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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: German, Irish

Where did the Irish Buttler family come from? What is the Irish Buttler family crest and coat of arms? When did the Buttler family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Buttler family history?

The Buttler surname came to Ireland with the Anglo- Norman invasion of the 12th century, led by the forces of Strongbow. The surname came from a common occupational name for a wine steward or the chief servant of a medieval household. In royal households, the title denoted a high-ranking officer whose duties as a wine steward were merely nominal. Occupational surnames, such as Buttler were much quite common to the Anglo-Norman culture, and virtually unknown in Gaelic Irish. The prefix le, meaning the, in French was often used by the early Strongbownians to link a person's first and name and surname. Eventually these prefixes were dropped or became fused onto the beginning of the surname. The surname Buttler is derived from Anglo-French "butuiller," which comes from the Old French word "bouteillier." These words are ultimately derived from the Latin words "buticularius," and "buticula," which mean "bottle." The Gaelic form of the surname Buttler is de Buitléir.

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Church officials and medieval scribes spelled names as they sounded; therefore, single person, could have his name spelt many different ways during their lifetime. While investigating the origins of the name Buttler, many spelling variations were encountered, including: Butler, Buttler, McRichard and others.

First found in the ancient territory of Ormond (now parts of County Kilkenny, Wexford and north Tipperary). The first on record was Theobald FitzWalter, a distinguished Norman noble who accompanied Strongbow and was created the Chief Butler of Ireland in 1177. His descendents began to use the surname around the year 1220. His direct descendant became Earl of Ormond in 1328 and their stronghold was Kilkenny castle. The family were rivals of the powerful Fitzgeralds and their kin, and the effective government of Ireland was held by one or the other of these two great Norman houses until the death of the Great Duke of Ormond in 1688. Many members of the family were ardent Jacobites, including the Abbé James Butler of Nantes, who was chaplain to "Bonnie Prince Charlie" during the last Jacobite uprising of 1745.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Buttler research. Another 261 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1359, 1405, 1382, 1391, 1386, 1384, 1392, 1401, 1388, 1389, 1397, 1390, 1467, 1539, 1496, 1546, 1531, 1614, 1601, 1653, 1650, 1627, 1667, 1652, 1740, 1704 and 1745 are included under the topic Early Buttler History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 535 words(38 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Buttler Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Buttler:

Buttler Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Jo Buttler, aged 50, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • William Buttler, who landed in Virginia in 1649
  • Henry Buttler, who arrived in Virginia in 1650
  • And Buttler, who landed in Virginia in 1654
  • George Buttler, who arrived in Maryland in 1657


Buttler Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Joan Buttler, who landed in Virginia in 1715
  • Leonhard Buttler, who landed in America in 1782

Buttler Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Eizth Buttler, aged 58, arrived in New York in 1862

Buttler Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • James Buttler, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Buttler, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Justice Buttler, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Margt Buttler, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mary Buttler, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750


Buttler Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Daniel Buttler arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ernestina" in 1865

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  • Joseph Charles "Jos" Buttler (b. 1990), English cricketer


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  1. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  2. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  4. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  5. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  6. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  7. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  8. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  9. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Buttler Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Buttler Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 15 October 2013 at 09:40.

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