Descendants of Michael Butler of Poulroan, Windgap Parish, County Kilkenny

Butler YDNA

YDNA is one of the most helpful tools for a surname project. This test traces the male line for hundreds and thousands of years. This Butler line has been tested for YDNA. The results were I-M223. I wrote a Blog on Butler YDNA here. The I Haplogroup is not the predominant YDNA type in Ireland and seems to fit with the Butler traditions that they go back to the Norman times. This Haplogroup seems to have some of its roots in the area of current Germany. Here is a distribution map of the I-M223 YDNA:

wep45zun_large (65K)

I-M223 is a very broad category and there a many branches of YDNA below this designation. One YDNA match has tested down to the level of I-A427. This is likely the branch of this Butler line also. It is thanks to the YDNA test that new contacts to YDNA cousins were made. One cousin has been especially helpful in helping find the very likely location of where the Butler family came from in Ireland. Previously this was unknown and only supposed to be Kilkenny which has been quite vague.

Generation One

1. MICHAEL1 BUTLER was born circa 1800 at Kilkenny, Ireland. He married Margaret Croke.
Children of Michael1 Butler and Margaret Croke were as follows:

Up until recently there was only one record that gave the names of Michael Butler and Margaret Croke. This was the death certificate of Edward Butler their son who died in 1915 in Newton, Massachusetts. This certificate listed Edward Butler's birthplace as well as his parents as being in Kilkenny, Ireland. Ten years later, Edward Henry Butler, the grandson of Michael Butler died. On his death certificate, he gave a location of birth for his father as County Wexford.


Thanks to the new YDNA relative and newly published Roman Catholic records, there appears to be a breakthrough in establishing the Butler's Irish roots. Unfortunately, Edward Butler was not found in the Parish records, but a Mathias, or in English, Matthew Butler has been found. However, the names of the parents were correct:

Mathias in Register (18K)

Here is the right side of the page with the baptism date and sponsors who I assume would be the godparents:

Mathias Date Sponsors (18K)

Poulrone has many different spellings and is in the Parish of Windgap. The Butler YDNA relative tells me one from this Parish would be called a Gapper. Here is the Google map image of Poulrone, which is roughly between the words 'Polerone' and 'Polerone Road' on the map and down to the River. On the bottom left of the map is the River Suir which is the boundary between Counties Kilkenny and Waterford.

Poulrone (19K)

Zooming out, we can see Waterford and the boundary of County Wexford to the East. Poulrone is to the West of Mooncoin and not shown on the map below.

Waterford and Vicinity (33K)

In 1833, Michael Butler was taxed on the use of his land. This was called the Tithe Applotment. I expect that this was an unpopular tax especially for the Roman Catholics, as it went to the support of the established Church of Ireland.

1833 Tithe Michael Butler (89K)

In 1933, Michael's neighbors were the Duggans and Crokes. Michael was likely living near his in-laws. The Duggan name is prominant also in batism records. Edward is likely the Ned mentioned in Mathias' baptimal record above. Below are rent records for the Poulrone area from about 1832 to October 1840.

Poulrone Rent to 1840 (70K)

Note that Margaret Butler became responsible for the rent around 1840. I assume that Michael Butler died sometime before October 1840. This certainly would have been a disaster for the family and perhaps set in motion his son Edward's move away from Ireland. At any rate, he was the youngest known son and as such, his economic prospects were not good to begin with. Speaking of Michael's children, I have that he had 3 sons. I don't have record of any daughters. I have his 1st son as James which is inferred from records which will be shown below. His only documented child is Mathias or Matthew. Edward appears to have been last and likely never knew his father as his father appeared to have died when Edward was an infant or toddler.

The evidence so far given is interesting, but not enough proof to link this Butler family to Poulrone. Much more proof will be given below.

Generation Two

2. JAMES2 BUTLER (Michael1) was born circa 1823. He married Mary Quinn circa 1847.
Children of James2 Butler and Mary Quinn were as follows:

I first came upon the name James Butler through researching Census records in the US. I found Edward Butler, my wife's 2nd great grandfather, living in the year 1910 at 11 Clinton St., Newton, Massachusetts.

