Joseph the Fruitful

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Ontario, Canada

Joseph Butt is Olive Butt Hyde’s great-grandfather. He lived in England and had ten children with his first wife Sarah Arnold. Now in the 1800s having ten children was hardly an exception. Everyone was having ten, twelve or even sixteen children. It is said that Sarah was the daughter of a gentleman and her sister was better off than she and Joseph. Sarah grew tired of having her nose rubbed in it, and so the family packed up and moved to Ontario, Canada. Unfortunately for the pregnant Sarah the move proved too much for her and she and her baby died in the new land.

The still young Joseph (he was 36) was left with ten children to raise. While Sarah and he may not have been as well off as her sister he was still able to afford a housekeeper. The housekeeper had a sixteen year old daughter named Ann. The housekeeper died about the same time as Sarah, leaving Ann homeless. Joseph not only took the poor Ann in, he married her. Sixteen year old Ann was now mother to ten children, including three boys who were older than she was!

Joseph didn’t lose any of his potency and continued to have children with Ann. Over the years, he had ten children with her. That’s ten children with Sarah, the child that Sarah died with, and ten more children with Ann for a total of twenty-one children with his two wives. Joseph lived to be 73 and still had at least five children at home when he died.