabeth Dye, of Elbert County, spent a day and night with Mr. and Mrs. Williford this week. She is a great aunt of Col. Williford, a sister of his grandmother. She was born in Jan. 1822, and will be 98 years old her next birthday. She was born in Elbert County, a daughter of Peter Patrick Butler. Both her grandfather and her great grandfather w ere soldiers in the war of the Revolution and after this war came from Virginia to Elbert and received grants of land. She has personally known many Revolutionary soldiers and those who knew Mrs. Dye has about 60 direct descendants living, four of whom are great great grandchildren. (Something seems to be missing in this sentence, but it is quoted as printed.) Her mind is remarkably clear and she remembers everything whether it happened on yesterday or 90 years ago, in minutest detail. Her knowledge of the family history of the first settlers of Elbert County is wonderful. She has been to Atlanta to visit a grand daughter, coming back by Madison on her way to visit another grand daughter, Mrs. Hugh Boswell, of Penfield, Ga.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Keeping In Touch.......

Mrs. Marta D. Bauman contacted me by e-mail and sent me some information she had on her branch of our Butler tree. She is descended from Patrick Butler b 1760 son of Zachariah b1736. Her ggggrandmother was Elizabeth Francis Butler Dye daughter of Peter Patrick Butler and grand daughter of Patrick Butler, great granddaughter of Zachariah Butler. She was born  Jan 6,1822 in Abbeville S.C. and died Nov 14, 1921 at the home of one of her daughters Mrs. Frank Bell In Elbert Co. Ga. She married George Jackson Dye of Elbert Co. Ga. May 15, 1848. After George's death Sept. 25, 1878, she was left to raise 7 children, George Dye, Newton Dye, Jack Dye, Sallie Dye Moon, Mrs. Frank Bell. Two daughters Mrs. J. E. Campbell, and Mrs. J. T. Alexander died before her. She also had 42 grandchildren, 67 great grandchildren, and 7 gggrand children.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ancestry T V Show..Tells About The Past

Friday night T V just got a little better with the resumption of "Who do you think you are" The show that traces the ancestry of a famous person and tells about a branch of their family. I love this show! Each episode profoundly affects the viewer as well as the person whose story is being told. I found that learning about my family history helped explain more of my own life and why I am who I am. The past lives of our grandparents can impact us today. Think about how your life will affect your children and grandchildren. What is the legacy you want to leave them?
That's me in the front with my arms crossed. My grandfather is standing on the right next to my grandmother. The year was 1957. The tall boy in the back with the crew cut is my cousin Robert. My mother is right behind my grandmother. She looks so young in this picture...A moment in time captured for posterity.
One of the Butler family branches off a very large tree.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Memorial For Zachariah And Patrick Butler

The day was beautiful and the Butler's and related families were awe struck by the moving tribute to our colonial grandfathers.What they did over 250 years ago we can not fully comprehend. How they felt to set foot on their land in Elbert County Georgia for the first time, we can only imagine. The spirit of adventure, self determination and downright courage inspires us. The thought provoking struggles they endured to be free and the masters of their own fate leaves me wondering what has become of us? Have we become so self centered and self indulgent that we have lost their endurance? What can we learn from their willingness to risk all for the chance of liberty? In the forefront we learn of their fight and in the background we see the result of their faith. Soon after securing political freedom they went about exercising their religious freedom. Small churches dot the landscape wherever new towns and farms were born in the new country. Have we become rich in material wealth only to become poor in faith? Can we learn anything from the last few years about depending on that wealth for our security, happiness, and well being? How quickly it faded in the wake of the"great recession". What would happen if we all reflected on the source of a better security? The faith of our colonial grandfathers and grandmothers was in God, and family and friends. We as a country would do well to try that for awhile.

Colonial Soldier

The Colors

The SAR Color Guard

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 And A new Year........

