Notes for John Butler, Sr.: The following is from the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 64, September 1976, Number 3 as photocopied and mailed to me by Jeffrey Butler 13 May 2000. I have quoted the article exactly as it was written except were noted (s2143 to s2148):
This is Part III.
John Butler was born in Lancaster, MA., 24 January 1727/8 and baptized 1 April 1728. (This section of Lancaster became Bolton in 1738.) John was the son of James Butler and his second wife Hannah Wilson. When his father, at about the age of 64, was accidentally killed in 1736, John and his brother Asa and two sisters Merriam and Patience were not yet in their ?teens. Because they were technically ?infants of tender years,? their mother was appointed their guardian, they being called ?children of James Butler, late of Lancaster, yeoman.? On 21 January 1742/3 Jabez Beaman was appointed John?s guardian, at which time John was called ?son of James Butler, late of Lancaster [crossed out to read] Bolton, yeoman.? John grew to manhood surrounded by his numerous older half-brothers and sisters. He may have served at Louisbourg in Col. Moulton?s Regiment of Artificers 23 September 1745, although he would have been only seventeen. Other men in the group had the Lancastrain names of Joseph Fairbank, John Holton, and Reuben Moore. John?s brother-in-law Thomas Littlejohn, husband of his half-sister Mary Butler, is said to have been killed at the Battle of Louisbourg in 1748. John seems to have been so impressed with Thomas Littlejohn that he named his second son Thomas.
About 1752 John married Abigail _____, whose surname is unknown. The birthplace of their first two children is not found recorded. Births of later children were recorded at Leominster in 1756, Harvard in 1757, and Bolton in 1759, 1762, and 1765. In land transactions found at Worcester County courthouse during these years, John Butler was always described as being ?of Bolton.? Because published vital records of the various Massachusetts towns were collected from churches as well as from town halls, it would seem that the Bolton church was without a settled or permanent minister, if indeed it had a church at all. So some births and baptisms were recorded at nearby churches in Leominster and Harvard.
Several land records at the Worcester County courthouse identify John Butler of Bolton. As has been said, on 1 March 1756 he received 1/15th share of his mother?s dower when the property was sold to Josiah Richardson. Several months later, on 15 October 1756, John Butler of Bolton, husbandman, sold to John Pollard of Boston, cooper, for L93.6.8 151 acres of land in Bolton described as follows: ?... one piece containing 108 acres lying in the southside of the third division hill bounding ... partly on land supposed to be common ... west by said Butler?s other land hereafter conveyed ....? This was recorded 11 May 1757. It should be noted that none of these land deeds had records attached to them saying that the wifes or grantors had agreed to give up their dower rights (as was the custom in colonial times). This was true of almost all deeds filed in Worcester County for 50 years before the Revolution.
The above transaction had an interesting sequel. It was subject to a lawsuit (settled 30 May 1761, but not recorded until 8 April 1779) in which John Butler and John Pollard, both ?of Bolton, yeomen,? sued Josiah Wheeler, administrator for the heir of Benjamin Wilson, dec, because ?s?d Benjamin Wilson in his lifetime sold to the s?d John Butler 151 acres of land in Bolton which land falls short 28 acres ... & we the s?d John Butler who bought it of s?d Wilson & John Pollard who now has possession of s?d 151 acres [for the sum of L9.8.0] resign and forever quitclaim [said 28 acres]....
On 29 November 1757 John Butler of Bolton, husbandman, sold to Josiah Lyon of Harvard, husbandman, ?...a certain piece of land situate in Harvard in the northerly part thereof ... northeasterly by the highway leading from Lancaster to Groton through said Harvard by Davenport?s land....? This deed was not recorded until 16 June 1788, 31 years later, after the Revolutionary War.
Around 1766 John and Abigail Butler, with their family of seven sons and one daughter, migrated northwestward to Putney, then called Fulham, Vt., ?Province of New York.? They settled in the section which was later annexed to Dummerston. Their eighth son was born there about 1767. Three more sons followed, the last two being baptized in Fulham church 6 March 1777, not as infants. Their last child was born in 1779.
