Oliver Judson Wiltfong descendants:Information about Edmund Butler
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Edmund Butler (d. date unknown)Edmund Butler93 died date unknown.
Notes for Edmund Butler:
The names of Earls, Dukes, Lords, James, Thomas, and William are so repetitive in the Irish & English Butlers that they become inseparable in many cases.
My family ancestry,documented with historical recordings,definitelystarted with a James Butler.This James is thought to be the same James Butler (1738-1811) as recorded in various "Butler" historical books.That fact has not been proven.
We know definitely that a James Butler was the great-grandfather of Govenor. Butler. The Governor’s grandparents were Thomas Butler & Mary Robinson.The Governor’s father and mother were George W. Butler & Nancy Cristy. All generations repeated after that should be based on known facts within the family.
Miscellaneous English and American History of Butlers can be duplicated from this Edmund's Scrapbook.
* Govenor. Butler stated he came from the "Thomas Line of Greenbrier, Virginia".It is not known if he was referring to the English branch, American Branch, or just Greenbrier's Thomas Butler.It is possible all branches are descended from the Thomas Butler branch from England that settled in Pennsylvania (1748).In the History of the Govenor. it refers to his family's native state as Pennsylvania.
FROM:Houston, Texas Clayton House"Butlers"Book filed under: Gen: 929.2 B987
" The ancient family of Butler claims descent from Walter of Brittany, a relative of William the Conqueror.After the Conquest of England, in 1066, the family was know as Fitz Walters, or the sons of Walter.
The appointment of Theobald FitzWalter to be Hereditary Chief Butler to the English Crown in Ireland, important position at that time, brought about the change of the family name to BUTLER.
Among the early settlers to our shores (US) bearing the name were Richard Butler, who settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1632, Stephen Butler in Connecticut (died 1730) and Thomas Butler in Pennsylvania - in 1748."
"THOMAS BUTLER, (b.1720)- 3rd son of Edmund,. 8th Baron of Dunboyne);
Settled near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 1748, where he purchased large tracts of land and founded the first Episcopal Church (St. John's) in that section. Wife was Eleanor Parker,(Their 3 sons were officers in Continental Army.)"
One of Edmund's descendants may have been the following Richard Butler. This is pure conjecture on my part (Meredith Wiltfong). It does state that the Butlers described in the article were originally from Pennsylvania.
Taken from Article's Page #1"Plantation Parade"a book by Harnett T. Kane
p. 126,127, 130, 131,132,133
Article presented to me (Meredith) by Benne McDonald.
"A Frenchman by the name of Pierre Trepagnier was awarded land in Louisiana, as a Frenchman 'who had distinguished himself for his Hispanic Majesty.Pierre received a highly desirable tract of land reaching from the Mississippi to the marshy edges of Lake Pontchartrain, within easy distance of New Orleans.'
One morning in 1798, Pierre disappeared without a trace. The house of Pierre, 'after temporary occupancy by several owners, came into the possession of newcomers, the Irish-American BUTLERS, people with a habit of good fortune to defeat the evil genius of the place.
RICHARD BUTLER was a son of one of the five Revolutionary heroes the *FIGHTING BUTLERS.* As a victory banquet Lafayette had declared 'When I wish a thing well done, I order a BUTLER to do it.'On the same occasion Washington had toasted them as a 'band of honor.'Born in the tense year of 1777, RICHARD was fated, like most BUTLERS of his day, for a soldier's career.While still a lieutenant of twenty-one he was dispatched with weighty messages from Pittsburg to Natchez on the Mississippi, a dangerous journey over water, forest, and swamp. He completed the round trip of three thousand miles in nine weeks, a remarkable showing for the time. The young sprout liked what he saw of the river borders; in a few years he was back on an army assignment. He married here; his bride was the ward of the Spanish governor at Natchez.
The War of 1812 ending, RICHARD BUTLER resigned from the army and, to the surprise of those who knew him, announced he was going to ba sugar planter. His friends protested: How could he earn a living except by shooting and drilling? RICHARD BUTLER demonstrated the proverbial BUTLER hardheadedness by purchasing the Pierre Trepagnier estate and investing heavily in slaves. Not entirely as an afterthought, he picked a new name for the property: Ormond, from the residence of an ancestor who had been one of the Earls of Ormond.
