Notes for Aron Butler: Aron/Aaron Butler, possibly the son of Benjamin and Elizabeth Butler, was born sometime around 1770 and probably in Virginia. Research in genealogy always moves from the present time backwards. Therefore, when Aron was first identified as the father of the already discovered Moses his name seemed unique and therefore easy to trace. That has not proven to be true. There were many Aarons in the early days of the country, and whether they all trace back to one Aaron ancestor, or whether perhaps the Biblical name Aaron was just enjoyed by the Butlers is yet unknown. Several researchers spell this ancestor's name as "Aron" because in his will, it was spelled that way, but also to distinguish him from his grandson, Aaron.
The earliest listing found for Aron was in the estate sale for Stephen Lewis 18 April 1789 in Newberry County, South Carolina. Mary and William Butler were the only purchasers shown, but the inventory indicated that Aron owed the estate money.
The next listing for Aron was the 1790 federal census, the first population census to be made by the young United States. It showed that he resided in the Ninety-Six District, Newberry County, South Carolina, with only his wife in his household. Not much information is able to be obtained from the 1790 census. The form just asked for the number of free white males of 16 years and older, those of under 16, and the number of free white females living in the home. The number of all other free persons and slaves was also requested.
It is probable that Aron did not own land in Newberry County, since his name did not appear in the record of land transactions for the time. He was probably a renter or lived on land owned by a kinsman.
In 1792, Aron witnessed a will for Jacob Gray. One of Jacob's children was an Agnes Butler. Because of this, some researchers thought that she was Aron's wife. However, in 1812 in Greenville County, Willis Butler died. The two administrators of his estate were Agnes Butler, indicating that she was more than likely his wife, and Moses Butler, probably his brother.
In the federal census of 1800, Aron was listed as the head of household with his wife, two sons, and one daughter. He was probably about 30 years old at the time. That same year, Aron administered the estate of Mary Dodgen, probably a relative of his wife's. He had applied for the Letters of Administration in 1799. The next year, in the courts of Laurens County just west of Newberry, Aaron witnessed Articles of Final Separation (divorce papers) for Moses Butler and wife Mary. It is possible that this Moses was a brother, and, if so, Aron might be a brother to Willis as well.
The identity of Aron's wife was discovered as two separate documents came to light. In 1803, HenryPitt died and his will was recorded. He left money to, among others, his daughters, Jane Butler and SealahPitt. Then, in 1812, the same CealyPitt prepared her will. (Her name was spelled variously as Cealy, Sealah, Selah, Celah, Selia, and Celia.) In this important document, she left items to Sister Nancy Slaughter [itt], Nephew Moses Butler, Nephew George Butler, Niece CealyPitt, Niece MourningPitt, Niece Cealy Butler, and Niece Betsy Butler. Her executor was "my brother-in-law Aaron Butler," and the will was probated 14 November 1814. Thanks to the early death of an unmarried sister who had no other legatees, JanePitt was identified as the wife of Aron and the mother of four of his children: Moses, George, Cealy, and Betsy. Also mentioned was that Cealy, Betsy, and Moses Butler were not of age and their part was to be paid into the hands of their father, Aaron Butler.
The federal census of 1810 showed that Aron was still living in Newberry County. By then, he and his wife had six children and two older women living with them. There are several questions here. First, who were the older women? One answer might be that since Jane's father had died in 1803, the older women could be Jane's mother and her sister, CealyPitt. Living in the same household with nieces and nephews might certainly be one reason for her to leave them something in her will. Secondly, who were the two extra boys? Cealy's will indicated that Aron and Jane had four children to whom she left bequests. Cealy either didn't remember all the children in the will, or two boys died between the census and when she drew up her will in 1812.
