(An excerpt from Wesley Johnston's "Butson
Family Newsletter" Issue Number 1,
Only two Butson families are known to have come to Canada: Solomon's about 1840 and Cecil's about 1880. Both came from Cornwall: solomon from St. Blazey, Cecil from Penzance. However no relation is presently known between the two families.
Solomon, his wife Jane Kame/Keam, and their nine children settled at Oshawa, Ontario. Cecil, who became the father of seven children, settled in the area of Midland and Penetanguishene in Ontario.
I. Solomon Butson's Family (see chart)
The family's history is best considered in two geographic groups.
1. Oshawa, Brooklin, Reach, Prince Albert, Port Perry, Lindsay, and Sundridge, Ontario
The family remained in the Oshawa area, moving gradually north. Solomon and Jane, both born in the 1790's, were buried in the 1860's and 1870's between Brooklin and Columbus. Thomas died, apparently unwed, at Oshawa in 1846. Nicholas lived and died near Brooklin; most of his descendants are nearby. Robert is buried in Prince Albert; most of his descendants are nearby.
Henry is lost. (DOES ANYONE HAVE INFORMATION ON HENRY OR HIS FAMILY?) He witnessed Nicholas' first marriage in 1848, was married and had daughters Emma and Mary Jane by his wife Sarah. In 1868, he married Mary Wilson at Reach. He was last thought to be in Lindsay about 1890. His only known descendants are in Chicago.
William died at Sundridge, where some of his descendants remain. His descendants have spread far, many to Canada's west.
2. Hibbert Township
Three branches of the family moved in the 1850's-1880's to the Huron Tract, west of Stratford, Ontario. Mary (Ann/Keam/Kame) is lost. (DOES ANYONE HAVE INFORMATION ON MARY OR HER FAMILY?) Her husbands' names were Hamley and Sherin/Sherein or Schirm. Her only two known descendants live in Staffa. John moved in the 1860's. He is buried in the Staffa Cemetery. Many of his descendants are in the area, though some branches have moved west. James is also buried in Staffa, where most of his descendants are not far away.
But what of Charity? DOES ANYONE HAVE INFORMATION ON CHARITY OR HER FAMILY? She married in 1848 to George Becket. In 1861, they lived in Whitby Township with one child, Clarissa.
Added 8/9/2005 - Charity Keam Butson
Bap. 4.10.1829 at St. Blazey, Cornwall, England
Marr. George Beckett 21.11.1848 at East Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Died 16th November 1899 at Reach, Ontario
George (b. 1823), Farmer. Lived at Reach, Ontario, Canada.
II. Cecil Butson's Family
Cecil's children were Lloyd, Albert, Roy, Harold, Vida, Mona, and Ronald. All but Mona remained in the Midland-Penetanguishene area; Mona moved to Hamilton. Albert's descendants own the Butson Motel at Renfrew; his descendants are named Anderson, Butson, and Haines. Harold's son lives in Ottawa. I need more information on this family.
III. Immigration (Added):
I have found that the Butson name is much more prevalent than previously believed but little data on the Southern U.S. or West Coast Butsons is published. The probable reason you see so much info on the Butsons of Canada and Northern U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Africa is that most, not all, 17/18/19th century emigrants of England, Ireland and Scotland tended to be to other British Commonwealth countries because of affiliation and citizen/passport status. Then, emigration from those countries and especially in North America continued to non-Commonwealth countries.
Hence there was a migration of the Butson name to Northern U.S. States, mostly from Ontario, Canada and then throughout the States.
Some British Butsons did emigrate directly to the U.S., however, and we even find some Butsons who fought in the American Revolutionary War and some (5) who fought in the American Civil War, three as Rebels, two as Yankees. Direct immigration to the west coast of the U.S. was very rare but more likely to have occurred when the general population of the Eastern U.S. moved West.
Added 6/27/2005: The Census chart (scroll down below) shows that between 1790 - 1830, 12 Butsons arrived in America.
IV: Butson Name (1880 U.S. Census), Formatted:
I received this interesting email (Below) from Wesley Johnston referencing his 1994 trip to Europe and a copy of the soundex (similar sounding name) Census of 1880 (U.S.).