RICHARD BUTLER's first crops allowed him to increase his holdings in slaves; with his next he expanded up the Mississippi near False River and over toward Natchez. He became a glowing light among the BUTLERS, visited by relatives, deferred to, consulted. Among those who stopped here was old Colonel Thomas Butler, Jr., who found himself in Louisiana on army duty during these years--and also in hot water, a not unusual situation for a peppery BUTLER. He came into full collision with the not less forthright General James Wilkinson, over the matter of his queue.The warriors clashed upon a weighty issue: whether or not BUTLER had to clip the braid at the back of his neck. The General issued his 'roundhead order',; the Colonel did not use the scissors. The General insisted. The Colonel let it be known he was a gentleman; gentlemen had worn the things almost as long as there had been gentlemen. He, BUTLER,had been with Washington at Valley Forge, Monmouth, and Brandywine; further-more, the General's order was illegal, arrogant, and arbitrary. Put more simply--No!
General Wilkinson had COLONEL BUTLER arrested and courtmartialed; the consequence was a reprimand. COLONEL BUTLER still wore his queue. The General thundered and had him arrested a second time. Each man committed the searing of his heart to the records. Wilkinson declared that, by appearing publicly at the command of troops with his braid showing, BUTLER was 'giving an example of disrespect and contempt to the orders and authority of the Commanding General....tending to excite a spirit of sedition and mutiny in the Army of the United States.' He added: 'To prevent trouble, perplexity and further injury to the service, I hope he will leave his tail behind him.' The Colonel kept his tail, and retorted that 'principle must ultimately rise superior to tyranny...Every independent and virtuous American will spurn with contempt such baseness and view it as calculated to destroy the principles and cut as under the sinews of our Government.'
(cont) Page #2.
'President Jefferson's name was drawn in. There were reports that Jefferson would snip off his own queue. BUTLER feared that the President was being persuaded to 'stoop to such an expedient' in order to obtain a verdict against him. He was convinced that the President, if he sliced off his own tail, would be doing to to add his weight to that of the General and to prevent a Congressional investigation!
The old soldier finally wrote 'I have no doubt but that it would be a blessing were the climate and the disease of the City to take me out of the way.' Three months later he was removed in exactly this fashion, dying of yellow fever during a visit to Ormond plantation. He went to his grave still wearing his queue. Some accounts declare that a hole was cut in the coffin so that the braid could hang out, in defiance of Wilkinson to the last moment. Long live liberty and a gentleman's tail!
The years went by at Ormond. In their Creole house the RICHARD BUTLERS lived mush as did their Creole neighbors. They emulated the French about them by taking summer trips to the cool Gulf beaches. In one respect they failed to follow the Frenchmen: they had no children-- but there was still time, they may have believed. They had less time than they thought. The year 1820 brought a fever epidemic, and planters hurried from the vicinity of New Orleans to the Gulf shores. There, at inviting, peaceful Bay St. Louis, the scourge struck hard, taking RICHARD BUTLER, his wife, and their brother. Their house had made good its reputation of misfortune for all who lived in it.
Once more the plantation fell suddenly quiet, and weeping relatives asked what would happen next. For some time the family fortunes had been merging with those of the highspirited CAPTAIN SAMUEL McCUTCHON, a man of the sea turned merchant, who, like his friends the BUTLERS, had moved down from Pennsylvania. One of RICHARD's sisters married the Captain; nine new McCuthons made a rapid appearance, and the McCuthons were soon outnumbering the BUTLERS at Ormond. The place became overcrowded, and Captain Samuel made changes that have led architects and layman to speculate about the structure."
