Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Butter Name
Origins of Butter:
This attractive and unique name has two very separate sources, which can be show by the records of the surname and its advancement. The first of these is an English nickname for a person with some vocal quality similar to the bitterns booming call, from the Middle English ‘botor’ and Old French ‘butor’ which means bittern. One ‘Hennry Butor’ appears in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire in 1169. The other and more generally relevant origin are from the Old English pre 7th century ‘butere’ which means butter and is a metonymic professional name for a dairyman or seller of butter or keeper of the buttery. William le Buter shows in the Assize Rolls of Somerset in 1243 and Geoffrey Butter in the Premium Rolls of Worcestershire in 1327.
More common variations are: Buttery, Boutter, Butteri, Beutter, Buttera, Buttero, Butterr, Biutter, Bautter.
The surname Butter first appeared in Fife and Perthshire where they held a family seat from old times. Some say well before the Norman Invasion and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 AD.
The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of William Butere, dated about 1130, in the “The Pipe Rolls of Dorsetshire.” It was during the time of King John I who was known to be the “The Lion of Justice,” dated 1100 – 1135. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling varietions of the original one.
Many of the people with surname Butter had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Butter landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Butter who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Robert Butter, who landed in Virginia in 1635. Robert Butter, who came to Virginia in 1663. Giles Butter, who landed in Maryland in 1663.
People with the surname Butter who landed in the United States in the 18th century included Ralph Butter, who arrived in Virginia in 1715. Thomas Butter who settled in Maryland in 1716. Thomas Butter, who landed in Maryland in 1716. William Butter at the age of 30, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1775. William Butter settled in Philadelphia in the year 1775.
The following century saw more Butter surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Butter who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Keyran Butter came to Philadelphia in 1842. E Butter, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851. Mary Butter, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1851. Peggy Butter at the age of 35, landed in Mobile, Ala in the year 1851.
Some of the people with the surname Butter who came to Canada in the 18th century included Euste Butter, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752.
Some of the individuals with the surname Butter who landed in Australia in the 19th century included George Butter, an English prisoner from Shropshire, who shifted aboard the “Albion” in September 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia. Elizabeth Butter at the age of 19, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Marion” in 1849. William Butter at the age of 35, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship “Henry Moore.”
Some of the population with the surname Butter who arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century included Thomas Henry Butter arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Loch Fleet” in 1878.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Butter: Germany 1,177; Netherlands 1,090; United States 936; Brazil 493; England 468; El Salvador 258; Canada 137; Austria 131; South Africa 110; Australia 100.
Anton Julius Butter (1920–1989), was a Dutch professor.
G. Butter (1888–?), was a Belgian Olympic weightlifter.
Butter Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Butter blazon are the heart and cross. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, argent and gules .
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur . In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known . Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy .
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines . Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).
The heart is represented by the conventional symbol that we see today on playing cards. In later arms it can also appear emflamed and crowned. Guillim, the 17th century heraldic author, believes that it shows the holder to be a “man of sincerity…who speaks truth from his heart”.
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross . Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. In its basic form, the cross is created from two broad bands of colour at right angles covering the whole extent of the shield. It has been subject to all manner of embellishment, and the interested reader is referred to the references, especially Parker’s Heraldic dictionary for many examples of these. Suffice it to say that any armiger would be proud to have such an important device as part of their arms.