1910 Census Newton Mellie (33K)

Here, Edward, our immigrant Butler, was listed as the father-in-law to the head of the household, William Mellie. William was married to Mary. At first, this made me think that Mary was a child of Edward. That is, until I looked up the marriage record of William and Mary Mellie (or Mellia):

Parents of William and Mary Mellie (23K)

The above marriage record image gives the parents names of the bride as James Butler and Mary Quinn. This lead me to believe that this James Butler could be the brother of Edward Butler. Subsequent research on the other side of the Ocean showed that there was a Mary Butler baptized in Poulrone in 1856.

Mary Butler Baptism Poulrone (23K)

This was good confirmation of the research I had done in Massachusetts. The problem was that Mary fibbed a bit on her age. In 1898 when she married, she was not 22. She had just turned 40! At any rate, this closed the loop which centered on Poulrone. Perhaps her father James was the eldest and stayed to work the farm. He had other children whose baptisms were recorded in the Windgap Registers. Here is the Griffith's Valuation from about 1850.

James Butler Griffiths (54K)

The numbers on the left are supposed to refer to areas on a map, but I had trouble figuring those out. The families within the brackets would likely be related in some way. My best guess is that James Butler's house was the rightmost one in the cluster of houses below. There appears to be a 2 above the area and an 'a' in the area of the house on the right side of the cluster of houses in the map below.

Griffiths Map (53K)

3. EDWARD2 BUTLER (Michael1) was born circa 1835 at Kilkenny, Ireland; According to the 1910 census of his son, born in Illinois. According to 1920 Census of son, born in Canada. His son Edward's death certificate gives his birthplace as Co. Wexford, Ireland. He married Mary E. Crowley, daughter of Florence Crowley and Ellen Donavan, on 1 May 1855 at Church of the Immaculate Conception, St. John, St. John, New Brunswick. He died on 17 Oct 1915 at 11 Clinton Street, Newton, MA. He was buried at Calvary Cemetery, Waltham.
He emigrated in 1850 from Ireland.
Children of Edward2 Butler and Mary E. Crowley were as follows:

Edward Butler has been the subject of much of my Butler research over the last 20 years. At times I had despaired of finding out where in Ireland the family was from. So it is nice to see some of the Butler family history fall into place. As I mentioned above, it appears that his father died when he was very young. He married in St. John, New Brunswick in 1 May 1855. . Here is the poorly written record of the Saint John, New Brunswick marriage :

Butler Crowley Wedding Cert (32K)

The next record shows the Butler family in Cincinnati, Ward 17, in 1860. They stayed in New Brunswick long enough to have 2 girls. I wondered a while about Cincinnati and whether the family had actually been there as I had never heard of the current family talking about Butlers ever being there. However, this seemed to be confirmed through an autosomal DNA match. I wrote a Blog about it here.

Cincinnati 1860 (31K)

The above Census has the last box checked for Edward. That indicates that Edward could not read or write. Note also that for his marriage certificate he made an X instead of signing. I'm sure this could have made Edward feel at a disadvantage in a country that had had an emphasis on education for a while. On the other hand, at that time many people would not have been able to read or write, so that would not have held the same stigma that it would today. The Butler family was in Cincinnati longer than they were in St. John. Here is their listing in Ward 3 for the year 1870:

1870 Census Cincinnati (27K)

Now, the younger daughter is missing. She must have died or was out of the house for some reason. Here is the first mention of Massachusetts. Did the Crowley family move there by this time? However, between 1860 and 1870, there was a war going on. The photo below had puzzled me for a while, but now I see it as Edward's Civil War Naval uniform. I have found other similar period uniforms - which by the way were not all that uniform.

edwardh (66K)

I recently came upon a Civil War Pensioner Census for 1890 that mentions Edward H Butler. I believe that this is the only record I know of that refers to him as Edward H and not just plain Edwward Butler.

1890 Pension Civil War (66K)

Whoever, was doing the survey or research wrote: "[papers?] inaccessible could not get any more particulars". The above record confirms family tradition that Edward served on an iron clad Monitor type ship in the Civil War. The web page that I got this photo of the US Milwaukee from draws attention to the mine rake in front of the ship and the awnings. The ship was 280 feet long. I don't know if that included the length of the mine rake.

