Monday, October 24, 2016

IGNATIOUS BUTLER Born Oct 2, 1755 Monongalia Co Virginia was NOT the Son of Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER & DORCAS ABBOTT of New Hampshire

Here's a little horror story of how one error in one family tree can spread online like wildfire.

My great x 5 grandfather Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER was born April 6, 1729 Windham, Connecticut, died  Dec 29, 1804 Nottingham Rockingham Co New Hampshire. He married DORCAS ABBOTT April 17, 1754 in Andover, Essex Co Massachusetts.

This BENJAMIN BUTLER was the son of MALACHI BUTLER & JEMIMA DAGGETT, of Edgarstown, Dukes Co Massachusetts (Martha's Vineyard).  The family also lived for a time in Connecticut, where BENJAMIN was born.

This BENJAMIN BUTLER graduated from Harvard with  a Bachelor of Arts in 1752, and a Master's degree in 1758.  He was ordained as a minister, and that was his profession for most of his life. He & his family moved after 1758 to Rockingham Co New Hampshire.

This BENJAMIN BUTLER & his wife DORCAS ABBOTT  were NOT the parents of IGNATIOUS BUTLER who was born Oct 1755 supposedly in England, and died in Bath Co Kentucky.

Sadly, I have seen over a hundred online trees with this error, particularly on

And how do I know this is incorrect?  I spent over two years researching the BENJAMIN BUTLER & DORCAS ABBOTT family & the BUTLER pedigree for application to the Society of Mayflower Descendants.  My application & pedigree were accepted as correct in 2011.

Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER left a will which was probated Jan 10, 1805 Nottingham, Rockingham Co New Hampshire and in it he lists his 2nd wife PHEBE, son HENRY BUTLER, and two daughters MARY (who married ABRAHAM BROWN) and DORCAS (who married JONATHAN CILLEY).

Here is a scanned copy of the will of Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER

 Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER had no connection whatsoever to Virginia, and was in fact attending Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1755 when IGNATIOUS BUTLER was born in Virginia.

A quick check of Massachusetts birth records & published genealogies shows that BENJAMIN & DORCAS BUTLER never had a son named IGNATIOUS.

--"History of Martha's Vineyard" by Dr Charles Bank Vol III p 17-66;
--"Ancestors of Gen Benjamin Franklin Butler" by Blanche Butler Ames;
--"History of Northfield New Hampshire" by Lucy Cross, page 29-31;
--"History of the Town of Canterbury New Hampshire 1727-1912" by James Otis Lyford p 43;
--"Lineage Book of the Hereditary Order of Descendants of Colonial Governors" by Robert Glenn Thurtle;
--"Lineage Book, National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution DAR, Vol 31" by DAR page 311, lineage of NELLIE PRESCOTT BROWN
--"Genealogy and Family History of the State of Maine Vol 4" by Burrage & Stubbs p 1731, section of BUTLER & ABBOTT
--" Register of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the District of Columbia 1970" (BUTLER lineage registered by JOHN HENRY BRONSON SMITH)
--appears on several different lists from Harvard University.
--An detailed biography appears in "Colonial Collegians"by Conrad Edick Wright, published 2005. See the NEHGS website, American Ancestry. 

Please refer to my tree "New England Ancestors of Ruby Bolton Brown"  profile page for Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER

Or, if you don't have a subscription, here is the version

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2016


Unknown said...

I and my mother have DNA matches that would indicate that this is debatable. DNA does not lie but of course I can't check it against Benjamin Butler or Dorcas Abbott, but trees all took different path.

Betty said... are suggesting that you have DNA proof that IGNATIOUS BUTLER was the son of BENJAMIN BUTLER? How exactly did you come to this conclusion?

Unknown said...

