The O'Butler 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 O'Butler 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 O'Butler 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 O'Butler is de Buitléir.
Early Origins of the O'Butler family
The surname O'Butler was first found in the ancient territory of Ormond (now parts of County Kilkenny
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. "He also possessed the barony of Amounderness, Lancashire
, which he held in 1165 by service of one knight." CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
"Layton, [Lancashire] is mentioned in the Domesday Survey, and in former times was of some importance as containing a mansion belonging to the ancient family of Botiller or Butler, barons of Warrington." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. His descendents began to use the surname Butler 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. Despite the strong Irish side of the family, the English side remained strong too. Laughton-En-Le-Morthen in the West Riding of Yorkshire was the site of one such family. "Laughton Hall, the ancient seat of the Butler family, is a spacious mansion, commanding extensive views." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the O'Butler family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Butler 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 O'Butler History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Butler Spelling Variations
Names were simply spelled as they sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, his name was often spelt in many different ways, explaining the many spelling variations
encountered while researching the name O'Butler. Some of these variations included: Butler, Buttler, McRichard and others.
Early Notables of the O'Butler family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family up to this time was James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond (1359-1405), noble in the Peerage of Ireland
, title was Governer of Ireland, acceded to the title in 1382 and built Gowran Castle three years later making it his usual residence, purchased Kilkenny
Castle (1391) by deed... Another 226 words (16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Butler Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Butler family to the New World and Oceana
During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families
often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name O'Butler: Christopher Butler who settled in Virginia in 1670; the following, Charles, Daniel, Edward, Elizabeth, George, Giles, James, John, Joseph, Martin, Michael, Patrick, Richard, Thomas and William, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.