Beachfront Home on Martha's Vineyard ? Nicholas Butler
B.about 1595 in (probably) Eastwell, England
M. (1) 18 Jul 1613 in Canterbury, England
Wife: Mary Cotterell
M. (2) 22 Jan 1624 in Ashford, England
Wife: Joyce Baker
D. 13 Aug 1671 Edgartown, Massachusetts
Emigrated: June 1637 on the ship Hercules
Nothing is known of Nicholas Butler?s background other than that he came from Eastwell, England (which was in Kent), and he was born in about 1595. On July 18, 1613, he married Mary Cotterell in Canterbury. They had three children who died young, then Mary died in 1623. Nicholas married Joyce Baker in Ashford on January 22, 1624, and they had four children (one died young). In June 1637, the family migrated to the Massachusetts Bay colony on the ship Hercules
, along with five servants, which suggests that Nicholas was a man of some wealth.
Once in America, Nicholas lived at Dorchester. His son Henry attended Harvard and graduated in 1651. Nicholas moved to Martha?s Vineyard about this time; he first appeared on a document there regarding the division of some land on May 8, 1653. Nicholas settled in Edgartown on Martha?s Vineyard and was named magistrate in 1653, then assistant to the chief magistrate in 1655. He was called ?Mr. Butler? or ?Mr. Nicholas Butler? in the records, which wasn?t usually done for lower ranking men. In December 1661, Nicholas was fined for absence from a town meeting and ?for Going away Disorderly.?
Nicholas lived on twenty acres of beachfront property near Swimming Place Point. At one time or another, he owned seven other parcels of land on Martha?s Vineyard, including nine acres on Chappaquiddick. His son John had property next to him. His other son, Henry, returned to England and lived out his life there as a preacher.
On August 12, 1671, Nicholas made out his will, a very brief document that left everything for his wife to decide on later. He signed the will with a mark, which was accompanied by an explanation, ?his sight as it were gon,? which probably meant he was blind when the document was written and could no longer sign his name. He died the following day. The inventory of his estate was sparse and amounted to only about £92. It may have been that he gave most of his possessions away to his children before he died. Nicholas? wife Joyce left a much more detailed will when she died in 1680, naming many grandchildren as beneficiaries.
Famous descendants of Nicholas Butler include Wild Bill Hickock.Sources:The History of Martha's Vineyard, Vol. II & III
, Charles E. Banks, 1911Glover Memorials and Genealogies
, Anna Glover, 1867Palmer Groups: John Melvin of Charlestown and Concord, Mass.
, Emily Wilder Leavitt, 1905
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]
- Over 40 Years Serving His Town ? Timothy Wheeler
B. about 1604 in Cranfield, England M. (1) 30 Apr 1632 in Cranfield, England Wife: Susanna Knight M. (2) after 1637 Wife: Jane (last name unknown) M. (3) about 1655 in Concord, Massachusetts Wife: Mary Brooks D. 30 Jul 1687 in Concord, Massachusetts Emigrated:...
- His Maid Fought Off An Indian ? George Minot
B. 4 Aug 1594 in Saffron Walden, England M. in (probably) Essex, England Wife: Martha Stocke D. 24 Dec 1671 in Dorchester, Massachusetts Emigrated: before 1 Apr 1634 George Minot came from a family that traces back many generations in Essex, England....
- No Room At The Inn In Lynn ? Samuel Worcester
B. 1629 in Olney, England M. 29 Nov 1659 in Rowley, Massachusetts Wife: Elizabeth Parrat D. 21 Feb 1681 in Lynn, Massachusetts Emigrated: about 1638 It is believed that Samuel Worcester was born in Olney, England to Reverend William Worcester and Sarah...
- A Puritan From Manchester ? Thomas Brooks
B. about 1595 in (probably) Manchester, England M. 2 Feb 1618 in Manchester, England Wife: Grace Cunliffe D. 21 May 1667 in Concord, Massachusetts Emigrated: before 1636 Thomas Brooks was born in about 1595 to a shoemaker also named Thomas Brooks (mother's...
- Harvard Graduate In The Class Of 1675 ? James Minot
B. 14 Sep 1653 in Dorchester, Massachusetts M. about 1684 Wife: Rebecca Wheeler D. 20 Sep 1735 in Concord, Masachusetts James Minot was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts on September 14, 1653 to John Minot and Lydia Butler. James was the second child...