Uss_Milwaukee_1864 (32K)

After Cincinnati, the Butler family is believed to have gone to Chicago. We lose track of Julia Ann. Two sons were born in Chicago. This is based on Vital and Census records in Massachusetts. I have not found any Chicago records of the family. The first record of the Butlers being in Massachusetts was in the 1890 Pensioner record shown above. It appears that Edward H at least was in Newtonville, Massachusetts at that time. Sons George and Edward Henry showed up in the Boston area and married. The Butlers located in the Newton/Watertown area of Massachusetts. Edward Senior's wife Mary Crowley died in 1905. Note that the 1905 Newton Directory shows that Johanna, who was likely Edward's neice was boarding at his address of 24 Clinton Street at that time. Perhaps she was there to take care of him following the passing of his wife of 50 years.

24 Clinton St Newton 1905 (12K)

Soon after that time, either the address changed, or Edward moved to 11 Clinton St. He was also there with the Mellie family during the 1910 Census mentioned above and at the time of his death in 1915.

Edward Butler 11 Clinton St Newton 1907 (68K)

Above the 'ST' it is difficult to make out but it says Edw Butler on the house.

Here is wider area around Clinton Street. I expect Edward went to the local Our Lady Roman Catholic Church.

11 Clinton St Newton Vicinity 1907 (86K)

Here is a more recent shot of 11 Clinton Street. The house should be the same as it was built around 1875.

11 Clinton St Newton House (115K)

Generation Three

4. MARY3 BUTLER (James2, Michael1) was born on 2 May 1858 at Poulroan, Kilkenny, Ireland. She married William Mellie, son of Daniel Mellie and Catherine Conners, on 27 Jul 1898 at West Newton, Massachusetts. She died in 1938 at Newton, MA.
She emigrated in 1895 from Kilkenny. She and William Mellie lived in 1910 at 11 Clinton Street, Newton, Massachusetts.
Children of Mary3 Butler and William Mellie were as follows:

5. GEORGE3 BUTLER (Edward2, Michael1) was born in 1872 at Chicago, Illinois. He married Mary Elizabeth Jones, daughter of John E. Jones and Mary E. Elliott, on 2 May 1894 at Newton, Massachusetts. He died on 26 Mar 1925 at Watertown, MA.
He lived in 1900 at 238 Pearl St., Newton City. He was a teamster in 1903. He lived in 1910 at 7 French Street, Watertown, Massachusetts. He was a driver in the fire department in 1910. He lived in 1920 at 26 Myrtle Street, Watertown, Massachusetts.
Children of George3 Butler and Mary Elizabeth Jones were as follows:

6. EDWARD HENRY3 BUTLER (Edward2, Michael1) was born on 28 Jun 1875 at Chicago, Illinois. He married Lillie Frances Kerivan, daughter of John Kerivan and Alice Mary Rooney, on 7 Nov 1901 at South Boston, MA. He died on 5 Feb 1925 at Newton Hospital (Watertown resident) at age 49; died of cerebral Hemorrhage/ right side hemiplegia. He was buried at St. Mary's Cemetery, Needham, MA.
He lived in 1901 at Stebbins Hotel, Broadway, Boston, MA. He lived in 1910 at 24 Alliance Street, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. He was a Machinist in an automobile factory between 1910 and 1920. He lived in 1920 at 27 Maple St., Watertown, Middlesex, MA.
Children of Edward Henry3 Butler and Lillie Frances Kerivan were as follows:

Generation Four

7. EDWARD HENRY4 BUTLER (Edward3, Edward2, Michael1) was born on 7 May 1904 at Watertown, MA. He married Estelle Laura LeFevre, daughter of Martin LeFevre and Emma Alphonsine Pouliot. He died on 16 Apr 1985 at Stoughton, MA, at age 80.
He was a rigger at Watertown Arsenal. He was a cutter at a rubber factory in 1930. He lived in 1985 at 1044 Park Street, Stoughton, Massachusetts. Died of cardiorespiratory failure (natural causes) buried in Rockridge Cemetary Sharon, MA.
Children of Edward Henry4 Butler and Estelle Laura LeFevre are as follows:

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Created on 21 Apr 2016 at 7:45 am.