"Ormond also suffered for a half-century. An earlier bit of its history repeated itself. late in the last century the owner was called from his table for what the family thought a routine errand. In the morning they discovered him dangling from the mossy branches of an oak tree, hanged by unknown hands. As in the case of Pierre Trepagnier, an investigation ensued, and again nothing was discovered. It sag lower, its gallery rails awry, its brick turning to powder, Architects thought it beyond repair. Then, a year or so ago, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred W. Brown decided retrieve it. Recently I returned, to see Ormond much as it must have looked in the former days. The sinking sections have been strengthened, the roof restored; the red bricks and whites of the pillars once more have a sheen in the late afternoon. Against the thick clumps of its vegetation Ormond holds serenely to itself. It is one of the best examples I have found of a building snatched for the edge of ruin."
Edited Nov. 1997:
Outline presented by Ms Benne McDonaldOct 1997
People mentioned as having family connections with the Butlers are:
William the Conqueror
St Thomas a Becket( “collateral ancestry”)
W.B. Yeats the Poet( mother was a Butler)
President George Washington
Eleanor de Bohun niece of Edward II
"Journal of the Butler Society" of 1982.Starts on page 174
Article:Gowran Its Connection with the Butler Familyby Margaret M. Phelan
Gowran was a place of importance long before the Norman Invasion and as such is mentioned in many early Irish manuscripts and texts. An early roadway passing through what is now the town of Gowran gave it the name of Ballagh Gowran, or the pass of Gowran. The Kings of Ossory, (Ossory is the ancient diocese almost coterminous with the present county of Kilkenny)may have had a residence here for the ancient writers often refer to them as the Kings of Gowran. In later years, the Butlers, their inheritors were often known, too, as the Lords of Gowran.*1
In the winter of 941, Murcheartagh mac Neill son of High King of Ireland led his army of 1000 men, clad in leathern cloaks through Ireland seeking hostages. They stayed overnight in Gowran and the poet, Cormacan describing this visit says “ the snow was on the ground in the noisy Bealach Gowran”. If there was noise, there must have been people. In other words, Gowran must have been a settled place when it fell to the lot of Theobald FitzWalter, more than 100 years later.
In the share out of the lands following the Norman Invasion, Gowran was granted to Theobald FitzWater, Chief Butler of Ireland who died in 1206, direct ancestor of the Butlers and the Ormond family. The Butlers retained the Manor of Gowran till about the year 1700, a matter of more than 500 years. He, (Theobald) incorporated the town of Gowran and gave part of its rectory to the Knights Templar at Kilmainham (Gowran is found in their possession in 1254).
In 1316 Edward Bruce took the town of Gowran. The reigning Butler had to contend with the invasion.
In 1321 Edmond Butler, Earl of Carrick died in London on his return from a pilgrimage to Compostella and was buried in Gowran on November 10, (eve of St. Martin’s). His son was made Earl of Ormond in 1328.
In 1337 James 1st Earl of Ormond was buried in Gowran (son ofEdmond 1st Earl of Carrick).
In 1385 James 3rd Earl of Ormond built Gowran Castle, near the later 18th century residence of Viscount Clfden. He, who bought Kilkenny Castle in 1391, is buried in Gowran as well as his father and great grandfather, Nothing remains of this castle except a heap of stones. It was destroyed during the Cromwellian attack in 1650.
The Church, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin may be dated to about year 1225 A.D. from its design and architecture. Today it is a ruin, a beautiful ruin with fine architectural detail and sculptures. In length it measures 160 ft. and its windows and doors finely carved, are ornamented with a series of heads, head of men and women. The seven centuries which have elapsed since the building took place cannot dim the interest, variety and dignity of these carvings. Do they represent Butler knights and their ladies?
In both south and north aisles are sepulchral arches which probably held the tombs of the Butlers who must have endowed generously this fine medieval church.*In some of these arches the unusual grave slabs, associated with the 1st Earl of Carrick and his wife Eleanor de Bohun niece of Edward II, may have been placed as well as the two fine Butler tombs in the re-roofed chancel of the church, now used for Church of Ireland service.
It is a strange matter that the Butler grave slabs in Gowran are all uninscribed, we know them only from the coats of arms and from reasonable deductions (which may, of course, be faulty)It is strange too that when the Butlers left Gowran for Kikenny Castle which they did in 1391 ( James 3rd Earl of Ormond bought it), they still came back to Gowran to be buried. This custom prevailed also in 18th century, when the Butlers left Kilcash Castle to live in Kilkenny Castle, they returned Kilcash for burial and their final home.
