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
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
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
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:
A Visual Guide)
|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.
LET'S START OUT WITH WHAT WE KNOW, SO FAR