Matthias BUTTON

Matthias BUTTON

Male Abt 1607 - 1672  (~ 65 years)

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  • Name Matthias BUTTON 
    Born Abt 1607 
    Gender Male 
    Immigration 1628 
    • Matthias Button came to America on the ship Abigail along with Governor John Endicott, arriving 6 September 1628.
    Died 13 Aug 1672  Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Mathias [Button], h. Elizabeth, Aug. 13, 1672. [1]
    Person ID I6018  FamilyWorld
    Last Modified 23 Sep 2012 

    Father Thomas BUTTON,   b. 1558, Harrold, Bedfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Jun 1617, Harrold, Bedfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years) 
    Mother Mary PRICE,   b. 1562, Harrold, Bedfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1621, Deventer, Bedfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years) 
    Married 1582  Harrold, Bedfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F8547  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Lettice or Ann,   b. Abt 1630,   d. Bef 1639  (Age ~ 9 years) 
    Married Bef 1633 
    • The marriage of Matthias Button and Lettyce Teagle is not recorded in Haverhill. Some information says they may have been married in Holland.
    Children 
     1. Mary BUTTON,   c. 23 Feb 1633/4, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Daniel BUTTON,   c. 22 Feb 1634/5, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 10 Apr 1654  (Age ~ 19 years)
    Last Modified 15 Jul 2011 
    Family ID F1180  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Joan,   d. Abt 1650 
    Married Bef 16 Nov 1639 
    Last Modified 15 Jul 2011 
    Family ID F9226  Group Sheet

    Family 3 Teagle,   d. 4 Feb 1662/3, Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Bef 1650 
    Children 
    +1. Sarah BUTTON,   b. Abt 1650, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Hannah BUTTON,   b. 11 May 1652, Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1676, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 24 years)
     3. Daniel BUTTON,   b. 10 Apr 1654, Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Sep 1675, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 21 years)
     4. Abigail BUTTON,   b. 16 Jun 1656, Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef Nov 1676, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 20 years)
     5. Matthias BUTTON, Jr.,   b. 17 Mar 1657/58, Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1725, Plainfield, Windham County, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years)
     6. Peter BUTTON,   b. 17 Jul 1660, Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef Nov 1676, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 16 years)
     7. Patience BUTTON,   b. 1 Jun 1662, Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Oct 1662, Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
    Last Modified 15 Jul 2011 
    Family ID F9228  Group Sheet

    Family 4 Elizabeth WHEELER,   b. 1626, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Jul 1690, Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years) 
    Married 9 Jun 1663  Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 15 Jul 2011 
    Family ID F1179  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 9 Jun 1663 - Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 13 Aug 1672 - Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    'The Puritan' 1899 Augustus Saint-Gaudens
    "The Puritan" 1899 Augustus Saint-Gaudens

  • Notes 
    • Savage's genealogical dictionary refers to Matthias Button as a Dutchman. It also says the Rev. Thomas Cobbet says he came in 1628 with Endicott to Salem, but this may be confused with Robert.

    • "Thomas Davis, constable of Haverhill, according to the Governor's warrant, brought in Stephen Kent, Matthias Button, Dutchman, and John Mackcalamy, Scotman" [EQC 1:278, March Term, 1653].

      R. Glen Nye and Katherine (Watson) Nye identify Mathias Button as "a son of Thomas Button of Harrold, Bedford Co., England. He was baptized there October 11, 1607" [Button Gen 23]. Such a baptism does exist, but there is no further evidence to support this claim. Furthermore, since our Matthias is called at one point a "Dutchman," he presumably derived from a Germanic-speaking region on the Continent and not from England. [2]
    • Matthias Button had the poor judgment to deal with the notorious John Godfrey. Owing him a bond dated 12 January 1663/4, at June Term, 1668, Button was sued by Godfrey for debt and the jury found for Button. The court disagreed and set the verdict aside. In this case John Hutchins and Abraham Whitaker deposed that four years before, Godfrey had them accompany him to Button's to demand the cattle valued to L12 that Button owed him.

      Button said, 'I will now look up my cattle and pay thee.' Godfrey told him to bring them to town to Goodman Kent's before twelve o'clock where they would be appraised, and he would give up the bond. Godfrey chosen Stephen Kent for the appraiser and Button chose Bartholomew Heath. The cattle were brought before the time and appraised, but Godfrey would not come to receive them, although deponents remained till almost night [EQC 4:29].

