This site says you're right, it's another name for persimmon.
This site says it's another name for American Sycamore.
It sounds like you have evidence that in your neck of the woods it was
a persimmon, so I'd go with that interpretation.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Frederick" <frederrd(a)jmu.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2001 2:10 PM
Subject: [DMU] What is a "Butterwood" tree?
In patents and deeds for what is now Page and Madison Counties, VA, from
1700's to mid-1800's, "Butterwood" is a common corner tree. Can
tell me what tree this is? Botanists and foresters I've asked have never
heard of it.
My leading candidate is the Persimmon, which almost never appears as such
in early deeds. By the mid-1800's, "Butterwood" seldom occurs, unless in
quotes of older survey calls, and "Persimmon" begins to be used.
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