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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


Buttram is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. Buttram is a name that comes from the Germanic personal name Bertram, which is composed of the elements berht, meaning "bright" or "famous," and hrabn, meaning "raven."

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The surname Buttram was first found in Northumberland where "William de Bertram, the son or grandson of the Norman soldier, founded the Augustinian Priory of Brinkburn. His descendants - the Bertrams of Mitford castle, were potent feudal lords, distinguished in the Scottish wars and baronial contests. The last male heir, Roger Bertram, second Baron Bertram, died 1311." [1] Bertrannus was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. [2] The History of Northumberland lists Richard Bertam as holding lands there in 1168 and Berteram le Barbur was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of Shropshire in 1273. [3] Another source gives more details about the early influence of the family, specifically in the parish of Mitford. "This manor, in the time of the Saxons, belonged to the family of Mitford, and at the Conquest was part of the possessions of John, lord of Mitford, whose only daughter, Sybil, was married by the Conqueror to Sir Richard Bertram, son of the lord of Dignam, in Normandy. The family of Bertram became very numerous, and acquired large estates in this part of the kingdom, which they retained till the reign of John, when, taking part with the barons against that monarch, their castle here, and also the town, were burnt, and the lands laid waste, by the Flemish allies of the king; the barony, becoming forfeited to the crown, was bestowed upon Philip de Hulcoates. The possessions were subsequently restored by Henry III. to the Bertrams; but after the death of Roger de Bertram in 1242, his son and successor being taken prisoner among the insurgents at Northampton, the castle and estates were seized by the king, and never regained. The castle was taken and dismantled by Alexander, King of Scotland, in 1318." [4] Nunriding a township, in the parish of Mitford, was anciently called Baldwineswood and was home to Roger Bertram who during the reign of Henry II, gave the lands to the Benedictine convent of Hallystone. [4] Another branch of the family was found at Earsdon in Northumberland. "Sir John Bertram, Knt., who died in 1449, possessed of 16 messuages, 14 cottages, 8 acres of meadow, 494 of arable land, 400 of wood, and 300 of moor, in 'Eresdon.'" [4]

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Bertram, Bartram, Battram, Berttram, Beartram, Beertram, Bertrim, Bertrem, Berttrim, Berttrem, Barttrem, Bartrim, Bertrame, Bartramn, Bartramm, Bertramm, Bortram, Bortrem and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Buttram research. Another 431 words (31 lines of text) covering the years 1168, 1296 and 1482 are included under the topic Early Buttram History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Buttram Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Buttram name or one of its variants: John Bertram, who settled in Virginia in 1650; Peter Bertram, who landed in America in 1709; Thomas Bertram, who settled in Texas in 1836. Another Thomas settled in Georgia in 1821.

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  • Maxwell Emmett "Pat" Buttram (1915-1994), American actor, best known for playing the sidekick of Gene Autry and for his role as Mr. Haney in the television series Green Acres
  • H. Dean Buttram Jr. (b. 1950), United States former federal judge, nominated by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama (1998-2002)


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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: J'avance
Motto Translation: I advance.

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  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  6. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  10. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  11. ...

The Buttram Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Buttram 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 April 2016 at 13:01.

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