The Butner family were prominent members of the Moravian Church
community in Salem, NC (present-day Winston-Salem).
The Moravian Church records have been collected in book form and published in several volumes as Records of the Moravians in North Carolina. It is a fascinating, detailed account of everyday life among the Moravians. Throughout the records it is clear that the Moravians had a very strong sense of community, and each member of that community played a specific role in the society. Following are some examples from the Records which deal with the Butner family:
May 2, 1786
The widow, Sarah Buttner, with her two sons, Jesse and John, moved from Hope to Salem.
May 2, 1786
The widow Buttner and her two sons have not had smallpox and wish to be inoculated.....
John Buttner has entered the boys’ Anstalt [boarding school].
Feb. 13, 1788
Brother and Sister Tycho Nissen have taken the widow Buttner into their house, because there is no other place for her at present, but this gives then too little place for their children.
August 19, 1789
Little John Buttner went to Brother Rudolph Christ to learn the potter’s trade. He will continue to live in the school and attend classes in the morning.
November 18, 1795 Salem
The youths John Buttner and Christian Nissen shall be moved to the Brothers’ room, a Brother being appointed to take special care of each.
August 2, 1802 Salem
The married Brother John and Sister Anna Maria Buttner moved today to Bethabara. He has bought the pottery from Gottlob Krause and will continue the business.
October 18, 1808 Bethabara
Residents in the village and neighbors have often wished that the town might have a Justice of the Peace, and many have suggested Brother John Butner.
October 24, 1841 Bethabara
Baptism of the little daughter born on September 17 to our neighbors Samuel and Martha Butner with the name Harriett Elisabeth.
Samuel Herman Butner was born May 19, 1817 in Stokes County.
He was the youngest son of John Butner and Anna Maria Knauss; John Butner
worked as a potter and was a distinguished person within the Moravian community.
chart for Samuel Butner)
In 1839 Samuel Butner married Martha Hauser. The Hausers were also members of the Moravian Church, and Martha was apparently the daughter of Johann (John) L. Hauser.
John Butner died in 1857, and his son Samuel served as co-executor of his will. (This will is located in the N.C. State Archives). About 1857-1859 Samuel Butner and his family moved to the Toe River Valley in western North Carolina; the reasons for this move are unknown.
Martha Butner died on February 2, 1880. On May 31, 1881 Samuel Butner remarried Louisa McCourry; after Samuel's death, his widow brought a court suit against his four surviving children and petitioned the court to remain within the home; this request was granted.
Samuel Butner died on May 25, 1893. Both he and Martha Butner are buried in Strawbridge Young Cemetery, Yancey County.
CHILDREN OF SAMUEL AND MARTHA BUTNER
1. JOHN VIRGIL BUTNER (Nov. 14, 1840- January 1860) His
birth is noted in Records of the Moravians.
According to the mortality schedule of the 1860 Yancey census, he died of pneumonia after being ill for sixteen days.
2. HARRIETT ELIZABETH BUTNER (Sept. 11,1841- Feb. 18, 1907)
Married Joseph Tarpley Young on April 6, 1861. (See article on JOSEPH TARPLEY YOUNG). Her dates of birth and death are taken from her tombstone; according to Records of the Moravians, her birthdate was actually September 17.
3. MARY LETITIA BUTNER b. November 8, 1843.
Her birth is recorded in Records of the Moravians. She last appears with the family on the 1850 census, and then there is no further record of her. Presumably she died in the 1850’s.
4. ELIZA A. BUTNER b. @ 1847.
Presumably she died in the 1850’s.
5. MARTHA BUTNER b. @1849
Married Francis Marion Edwards in Yancey County on Nov. 4, 1877. The couple’s children included Yancey County newspaper printer and publisher Lusk Edwards.
6. SAMUEL T. BUTNER b. @1851.
Stabbed to death in a drunken argument by Thomas Boone on June 8, 1878 at Windom. Boone was tried and sentenced to death, but then escaped, eventually moved to Oregon, and lived there under the alias George Brown.
7. HENRY M. BUTNER (September 9, 1853- May 27, 1902)
Married Lucretia Boone on April 4, 1875 in Yancey County. According to the Yancey County cemetery survey done by the WPA in 1940, Henry Butner is buried in Boone Cemetery located on Boone Ridge in Burnsville.
8. LEWIS BUTNER (@1857- April 1, 1930)
Married 1st) Tempie Ann Tipton (1856- 1899) on Jan. 1, 1878. Married 2nd) Annaliza Hollifield, on March 8, 1904.