Betty, enjoyed your post -- and took a look at your tree for this family. I have a couple of other pieces of information for you. Benjamin and Dorcas had five other children who died in infancy or early childhood. You can find the low-down on those children in the following source:

History of Nottingham, Deerfield, and Northwood, comprised within the original limits of Nottingham, Rockingham County, N.H., with records of the centennial proceedings at Northwood, and genealogical sketches ..
by Cogswell, Elliott C. (Elliott Colby), 1814-1887
Publication date 1878 Publisher Manchester [N.H.] J.B. Clarke
page 172 for children

Also, I have the information on the identify of Benjamin's second wife, Phebe Griffin. She was born 1 October 1751 in Andover daughter of James and Phebe (Abbott) Griffin. Dorcas Abbott and Phebe's mother Phebe Abbott were second cousins. The marriage is recorded in Andover.

csteinberger said...

Betty, would you take a DNA test and put on Ancestry? Would love to see why so many of us continue to keep going back to this Benjamin Butler.
I am in agreement with you except I do know that not every child was named in the Will and there are many possibilities for relationships unless proven by DNA.

I like DNA results. If you KNOW who you are relatives are or think you do, sometimes surprises still show up.
Still searching for Ignatious Butler parentage.
Cyndi Steinberger

Betty said...

Hi Cyndi Steinberger,

I have tested with Ancestry, 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA & MyHeritage. I first testing in 2011, and have been actively involved in genetic genealogy research on my family since then.

I have absolutely ** NO** DNA connection to any descendants of IGNATIOUS BUTLER.

Yours, Betty (the author & owner of this blog Betty's Boneyard)

Betty said...

Correction to above: "I first tested in 2011"

csteinberger said...

Thank you, Betty!
I will check to see if you show up on any of those sites. I’m on Famiky Search
I’m MSTOUCHUP on Ancestry

Susan said...


Your are right about Ignatius. It is a shame the trees on Ancestry are not corrected.

My distant cousin ,Les Butler, and I have been searching Ignatius for years. Les did the FamilyTree DNA some years ago and our Ignatius matches none of the many Butler families listed.the only "close" connection is Whitaker Henry Butler who was born in Georgia in 1800. Possible father John born in Maryland and supposedly an orphan.

Les and I believe Ignatius may be a son of Nathan Butler and Rachel Denbo(Denbow) who married in Baltimore(now Harford county)
Maryland St John's Parish in 1754.The name "Denbo" has been handed down in several of our Butler families.

Unknown said...

Hi Betty, do you know who the parents of Dorcas Abbott were and if Keziah Butler was the daughter of this “set” of Butlers...Thank you, caught in the Butler-Abbott trap!

Betty said...

"Unknown": DORCAS ABBOTT born 11 May 1729 Andover, Essex Co Massachusetts, died 19 April 1789 Nottingham, Rockingham County New Hampshire; married Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER 17 Apr 1754 Andover, Essex Co Massachusetts.

DORCAS ABBOTT was the daughter of HENRY ABBOTT born 12 Jan 1696 Andover, Essex Co Massachusetts & his wife MARY PLATTS b 5 Sep 1700 Rowley, Essex Co Massachusetts.

There is ample source documentation for both the BUTLER & the ABBOTT family of Massachusetts & New Hampshire. One source I used was the book " A Genealogy Register of the Descendants of George Abbott of Andover" by Rev Abiel Abbott.

KEZIAH BUTLER was not related to the family of Rev BENJAMIN BUTLER & DORCAS ABBOTT of Massachusetts & New Hampshire.

Yours, Betty (Author & owner of this blog Betty's Boneyard)

PS Please use a name or nickname other than "Unknown". It's the polite thing to do.

Unknown said...

Hello.. Betty what is ur profile name for ancestry? I am on ancestry and recently done the big Y700 on familytree tree has us linked to the Butlers that you guys are talking some have Whitaker listed, one has a William and one has Ignatius. I have no idea whatsoever about Butlers in my line .I'm however looking for my Anderson side. I did notice Ignatius Butler is said to have a son named Anderson Butler? Then another son named his son Anderson? But I have found no link to an Anderson which in these cases is usually a mother's maiden name. Csteinberger I checked her ancestry and we do not match. Does anyone know of any Anderson connections? Hope to here from you ..thanks