In 1819, Aron made a move farther west. He purchased 912 acres from the state of South Carolina in the Pendleton District (State Plats (Columbia Series) Vol. 46 Page 71). His land was described as being "on the branches of Cane Creek waters of Keowee River bounded by Wm. Trulls, John Taylor and Henry Head", and the plat (survey) was dated 22 May 1819. He actually received the land grant (permission) from the state on 7 June 1819.
In 1820 on the federal census, Aron appeared in Pendleton County. Still at home with him was his son Elihu and his daughters Sealy and Elizabeth. There were two women listed as 45 and over. One could have been his wife, Jane, but the other is unknown.
Elihu and Aron witnessed a deed in 1821 in which Aron's son Moses purchased 180 acres of land in Pendleton County. Another event in 1821 was the marriage of Aron's second daughter Elizabeth to Thornton Sims on 9 January. Both the bride and groom were from Pendleton, and the event even made the newspapers! (Pendleton Messenger, issue 17 January 1821)
Perhaps the move to Pendleton (which became Pickens County in 1826) did not turn out to be what Aron wanted. In 1827, he sold for $200 his 912 acres to a David Sloan.(Deed Book A-1/142-3). The sale was proved on 5 May 1829. Sloan didn't keep the land long, however. He sold it back to Aron for $50 on 2 November 1830,(352/3) and the same day, Aron sold 382 acres of it to Zachariah Hall for $450.(353/4) An interesting development occurred between these two land sales. Perhaps it may have been in that time period that Aron married again. In 1827, no wife who renounced dower (agreed to the sale) was listed on the deed. In 1830, the wife who appeared on the deed was named Susanna. It is unknown when Jane (Pitt) Butler died or who the new wife was.
The information from the 1830 Pickens County census (p.277) does not clarify the matter of a marriage for Aron. The statistics read: Males: 50-60 (1); 20-30 (1); less than 5 (1) Females: 20-30 (1); 15-20 (1); 5-10 (1); less than 5 (1) Was one of Aron's children and spouse living with him? Were then the small children in the listing his grandchildren? Had Elihu and Cealy married by this time? Or was the older female Aron's new wife Susanna and did the extra children belong to her? Elihu could not be found on the 1830 census as living on his own. On the other hand, the 1830 Pickens County census, p.309, for son George, indicated that he had been on his own for some time. He and his wife were between 30 and 40 years old, and had 3 boys and 2 girls, the oldest being between 10 and 15.
Aron made one more move in his lifetime. He and part of his extended family (son Moses' family also moved) made their new homes in Macon County, about 5 or 6 miles over the border into North Carolina. He had drawn up his will on 30 June 1831, and it was filed in the court of Macon County the same year. The will has little punctuation and is very hard to read. He did not write it, however. He made his X at the end.
In the name of God amen. I Aron Butler of the State of No Carolina and Macon County being of sound and perfect mind and memory blessed be God do this 30th day of June one thousand eight publish this my last will and testament in the manner following that is to say after paying all my just debts. The balance of my property to be equal divided between my wife and children with the exception of the ____ of our brand worth fifteen dollars to my wife Susanah Moses Butler and Sealy Hansel my daughter Georg Butler son Elihugh Butler and Elizabeth Sims and I hereby make and ordain Elihugh Butler executor of this my last will and testament in witness whereof I the said Aron Butler have to this my last will and testament set my hand and seal the day and year above written. Witness: J.L.Moore
Internet research lists Aron's birth as being about 1754 and his death about 1812. It also lists Jane Pitts' birth as being anywhere 1754 to 1757, instead of 1775 as this researcher has calculated. More research must be done to determine where the discrepancy lies.
More About Aron Butler: Event 2: Served in Company B, 20th South Carolina Infantry CSA.
More About Aron Butler and Jane Pitt: Marriage: Abt. 1790, Newberry CO, SC.
Children of Aron Butler and Jane Pitt are:
+Moses Butler, b. October 21, 1794, Newberry CO, SC, d. Bet. April 04 - 17, 1855, Jackson CO (now Transylvania Co), NC.