Claire Varrieur Butler

I am a family historian and professional genealogist specializing in Northwest Pennsylvania (Erie, Crawford, Venango, Jefferson, Indiana, and Warren counties) and Western New York (Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties). In addition to client research, I volunteer at the Erie County Historical Society Library & Archives as an archival processor, and I assist the library’s archivist in researching early pioneer families of Erie County Pennsylvania and Western New York. My personal research, spanning more than 30 years, is primarily in the area of Colonial Massachusetts, French-Canadian and British research and I have extensive experience working with French Drouin records and English probate, land, and parish records.

I also have experience in mineral rights and heirship forensic cases, as a disinterested third party; and I particularly enjoy helping clients prepare applications and achieve membership in lineage societies.


I have a BA in Economics/Accounting from the College of the Holy Cross; I hold a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University; and I am currently enrolled in the American Records Certificate program at the University of Toronto’s National Institute for Genealogical Studies.

  • ProGen13 Study Group
  • GenProof Study Group
  • 2013 GRIP Genealogy Research Institute of Pittsburgh “Advanced Land Records”
  • 2014 GRIP Judy Russell’s “Law School for Genealogists”
  • 2015 GRIP Thomas W. Jones’ “Advanced Methodology”
  • 2015 Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy’s “Master Practicum”


I specialize in researching probate, deeds, and local town records in Northwest Pennsylvania, and compiling family histories. I love a good mystery and especially enjoy helping clients knock down long-standing brick walls. I am affiliated with several regional and national genealogical organizations, maintain memberships in several British historical societies, and have active subscriptions to premium records services with access to U.S., British, and French-Canadian records dating back to the 1600s. I’m also fascinated with the study of palaeography and enjoy transcribing early 16th, 17th, & 18th century British and American documents.


I am the editor of the Erie Society for Genealogical Research’s quarterly bulletin, and author of the blog