Recorded as Boutellier in France and as Butler and Buttler in Britain and Ireland, this famous aristocratic surname is of Norman-French origins. It is job descriptive, deriving the Olde French word 'bouteillier,' and meaning "one who supplies the bottles." However Butler or Bouteillier in medieval times defined status in a royal, or at least noble, household. These status ranks included the Marshall, who was master of the horse, the Steward who was in charge of the estate, the (dis)Spencer, head of provisions) and the Bouteillier or Butler, the master of the pantry. That the original 'Butlers' were much more than mere servants is shown by the fact that when Theodore Fitzwalter accompanied King Henry 11nd of England on his conquest of Ireland in 1171, he was not only appointed 'Chief Butler of Ireland' but he subsequently adopted 'Butler' as his surname. No less than ninety four coats of arms have been granted to nameholders, the most ancient being that to Robert de Pincerna, butler to Randolf, earl of Chester, in 1158, and the first of the Butlers of Cheshire. This original and ancient arms has the blazon of a red field, a bend between three goblets, all gold. Butler's were also amongst the first settlers into the new American Colonies, Francis Butler, aged 18, being recorded as resident at 'Elizabeth Cittie, Virginea' in January 1624. He arrived on the ship 'Bonaventure' and was a member of the governors guard. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Buteiller. This was dated 1055, in the calendar of preserved ancient documents of France, during the reign of King Henry 1st, 1031 - 1060. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017