Objectives of The Butler Society

(Updated January 2024)

The objectives of the Society, as defined in 1967, are:

  • To bring together the diverse and scattered branches of the Butler family, its allied families, and its friends, to nurture old ties and develop new connections.
  • To preserve family records, the history, manuscripts and memorabilia, and maintain the traditions.
  • To establish in Kilkenny a focal point for friendliness and family lore and to sponsor periodic reunions at that location, during which the ties of blood, marriage and inter-family relationships may be strengthened and preserved.

The Crest      


The Butler Society crest is described officially as being a ducal coronet, with a plume of five ostrich feathers issuing from it, and surmounted by a falcon rising.  The ducal coronet refers to the Dukes of Ormonde, whose family name was Butler.  The falcon was the personal heraldic badge of Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII.  Anne’s grandmother, Lady Margaret Butler, was the daughter of Thomas Butler, the 7th Earl of Ormonde, so the crest recognises this link. 

Southern Cross Region

The Southern Cross Region was established as a branch of The Butler Society in 1972, and represents members in Australia and New Zealand.  Meetings are usually held in and around Melbourne, as the core Committee is based in Victoria.  However, members from other locations can participate by joining us via a Zoom link issued by The Secretary.

Southern Cross Butler Gatherings

A number of Southern Cross Butler Gatherings have been held over the years. The first one, which launched the Branch on 26 March 1972 attracted an attendance of 360 people. In 1986 520 people attended a Gathering held in Kyneton Victoria. A combined Australia and New Zealand Gathering in 1996 provided a program of activities and events in both ehe North and South Islands of New Zealand before moving on to the Eastern States of Australia.

Since 2013 Gatherings have been held at three yearly intervals in Australia, each time in a different State, when we learn about Butler individuals or families who have contributed to the early history of our host State.  In 2013, the Gathering was in Victoria, in October 2016 the Gathering was held in South Australia and in August 2019 it was held in Queensland. These Gatherings have been attended by people from Australia, New Zealand and England.  The Gatherings provide a great opportunity for members and non-members alike to meet, learn about Butler family histories, exchange hints and information on genealogy research, and possibly discover a previously unknown cousin.

The latest Gathering was held in Melbourne in March 2022, when we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of our formation.  Our next Gathering will be held in 2025.


The Committee is always looking for ways to maintain contact with our extended “family” of members.  Our Newsletters are issued at regular intervals throughout the year, and contain items of general interest, news of member’s activities, and articles that members have submitted on their family histories.  If a member is seeking assistance with their research, a paragraph in the Newsletter may provide the answer!

The Archive

Over the years, Southern Cross members have donated photographs, memorabilia, booklets, and various documents to the Society which have now been collected and indexed in a central Archive in Melbourne. 

Work has commenced on digital copies of these records in order to make them more readily available to members via the Members Only section of the Website or upon request.

Database of Genealogies

Almost all of our members have researched their family histories, and the Southern Cross Archive contains copies of a number of genealogies.  Lists of the first Butler ancestors of various members to arrive in Australia and New Zealand are shown in the sections First Butlers Australia and First Butlers New Zealand. Further information about these Genealogies is provided in our Members Only section.

Butlers of Note

Over the years, many Butlers have made a significant contribution in the fields of business, politics, arts or sports.  Or they have invented something or established an essential service.  Some of these Butlers have become rich or famous, but a number have been quiet achievers and unsung heroes.  We believe that these people also deserve recognition, and we are therefore compiling our own “Hall of Fame”, to record their achievements.