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Abner Butler Curless
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Birth: Apr. 14, 1854
Adams County
Illinois, USA
Death: Jun. 16, 1917
Harvey County
Kansas, USA


Abner Butler Curless was born on April 14, 1854 in Loraine, Illinois, the son of Harkless Carl Curless and Unity Shinn Birsdall-Curless. His mother died there. His uncle, Samuel Curless, Jr. was a Civil War vet who had been captured and held in a Confederate prison. Upon release he was unable to resume his former life as a farmer due to injuries he received during the war. Samuel donated his farmland near Loraine to the state of Illinois, which became the Curless family cemetery. The family moved from Illinois to southwestern Kansas (Garden City) in the days of the old west, then backtracked east a little to south-central Kansas. His father's death is recorded in Garden City, where Abner's son (my great grandfather, Charles) was born.

Abner's father's family were early settlers of Massachusetts and New Jersey. He was a descendant of Richard Warren (#6797309) of the Mayflower and Revolutionary War soldiers, George and Nathaniel White (#11771298), a Shinnecock indian woman who married Abaiah Edwards and a sailor/merchant, Peter Tallman from Hamburg, Germany. The earliest Curless I can reliably verify was George Corlies from Dublin, Ireland (#72175968). The family were Quakers, who settled in Shrewsbury, Monmouth Co, NJ. Reportedly, George's father was Jean Corliez, a French Hugueonot count, who fled from France to escape religious persecution from the Catholics. This may be true, but the case for this connection is lacking any evidence that I can find. It's possible that the Corlies' were actually Irish.

His mother's family's ancestry was divided between early settlers of New Jersey and Massachusetts (esp. of Martha's Vineyard). She was a descendant of Gov. Thomas Mayhew (#23423027), founder of Martha's Vineyard and twice from Nicholas Norton of the island. John Howland (#6613808), Elizabeth Tilley (#21561583) and her parents, John Tilley (#16539001) and Joan Hurst-Tilley (#16539005) were passengers on the Mayflower. Joan and John died during the first winter after landing, leaving Elizabeth an orphan who fell into the care of the Carvers. John Howland was a servant to John Carver, the colony's 1st governor, who died soon after arrival. John Howland narrowly escaped death from being swept overboard during a storm on the ship. He later married Elizabeth. They were Abner's 7th great-grandparents through their daughter, Desire Howland-Gorham. James Covell, an early settler of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts reportedly married a Wampanoag indian woman and had a son named Philip, Abner's 4th great-grandfather.

Abner had an uncle named Abner Butler Burdsall, who was his mother's brother. Abner's middle name, "Butler", likely came from the Butler family from his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth "Betsy" Butler, 3rd great-granddaughter of Nicholas Butler. Nicholas Butler was an early settler in Edgartown, Massachusetts (Martha's Vineyard Island) and was also the ancestor of James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok (#479), through his mother, Polly Butler-Hickok (#38165981). Another relative through the Butlers was Benjamin Franklin Butler (#13120), Civil War Union Major General, US Congressman and Massachusetts Governor. Nicholas was descended from Robert le Boteler "le pincerna", butler for the 4th Earl of Chester, Ranulf (le Meschin) de Gernon (#85967803). The family assumed the surname "le Boteler" (keeper of the bottles and winestores) in medeival England and were the trusted keepers of the castle. Ranulf was rightly concerned about being poisoned in the wine he drank. He was poisoned and died because of this, but not at his own castle (not our fault :)).The Botelers themselves became the Lords of Warrington, Cheshire, England and resided at Bewsey Old Hall. The ancient building has been severely damaged and much reduced in size, but is still standing. I understand from a local there that they're converting it into apartments now. Our branch later moved to Out Rawcliffe, Lancashire, then later to Kent before emigrating to Massachusetts.

Abner's mother's maiden name was Birdsall. This family had originated in Birdsall, Yorkshire, England. Henry Birdsall. Jr. was the emigrant ancestor from Yorkshire who settled in Salem, MA in 1632.

Abner is listed as a farmer in censuses. He married Lucy Jane Quinn in 1887. Their children were:
Rachel Delilah, Charles Harkless, Unity Elva, Minnie Lucy, Thomas Woodson, Nellie Florence, George Abner, Iva Anna, Logan Elihu, Ida Patience, Frank Miles and Russell Quinn Curless. He died in Burrton, Kansas on June 16, 1917 as a result of being kicked in the abdomen by a mule.

Bio by Steven R. Dunn 
Family links: 
  Harkless Carl Curless (1826 - 1886)
  Unity Shin Burdsall Curless (1832 - 1874)
  Lucy Jane Quinn Curless (1869 - 1948)*
  Rachel Delilah Curless Burger (1888 - 1949)*
  Charles Harkless Curless (1890 - 1968)*
  Unity Elva Curless Lehman (1892 - 1940)*
  Minnie Lucy Curless Lehman (1894 - 1960)*
  Thomas Woodson Curless (1897 - 1957)*
  Nellie Florence Curless Burger (1899 - 1960)*
  George Abner Curless (1900 - 1960)*
  Iva Anna Curless (1903 - 1907)*
  Logan Elihu Curless (1906 - 1907)*
  Ida Patience Dewater (1909 - 1983)*
  Frank Miles Curless (1911 - 1988)*
  Russell Quinn Curless (1913 - 1980)*
  Samuel Burdsal Curless (1851 - 1875)*
  Samuel Burdsal Curless (1851 - 1875)*
  Abner Butler Curless (1854 - 1917)
  Inez Elizabeth Curless (1857 - 1858)*
  Elva Jane Curless (1861 - 1890)*
  Eugene Dilling Curless (1866 - 1929)*
  Rachel Swaim Curless (1868 - 1887)*
  Harkless Carl Curless (1870 - 1958)*
  Unity Shinn Curless (1874 - 1874)*
*Calculated relationship
Burrton Cemetery
Harvey County
Kansas, USA
Maintained by: Steven Dunn
Originally Created by: Judy Mayfield
Record added: Apr 06, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 18791312
Abner Butler Curless
Added by: Steven Dunn
Abner Butler Curless
Added by: Steven Dunn
Abner Butler Curless
Added by: Steven Dunn
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- Bertha Avery-Hood
 Added: Sep. 24, 2013
In honor of my great-great grandfather. I was very happy to be able to visit your gravesite recently.
- Steven Dunn
 Added: Jan. 30, 2013
Thank you for giving me the most wonderful grandfather a girl could ever have! From your loving Great-Granddaughter
- Melinda Brewer
 Added: Oct. 5, 2012
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