The legacy of our grandfathers and grandmothers follows us today. If they could jump through time and space and see us now, what would they say is the most important task? Could it be to pass along all the admirable traits from them and drop all the destructive ones?
Did you learn kindness from your grandmother? Pass it on. Did you learn determination from a great uncle? Pass it on.
Did you learn to believe in God from your Papa? Please pass it on.
Now what about the rest? Take, envy, greed, or slothfulness and drop them.
Make your generation the best ever. Leave your grandchildren truth, love,and hope.
You can't do better than that.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Colonial Holidays...........

The Virginia observation of Christmas tended towards good fellowship and good eating. The Virginia Almanac for 1772 carried these sentiments on a December page:

This Month much Meat will be roasted in rich Mens Kitchens, the Cooks sweating in making of minced Pies and other Christmas Cheer, and whole Rivers of Punch, Toddy, Wine, Beer, and Cider consumed with drinking. Cards and Dice will be greatly used, to drive away the Tediousness of the long cold Nights; and much Money will be lost at Whist Cribbage and All fours.

In England the custom was for an apprentice to visit each of his master's clients to collect tips for his services throughout the year, the custom apparently was followed in Virginia.

Soon after the Revolution, St. George Tucker of Williamsburg wrote "Christmas Verses for the Printer's Devil":

Now the season for mirth and good eating advances,
Plays, oysters and sheldrakes, balls, mince pies and dances;
Fat pullets, fat turkeys, and fat geese to feed on,
Fat mutton and beef; more by half than you've need on;
Fat pigs and fat hogs, fat cooks and fat venison,
Fat aldermen ready the haunch to lay hands on;
Fat wives and fat daughters, fat husbands and sons,
Fat doctors and parsons, fat lawyers and duns;
What a dancing and fiddling, and gobbling and grunting,
As if Nimrod himself had just come in from hunting!
These all are your comforts—while mine are so small,
I may truly be said to have nothing at all.
I'm a Devil you know, and can't live without fire,
From your doors I can see it, but I dare not come nigher;
Now if you refuse me some wood, or some coal,
I must e'en go and warm, in old Beelzebub's hole;
Next, tho' I'm a devil, I drink and I eat,
Therefore stand in need of some rum, wine and meat;
Some clothes too I want—for I'm blacker than soot,
And a hat, and some shoes, for my horns and my foot;
To supply all these wants, pray good people be civil
And give a few pence to a poor printer's devil.

In 1772, the Virginia Gazette published a letter from “An Old Fellow,” who lived in England. He complained about the “Decay of English Customs and Manners.” After describing the old English Christmas when the kitchen was “the Palace of Plenty, Jollity, and good Eating,” he wrote:

Now mark the Picture of the present Time: Instead of that firm Roast Beef, that fragrant Pudding, our Tables groan with the Luxuries of France and India. Here a lean Fricassee rises in the Room of our majestick Ribs, and there a Scoundrel Syllabub occupies the Place of our well-beloved Home-brewed. The solid Meal gives Way to the slight Repast; and, forgetting that good Eating and good Porter are two great Supporters of Magna Charta and the British Constitution, we open our Hearts and our Mouths to new Fashions in Cookery, which will one Day lead us to Ruin."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Being Thankful....

Make a list of what you are thankful for and you will quickly feel better. First I'm thankful I live in the United States of America. Is our country perfect? Of course not, but I wouldn't live anywhere else.
I'm thankful I live in this time in history. I don't think I would have done very well in the Bronze Age.
I'm thankful I have the choice to worship where I want and the freedom not to.
I choose to worship the creator of our universe and all others (if there are any), the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob,the God of Israel, the Messiah, Jesus the Christ.
He's the only one that makes any sense. He has it all together. (Some of His followers don't, but He does)
Looking back I can see that my life has been a tapestry of starts and stops, and I'm finally starting to see a pattern. When ever I've trusted God, he's never let me down. When I tried to fix things or be in control, things didn't turn out well. I am beginning to understand "The just shall live by Faith"
I am thankful that I am finally learning how to love unconditionally without judgement or criticism. I know my friends and family are very thankful for that.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time Stood Still....11-12-11

