The Butcher Family

This is the story of the Butcher family in Clay and Nicholas Counties as submitted by Lola Butcher Given.

Faint traces are sometimes all one has to go on with your family history. Clay, Braxton and Nicholas County Census Records and grave stones show that this family lived there since back in the early 1800's.

There are about 2800 names stored in my computer genealogy program of the offspring, in-laws and, as the old saying goes, "outlaws" of the Warwick Butcher family.

The records of the Sons of the Confederacy were a source for the life of Warwick Butcher, but his parents have been very elusive. No lead seems to fit. The George Valentine Butcher family in the Lewis/Harrison Co., area does not seem to be kin. As is said of the ocean--water, water everywhere and none to drink--so I say of my family--Butchers, Butchers everywhere but none to link.

Why one lets the older generation die off and never write down their names is beyond me. I am guilty myself though.

I remember once going to the Richwood, West Virginia, area to try to find out from an uncle of my father who my great great grandfather was. But by then my uncle was so senile he didn't know his own name. Luckily, my sister-in-law Lucille Griffin Butcher, had copied down from the family Bible of Warwick Butcher and Mary Margret Dilly Butcher the ancestoral lines of my great grandfather and great grandmother. This Bible was in the possession of Rachel Madora Butcher Strickland Nicholas. Rachel was the only daughter in Warwick Butcher's family. And there was only one daughter in my grandfather William Morgan Butcher's family as well.

While surfing the Internet, I came across the following information from the Sons of the Confederacy about my oldest known ancestor's service record in the Civil War: Warwick Butcher enlisted in the Confederate Army at Frankfort, Va. (now W.Va.) on March 13, 1863, as a private in Company C, 19th Virginia Cavalry, C.S.A. He was captured in Nicholas County, VA. (now W.Va.) on July 29, 1863, and was taken to Atheneum Prison in Wheeling, W.Va., as a prisoner of war where he arrived on September 13, 1863. Upon arrival he was described as age 44, 5' 10" tall, with dark hair and whiskers and blue eyes. His occupation was listed as blacksmith and his residence as Nicholas County. On September 17, 1863 he was transferred to Camp Chase at Columbus, Ohio. On January 14, 1864, he was transferred to Rock Island Prison, Rock Island, Illinois, where he died of tuberculosis on December 3, 1864. He is buried in grave #1637 in the Rock Island Prison Cemetery.

A census places Warwick Butcher (misprint reads Warnick Butcher) in the 1860 Nicholas Co. records. It lists the first seven children and their ages, and these agree with the family Bible records.

As one looks at his Civil War service one wonders why a man almost 45 years old with nine children would enlist in the war effort, but there was a lot of fighting going on in the area of Nicholas and Greenbrier Counties of what was then Virginia. It was either fight or run, and I haven't known a Butcher who would run from a fight. Then too, he had a craft that they needed then, a blacksmith to care for the shoeing of the horses and to make badly needed iron weapons of war.

Warwick Butcher was born November 6, 1819, and died December 3, 1864. He married Mary Margaret Dilly, April 8, 1845, who was born October 20, 1829, and died January 13, 1819. While Warwick is buried at Rock Island, Illinois, Mary Margaret Dilly Butcher is buried in the Butcher Cemetery at Dille, West Virginia.

Mary Margaret Dilly was the daughter of Isaac and Rachel Murphy Dilly. (They say that Isaac Dilley had a grist mill on a branch of Strange Creek and the branch--Dilley Run-- and the town--Dille-- were named for him).

Rebecca Butcher Sigman (now deceased) once told me she could remember Mary and she was of French descent. She said she was a tiny lady and had the tiniest feet. Heaven knows I didn't inherit any of those qualities. Rebecca also told me she had witnessed the marriage of my mother Emily Belle Given and my father Levi Jonathan Butcher (nicknamed Pet) in 1900.

Here is the record of Warwick Butcher's nine children who settled in the Clay, Nicholas, and Braxton areas:

The oldest child, John Mac Butcher (b. Jan. 15, 1846, d. Jan. 11, 1922) married Mary Jane Fulks. John Mac was a lawyer and practiced in Nicholas Co. One of his many descendents lives in Point Pleasant, W.Va. and there are many more in the Clay County area.

My grandfather, William Morgan Butcher (b. Jan. 3, 1848, d. March 9, 1926) married Elizabeth Faye Cox on June 17, 1868.These are my foreparents and I have records of their offspring. They lived in the Muddlety area and later in the Dille Area. He died at my parents home at the top of Widen/Dille hill when I was slmost two years old. She had died sometime before.

Thomas Franklin Butcher (b. April 15, 1850, d. April 14, 1931) married Talita Angeline Loving. Both are buried at the Butcher Cemetery at Dille, W.Va. Many of their offspring are living in Dille and the Summersville area. Thomas wa mainly a farmer. I can remember both of them as being kind, gentle, and very gracious people. They lived near the Butcher Family Cemetery and when going to that isolated area, we always stopped off to see Uncle Thomas and Aunt Adeline.

Isaac Scott Butcher (b. Sept. 1, 1852 d. 1921) married Martha Jane Cox (sister to Elizabeth Fay Cox, my grandmother). After Martha's death Isaac married Alanine E. Henderson. Isaac was a Baptist minister and a farmer. His daughter, Martha Butcher, married Averall Rapp, and their family lived in Widen and the surrounding counties. Their child, a stillborn son, is buried at the Butcher Family Cemetery at Dille.

The sixth child, James Henry Butcher ( b. March 21, 1856 d. Feb. 14, 1921), married Mahetable Marie Cartnee Tinnel. This family and their offspring mostly lived in the Dille area.

The seventh child, Adam Irvin Butcher (b. August5, 1858 d. Dec., 16, 1921) married Effie Dean, May 27, 1880.

The Eighth, Rachel Madora Butcher (b. Feb. 12, 1861 d. Jan. 7, 1960) was the only daughter of Warwick and Mary Dilly Butcher. Rachel married Joseph McAnderson Strickland on May 27, 1880. Later she married Moses Scott Nicholas. I remember her as a tiny little lady. She must have inherited the qualities of Mary Margaret Dilly Butcher. I remember her as having some kind of growth on the center of her forehead that some doctor diagnosed as cancer. He used some kind of treatment and it didn't give her problems till the last two or three years of her life. Most of offspring were raised in Clay County.

The ninth child was George Warwick Butcher (b. Dec. 23, 1863 d. Jan. 20, 1948) who married consecutively Dallie Hamric, Mary Rachel Weaver, and Armita Hively George. Warwick's family lived in the Clay County area.

Offspring of the Butcher clan settled in the surrounding counties in the early 1800's. Now they are scattered throughout the United States. William Morgan Butcher's offspring mainly settled in the Dille and Widen areas of Clay County. He was my grandfather. Census records show that Mary Margaret Dilley Butcher lived in his home. William Morgan died at my Levi (Pet) Jonathan Butcher's home in 1926. Levi was my dad. William's wife, Elizabeth Cox Butcher (my grandmother), had died sometime earlier.

These ancestors and their offspring never became presidents or men and women of fame, but they were law-abiding citizens. Someone doing the history of the family once said they rarely found Butchers on welfare rolls, and if perchance they did, it wasn't long till they were off and working again. They have been an industious group of people, gifted to work with their hands and backs. Questions concerning this article should be addressed to Lola B. Given.