Buts History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Soon after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, the name Buts was recognized on the island as a name for a nickname for the Middle English word butt meaning "thicker end" or "stump," in other words a name for a thickset person. Alternatively the name could have been derived from the Middle English word "butt" or the Old French word "but" which both meant a target or mark for archery. In this latter case, the name would be ascribed to one who lived near archery butts or perhaps an archer. [1]

Saint Buite (d. 521), was the son of Bronach, and was descended from Tadhg, son of Cian, and therefore belonged to the Cianachta. "Buite, with sixty companions, set out for the country of the Picts of Scotland. Here King Nectan, whom he is reported to have raised from the dead, bestowed on him the castrum or fort in which he lived, and the memory of the gift is perpetuated in the name of the place Carbuddo (Cathair-Buiti), near Dun-Nechtain, now Dunnichen, in Forfar. Crossing over Scotland, he reached the Irish Sea, and embarking arrived at Dalriada, in the north of the county of Antrim, the territory of the Cruithni, or Picts of Ireland, of the same race as those among whom he had been labouring. Here having, we are told, raised the king's daughter from the dead, he received a gift of land, on which he built a church." [2]

Early Origins of the Buts family

The surname Buts was first found in the village named Butt in Normandy where William Bot was listed in 1195-1198 [3]. Another source claims the name was derived from "the name of several places in the arrondissement of Falaise." [4] The earliest records of the name in England include Robertus filius But who was listed in 1137 and Godlambus filius But who was listed in Norfolk in 1133-1160. [1] A few years later, Walter Botte was listed in Oxfordshire in the Rotulus Pipe Rolls in 1189 [3] and Roger But who was Viscount of Southampton in 1203 (Magn. Rotulus).

Much further to the north, the Isle of Bute is in the county of Bute, in the Frith of Clyde. [5]

Early History of the Buts family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Buts research. Another 62 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1203, 1486, 1545, 1684, 1748, 1733, 1738, 1738 and 1748 are included under the topic Early Buts History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Buts Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Butt, But, Butte and others.

Early Notables of the Buts family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir William Butts (c.1486-1545), a member of King Henry VIII of England's court who served as the King's physician. Robert Butts (1684-1748), was bishop successively of Norwich 1733-1738, and of Ely 1738-1748...
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Buts Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Buts family to Ireland

Some of the Buts family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Buts migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Buts or a variant listed above:

Buts Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Maria Buts, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850 [6]

Canada Buts migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Buts Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Jan Buts, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1899
  • John Buts, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1899


The Buts Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Possunt quia posse videntur
Motto Translation: They conquer who believe they can


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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