      Even with the verdict set aside by the court, Godfrey evidently harbored a grudge. At the April Term, 1669, less than a year later, Button sued him for 'firing his chimney which caused his house to burn and the goods therein, also the death of his wife, and for running away as soon as he had done it.' The court, which did not have the power to rule in a case of wrongful death, brought a verdict anyway, and awarded button L238 2s [EQC 4:130-31].

      More detail about this case is seen in the June Term, 1669, when Godfrey sued Matthias Button for 'unjust molestation." Button won, but the court again set the verdict aside. From the deposition of Edward Clark, we learn that Button gave Godfrey an acquittance (9 January 166[2]/3), before the burning of his house [EQC 4:152]. Godfrey was accused, in the course of testimony, of being in two places at once, and appearing suspiciously the day after Goody Archer was buried, among other trappings of witchcraft. Matthias's fourth wife, Elizabeth Button, deposed, 'aged about forty-seven years,... that on a rainy day, she and her daughter Saray laid in a bed by the fireside about twelve or one o'clock there was a great noise about the house which this deponent took to be the cattle, but when she was awake she saw a shape of a man and [it] sat in a great chair and being a great fire near the bed and near the chair within a yard and a half I saw Godfrey sitting and I would faine have struck him but could not put forth my hand and I did what I could to wake the maid that was in bed with me but could not for I could neither speak nor stir and thus he continued for a space of two hours and I see him three or four times but as soon as I had come to settle myself in bed he vanished away to my apprehension for he went strangely out and the door was fast and when I rose in the morning I went to the dore and it was fast bolted [sworn 22 June 1669, EQC 4:154-5].

      Godfrey was found legally not guilty of witchcraft by the Court of Assistants, but was found 'suspiciously guilty.' By the next term, he was back in court, unsuccessfully suing the deputy, Daniel Ela, for extortion [EQC 4:179]. The case would not go away. Ela sued Godfrey for 'willful firing and burning of the dwelling house of Matthias Button, which was the cause of the death of said Button's wife.' Godfrey replied, 'Why should I bely myself; there be the witness: and asked whether he should go and execute himself; ...protested that he was cleared of firing the house and knew not of it: and that he went to Corlis his house, and there remained until Button came with his family' [EQC 4:185]. In a calmer deposition, Godfrey 'acknowledged that he was at Button's house the day before the house was burned and went about ten or eleven o'clock to Corlis' house; that he said to Goodby Button, lying upon the bed, 'Woman weigh me out some meat,' and she arose and gave him meat and brought in water; also that he had made a little fire of small wood upon the hearth' [EQC 4:186].

      Button apparently paid Ela for his services as deputy and attorney, and the court found Ela's charges to be excessive. During testimony at November Term 1669, it was revealed that Button had agreed to give Ela one third of all he 'should return of God Godfr4ay for the burning of my house and goods' [EQC 4:199].

      Godfrey sued Matthias Button again at the June Term 1671, trying to overturn the conviction for burning Button's house.

      'The humble request of Matthias Button: that having been sued by John Godfrey and I lying very sick and weak for this great while so that I am not able to do anything nor to come to the court the hand of God have been and is still so upon me that I humbly beseech the honored court to consider how unjustly Godfrey sues me out of my own country contrary to law as I conceive because it will appear by evidence that Godfrey belongs to one town and Country therefore if he find himself aggrieved he should try in the same country where we both live, therefore I humbly beseech the Court that your poor petitioner may have justice in the case as the Lord shall direct you' [EQC 4:373].

      As late as 29 June 1671, the court was still ordering Godfrey to pay Button in this case and Godfrey was still countersuing Ela [EQC 4:450, 5:51]. Button sued Godfrey one last time, and the case being called at the October Term, 1672, Button did not appear, and Godfrey was discharged [EQC 5:102]. Button had died the preceding August.

      At the June Term, 1673, Godfrey sued Edward Clark, claiming that Clark had fradulently prevented him from receiving one penny of the L138 judgment Button was to pay Godfrey pursuant to a Court of Assistants decision dated 13 March 1671/2 [EQC 5:182]. [3]

  • Sources 
    1. [S7] HaverhillMAVR, website: ma-vitalrecords.org/MA/Essex/Haverhill, pg. 368.

    2. [S30] Great Migration Begins, The , Robert Charles Anderson, (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 101 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, 1995), ISBN 0-88082-044-6., pg. 295.

    3. [S30] Great Migration Begins, The , Robert Charles Anderson, (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 101 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, 1995), ISBN 0-88082-044-6., pg. 296.