In 1768 John was definitely living in Fulham (Putney) ?west of the street,? near Andrew Graham, Michael Law, and Dennis Lochlin. He was one of many Vermonters who signed a petition to the Province of New York 1 November 1770, asking that their land titles, originally granted by New Hampshire, be reaffirmed by New York. John signed a second petition 3 December 1770, just in case the first one was lost. Until 1764 Vermont had been claimed by New Hampshire and called ?The New Hampshire Grants.? In that year King George III granted to the Province of New York all of the territory north of Massachusetts as far east as the Connecticut River. In documents of that period Vermont was identified as ?Lands to the Westward of the Connecticut River lately usurped by New Hampshire.? The inhabitants, including John Butler and his neighbors, were called ?Intruders under that New Hampshire Government.? The eastern half of Vermont became New York counties of Gloucester on the north and Cumberland on the south, established in 1766. The western half was added to the County of Charlotte which covered all of northern New York. On 10 January 1781 John?s son Smith Butler signed a deed with the locality identified as ?State of Vermont, Cumberland County, New York.? Vermont remained part of New York until 29 October 1790 when she agreed to pay the State of New York $30,000 for the right to be a separate and independent State of the young republic. The New York Commissioners on the committee stated, ?...which sum...it is a matter of notoriety hears no relation to the value of the private property so ceded.?
On 28 October 1774 John?s neighbor Lt. Leonard Spaulding of Fulham was committed to the common goal at Guilford, Vt., for ?high treason against the British tyrant, George the Third.? The following day John was among those elected ?to serve as a Committee of Correspondency to join other towns or respectable bodies of people the better to secure and protest the rights and privileges of themselves and fellow creatures from the ravages and embarassments of the British tyrant ... By their vigilance and activity, Mr. Spaulding was released from his confinement after eleven days.?
When the new town of Jamaica, Vt., ?County of Cumberland, Province of New York,? was chartered 7 November 1780, John Butler and his son Jabez were among the original grantees. John?s name was among the first, signifying that he was one of the older men there; Jabez was next to last, as one of the youngest. This land seems to have been bought as an investment; John and Jabez never lived there. Several land transactions were recorded in Jamaica during the next ten years ?in the original right of John Butler,? which identify Luther, Abel, Jabez, and Paul as sons of John Butler of Dummerston. This land was called the Ball Mountain tract or Eleven Hundred acre tract.
On 10 May 1785 John?s wife Abigail died at the age of 50 years. John married secondly a wife whose name is unknown. It was this marriage which caused the flurry of land transactions at Jamaica as John tried to divide his extensive land holdings among his grown sons who were unhappy at their father?s second marriage. John died, aged 62, before 18 May 1790 for on that day the court appointed as executor of his estate Jabez Butler, ?son of John Butler, late of Dummerston who died intestate (as is said) and applied for letters of administration on the estate of the said John, and the widow having relinquished her right administration is granted to the said Jabez...? Inventory was taken 2 June 1790 and appraised at L285.4.2 Several continuances were granted before a complete list of claims was presented 26 July 1793, including one from John Butler, Jr.: ?Demand for 13 years 2 months service at L10 per year and interest, whole Amt. L190.9.0? Son John had worked for his father without salary, expecting to inherit the sawmill mentioned in the inventory, which was prevented by his father?s second marriage.
Another claim was made by Jabez Butler: ?Demand by Deed of a Lot of Land of 100 acres in Jamaica and no such Lot to be found.? Charges were made for ?setting up notification at Bolton in Massachusetts,? in which debts against the estate were uncovered dating back to 1760. All of these claims reduced the widow?s dower to L15.0.0 to settle the estate the Court ordered 20 May 1794 that all of the real estate of John Butler of Dummerston, dec?d be disposed of by the administrator, ?under the incumbrance of ye widow?s dower provided he can sell the same for the sum at which it was appraised.?
These probate records establish Jabez Butler of Dummerston as the same Jabez who was born at Bolton 26 February 1759, the son of John and Abigail Butler. The Vermont Historical Gazetteer called Jabez, Silas, Calvin, and John ?brothers of Abel; Polly was their sister.? Land records in Jamaica show that Luther and Abel jointly deeded property ?in the original right of John Butler of Dummerston,? signed 12 August 1791, filed 29 March 1792. Eldest son Paul was also mentioned in Jamaica land records; second son, Thomas, was mentioned in Dummerston land records. Both of these sons went to Ohio along with their sister Abigail. Peter and Silas were both baptised at Fulham as sons of John and Abigail Butler. In addition to the claim against the estate made by son John, Jr., there was one for Smith Butler dated 20 November 1780, another ?in favour of Abagail Butler, dated 29 January 1790 Ambient,? and one for 2 1/1 bushels of wheat lent to Abel Butler. Mention was made that John Butler was ?bail? for son Simeon, dated 14 November 1789. From all of these bits and pieces of information, the family of John and Abigail Butler of Bolton, MA. and Dummerston, Vt., has now been reestablished.
