Buttle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Buttle was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Buttle family lived at Bootle in the suburbs of Liverpool, Lancashire. "The name of this place, formerly written "Bothill," is supposed to be derived from the booths erected on a hill above the town, for the watchmen whose duty it was to light the beacon on its summit, upon the discovery of any ships in the Irish Channel which might appear to threaten a descent upon the coast." [1]

Early Origins of the Buttle family

The surname Buttle was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times. Conjecturally they are descended from Count Roger de Poitou, of Poitou. He was the son of Earl Roger of Poitou, who was one of the Norman nobles in the Battle of Hastings. The name of the hamlet was anciently Boltelai. The Count Poitou (Pictaviens) held Boltelai and numerous other Lordships in Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. He is recorded in the Domesday Book taken in 1086 A.D. "Four thanes at the time of the Domesday Survey held 'Boltelai' as four manors." [1]

This hamlet later became known as Bootle and ironically, at this time there is no record of any habitation known as Liverpool of which Bootle is now a Borough.

Early rolls had few entries for the name. In fact, the first entries were in the 16th century where the Lancashire Wills at Richmond listed: Matthew Bootle, Lancashire, a scrviniman, 1595; and Thomas Bootle, of Tatham, Lancashire, 1598. A few years later, the Preston Guild Rolls listed Thomas Bootell, Lancashire, 1602; and William Bootell, Lancashire, 1602. [2]

Further to the north in Scotland, Buittle is a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcud-bright. "This place is of great antiquity, and there are still some remains of its castle, supposed to have been the principal seat of the ancient lords of Galloway. The parish, of which the name is of very uncertain derivation." [3]

Early History of the Buttle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Buttle research. Another 141 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1592, 1796, 1662 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Buttle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Buttle Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Butil, Butill, Butel, Bootell, Bootle, Buthill and others.

Early Notables of the Buttle family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Buttle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Buttle migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Buttle or a variant listed above:

Buttle Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Margaret Buttle, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [4]
  • Samuel Buttle, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [4]

Australia Buttle migration to Australia +

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

Buttle Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Bridget Buttle, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1849 [5]
  • Thomas Buttle, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1849 [5]
  • Victoria Buttle, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1849 [5]
  • William Buttle, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1849 [5]
  • Mr. Thomas Buttle, English convict who was convicted in Clerkenwell, London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 1st January 1850, arriving in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Buttle 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:

Buttle Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Buttle, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Josephine Willis" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th February 1855 [7]
  • Mr. William Henry Buttle, (b. 1847), aged 23, British ploughman travelling from London aboard the ship "Monarch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1870 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Buttle (post 1700) +

  • Gregory Ellis Buttle (b. 1954), retired American NFL football linebacker for the New York Jets
  • Cecil Frederick Douglas "Cec" Buttle (1906-1988), English cricketer associated with Somerset County Cricket Club
  • Frank Buttle (1878-1953), English solicitor and later clergyman, founder and eponym of Buttle UK, the largest UK charity solely devoted to individual children and young people in desperate need
  • Steve Buttle (1953-2012), English professional midfielder
  • Keith Nicolson Buttle (1900-1973), New Zealand businessman and Mayor of Auckland City from 1957 to 1959
  • Jeffrey Buttle (b. 1982), Canadian bronze medalist figure skater at the 2006 Winter Olympics, 2008 World Champion


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Navarino.htm
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/australasia
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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