One comment he made that really interested me was about Butsons looking alike. I, too have observed that feature of most all Butsons I've ever met.....especially the Canadian Butsons....they seem to have an English/Irish look of pointed or sharp features, a lot of blue eyes, freckles, large teeth, large smiles, thick hair (dark, mostly), fair to olive skin, and prominent noses. Seems like when you look at old photos of any Butson surname family members, especially in groups...you feel you recognize them....even though you may never have met. I know descendants are suppose to have similarities, shared traits, etc., but Butsons seem to carry more alikeness down through the ages than the norm. Or am I just full of it?
Also, in this note, the similar sounding names (e.g. Butzen, Bodson, Budson, Butzon, Butzin, etc.) that are listed, brings to mind that a lot of our ancestors could have originated in Central Europe (Germany, France, Belgium or Holland)....prior to the English/Irish lines. Has anyone done any research on our "Continental" namesakes?
Additionally, I am having difficulty surfacing Australian and New Zealand connections to the Butsons of St Blazey, Cornwall England... Any research out there, shared with us here, would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again to Wesley Johnston for sharing with us.
Here are all the Butsons (or others with the same Soundex code) in the 1880 US Census. The Belgian ones in PA are interesting to me. When I went to Belgium for the 50th anniversary of the Bulge in Dec 1994, I found that not far west of Stavelot was a country restaurant called Ferme Bodson (Bodson Farm), which really was a farm. I stopped to see them, and that old woman looked very much to me like a Butson, at least the ones in Canada. I wrote to a woman in France whose name they gave me, but we were not able to link up.
These are sorted by Age (descending) within Surname within State."
(Added): (This is a complete U.S. Census of all Butsons (or
similar named) living in America in 1880).
These are sorted by Age (descending) within Surname within State.
BUDSON George Other 34 M W NY CA
BUTSON R. Other 66 M W CA CA
BUTSON James Self 40 M W England CA
BUTSON Elizabeth Wife 34 F W England CA
BUTSON J. H. Self 28 M W England CA
BUTSON J. Wife 24 F W England CA
BUTSON J. W. Son 1 M W CA CA
BUTTSON John Self 59 M B MD DE
BUTTSON Mary Wife 48 F B MD DE
BUTTSON George Son 21 M B DE DE
BUTTSON Thomas Son 20 M B DE DE
BUTTSON Austrela Dau 16 F B DE DE
BUTTSON Samuel D. Son 13 M B DE DE
BUTSON John Self 28 M W WI IA
BUTSON Priscella Wife 23 F W WI IA
BUTSON Frank Son 2 M W IA IA
BUTSON John Self 57 M W England IL
BUTSON Duzilla Wife 45 F W NY IL
BUTSON Martha M. Dau 8 F W IL IL
BUTZEN Walter Father 78 M W Germany IL
BUTZEN Peter Self 72 M W Germany IL
BUTZEN Margareta Wife 66 F W Germany IL
BUTZEN Joseph Self 40 M W Germany IL
BUTZEN Caroline Wife 38 F W Germany IL
BUTZEN John Self 38 M W Germany IL
BUTZEN Veronica Wife 37 F W Germany IL
BUTZEN Peter Self 36 M W Germany IL
BUTZEN Annie Wife 34 F W Germany IL
BUTZEN Maggie Dau 16 F W IL IL
BUTZEN Nick Son 16 M W IL IL
BUTZEN Peter Son 13 M W IL IL
BUTZEN Peter Son 12 M W IL IL
BUTZEN Martin Son 10 M W IL IL
BUTZEN Mathias Son 9 M W IL IL
BUTZEN Mary Dau 8 F W IL IL
BUTZEN William Son 7 M W IL IL
BUTZEN Lizzie Dau 6 F W IL IL
BUTZEN Margarethe Dau 4 F W IL IL
BUTZEN Joseph Son 3 M W IL IL
