BUTLER, Rev John, Wallington, 1670-1714

April 2001




PLEASE NOTE: When this question was asked the amount of information available online was very restricted and the only census available (on a CD) was the 1881 census. The answer given below should be carefully checked using the additional information now readily available online.

On 9th April 2001 Merv Shearman (mervshearman @t one.net.au) of Sydney, Australia, says that "Rev John Butler LL.D, born 1664, Orwell Cambridgeshire, became Rector of Wallington, married to Susan Bodendick and had about 16 children of whom at least 10 were born in Wallington. The only one of the children I have been able to trace is the eldest, Jacob 1681-1765, a barrister who died in Barnewell, Cambridgeshire. I have been unable to trace any of the others. Do you have any information on Butlers in this area or can you give me any guidance on how I might track them down?"

You fail to identify the sources of your information, or what checking you have done so far. However the list of the Rectors of Wallington in Cussans makes is clear that any John BUTLER born in 1664 was too young to be the Rev. John BUTLER, son of Nevile BUTLER, who was Rector from 25 October 1670 until his death in 1714, so clearly some re-examination of your information is necessary.

A check at familysearch shows 11 baptisms at Wallington to John/Susan or John/Susanna BUTLER between March 1681 and March 1692. This is extremely high bearing in mind that lactation has a contraceptive effect and could suggest that either (a) that most of the children died at birth or (b) there were two couples with very similar names (see Right Name, Wrong Body). Have you checked the microfilms of the baptism and burial registers at your LDS Family History Centre and if so does it throw any light on the matter? Have you checked the marriage register (or index) to see if any of the children who survived married in Wallington?

Bearing in mind how common the name John BUTLER is, I can't say whether the John BUTLER, you say was born in 1664 at Orwell, Cambridgeshire, is the same John BULTER whose children were baptised at Wallington starting in 1681, or whether either is related to the Rev John BUTLER. People of the status of Rector are likely to have left a will, and details of Hertfordshire wills are given on the HALS web site. A will may well identify members of his family alive at about the time of his death and as such could help resolve which John BUTLER is which.