Children of John and Abigail Butler:
i. Paul Butler, b. ca. 1753; deeded land in Jamaica ?in the right of John Butler? to Abel Butler 12 Nov. 1789, recorded 15 June 1790; said to have gone to Ohio about 1790.
ii. Thomas Butler, b. ca. 1754; called ?saddler? when he sold land in Dummerston to Jabez Butler 26 Jan. 1806; a Thomas Butler served in the Revolution under Capt. Augistine Odle 1781; said to have gone to Ohio.
iii. John Butler, Jr., b. (recorded) Leominster, MA., 20 Feb. 1756; m. Dummerston 16 Oct. 1788 Lucy Boyden; may possibly have been the John Butler who d. Winchester, Cheshire,N.H., 23 Jun 1796, leaving widow Lucy, son John, and five daughters.
iv. Smith Butler, b. (recorded) Harvard, MA., 24 Aug. 1757; d. Rochester, N.., 11 Apr. 1825; m. (1) Dummerston 20 Dec. 1780 Thankful Houghton; m. (2) Elizabeth _____ and had children recorded at Worcester, MA,; m. (3) Worcester, MA., 9 June 1798 Tabitha Wright, and had one child by her; children: 1. Martin Butler, b. Summer, Conn., 12 Feb. 1786; 2. Elizabeth Butler, b. Summer 24 Jan. 1788; 3. Sally Butler, b. 25 July 1790; 4. John Butler, b. 17 Mch. 1792; 5. Suel Butler, b. 18 Nov. 1794; 6. Lucy Butler, b. 12 June 1799; Smith Butler served in Revolution under Capt. Josiah Boyden 1777 and Capt. Jason Duncan 1783.
v. Jabez Butler, b. Bolton, MA., 26 Feb. 1759; m. Dummerston 22 May 1781 Deliverance Whitney; executor of father?s estate; said to have served in Revolution.
vi. Abel Butler, b. 1760; d. St. Johnsbury, Vt. 21 Aug. 1829; m. Dummerston 1786 Rebecca Laughton; children: Rebecca, Abel, Lucy, Sally, and Candace; called brother of Polly, Silas, Jabez, Calvin, and John: served in Revolution under Capt. Joseph Tyler 1780, Capt. John Grant?s Green Mountain Boys 1780, and Capt. Jason Duncan 1783.
vii. Calvin Butler, b. Bolton, MA., 9 Nov. 1762; m. Dummerston 10 Jan. 1788 Obediance Holton; at least one son: Ira Butler; served in Revolution under Capt. Jason Duncan 1783.
viii. Abigail Butler, b. Bolton, MA., 29 May 1765; m. Dummerston 15 Mch. 1798 Abner Pike; moved to Ohio.
ix. Luther Butler, b. Fulham, Vt., ca. 1767
x. Simeon Butler, b. Fulham ca. 1768; m. Dummerston 10 June 1789 Abigail ?Nabby? Rice.
xi. Peter Butler, bapt. Fulham 6 Mch. 1777; m. Dummerston 30 Apr. 1795 Betsey Laughton; lived with brother Jabez after marriage; sister Polly testified 4 May 1804 that her brother Peter ?absconded from this state,? witnessed by brother Thomas.
xii. Silas Butler, bapt. Fulham 6 Mch. 1777; m. (1) Dummerston 15 May 1795 Mercy Orvis; m. (2) Dummerston 28 Jan 1817 Sally McFarland; children by first wife: Hiram, Mercy, and Marie, called ?brother of Abel.?
xiii. Polly Butler, b. Fulham ca. 1779; m. Dummerston 5 Sept. 1803 Perley Towne; ?her parents died when she was young?? called ?sister of Abel?; testified Peter Butler was her brother.
More About John Butler, Sr.: Baptism: Apr 01, 1728, Lancaster, MA.
More About John Butler, Sr. and Abigail Unknown: Marriage: Abt. 1752
Children of John Butler, Sr. and Abigail Unknown are:
+Smith Butler, b. Aug 24, 1757, Harvard, Worester, Massachusetts, d. Apr 11, 1825, Rochester, New York.