Meet our Members: Mike Butler

+22 votes

Hi everyone! 

imageIt's time to meet another one of our Wonderful WikiTreers! This week's member is Mike Butler.

Mike became a Wiki Genealogist in January of 2018 and is a part of our England and Scotland projects. He joins in with the Kiwi Crew for our quarterly marathon events.

What are some of the surnames you are researching? 

Butler, Kelson, Henson, Alford, Gobbe, Harrington, Dunn, Webster, Irvine, Oates, Black, McCruedy, Tremain, Meneer, Edmonds, Makepeace – these are my great-great-grandparents.  15 of the 16 came to or were born in  New Zealand.

What are some of the locations you are researching? 

Somerset, Dorset, Angus and Fifeshire.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history? 

I started looking at family history in 2011. I had decided it was time for a trip to Europe and knew about the Irvines of Drum but the rest of the family history was unknown to me. Clearly I had not been listening to the right people because when I started making discoveries my sister was able to add quite a lot from what she remembered.    

Who's your favorite ancestor and why? 

Alexander Irvine 17th of Drum. He was a key actor in the Jacobite Rising of 1745 and was lucky to escape with his life. He spent most of the last 15 years of his life in hiding in a secret room in Drum Castle.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

My 3rd great grandmother Ann Baldwin or Balding. Her marriage record has the name as Balding and I could find no birth records till I tried a phonetic search and her baptism as an Ann Baldwin came up. Ann was illiterate and would have no idea about how her name should be spelt.  

I hope one day to find the name of my 4th great grandmother who was the Bengali mistress of John Herbert Harington. None of the records of the children I have been able to locate give her name.    

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Dog agility – I have 3 dogs alas none currently competing. Idol is a heading dog, Toby a huntaway/Staffordshire bull terrier cross and Static is a very small papillion puppy (currently asleep on my shoulder). I have been competing for more than 25 years and did a few years of judging.

When younger I was a keen tramper but now I make do with driving up back roads. My recent holiday included over 1000km of gravel and dirt roads.

I have done several very long walks raising money for charity with my dogs – the longest was 2326km. We have raised over $40,000 over the years. The next (and last) will be in 2021 to celebrate my 70th birthday.

[Interview continues in comments.]

WikiTree profile: Michael Butler
in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)

How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing?

I have been since 2018.  I have joined the Scotland and England projects as I know I will eventually get to pre-1700 ancestors and will need project help with them but at the moment I am a sleeper.

What brought you to WikiTree?

 My second cousin Dennis Wright introduced me to WikiTree and I quickly saw the advantages of being able to collaborate.

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree?

Being able to write a profile which is as short or as long as you want. I also like that place names are checked against dates and all the suggestions I get from my many typos. Great to have an editor.

If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?

Being able to get a map view of your family.

What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy or how you’ve helped genealogy with WikiTree?

I use the anniversaries list to paste on Facebook each day the anniversaries for my family – for my cousins.

Discovering that someone else had done profiles for most of the Irvine and Harington ancestors from my mother's side of the family.  Many were fairly basic but they had enough sources to allow me to find more quickly. I have also had a couple of questions from relatives through WikiTree and it was very satisfying to know that other people were using the information I had provided.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Ask for help on citing sources. Many of my early citations are almost useless – I now can't find the data to check I got it right.

2 Answers

+5 votes
Great to meet Mike! I loved his answers as they are very similar to mine. My cousin, Cindy, introduced me to WikiTree too and her interest spurred me to work harder at research.

It's great that your post anniversaries to your Facebook for families.

 You may get your wish as I think they are working on a map view in the future for WikiTree, Mike.
by Maggie N. G2G6 Pilot (961k points)
+3 votes
Hi, Mike:  I've been doing research on my brick wall, James King for 20 years or more, and I've got about 67,000 people on FTM without finding him.  BUT I suspect he was the descendant of the James King who signed the letter to Governor Shute (the 1718 Migration).  I've found a James King who married Jenny Moore in Union, Ct in 1770-1771, but he disappears from history after appearing on the Palmer, Ma census in 1790 and 1800.  I live in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts, and, looking at old maps, my street was largely populated by Scots from Blandford, Ma (formerly Glasgow, Ma).  My Great Uncle, John Nelson King lived in Blandford and I have the Knox family of Blandford in my family tree.  "Through this place passed General Henry Knox"  is a phrase well known to me, thanks to my mother, who was also interested in genealogy.  Her family tree, including the Duncans, Browns, Gleasons, etc.  arrived much earlier.  I am thrilled to discover that there may be other sources (and people!) that I don't know.

Best, Laurie King Rocke
by Laurie King G2G Crew (870 points)

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