James Butler and a Plea for Help

I’m not going to lie- this post is a cry for help.

I worked off and on through the last few weeks to come up with something to tell you about this man that you would find interesting. I sipped my hot peach tea yesterday and contemplated where else I could search, what search terms I might not have tried yet. I’ve got nothing, folks. I don’t know much about James and all my years of research have only served to confuse me more in regard to him. There is literally not ONE researcher I can find who has this family tree correct and that includes me! Every single one of us has errors. Part of the problem is that my James married my Nancy. But a different James BUTLER married a different Nancy in Grove, Delaware County, Oklahoma (This second couple is not our couple.). (And you wouldn’t believe how many other James Butler’s married how many other Nancy’s in Missouri, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.) To top it all off, I’ve even seen Nancy’s name as Elizabeth Caudill (which actually IS the name of the woman I think is her mom). I’m just going to start with the facts and see where the facts take the story from there. James BUTLER is my paternal 3rd great grandfather.


When I first started working on the family history as a teen my Mam (paternal grandmother Audrey) told me that Laura BUTLER HUBBARD’s parents were James and Nancy CAUDILL BUTLER. I’ve had a lot of starts and stops and do-overs in finding information about James and Nancy. I would think I’d found the family and I’d connect them on Ancestry and then find information that changed my mind and I would disconnect that family from James’ tree- not once, not twice, but multiple times. This is what I know about James- or at least what I think I know! James BUTLER was born 10 January 1854 (I’m more certain about the year than the day/month) in Missouri (possibly in Arkansas- Laura listed both places on different census enumerations).

James married Nancy CAUDILL on 26 August 1877. I think they had five children. Those children being Laura (my 2nd great grandmother), Emmaline, Charley, Cora, and Estella. One researcher says there is a sibling named Bessie and not a sibling named Cora. Charley is buried in an unmarked grave in Southwest City Cemetery in Southwest City, McDonald County, Missouri as is his son, John Henry.

I know the family lived in Douglas County, Missouri and I’m not really sure how many of them made it down to Southwestern Missouri. That’s it, folks. The end of the line for everything of which I can be certain. If you can help, please do!

And just to assuage your sadness at this meager posting today, I offer you a screenshot of the marriage certificate of Alford and Laura BUTLER HUBBARD.

And a screenshot of Cora BUTLER BARNES’ death certificate.

And a tiny little news clipping in The 16 September 1948 edition of The Sikeston Herald Newspaper out of Sikeston, Missouri courtesy of Newspapers.com. I *think* this article is talking about two of James and Nancy’s children- Charley BUTLER and ESTELLA BUTLER ROBERTS. (I could be wrong on this one but here it is- feel free to disprove it.)

Until tomorrow (when I will have a better blog post),

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

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