Time stood still as around 100 descendants of Zachariah Butler  stopped to pay respects to him and his son Patrick in a small grove of tall poplars and oaks in Elbert County Georgia Saturday, November 12, 2011. As the Georgia SAR Color Guard marched in slow cadence to face the graves of these two Patriots, I marvelled at the meaning of it all.
Just as if on cue from a Hollywood director, a shower of brown leaves from the water oaks in the small circular cemetery began to twirl down around us.
The horses in the pasture just beyond the graves ran back and forth after the 21 gun musket salute, their graceful running breaking the silence.
This beautiful day, I will remember the rest of my life.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Zachariah Butler's land In Elbert Co Ga....

Next Saturday I will be standing on the very land that my colonial grandfather received for his service in the American Revolution. I found a copy of the plat. Located in Elbert County Georgia,  the boundary is marked by the trees along its border. Hickory, pine, dogwood, and oak trees towered above the Butler family when they reached Georgia in 1785. Along the banks of Wachatchee Creek, a branch of the Broad River, they set up camp that summer and started to erect a shelter before the Fall.
I've tried to think what they ate that first year. Living off the land until the first crops could be harvested, they had fish, deer, raccoon, possum, turkey, rabbit, squirrel,and bear for meat. Acorns, muscadines, blackberries, mulberries, paw paws,wild persimmon,wild blueberries,and many other wild vegetation that I don't even know are edible. If they had some chickens and a cow, they had milk and eggs. I don't think a cow could walk all the way to Georgia from Virginia, so maybe they bought or traded for one when they reached Petersburg, Georgia. Petersburg was a settlement that thrived during the 1700's when people were pouring into the state. This settlement is now covered by Clark Hill Reservoir.

 Patrick Butler's Plat

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Freedom .........

Connection between Zachariah Butler, James Butler and Patrick Henry

Our Colonial grandfathers were neighbors of Patrick Henry. Zachariah was the same age and born in the same county (HANOVER) in Va.
 I received an e-mail from Rev Thomas Maxwell of Anderson S.C.
His ancestor Rev Thomas Maxwell of Culpepper VA was defended by Patrick Henry after being arrested and thrown in jail for preaching without a license.  He then came to Elbert Co Ga. With other Va. settlers. Falling Creek Baptist Church was founded by Rev. Maxwell. Some of the Butler family were members there.

 This was the reason the founding fathers included the separation of Church and State in the Constitution. It was to insure the Freedom to worship NOT the Freedom from worship. The State can not tell us which church to belong to. The State can not sponsor a denomination to the exclusion of others. I wonder what Patrick Henry would think about the notion that the State has excluded all worship and discussions of faith from the public square. This seems to me to be an perversion of the original intent of the founding fathers. What if we could freely discuss and learn about all denominations, faiths and religions?  Then each citizen could learn and compare and freely choose what they believed. Instead of expanding our freedoms it seems to me that we have lost some.

Dear Lydia,

You are correct, He started a few others, The cases of the preachers that Patrick Henry and James Madison defended were used to establish religious freedom in Va. 

One of the daughters did marry into the Henry family. The grave of  Rev. Maxwell is about 150 feet from twin line dairy just off old Maxwell farm road. The acts of our elders proved what some men with convictions for God can do. 


Dr. T

On Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 6:15 PM, Lydia Anderson,> wrote:

Dear Dr.T.,

My son and his family live in Westminster on Lake Hartwell. They are members of Foothills Community Church in Seneca.

Patrick Henry defended other pastors as well as Rev. Maxwell. .my Colonial grandfather Zachariah Butler was born the same year and in the same county as Patrick Henry…they were neighbors.