BUTZEN Nicolaus Son 2 M W IL IL
BUTZIN Fred Self 53 M W Germany IL
BUTZIN Fredrica Wife 43 F W Germany IL
BUTZIN Emile Dau 20 F W IL IL
BUTZIN Fred Son 16 M W IL IL
BUTZIN Alice Dau 14 F W IL IL
BUTZON Christine Wife 47 F W IL
BUTZON Louis Self 43 M W IL
BUTZON Dora Self 34 F W Germany IL
BUTZON Robert Son 21 M W IL IL
BUTZON Louise Dau 17 F W IL IL
BUTZON Martha Dau 15 F W IL IL
BUTZON Henry Son 13 M W IL IL
BUTZON Lena Dau 11 F W IL IL
BUTZON Theodore Son 11 M W IL IL
BUTZON Theodore Son 9 M W IL IL
BUTZON Arthur Son 8 M W IL IL
BUTSON Rebecca Wife 59 F W OH IN
BUTSON Samuel Self 52 M W OH IN
BUTSON William E. Son 19 M W IN IN
BUTZEN Charles Self 53 M W Germany IN
BUTZEN Minnie Wife 52 F W Germany IN
BUTZEN Charles Son 17 M W Germany IN
BUTZEN Millie Dau 9 F W Germany IN
BUDSON Thomas Self 41 M B NC LA
BUDSON Frosine Wife 35 F B LA LA
BUDSON Thomas Son 1 M B LA LA
BUTSON Isaac Other 48 M W England MI
BUTZEN Susan Other 22 F B VA NYC
BUTSON James Other 35 M W England OH
BUTSON Earnest G Son 10 M W OH OH
BUTSON Ada G Dau 8 F W OH OH
BUTTSON Ruth Other 68 F W NY OH
BUTZIEN Augusta Other 19 F W Germany OH
BUTSON John Self 27 M W England OR
BUTSON Alvira Wife 25 F W OH OR
BUTSON William B. Other 24 M W OH OR
BUTSON Blanch Dau 9 F W OH OR
BUTSON George Son 4 M W OH OR
BUTSON Sadie Dau 2 F W OH OR
BUDSON Esther Self 59 F W NY PA
BUDSON Elizabeth Wife 55 F W Belgium PA
BUDSON John Self 55 M W Belgium PA
BUTZEN Catharine Other 35 F W PA PA
BUTSON Thomas Self 34 M W MS TX
BUTSON Kate Wife 30 F W MS TX
BUTSON Washington Son 9 M W MS TX
BUTSON Thomas Son 7 M W MS TX
BUTSON Clarance Son 5 M W MS TX
BUTSON Esun Son 2 M W MS TX
BUTSON John Self 44 M W England VT
BUTSON Sarah Wife 38 F W England VT
BUTSON John Son 13 M W VT VT
BUTSON Henry Son 11 M W VT VT
BUTSON Ella J. Dau 9 F W VT VT
BUTSON Charles Son 7 M W VT VT
BUTSON Fred Son 6 M W VT VT
BUTSON Robert Son 2 M W VT VT
BUTSON Edwin Other 1 M W VT VT
BUTSON John Other 61 M W England WI
BUTSON Thomas Self 40 M W England WI (Example of Census listing, below)
BUTSON Mary Wife 33 F W WI WI
BUTSON Jane Dau 14 F W WI WI
BUTSON Susan Dau 12 F W WI WI
BUTSON Isaiah Son 10 M W WI WI
BUTSON Mary A. Dau 7 F W WI WI
BUTSON Thomas A. Son 5 M W WI WI
BUTSON Charles W. Son 2 M W WI WI
BUTZEN Jacob Self 53 M W Germany WI
BUTZEN Elizebeth Wife 49 F W Germany WI
BUTZEN Jacob Son 22 M W WI WI
BUTZEN Mary Dau 20 F W WI WI
BUTZEN Lena Dau 16 F W WI WI
BUTZEN Lena Niece 14 F W WI WI
BUTZEN Martha Dau 13 F W WI WI
BUTZEN Anna Dau 11 F W WI WI
BUTZEN John Son 9 M W WI WI
BUTZIN Louisa Mother 71 F W Germany WI
BUTZIN Christan Self 45 M W Germany WI
BUTZIN Charles Self 43 M W Germany WI
BUTZIN Lena Wife 43 F W Germany WI
BUTZIN Carline Wife 42 F W Germany WI
BUTZIN William Other 23 M W WI WI
BUTZIN Augusta Dau 16 F W WI WI
BUTZIN Lizzie Dau 16 F W WI WI
BUTZIN Hellena Dau 14 F W WI WI
BUTZIN Herman Son 14 M W WI WI
BUTZIN Emma Dau 12 F W WI WI
BUTZIN Martha Dau 11 F W WI WI
BUTZIN Wm. Son 10 M W WI WI
BUTZIN Charlie Son 8 M W WI WI
BUTZIN Emma Dau 6 F W WI WI
BUTZIN Emil Son 4 M W WI WI
BUTZIN Freddie Son 1 M W WI WI
For Butson Births, Deaths and Marriages in England 1837 - 1911, GO HERE, scroll down and type in Surname BUTSON and select "All Types, All Districts and All Counties" - and then select "Find"
US/UK Census Chart 1790 - 1930
This column is intended as a record of vital and other events of Butsons and Butson descendants.