In the roofed chancel are two fine tombs which we are able to identify as Butlers. The coat of arms, the chief indented, ornaments them both. The first is a magnificent and huge double tombs with two knights in arms lying side by side, blood brothers, perhaps, or maybe, merely brothers in arms. Along the side of the tomb are 5 shields bearing (a) a Latin Cross (b) the Butler arms (c) & (d) arms of the Passion of Our Savior, thecrown of thorns, the seamless garment, the 3 dice etc. These shields are very finely cut and show forth the Butler delight in such delineation’s. Almost all the known Butler tombs in Ossory carry the arms of the passion in great variety and much detail. These two knights are considered to be Butlers of nearby Neigham Castle.*3
The second Butler tomb in the roofed chancel of Gowran church carries a knight in armor too but this time the tomb is surrounded on the 2 long sides by effigies of the 12 apostles and at the east end by 3 figures, one of whom has been identified as St. Thomas a Becket. St. Thomas enjoyed much favor in the Middle Ages and was claimed as a collateral ancestor of the Butlers.
These two table tombs are obviously not in their original positions but must have been placed in the roofed chancel in 1876 when it was made ready for divine service. The idea that they would have occupied the fine sepulchral arches may not meet with everyone’s approval but these arches would have made very fitting frames for the magnificent tombs and are usually reserved for benefactors. The single knight has been suggested by Dr. Edwin C. Rae as being Sir James Butler (died 1487), the father of Piers 8th Earl of Ormond and the father of the illegitimate branch at Neigham.*3a
The two (presumably) Butler slabs in the ruined north aisle have already been noted. These two are the most unusual as well as the most beautiful of the grave slabs here, or indeed, anywhere else in Ossory. Firstly, they are not in armor which was most common, secondly they are carved in low relief and each, the lady and the man stand on a beast, like a serpent. Perhaps they show “good conquering evil”. Both effigies were presumably on the table of an altar tomb but the sides of this tomb are not to be seen.
In the west wall of the church there is a 19th century wall slab to Maria Loughman daughter of Walter Butler Esq. of Kilmogar. This is the last tomb I have been able to discover belonging to any branch of the Butlers.*4
There are 3 Butler castles in the vicinity of Gowran. Paustown, Ballyshwanmore and Neigham. Paulstown is perhaps the most important in the Butler family’s legitimate line. The branch here was founded by Richard Butler, second son of the 3rd Earl of Ormond, James the elder inherited Kikenny Castle. This Richard Butler was born during the visit of Richard II to Kilkenny Castle in 1395 and his line was hereafter known as the Mac Richard Butlers.The following generations married Irish women, and O’Reilly, and O’Carroll and became really the most Irish of the Butlers, this in spite of having an English king, as godfather of the founder of the branch!
Colonel Walter Butler (died 1634) who was involved in the killing Wllenstein, Schiller’s hero, was born a Paulstown castle. The German family of Haimhausen maybe descended from his nephew, Thomas Butler of Clonbough.*5
Ballyshawnmore Castle is very close to Gowran Church and the site James Butler’s Castle of 1385 (hardly half mile away). it is still a very fine tall tower house and the field around it known as the Pigeon Park has or had a dismantled moat. This would indicate a long ago residence, perhaps of the Kings of Ossory before the Normans came or perhaps of the early Bulter habitation. We do not seem to know where they resided before the building of the castle of 1385. It is not known to this writer what branch of the Butlers emanated from Ballyshawnmore. In English it translates as “the town of big John”. It is 15th century in date.
