My 6th great-grandfather, Joshua Butler, was probably born "best guess" about 1676-1680, in Westmoreland County or Stafford County, Virginia. At this time I am unsure of his parentage, but know he was a descendant of the Kent Island, Maryland Butler brothers.
Joshua was in Stafford County, Virginia, prior to 1704, as evidenced by court records and by his marriage. (Note: Stafford County was formed from Westmoreland County in 1664.)
Prior to 1675, Christopher Butler, son of Thomas Butler and Joan Christopher, had settled in Stafford County. At this time we are unsure of the exact relationship between Christopher and Joshua. (This is a work in progress!)
Stafford County records show that on August 9, 1704, Joshua Butler bought goods equaling 1355 pounds of tobacco from the estate of David Jenkins, deceased, in Stafford County.
Joshua married my 6th great-grandmother, Grace Page, around 1705, in Stafford County, Virginia. The exact date of their marriage is unknown, but "best guess" puts it at about 1705. When Joshua died in 1725, five of his seven children were still under 16 years of age. Grace Page was the daughter of William Page, a planter of Stafford County. Grace was probably born about 1675-1678 to have had children of that young an age in 1725.
Stafford County records show that on October 4, 1706, Joshua Butler, a "planter", purchased from William Chaplin of Overwharton Parrish, Stafford, a parcel of land located on the south side of Aquia Creek, on the middle of a ridge extending from the Potomac River to the main road SW, for 2500 pounds of tobacco.
I have been informed that Joshua and Grace, at some time, made their home on 100 acres of land on the Horsepen Branch of Marsh Run. That property had been a part of old Stafford County when Joshua acquired it, but became part of the newly formed King George County in 1620. (Note: Today that area is in Fauquier County.)
Joshua made his will in King George County, Virginia between 1723 and 1725.
Will of Joshua Butler
King George County, Virginia
In the name of God, amen, I, Joshua Butler of the County of King George, being sick and weak in body and of perfect memory, thanks be to Almighty God for the same and calling to mind the uncertainty of this life do make and ordaine this my last will and testament in manner and form following.
Imprimis: I give to my daughter Dackis one heifer, two years old.
Item: I give to my son Joshua one heifer, two years old.
Item: I give to my son Christopher one cow and calf at the age of 16.
Item: I give unto my son John a cow and calf at the age of 16.
Item: I give to my daughter Elizabeth a cow and calf at the age of 16 or on the date of marriage. Item: I give to my daughter Mary a cow and calf at 16 or at her marriage.
Item: I give to my son William a cow and calf at the age of 16.
My will is that all my sons should be at age when they arrive at the age of 16 and to all the rest of my personal estate I make and ordain my lawful wife sole Executrix of this my last will and Testament Revoking all others whatsoever as witness my hand and seal (not dated).
Joshua (x) Butler (his mark)
Joshua died before September 3, 1725, in King George County, Virginia.
On Friday September 3, 1725, the last Will and Testament of Joshua Butler, deceased, was presented to the King George County, Virginia, Court by Grace Butler his widow and Executrix. Grace "made Oath thereto and the same having been proved by the Oaths of John Bradford and James Warren witnesses thereto subscribed is admitted to record". John Page and Thomas Welch acknowledged their bond for 50 pounds sterling for Grace Butlers' securities for due administration of the estate of Joshua Butler. (Note: John Page was Grace (Page) Butler's brother, and Thomas Welch was her son-in-law).
On December 5, 1725 an inventory of Joshua Butler's estate was made and recorded.
We do not know the birth dates or the birth order for Joshua's children. From Joshua's will, however, we can say that Dorcas and Joshua were both over 16 years of age in 1725 and the other five children were under the age of 16 in 1725, meaning that Dorcas and Joshua were born before 1709 and the other five children were born after 1709.
It has been said that the Butlers of Fauquier, Prince William, Culpeper and Rappahannock Counties in Virginia, descend from Joshua.
