First Butlers Australia

UPDATED: 25 March 2024 (New entries indicated by *)

A variety of reasons have led to Butlers emigrating to Australia over the years. The stories behind who they were, where they came from, and where and when they landed in Australia make very interesting reading. By comparing notes, several members of the Southern Cross Region have discovered that they have a common ancestor, and have uncovered branches of their family of which they had no previous knowledge!

The following, in Alphabetical order are some of those Butlers. Further details of these people and their descendants are available in our Members Only section.

As at 1st January 2023 the Register includes the following;

1912 Albert Henry Butler

From Leicester who came to South Australia in 1912/1913 with his family, among whom was a daughter, Doris May Butler age 6. Mem 71

1838 Alexander Bishop Butler

And wife Charlotte Selina (nee Mortimer) with children Alexander (b 1828), William (b 1830), Alfred (b 1832), Mary Anne (b 1834), Spilsbury (b 1836), arrived in Tasmania in 1838 on the Derwent. Mem 12, 13, 37, 65

1849 Charles John Butler

Arrived in Port Adelaide from Somerset on 7 April 1849, on the David Malcolm. Charles married (Louisa) Laura Waters in 1853 in Port Adelaide. Mem 56

*1856 Edward Butler

Born about 1836 in Gorey Co Wexford and arrived in Victoria in 1856. In 1859 he married Eleanor Mary Ryan and they had several children including Alice and Margaret. Alice later married George Romeria, and they had six children. When Alice died George married her sister Margaret.

1820 Edward Henry Butler

Who was transported to Sydney at the age of 17, for breaking a shop window and stealing two gold seals with another boy. He arrived in 1820 aboard the Neptune. Mem 23

1849 Elijah Henry Butler

Brother of Charles John Butler (above), arrived in Port Adelaide from Somerset on 5 November 1849 on board the Navarino. Elijah married Caroline Walker on 27 July 1850 in Port Adelaide, and they had 12 children. Mem 6, 27, 35, 40, 44, 52, 55, 60, 76, 84, 85, 87, 88, 89, 91, 96, 97, 103, 138

1824 Gamaliel Butler

Born 1783 in Hounslow, then a village outside London. He married Sarah Paine in 1810. They arrived in Hobart in 1824, on what was to be a temporary visit, for Gamaliel to resolve some business matters. However Gamaliel saw opportunities in the new colonies, decided to stay and set up what is now believed to be the oldest continually operating law firm in Australia. Gamaliel and Sarah had sixteen children: Edward Paine born 1811, Henry William (b 1812), Sarah (b 1813), Ann (b 1815), Frederick (b 1816), Lucy Elizabeth (b 1818), Eliza (b 1819), Charles (b 1820), Henry (b 1821), Francis (b 1823), Georgiana (b 1824), Alfred Alexander (b 1826), John James (b 1828), Richard William (b 1829), Ellen Jane (b 1831) and Maria (b 1833). Mem 102, 130 

1853 George Butler

From Wiltshire who arrived in Geelong on 18 July 1853 on board the Euphemus, with his wife Elizabeth and 5 children – Elizabeth Ann, Charlotte, Anne, Stephen and Thomas. Mem 43, 100

1870 Henry Butler

Was born in 1834 in Fringford, Oxfordshire. He and his wife Elizabeth, with their children Emma, Elizabeth, Harry and Joseph, emigrated to Rockhampton, Queensland in 1870. The family later moved to Mackay, where Ellen and George were born, and then further north to Townsville. Henry finally settled the family on Magnetic Island. They were the first white settlers on the island. The family farm and cottages Henry built developed into a holiday resort for visitors from the mainland. Mem 80, 113, 118, 119

1850 Henry James Butler

And his wife Martha, with sons Henry (bc 1841) and William (b 1842) arrived in Sydney about 1850 from New Zealand. Henry James and Martha had emigrated to New Zealand in 1840 aboard the Slains Castle, after their marriage in Ireland. Mem 66

1843 James Butler

Who arrived in Sydney in 1843 accompanied by his wife Elizabeth and 3 children – George, Eliza-Jane and John. Mem 8, 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 18, 21, 22, 24, 26, 30, 31, 36, 38, 39, 41, 42, 45, 53, 106, 133, 134

1886 Jesse Butler

Was born in Redding in 1852, became a master draper and married Amy Beatrice Steeds. They emigrated to Melbourne in 1886 on the Sorata. They had two sons, Herbert Vyvyan (b 1886), and Leslie Frank (b 1892). Mem 77, 83, 122

*1830 John & Archibald Butler

Who were brothers arrived in the Swan River colony on 17 January 1830 onboard the Skerne which the brothers had chartered. John’s wife Anne and their three children were onboard, together with servants and farm labourers, household goods and supplies.

