Button Families of America

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due to the burning of their dwelling by an implacable and unrelenting personal enemy who caused him no end of trouble for several years. Probably the chief cause of the emnity of this man, John Godfrey by name, was due to the fact that Mr. Button, with Edward Yeomans and others, were witnesses against him when he was arrested on complaint of Job Tyler and John Remington on suspicion of Witchcraft and tried in court at Boston in March, 1665. (Essex County Court Records)

We also find the following record:

Matthias Button, Haverhill vs. John Godfrey:

For the burning of my house, and my goods that was in it and the cause of my wife's death, and running away as soon as he had done it June 10, 1669.

The jury find for the plaintiff 238.2s damages and costs. (Essex County Court Records).

Mr. Button evidently inherited the spirit of adventure as history tells us that those who came with Governor John Endicott were gentlemen and their families who came to better their impaired fortunes, and enjoy the peace of religious liberty.

Mr. Button was a very young man when he landed on this continent, and it is not known whether he brought his wife Lettyce with him or not. As no record of their marriage has been found, it is presumed that she came with him.

In 1650 Mr. Button's estate was assessed at 60. This does not show him to have been wealthy, nor yet poor. Land property those days was not valued very high, and very few of the early settlers of New England were considered rich. Even the Vanderbilts and Goulds of early New York were men of moderate property.

Mr. Button had several grants of land in and near Haverhill, as shown by the public records. He had many hindrances in his acquisition of property; he had a prolonged siege of sickness himself, besides the here-in-before mentioned sickness and death of children, and the sickness of his third wife and her death following the burning of his dwelling by John Godfrey and the litigation that followed.

From court records we learn that a thatched house belonging to Matthias Buttin in 1671, and situated near the present home of Thomas West, one mile north east of the village of Haverhill was burned; this is of interest in showing the style of roof that was used on some of the houses in those days.

The following are among transfers of real estate recorded:

Matthias Button of Haverhill, and his wife Teagell, for 60 deed to John Hazeltine of Rowley, six acres planting land, bounded north on highway, west with a runlet, south butting towards the great river, east on land of Stephen Kent. Also three acres upland; bounded west on John Byers, east on highway running up to land of Robert Ayres, the north side to said Ayers marked tree, thence to land of John Ayers over the swamp.

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