Colonel D. Butson attends 19TH VICTORIA CROSS & GEORGE CROSS ASSOCIATION REUNION - 1997
(An interview with Dr. George Butson, GC OMM CD)
Captain Eugene Burden, in Port Lockroy, Antarctic Peninsula Region (1946 – 47)
Family tradition always had it that my great-uncle Captain Eugene Burden had carried
scientists to the Antarctic Ocean in the 1940s, and that he had brought a film crew down
to provide footage for the 1948 British film,Scott of the Antarctic. Perhaps this
information provided me with the impetus I needed to brave the waters of Antarctica
aboard Karlsen’s Shipping’s MVPolar Star during December 2001. In any event I knew
that I was not the first member of the family to “burden” the Antarctic with his presence,
so to speak. Since I was one of the few onPolar Star who did not get sick in the thirty
five-foot swells past Cape Horn, I figured some of the family’s maritime heritage must
still run in my veins.
Most of my discoveries about Captain Eugene were made by serendipity after my return
from the Antipodes. By coincidence a good friend of mine, Joseph G. Frey, Chairman,
Canadian Chapter, had written an article for The Medical Post, and interviewed Dr.
Richard Butson, Honorary Chairman, Canadian Chapter, who, as a newly minted medic
was the ship’s doctor for the Newfoundland vessel MV Trepassey. I recognized the latter
as the name of the converted sealing vessel Captain Eugene had skippered in Antarctica.
A little on-line search revealed that in 1946 and 1947 he had carried research teams of the
Falkland Islands Dependency Survey (British Antarctic Survey) to the very waters I had
just explored. He had even made regular supply stops to two of the places I had visited,
Port Lockroy and Deception Island.
Port Lockroy has an active British post office and I found that my great-uncle’s vessel
was commemorated on a 4 pence stamp minted by the British Antarctic Territories in
1993! We had landed there December 14, 2001, directly on the ice and exactly on the
ninetieth anniversary of Amundsen’s discovery of the South Pole. The base, which was
abandoned in 1962, has recently been restored to its appearance in the 1940's. At that
time it was part of Operation Tabarin, and was founded to monitor the activities of
German submarines in the South Atlantic. It must have looked almost exactly the same
as when Captain Eugene first visited here.
My next step in my quest was to track down Dr. Butson, who participated in mapping the
last 1,000-miles of uncharted coastline left on Earth, for which he was awarded the
prestigious Polar Medal, as well as the George Cross for extreme bravery. Joseph Frey
was able to arrange an interview with Dr. Butson’ who now is retired and lives in
Dr. Butson was delighted to take my call and wove me some great yarns about the season
he spent aboard MVTrepassey. She was a converted sealing boat, wooden-hulled and
stabilized with sails, though driven by a diesel engine. Quarters were cramped and
Butson describes how he shared a cabin with the Third Engineer, whose main
qualifications seemed to have been working on trains in Newfoundland before signing
on. The engineer wore his boots in the bunk and warned Dr. Butson to “keep his
distance” at night.
LikePolar Star, the Trepassey hit high seas when she passed Cape Horn and began her
crossing of the Drake Passage. Almost everyone was seasick but the ship’s cook seemed
even more ill than this would warrant. Captain Eugene asked Dr. Butson to have a look
at him and an incarcerated hernia was discovered. As surgery was impossible and an
untreated hernia would have been fatal, Butson took the desperate measure of pressing
forcibly on the hernia and reduced it, thus saving the crewman’s life. (No doubt the
doctor ate well the rest of the trip.)
