Register of First Butlers

A variety of reasons have led to Butlers emigrating to Australia over the years. These are some of them, and we have details of these people and their descendants. 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!


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 (1793). William was subsequently granted 50 acres at Prospect Hill (subsequently Parramatta) and was still living there as a prosperous farmer in 1825. 

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”. 

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. 

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

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

William Butler Simpson

Born 1836, the eldest son of George Morant Simpson and Ruth (nee Francis). George Simpson Morant, the son of William Simpson and Ann Butler, emigrated to Australia in 1827. Mem 28

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

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

Alexander Bishop Butler

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

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

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

James Butler

Who arrived in Sydney in 1843 accompanied by his wife Elizabeth and 3 children – George, Eliza-Jane and John. Mem 8

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

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

Henry James Butler

And his wife Martha, with sons Henry (bc1841) and William (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

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

William Field 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

Pierce Butler

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who was your “First Butler”?