After the Revolutionary War, Rev Maxwell must have come to Ga. with other Va. Settlers. .and Falling Creek was not the only church he started.
I seem to recall he founded other churches in Ga. and Tenn.
Some of his daughters married men with the last name Henry.. but I don’t know if there is a connection to Patrick Henry or not.. that would be interesting for you.

God Bless,
Lydia Butler Anderson

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why Search Into the past?

Why did I start my long investigation into my Butler family tree? It started with a simple question to my father.."What were Papa Butler's grandparents names?" My dad didn't know, and I thought to myself then "I want to find out". Trips to the Atlanta Archives started and many hours of looking at microfilm records. This was before the Internet and just finding a census record was time consuming. The records were hard to find and even harder to read. One good thing about that time was that original records were used to verify information. When you find "facts" on your family tree, make sure there is an original document to back it up. The oldest member of your family is the place to begin. Asking these older family members about your family tree can give you great information that can be lost after they are gone.

After finding everything you can from an older relative you may want to start with census records. The census records give evidence of where families lived and how they migrated. Look for different spellings of both first and last names. I found that census takers sometimes spelled phonetically, so spelling can vary greatly from one census to the next.
Just these two sources will give you a lot of insight into your famly and yourself. Get started and have fun along the way.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Time Change......

The memorial ceremony for Zachariah Butler and his son Patrick Butler is now scheduled for 11:00 am November 12, 2011.

Make plans to attend.

From Elberton GA - on the SE side of Elberton, Go SE on Hwy 72/17 : ......... Hwy 72 and Hwy 17 fork - take the right fork down Hwy 17 and go 7.0 miles from the fork. Just past a large Baptist Church on the left is Dr. George Ward Rd. There is also a CITGO gas station at the intersection. Go left ( East ) on George Ward Rd and drive 2.1 miles and make a left on Bakers Ferry Rd. Go about 200 yards and park.

Off to the West ( 150 yards ) is a large clump of trees in an open field. The Butler graves are in that group of trees.

GPS coordinates are N 34.02630 W 82.75385

Sunday, October 2, 2011

More Information On Zachariah Butler.....

On the Thomas Partridge Store records in Hanover Co Va in 1756 Christopher Butler is named as settling the account of son Zachariah, b.1736. Zachariah is well documented, but Christopher Butler had other children of all ages by these store accounts. While many records from Hanover are missing, Christopher is listed in deed records in 1734-35. While some have tried to say that this Christopher is a son of Joshua Butler and Grace Page the DNA of this group is no where close to the DNA of Zachariah's descendants.
Because of DNA matching we may suspect that James Butler, c1740 who married Winifred Brooks of Hanover and Mecklenburg, may be a brother of Zachariah. James went to Edgefield County SC before the Revolutionary War. The father of Christopher may have been James who immigrated from Ireland in 1703. James came over on the same ship with the same merchant as Edmund Butler in 1706. Edmund's family is well documented and the DNA of Christopher's descendants is a near match for Edmund's, suggesting they may have been brothers or cousins.
The mystery continues and gets better with time.....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Some Faces of Our Past..........

If you have some pictures that you would like posted on this Blog site please e-mail me at

I will post them and any other information about them that you would like to add.

I have thought and wondered many times what I would say to my gggrandparents if I could go back in time and speak to them. Every time I find a picture from the past I try to see some of myself.
 Frances Hogue Butler 1815-1900

 Nathan Butler 1815-1875

Parents of James Marion Butler1838-1896 and Napoleon B. Butler. James fought for the Confederates, Nathan and Napoleon with the Union.
They all survived the war.  Nathan's father Daniel b1794-1878 was my gggrandfather Patrick's brother. Patrick b1799-1880 lost two sons in the of them was my ggrandfather William. b1827-1861

James Marion Butler named one of his sons after his father and grandfather.

                              Nathan Daniel Butler b1872-1960
                              Kate Beard Butler b1873-1953
                              Daughters- Matie, Meryl, Mamie
 Wedding Day

Nathan & Kate with Grandson Jewel Franks