|About My Butler Southern Heritage
Welcome to my ancestral family website, My Butler Southern Heritage. This work is
a collaboration of years of research from several sources including family records and the
internet. While I try to document the facts as best can be, there may be errors that are unknown
and I welcome your input as to validity of any information contained herein.
My genealogy research began as a young boy growing up in rural South Carolina of Greenwood
County in nearby Ninety-Six. I always had wondered who my great-grandfather was and his father,
mother. When I asked my father, he only knew that his grandfather was named Wash Butler. Through
my research, I came to realize that his name was Washington Butler who died before my father was
born. I asked my mother, Erline Butler to help me find more information and she took me to a great
aunt who lived in Saluda, South Carolina and she pulled an old Bible from an old trunk. I was
amazed at the information that Bible contained and from there, the rest is history as they say.
One lead, led to another and another and now my family tree has grown to over 10,000 cousins.
From my research, my family lineage came to South Carolina from Virginia shortly before the
American Revolution and some thereafter. There are significant indications that my Butler line
came to this country from Ireland. I do know that my mother's side (Wilson's) of the family is
Irish coming to this country in early 1800. I have been involved in the Butler DNA project
which indicates that I am of Irish descent. The Butler's of my heritage are a proud people
serving in the American Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, and both World Wars. Many of the
Butler's who established residence in South Carolina in the 1700-1800's have migrated to other
states being Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas. Several
others are in other areas of the U.S.
I find it particular interesting that Saluda County, South Carolina when formed in 1895 came very
close to being named Butler County in honor of the strong Butler legacy in the area. When the county
was formed in 1895 many prominent members for the convention met at the Good Hope Baptist Church
with the first discussions about forming the county. It took a State Constitution Convention to
divide the line into what is now called Saluda County named after the indians who lived in the area.
Pinkney Randy Butler
The Butlers of Carolina
The Newberry Herald and News, Newberry, South Carolina
December 22, 1887
Pen Portraits of Senator Butler’s Daughters
The Family and its Ancestry
A Washington correspondent of the New York World gives a long list, illustrated portraits of
the “buds” who will enter Washington society this winter. He says:
Senator Butler of South Carolina is one of the most courtly and handsome men in the United
States Senate and his daughters will be among the brightest of the rose-buds of the capital this
winter. Miss Marie Butler had just a taste of Washington society last season, and Miss Elsie will
make her first appearance on New Year’s. They both seem very pretty. Miss Marie is very stylish and
highly accomplished. She speaks French fluently and like her sister Elsie, is very fond of horseback
riding. The picture I give you of her is an equestrian one, and it is taken from an instantaneous
photograph of her seated on her favorite horse, Frisette, while standing in one of the roads of the
family estate, East Hill, near Edgefield, S.C.
My picture of Elsie, who is a little more of a rose-bud than Marie, was taken at the same time,
and it represents her riding costume, but does not show forth the full beauty of her features. Miss
Elsie Butler is a beautiful girl. She is of medium height, well formed and her large blue eyes look
out over fair cheeks, rosy with color. Like her sister Marie, she is a good French scholar, and will
be as Marie last winter, very popular with the diplomats. She is fond of reading and is an
accomplished talker. The Washington home of the Butler’s is in the most fashionable quarter of the
city. It is within a stone’s throw of the British legation, not far from Blaine’s house, facing
DuPont circle and just around the corner from where Secretary Manning lived last winter and where
the Count Mitkiewicz lives now. It is a red pressed brick, bearing the number 1,781 P Street, and is
very comfortably furnished. Mrs. Butler comes of one of the best families of the Palmetto State, and
as for the Senator, his ancestors were the Dukes of Ormond, one of who was lieutenant general of the
Royal troops during the Irish insurrection of 1641, and who was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1644.
He struck to the Crown when Cromwell seized the government. He proclaimed Charles II in Ireland and
made an unsucessful attempt to capture Dublin in 1649. Cromwell however drove him out of Ireland
during the following year, and Charles II made him a duke when he came into power.
The man’s name was James Butler Ormond, and one of his descendants, Pierce Butler, who was a
third son of Sir Richard Butler of Ireland, came to this country as a Major in the British army. He
resigned however, before the revolution and settled in Charlestown, and it is from him, I think that
the present Butler family originates. He was a member of the United States Senate, and one of his
sons married Fanny Kemble, the actress. The paternal grandfather of the Misses Butler was in
Congress, one of their granduncles was an officer in the American army and was killed in the Mexican
War, and another granduncle was the Untied States Senator in defense of whom Preston M. Brooks, a
relative, assaulted Charles Sumner, inasmuch as Senator Butler was not at Washington at the time
Sumner’s attack upon him in the Senate was made. Senator Butler’s mother was a Perry, and she was
the youngest sister of Commodore Oliver H. Peery, the hero of the battle of Lake Erie.