Butler Family

#51 James Butler


This record is incorrectly listed as Daniel Butler on the transcription posted on the chebucto.org site.

In the 1817 Census James Butler is listed as having a wife, 4 children, 5 man servants and 1 female servant. He is described as being “Well Off” and using William Danson as his supplier/merchant (again incorrectly given as Thomas Danson on the chebucto.org site). See History 1805-1818 Section for more information on Danson.

The Plantation Book of 1805 had several Butlers in Port de Grave but none in Bareneed. The Butler family was settled in Bay de Grave in the 1600s and were established there by the 1700s (A. M. Butler, 1975, pp 32-35). Based on the order of references in the Census of 1817 it is likely that the James Butler of 1817 was living on or near the land occupied by either Thomas Sullivan (see under William Turner above) or Edward French in 1805 (see Map of 1805 Plantations above).

There is a reference to a James Butler owning a vessel Industry in 1815 who is likely the James at Bareneed in 1817:

Keith Matthews Files

There are records for a vessel named Industry linked to a Richard Bransfield who is listed as living in Bareneed; however, this might be a reference to where the ship was built.

Industry built 1810

Name:Richard Bransfield
Record Type:Owner
Residence Place:Bareneed , Conception Bay, Newfoundland, Canada

There is another reference to Richard Bransifield of Carbonear owning another ship built in Bareneed.

Keith Matthews Files

Given that Bareneed including the Dock was becoming a hub for shipbuilding and the Labrador fishery around this time (see History 1818-1837 Section) it is possible that James, who was living in The Dock in 1817, was either a owner, master or involved in shipbuilding. We do have evidence that he was living in Bareneed in 1815 and owned a boat in Northern Gut in 1816. These references suggest he had dealings with the Merchants Patten & Graham at this time but since they had numerous legal battles with their clients in 1817 this might explain why he he was listed as dealing with Danson as a supplier in the 1817 Census.

Ref to James Butler Bareneed in Keith Matthews files MUN

The following reference from 1817 shows that he owned a Schooner Seaflower from 1814- 1817.

By 1819 he was insolvent but agreed to pay.

This James was likely still living in The Dock in 1829 since he was sued by his neighbour Edward French (see next Plantation).

Will of Edward French from Newfoundland probate year 1829. I Edward French, at the Dock, Bearneed …….  I give to my sons Joseph and Abraham, the house, ground and all thereunto pertaining belonging formerly to James Butler, and given to me by a decree of the court at Harbor Grace.

The Butler family at Riverhead, Port de Grave (Clarkes Beach/Northern Gut) in the 1830s may be related to these Butlers.

Jan. 1, 1835John BUTLER Riverhead, Port de GraveElizabeth BUTLER Riverhead, Port de Grave