Bio: Butler, Abram (1804 –1882)


Surnames: Butler

---------Source: Article provided by Lani Bartelt

Birth: Mar. 3, 1804
Monteregie Region
Quebec, Canada
Death: Apr. 26, 1882
Clark County
Wisconsin, USA

The family story, in need of more documentation, is as follows:

Abraham was born as Hubert Desnoyers on the 3 of March 1804 near Point-Olivier or Chambly, Rouville, Quebec, Canada (just south east of Montreal). His parents were Pierre Desnoyers dit Desmarais and Marie Catherine Besette.*

When Hubert was three, his parents both died in Rouville/Chambly, Quebec, on the same day, 17 Oct 1807. We do not know what happened to them, nor do we know who took in the young Hubert and his sisters Anne Marie, Marie Anne, Catherine, and Ursule.

Hubert next appears in the church records when he marries Marie Sophie Poudret dit Lavigne on the 12 of November 1833 in the Rouville/Chambly area of Quebec. At least two children were born to Hubert and Sophie: Hubert in 1834 and Hermina Marie in about 1846. Some of our records show that the children were born in Chambly, Quebec and some say that they were born in Richmond, Vermont.

By 1852 the family appears in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, living in the Scott Street neighborhood. It is in the move from Quebec, via Vermont, to Wisconsin, that the family seems to have taken on the Anglican/American surname, Butler, which they use for business and government paperwork.

The family story is that their real name was too hard to pronounce, so they took on the name Butler since one of the Huberts worked as a butler for a general or military man. The change of last name was a well known story to their children and grandchildren, but the change of first name had long since been forgotten and was no longer part of family lore. It was not until we found the family birth, baptism, marriage, and death/burial records at St Louis Catholic Parish in Fond du Lac, that we better understood the full extent of the name change. Prove it to yourself. St Louis Catholic Church records can be searched online at

In 1852, Hubert's son Hubert appears as godparent to Cordelia Beaudreau in the St Louis Catholic Church register. In 1853 he marries Adelia Beaudreau at the same church. In 1855 the whole family appears in the 1855 state census as Butlers. They continue to use both their French and American names for most of their lives.

On the 3 of November 1862 Abraham's daughter Hermina married Peter Lemaire as Hermina Desnoyers. They had two children, Etienne Stephen and Marie Sophie. Hermina died in May of 1867 and was buried our of St Louis Catholic Church on the 30 of May that same year. We do not know which cemetery.

By the 1880 census, the whole family (all generations) left Fond du Lac and were found in Unity, Clark County, Wisconsin. Newspaper reports and family stories find them working saw mills, making furniture, and farming.

Abraham Butler, born as Hubert Desnoyers in Quebec, died on the 26 of April, 1882 in Unity. He is buried in the Town of Brighton Cemetery just to the east of Unity. He lies buried next to his wife, Sophie, and grandaughter Matilda.

*Until we find a grave for Hubert's parents: Pierre Desonyers and Marie Catherine Besette Desnoyers {they are believed to be at St Mathias-sur-Richelieu, we are in contact with the parish to confirm burial}, we will leave this here: Marie's parents wereJoseph Besette and Marie Francoise Barrier dit Lavigne. These are the same parents listed for Joseph Besette (aka Marie Catherie's brother). Joseph was the father ofIsaac Besette, who was the father of Alfred. Alfred Besette is more commonly known as Saint Brother Andre Bessette, who was sainted by the Catholic Church in 2010.

Family links:
Marie Sophia Poudret dit LavigneButler (1806 - 1897)*

Abraham Hubert Desnoyers Butler (1834 - 1904)*

*Calculated relationship

Age 77 yr

Note: Husband of Sophia Butler; native of Canada

Town of Brighton Municipal Cemetery
Marathon County
Wisconsin, USA



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