The Butt name dates back to 1137, seventy one years after the famous 1066 Battle of Hastings.It came about through the family's association with archery.
The target areas were referred to as ' the archery butt' and today we refer to rifles as possessing 'butts'.
In 1137, George Medd of Tavistock Square Co., Middlesex, England, was considered to have been outstanding in archery. The King decreed that he would be favoured with his own family coat of arms. He was then known as George Medd Butt Esq., and the coat of arms depicted a lion holding a spear broken, in the dexter paw 1.
The message in Latin read:
' Possunt quia posse videntur ' (They are able, who believe they can) 2.
Origin of the Butt Surname
There are three possible explanations for the origin of the English surname Butt:
Early examples of the use of the surname Butt include Robert Le Butt, who was recorded in
the 'Pipe Rolls' for Sussex in 1198, and also Ritchard Buttyng who was mentioned in the
'Subsidy Rolls' for Somerset in 1327.
The surname could be a nickname, based on a physical or personal characteristic of the
original bearer, the name being derived from Middle English word 'Butt' meaning 'thicker
end or stump' and may have been used to describe a thickset person.
It may be local in origin, being derived from a place where a man lived or held land on
which Archery Butts were located. The Old French word 'butt' meaning 'a goal or a mark
for shooting'. An outstanding archer in 1137 was given the name Butt. A notable bearer of
the surname was Isaac Butt, a barrister who established the Home Government Association
in the 1870s to campaign for Catholic rights in Ireland. A variant of the name is Butts.