Now that I have your attention....I'd like to let all who have read thus far.... know that Ireland is definitely NOT the source of the BUTSON name..  (however, we will soon return to this tantalizing Irish connection)... 

The source is England or ....maybe Scandinavia.  More specifically, as Wesley Johnson has written in The Butson Family Newsletter, Issue Number 1, Fall 1979:

"The name Butson is extremely rare. In England, it historically occurs mostly in Somerset, then Devon, and then Cornwall . Only two Butson families are known in Canada, two in the United States, and one in Australia and New Zealand, for example. The name has not been in any of the many books I have searched on English surnames.

The nearest to a derivation found thus far is in John Geipel's "The Viking Legacy." He cites (169) the Domesday Book, the 1086 list of his subjects by the Norman King William, which lists BATSEUN (from the Norse batsveinn=boatswain). Geipel lists this as one of several Domesday references to Scandinavian names derived from occupations. He cites (198) BOESON as similar-. His map (178) of the distribution of English family names ending in -son shows only 2 each originating in Cornwall and Devon and 4 in Somerset; unfortunately the actual names are not given. My work on derivation of the name continues.

The spelling of names, until the recent past, was inconsistent. Thus the Butson families of East Budleigh, Devon show up in White's 1850 directory of Devon as BASTIN. Other possible spellings are numerous and include legitimately distinct names: BOSTON, BUXTON, BOTSON, BOSTON, BATSEN, BATSIN, BUDSEN, BUTTSON, and more. Rare as it is, BUTSON research is difficult because of the many variants."


Added 6/27/2005:


English: patronymic from Butt
  1. English: topographic name for someone who lived near a place used for archery practice, from Middle English butte ‘mark for archery’, ‘target’, ‘goal’. In the Middle Ages archery practice was a feudal obligation, and every settlement had its practice area.
  2. English: topographic name from Middle English butte ‘strip of land abutting on a boundary’, ‘short strip or ridge at right angles to other strips in a common field’.
  3. English: from Middle English butte, bott ‘butt’, ‘cask’, applied as a metonymic occupational name for a cooper or as a nickname possibly for a heavy drinker or for a large, fat man.
  4. English: from a Middle English personal name, But(t), of unknown origin, perhaps originally a nickname meaning ‘short and stumpy’, and akin to late Middle English butt ‘thick end’, ‘stump’, ‘buttock’ (of Germanic origin).
  5. German and English: in both Middle Low German and Middle English the word but(te) denoted various types of marine fish, originally a fish with a blunt head, for example halibut (German Heilbutt) or turbot (German Steinbutt), and the surname may in some cases be a metonymic occupational name for a seller of fish or salt fish.
  6. Kashmiri: variant of Bhatt.

Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4



Added 1/8/2006

"Butson is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Butson family lived in Middlesex, where they were established since the early Middle Ages. The family was originally from the village named Butt in Normandy, France.

Spelling variations include: Butt, But, Butte and others.

First found in Middlesex where they were anciently seated, and were granted lands by William the Conqueror, and recorded in the Domesday Book compiled in 1086.

Some of the first settlers of this name or some of its variants were: Roger Butt who settled in Carbonear, Newfoundland, in 1675; John Butt settled in Conception Bay, Newfoundland, in 1706; Joseph Butt settled in Crockers Bay, Newfoundland, in the same year.

Motto Translated: They are able because they seem to be."

(Note:  Coat of Arms and name source conjecture available at www.houseofnames.com  )

We personally sense the rarity of the Butson name... just by living with it....

How many Butsons out there ever met another Butson, by accident?  Not through a relative or by seeking out another Butson...but by being introduced to someone on the job or when traveling...like a Johnson or Watson would run across a stranger with the same name in the normal course of a day.  Not many, I'll bet.  Ever looked for a "Butson" on the credits for a movie....ever see one?  I didn't think so.

Although born in Canada, I spent 31 years in the American Air Force and traveled all over this wonderful world...and NEVER met another Butson...by accident.  Matter of fact..and truth, I never met another unrelated human being that ever had heard the name before, let alone met a "Butson".  Now that is rare, so rare as to make our namesake kind of unique...in the truest definition of the word.

However, now that we are all part of the Internet, I'll wager a lot of you have been astonished to find that Butsons are now... everywhere.... In almost every state, in lots of countries... But, where did they come from?  Are they related to you and me...are we all somewhat related?  We must be...we're Butsons... and we know how rare the name is... or was, so we must have some connection with each other.. no matter where we are located.

Here's another bit of news... we done good!  There are famous Butsons, ..... writers, scientists, artists,  politicians, Deans of Universities, Doctors, Lawyers and Fire Chiefs,  Revolutionary War Loyalists and Revolutionaries, (Butson fighting Butson!).  Also, plenty of us  have or hope to achieve(d)  the American, Canadian, Australian, South African, New Zealand or British dream.  We've been successful, have good families, are educated, been there, done that, bought the Tee-shirt.

Surprised?  I am.  Because you never hear about us..... no where.  Not in any but our local papers or news outlets.  No national Butson, famous or infamous, seems to come to mind.... not even a bank robber!...... our name is too rare...right?  We do have a convicted double Murderer, though (read Story here), and then there is Butson Point, a northeast glacier of Antarctica mentioned in the book: (Weather: A Visual Guide) by BRUCE BUCKLEY.

on Page 49:
"... katabatic winds down toward the warmer waters of the Southern Ocean, making coastal blizzards a frequent event in places like Butson Point, a northeast glacier of Antarctica. Long, savage and almost perpetually dark winters combine with these hurricane-force winds to make ..."

Well this web site is going to enable all "rare" Butsons to maybe find each other, find out about each other, renew old contacts, meet your "relatives", find out about your ancestors and maybe locate that Butson that drifted away.




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