1853 John Butler

Who arrived in Adelaide with his wife Bridget, nee Saunders, in 1853 from County Wicklow.  Mem 121

1861 John Butler

Who arrived in Brisbane on 7th August 1861 with his wife Mary, nee Duff. They emigrated from Cuffs Grange in County Kilkenny.  Mem 127

1833 John Sedgfield Butler

Who arrived in Hobart in 1833, on the ship Sir John Rae Reid. John was accompanied by his wife and a daughter, Adelaide Eliza, aged 2. Mem 32

1880 John Thomas Butler

Who married Elizabeth Alice Searle in 1862 in London. John and Elizabeth emigrated with their children on the Orient, arriving in Melbourne on 16 October 1880. Mem 50

1790 Joseph Butler

Born about 1762 in England, sailed on the Second Fleet, on the Neptune, and arrived in Sydney on 26th June 1790. He married Mary Holland, they had two children, James born 1802 and Sylvester born 1804. M.C.,72,73

1802 Laurence Butler

Who was transported to Sydney for his part in the 1798 Irish Rebellion, arriving on 30 October 1802 on the ship Atlas 2. Laurence was born in County Wexford, and married, (1) Catherine (surname unknown), (2) Mary Ann Fowles by whom he had a son, Walter, and (3) Ann Roberts, and their children were Lawrence, George, Mary Ann, and Elizabeth. Mem 25, 17

1790 Mary Butler

Convicted of stealing and assault at the age of 15, and sentenced to 7 years transportation. She sailed on the Second Fleet, on the Lady Juliana, and arrived in Sydney on 3 June 1790, but was then sent on to Norfolk Island in 1790 on the Surprize

1790 Mary Butler

Born about 1750 in Ireland, convicted of stealing a wicker basket containing French beans, total value 6 shillings and 6 pence, at the age of 39, and sentenced to 7 years transportation. She sailed on the Second Fleet, on the Neptune, and arrived in Sydney on 26 June 1790. She married another convict, John Randall, on 5 September 1790 and they had 4 children. 

1860 Mary Butler

Born 1838 in Johnswell, Co Kilkenny, arrived in Melbourne on 30 May 1860, on the Atalanta. In 1865 she married Edward Lalor in Geelong. Mem 58

1839 Patrick Butler

A shepherd from Glendalough County Wicklow, and his wife Sarah (nee Naulty) arrived in South Australia in 1839 and settled in the Clare Valley. Patrick and Sarah had ten children; James Murphy (b 1839), Patrick (b 1842), Mary Ann (b 1844), John (b 1846), Michael (b 1848), Elizabeth Ellen (b 1852), Sarah (b 1854), Thomas Charles (b 1856), Matthew (b 1858), James Patrick (b 1860). R.O.

185? Pierce Butler

Who came to Australia in the 1850’s from Inistioge, Co Kilkenny. Pierce married Agnes Rabbage. Mem 48

1858 Richard Christopher Butler

Who arrived in Melbourne with his brother Thomas Butler on the Rodney. He was born in 1831 in County Cork. He married Mary Anne Sloane in Melbourne and they had 7 children. Mem 125

1839 Spencer Butler

Who arrived in Sydney in 1839 on the ship Neptune, with wife Harriet (nee Chapman) and 3 daughters – Mary Anna, Harriet and Maria. A son, called Thankful, died on the voyage. A further 6 children were born in Australia. Mem 19

1835 Thomas Butler

Who was transported to Sydney at the age of 13 for stealing some spoons, arriving on 9 April 1835 on the Lady Nugent. Thomas married Eliza Wilson in 1843 at Bathurst, and they had 8 children – Michael, Janet, William, Thomas, Elizabeth, Agnes, Theresa and John. Mem 94, 95 

1857 Thomas Butler

Born 1834 in Erith, England, married Frances Elizabeth Holmes. Thomas was recruited to be a schoolteacher in rural towns in Victoria, and he and Frances arrived in 1857. They had 12 children. Mem 46, 99

1866 Thomas Butler

Who arrived in Fremantle in 1866 as a pensioner guard on a convict ship. Thomas had married Mary Connors, and his wife and 6 children accompanied him on the voyage. A further 3 children were born in Fremantle. Mem 14

1788 William Butler

Convicted of stealing lead from a building at the age of 20, and sentenced to transportation. He sailed on the First Fleet, on the Scarborough, and arrived in Sydney on 22 January 1788. He married Jane Forbes in 1791, and they had two children – Ann (b 1792) and William (b 1793). William was later granted 50 acres at Prospect Hill (subsequently Parramatta) and was still living there as a prosperous farmer in 1825. 

1839 William Butler

Born 1824 in Birmingham, arrived in Sydney in 1839. In 1847 he drove the first mob of sheep around the Yorke Peninsula in SA, and settled at Gum Flat. He married Mary Ann Bowan in 1858. Mem 7

1854 William Butler

From Bedfordshire, who emigrated to Sydney in 1854. He married Jane (Jeanie) Graham in 1871, and they had 10 children – William Royston, Arthur Graham, Ethel Brice, Rosa Kilcoy, Mary Tulk, Colin Hope, Frank Wells, David Ormonde, Jeanie Christie, and Duncan. Mem 20, 33, 61, 62, 68, 109, 117

1861 William Butler

Born in 1839 in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, married Mary Ann Newman in 1860 in Berkshire. They emigrated on the Shackamaxon arriving in Melbourne in March 1861. Mary Ann gave birth to their first child, William, on the voyage. They settled at Lancefield in Victoria, and had a further nine children. Mem 51

1867 William George Jeremiah Butler

Born 1834 in Hedgerley, Buckinghamshire. Married Mary Anne McVee and had four children. He was caught poaching and transported, arriving on the Norwood on 14th July 1867. He married again in Australia and had a further ten children. Mem 111

1884 William Henry Butler

Who arrived in Queensland 27th January 1884 with his wife Maria, nee Hackett, from Callan County Kilkenny. Their children were Anne Mary, John Frances, William Henry, James Edmond, Cicilla Sarah, Frances Mary and Mary. Mem 82

Who was your “First Butler”?