Objectives of The Butler Society
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 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.
International Rallies are held every three years, when members of the Society gather in Ireland from all over the world, to attend a number of functions in and around Kilkenny and its Castle. In 2017, in addition to the Triennial Rallies, a special “Jubilee Rally” was held to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the formation of the Butler Society.
The scheduled Triennial Rally for 2018 was then held in and around London, with a focus on the life of Anne Boleyn, wife of King Henry VIII, and granddaughter of Lady Margaret Butler, whose father was Thomas Butler, the 7th Earl of Ormonde.
2021 Triennial Rally
The next Triennial Rally will be held in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 2021.
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 contacting either the President or the Secretary and passing on their comments, concerns, etc, which will then be tabled at the meetings on their behalf. Or they can use technology such as Skype, or other forms of video/audio conferencing to link-up.
Southern Cross Butler Gatherings
Southern Cross Butler Gatherings are held at three year 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. Another Gathering was held in October 2016 in South Australia, and was attended by people from Australia, New Zealand and England. The Gatherings provide a great opportunity for people to meet, learn about Butler family histories, exchange hints and information on genealogy research, and possibly discover a previously unknown cousin.
The next Southern Cross Gathering will be held from 30th August to 2nd September 2019 in Queensland. Events will include an opening reception; a trip to the country town of Kilcoy; talks on pioneer Butler families in Queensland; a genealogy forum and dinner; and visits to some historic homesteads.
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!
A Butler Journal is published and distributed every three years from Ireland. The Journals contain many well-researched articles submitted by members from all over the world, concerning individual Butlers or their family histories.
Over the years, Southern Cross members have donated photographs, memorabilia, booklets, and various documents to the Society. These have now been collected in to a central Archive in Melbourne, and an index is being prepared. The next stage will be to decide how the various items can be scanned and recorded digitally, so members can readily access the information.
Database of Genealogies
Almost all of our members have researched their family histories, and the Archive contains copies of a number of genealogies. The Southern Cross Region is currently investigating how the various sources of information can be combined and cross-referenced, so that possible links between members are highlighted.
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.