This Butler family story begins in Hanover County, Virginia in 1736 with the birth of Zachariah Butler. What is known of Zachariah is that he was a man of small statue at five foot four inches tall. He joined the Revolutionary War at the age of forty four on 2 September 1780 in Mecklinburg County, Virginia. Zachariah married Sarah Bowe, daughter of Henry Bowe (1680-?) an English emigrant, and Sarah Fitzpatrick. The Butler family had five children: 1)-James I, 2)-Patrick, 3)-Nathan, 4)-Zachariah and 5)-Nancy. After the war ended, the Butler family migrated to Wilkes County, Georgia (now Elbert County) in 1785. Zachariah died in Elbert County, Georgia in about 1800 and is buried in Fortsonia, Elbert County, Georgia.
First son James 1 (5 June 1758-1841) was born in St. Pauls Parish, Virginia. James served for 22 months in the Revolutionary War from Mecklinburg County, Virginia in 1778 to 1781 and was in the battle of Woods Point on the James River. He was a Private in Captain James Anderson's Company and Col. John Burton's Regiment. He was awarded a land grant in Wilkes County, Georgia for his service. He migrated to Wilkes County, Georgia in 1785 and lived there until 1836 when he migrated to Shelby County, Alabama to be near his children who were already living in Shelby County. James joined a wagon train under the command of Jordan Jones to make the journey to Alabama. James was married twice, first to Sarah Christopher, then to Disa. He was believed to be the father of 20-22 children. James I died in 1841 and was buried in the Jones Bailey Cemetery in Shelby County near the grave of his friend Jordan Jones. One of James' daughters, Sarah, married Willis Ozley and the Ozley family migrated to Shelby County, Alabama and is covered in more detail in the article The Family of John Willis Ozley in this book. One of James' sons, James II, married Elizabeth Hansard, daughter of William Hansard, also a Revolutionary War veteran, in Elbert County, Georgia on 23 December 1823 and this Butler family is covered in more detail in the article The Butler Family of Marion Jefferson Butler in this book.
Second son Patrick was also a veteran of the Revolutionary War and is buried in Fortsonia, Georgia with his father. The families of Patrick eventually migrated to Louisiana and possibly to Texas.
Third son Nathan and his family migrated to Morgan County, Georgia.
Fourth son Zachariah and his family migrated to Maury County, Tennessee in approximately 1810. [More recent research finds no support for Zachariah Butler of Maury County, Tennessee being the son of Zachariah Butler of Virginia.]
Fifth child and only daughter Nancy married John Snellings and lived in Elbert County, Georgia. Submitted by: John Robert Walker, 1616 Linda Vista Lane, Birmingham, AL 35226
Sources: Family records of the Ozley family and information on the Butler family received from Madine Butler Evans.