Butts History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Butts comes from the ancient Norman culture that was established in Britain after the Conquest of 1066. It was 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. 
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." 
Early Origins of the Butts family
The surname Butts was first found in the village named Butt in Normandy where William Bot was listed in 1195-1198 . Another source claims the name was derived from "the name of several places in the arrondissement of Falaise."  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.  A few years later, Walter Botte was listed in Oxfordshire in the Rotulus Pipe Rolls in 1189  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. 
Early History of the Butts family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Butts 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 Butts History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Butts Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Butt, But, Butte and others.
Early Notables of the Butts 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 Butts Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Butts family to Ireland
Some of the Butts 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.
Butts migration to the United States +
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Butts or a variant listed above were:
Butts Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Robert Butts, who landed in Virginia in 1640 
- Peter Butts, who arrived in Virginia in 1672 
Butts Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Jacob Butts, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 
- Henry Butts who arrived in Virginia in 1713
- Henry Butts, who arrived in Virginia in 1713 
Butts Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- S Butts, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 
- J P Butts, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 
- John Butts, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1867 
Butts migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Butts Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Aaron Butts, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
- Aaron Butts, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1761
Butts migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Butts Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- William Butts, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1849 
Contemporary Notables of the name Butts (post 1700) +
- Cassandra Quin Butts (1965-2016), American lawyer, Senior Advisor in the Office of the Chief Executive Officer at the Millennium Challenge Corporation
- Captain Samuel Butts (1777-1814), American militia officer, eponym of Butts County, Georgia
- Walter E. Butts, American poet and the Poet Laureate of New Hampshire
- Alfred Mosher Butts (1899-1993), American architect, inventor of the board game Scrabble in 1938
- James Butts (b. 1950), American Olympic athlete
- Calvin O. Butts III (b. 1949), American pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, New York
- Marion Stevenson Butts Jr. (b. 1966), retired professional American NFL football running back
- Charles L. Butts, former member of the Ohio Senate (1975 to 1990)
- Second Lieutenant John E Butts, American officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
- Gerald Michael Butts (b. 1971), Canadian political consultant from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister (2015-2019) and former President and CEO of WWF-Canada (2008-2012)
- ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Related Stories +
The Butts 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
Suggested Readings for the name Butts +
- 1245 "The Butts Family of Rhode Island" by Francis B. Butts.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ 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)
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ 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)
- ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HARPLEY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Harpley.htm