Captain Eugene was a master mariner who could handle a vessel in any kind of waters.
In his later years he taught navigation in St. John’s. Prior to the First World War he
navigated frail wooden schooners all over the world and during the war he served as an
able seaman on a British destroyer. In 1918 the British Crown awarded him a medal for
his role in the daring rescue of the survivors of the SSFlorizel disaster. After the war
Captain Eugene piloted a tern schooner to Antwerp and there saw his old destroyer.
Hailing her, he was invited aboard and met his former captain. “Who’s the master of that
schooner?” queried the captain. “I am” replied Captain Eugene. “What! You mean you
can navigate and spent the war as an able seaman on my vessel? If I’d known, you’d have
had a commission and been posted on the bridge. Why didn’t you tell us?” “You never
asked” was his terse reply.
Word must have eventually spread for at the outbreak of the Second World War he
received a commission as lieutenant-commander. For much of the war he acted as
harbourmaster in St. John’s forming up convoys for their perilous dash to England.
Captain Eugene’s ability as a navigator and his exposure to the ice and stormy waters of
the North Atlantic gave him the experience to handle the treacherous seas of the
Antarctic. In fact the only recorded misadventure on board MVTrepassey was a small
fire which occurred off Stonington Island, well below the Antarctic Circle. Three vessels
were at anchor in the bay, one American, thePort of Beaumont; one hailing from the
Falklands, theFitzroy and the third was Captain Eugene’s ship. Since American vessels
are “dry” an invitation was extended to the Yanks to come over and celebrate a bit.
Unfortunately the celebrations got a little out of hand and someone started a fire. Luckily
the blaze was quickly extinguished, as was the party. The British base on Stonington
Island was calledTrepassey House, in the tradition of naming bases for the vessel that
first transported the materials and staff to found the station.
Captain Eugene was a bit of an entrepreneur. Dr. Butson recalled that he purchased three
surplus American vessels for the bargain price of sixty thousand dollars. Shortly
afterwards the British offered him sixty thousand dollars for one boat, leaving him with
two free ships. On another occasion he decided to augment his stamp collection. The
British operated post offices in several of their bases, canceling or franking stamps with
the rare and thus highly desirable British Antarctic Territories postmark. Prior to one
visit, Captain Eugene addressed several dozen letters to himself. On arrival at the base he
took them to the postmaster who franked each one, then handed it back with a fresh
British Antarctic Territories cancellation mark.
Dr. Butson confirmed that there was a cameraman on boardTrepassey, a Canadian
named Moss, who was tasked with getting background footage for the movieScott of the
Antarctic. Most of the movie, he said, was filmed on a glacier in Switzerland, but
footage of the northern portions of the Antarctic Peninsula were worked in to add
authenticity (though this was many hundreds of miles away from the Ross Sea from
where Scott actually embarked on his ill-fated voyage). Ironically I already had a copy of
this movie at home and watched it once again in an altogether new light
Another destination shared by Captain Eugene and I was Deception Island, an active
volcano which sank long ago into the Antarctic Ocean. Skilled captains can pilot their
vessels into the crater via a break in the cone called Neptune’s Bellows.Polar Star
entered here and we cruised around the caldera, where superheated waters bubble and
steam along the shoreline. The last eruption of this volcano occurred thirty years ago and
destroyed several bases.
Captain Eugene guided MVTrepassey into the same caldera more than fifty years ago.
Dr. Butson relates that they discovered three men, gaunt and in rags whose station had
burned and who had spent the season in a lean-to, subsisting on penguins’ eggs and seal
meat. Their first request was for a tot of rum.
No doubt my great-uncle had many other adventures now lost to history. Still, it was an
incredible thrill for me to find I had retraced my Uncle Eugene’s steps and to speak with
someone who had shared his Antarctic adventures. I’m now trying to track down a first
day stamp issue with his ship on it. I’m sure if he were alive he’d have a good chuckle
that the British Antarctic Territories postal service would mint a stamp commemorating
his vessel. Perhaps it was a means of showing appreciation to one of their best customers
of the 1940s!
Captain Eugene’s memory began to suffer in his later years,
MAJOR BENJAMIN GENE BUTSON CSC QLD
For outstanding achievement as the Regimental Medical Officer of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.
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