Neigham Castle, about 2 miles distant from Gowran town, is pronounced Nyam. It is still a substantial ruin about 30 feet high but not in as good a condition as either Paulstown or Ballyshawnmore. it was last known to be occupied in 1661. It was built about 1477 by Sir James Butler for his eldest illegitimate son Edmond and remaind in his or his brother Theobald’s family for the next 200 years, and the name Theobald or its Irish equivalent Tibbot appears in generation after generation. Often times were difficult for the Butlers of Neigham but they were well looked after by their cousins and especially by the geat Duke of Ormond. After the Cromwellian wars they were dispossessed but their lands were held for them by the senior branch and even provided an income for John B. Yeats on his marriage. John was father of the poet W.B. Yeats, grandson of Mary Butler of Neigham Castle who married Benjamin Yeats in 1777.*6This marriage took place in Tullamore in a fine house in O’Connell Square, the property of a Mr. Tabbeteau.*7
In the 16th and 17th centuries the Butlers of Neigham were the main illegitimate branch of the family as the Butlers of Paulstown were the main legitimate one. The castles of Neigham and Paulstown are near each other, about 5 miles apart and apparently of equal strength and dignity.
This brief sketch gives something the power of the Butlers in Gowran, their church, their tombs, their residences. Much move could band should be written. They were the representatives of the Norman invasion but they stayed to live amount the Irish, being rarely absentees. In spite of the Statue of Kilkenny ( 1366) they married the Irish and in time were largely intermingled with the native stock. No wonder the name is so widespread today, not merely in Kilkenny but all over Ireland ( and beyond). It still carries much of its ancient dignity.
1. Circuit of Ireland, translated by John O’Donovan published 1841
2. Journal of Royal Society of Antiquaries (J.R.S.A.I.) Vol. 100 for 1970 article by Dr. Edwin C. Rae. page9 et. seq. The Butlers set up a college of 4 priests to pray for their souls- hence “Collegiate Churchof Gowran”.
3. J.R.S.A.I. Vol. 100 as above.
3a.History and antiquities of Diocese of Ossory by William Canon Carrigan Vol. III page 408
4. Gowran by Catherine Drennan Old Kilkenny Review for 1965 ( No. 17) page 52. Mrs. Drennan citestomb of Margaret Butler (married John Bradstreet). who died in 1635. I failed to find tomb.
5. Paulstown Castle by Catherine Drennan Old Kilkenny Review No. 14 for 1962
6. Neigham Castle by Katherine Lanigan Old Kilkenny Review for 1981 page 250.
7. Information from Michael Byrne, Offaly historian Convent View. Tullamore.
8. Besides the specific sources listed above much information was taken from Lord Dunboyne’s“ButlerFamily History” published 1967. Grateful acknowledgment is made to him and many otherunlisted friends. The splendid and beautifully illustrated article by Dr. Edwin C. Rae in J.R.S.A.I. or1970 should be a “must for all Butler historians.
A Portrait after Kneller from the Dunboyne collection of Anne nee Grace wife of Edmund 8th/18th Lord Dunboyne (d. 1732) and mother of the Bishop. see Vol. II page 72is found inthe Scrapbook
The following information was found in Clayton House in Houston, Texas
Presented by a Mrs. W. R. Eckhardt,Jr.,November 9, 1965
Westmoreland Cao., Va."A silver waiter, at one time belonging to the Butler family, and now in the possession of Mr. Lawrence Washington has engraved upon it the arms of Butler and Beckwith,
1st and 4th for Beckwith, 'A chevron between three hindsheads'
2nd & 3rd for Butler, 'A chief indented and get-- saltier with
3 covered cups'.. 'Crest: Our of a plume of ostrichfeathers, a falcon rising, dor Butler......'
Jane Butler, daughter of Calbeb Butler married Augustine Washington.
From-" Old King William Houses and Families"by Charke: page 30:
"Ambrose Edwards married Wealthean Butler....These Butlers claim descent from the Butlers of 'Dunboyne' and 'Ormonde'....most eminent of the Anglo-Norman families in Ireland.
The coat-of arms of the Virginia Butler family is the same and later was quartered with that of the Beckwiths with whom they intermarried. The name of Piercf of Percival is frequently repeated in the descendants and the line is a no ed one....."
Children of Edmund Butler are:
- First Son Butler, d. date unknown.
- Second Son Butler, d. date unknown.
- +Thomas Butler, b. April 06, 1720, Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny, Ireland94, d. 179495.