Children of Joshua Butler and Grace Page
1. Dorcas Butler was probably born about 1706, in Stafford Co, VA. She was listed in her father's will, probated Sept 3, 1725, to receive one heifer, two years old. Dorcas married Thomas Welch about 1725, in Stafford Co, VA. Thomas Welch was baptized Feb 28, 1685, at Brenchley, in Kent Co, England. Thomas's name appears often in the records of King George Co, VA then Prince William Co, VA. Dorcas died prior to 1752, in Prince William Co, VA. Thomas died there before Oct 23, 1752, when his will was probated. Their children, all born in Prince William Co, VA were: (1) David Welch, b. abt 1726; (2) Joshua Welch, b. abt 1728; (3) John Welch, b. abt 1730; (4) William Welch, b. abt 1732; (5) Daniel Welch, b. abt 1739, and (6) Benjamin Welch, b. abt 1741
2. Joshua Butler was probably born abt 1708, in Stafford Co, VA. He was listed in his father's will, probated Sept 3, 1725, to receive one heifer, two years old. King George Co, VA records show: "28 July 1735, Joshua Butler and Grace Repley of Hamilton Parish Prince William to Thomas Turner of Hanover Parish King George, 2000 lbs tobacco for 283 acre tract granted to Joshua's father, Joshua Butler by Thomas Lee Esq., corner to Charles Emmons&ldots; to Wm Russel's land&ldots;". Joshua died after 1763, in Fauquier Co, VA. He had at least one son: (1) Joshua Butler, Jr.
3. Christopher Butler was probably born abt 1710, in Stafford Co, VA. He was listed in his father's will, probated Sept 3, 1725, to receive one cow and calf at the age of 16. He married Mary Catherine Martin. He appears on the 1759 Fauquier Co, VA Tithables List.
4. John Butler was probably born abt 1715, in Stafford Co, VA. He was listed in his father's will, probated Sept 3, 1725, to receive a cow and calf at the age of 16. He married Elizabeth Beach before 1744, in Prince William Co, VA. Elizabeth was born abt 1725, in Stafford Co, VA, the daughter of Alexander Beach (b. 1790, Stafford Co, VA; d. 1762, Fauquier Co, VA) and Margaret Maiden. John appears often in Culpeper and Fauquier Co court records. He bought and sold a great deal of property. Elizabeth died before 1784, in Fauquier Co, VA. After Elizabeth's death, John settled on his Culpeper Co land with his son John Jr., as he leaves that property to John, whereas his remaining 200 acres in Fauquier he leaves to his daughter Hannah, as evidenced in the Virginia deed books. John also divides his slaves between these two children. Culpeper Co., VA, Deed Book U, shows that on Feb 16, 1798, John Butler of Culpeper conveyed to son-in-law Henry Brown and daughter Hannah Brown by Deed of gift, his 200 acre tract on Deep Run, plus her negro Admiral and negress Jinny plus the whole of household furniture and stock at John Butler's decease (Jno. Sr. is illiterate). On Oct 13, 1798, John Butler conveyed to son John Butler Jr., 250 acres of land for 5 shillings. Also a negro man named Ned and a negro boy named Moses, and the proceeds from the plantations crops, provided John Sr. is allowed to enjoy the land and slaves during the rest of his life (Jno. Sr. is illiterate). John died after Oct 13, 1798, in Culpeper Co, VA. Children included: (1) John Butler, Jr., b. abt 1745, Prince William Co, VA and (2) Hannah Butler m. Henry Brown.
5. Elizabeth Butler was probably born about 1717, in Stafford Co, VA. She was listed in her father's will, probated Sept 3, 1725, to receive a cow and calf at the age of 16 or on the date of marriage.
6. Mary Butler was probably born about 1719, in Stafford Co, VA. She was listed in her father's will, probated Sept 3, 1725, to receive a cow and calf at 16 or at her marriage. Mary married Thomas Stone on April 7, 1741, in Prince William Co, VA. Thomas was born abt 1720, in King George Co, VA, and died abt 1791, in Fauquier Co, VA. He was the son of Thomas Stone (b. 1677, Charles Co, MD; d. 1727, Charles Co, MD) and Catherine Boughton. Thomas and Mary had several children (birth order and dates unknown) including: (1) Benjamin Stone, (2) Elizabeth Stone, (3) James Stone, (4) John Stone, (5) Mary Stone, (6) Sarah Stone, (7) Spencer Stone, (8) Thomas Stone, and (9) William Stone
7. William Butler was probably born about 1723, in Stafford Co, VA. (my line)