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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Borderlands, Scottish

Where did the Borderlands Rutherford family come from? What is the Borderlands Rutherford family crest and coat of arms? When did the Rutherford family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Rutherford family history?

The name Rutherford comes from the proud Boernician clans of the Scottish-English border region. The Rutherford family lived in the Parish of Maxton, where Rutherford was a town, near Roxburghshire. The place name Rutherford is derived from the Old English words "hryder" meaning "cattle" and "ford," which is "a shallow part of a river."


Spelling variations of this family name include: Rutherford, Rutterford, Rudderford, Rudford and others.

First found in the Parish of Maxton, town of Rutherford, county Roxburghshire. The first bearers of Rutherford on record were two knights: Gregory and Nicholas de Rutherford.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rutherford research. Another 533 words(38 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1215, 1249, 1285, 1296, 1361, 1411, 1413, 1451, 1493, 1448, 1580, 1664, 1st , 1600 and 1661 are included under the topic Early Rutherford History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 85 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rutherford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Rutherford family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rutherford Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Rutherford, who arrived in Virginia in 1636
  • Henry Rutherford, who arrived in Connecticut in 1641
  • Gaven Rutherford, who landed in Maryland in 1670
  • Gaven Rutherford, who came to Maryland in 1670
  • Dennis Rutherford, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1682

Rutherford Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • James and George Rutherford, who settled in Virginia in 1716
  • James and George Rutherford settled in Virginia in 1716
  • Robert Rutherford, who landed in New England in 1735
  • Joseph Rutherford, who arrived in America in 1760-1763
  • Anne Rutherford, who settled in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1766

Rutherford Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Sarah Rutherford, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811
  • Adam Rutherford, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817
  • Edward Rutherford, who arrived in New York in 1820
  • Archibald Rutherford, who landed in New York in 1831
  • Thomas S Rutherford, aged 31, landed in Missouri in 1844


  • Johnny Sherman Rutherford III (b. 1938), American former race car driver inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1996
  • Ann Rutherford (1917-2012), born Therese Ann Rutherford, Canadian-born, American actress in film, radio, and television, best known for her role as Scarlett O'Hara's youngest sister in Gone With the Wind and who starred in the Andy Hardy movies
  • Major-General Harry Kenneth Rutherford (1883-1964), American Attached to Office of the Chief of Ordnance (1942-1943)
  • Daniel Rutherford (1749-1819), Scottish chemist and physician who discovered nitrogen
  • Edward Rutherford (b. 1948), English novelist
  • Sir Ernest Rutherford OM, FRS (1871-1937), New Zealand-born, English physicist, awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908, who became known as the "father" of nuclear physics
  • Margaret Rutherford (1892-1972), English stage and film actress
  • Alexander Cameron Rutherford (1857-1941), Canadian lawyer, politician, first Premier of Alberta (1905-1910)
  • William Rutherford (1798-1871), English mathematician
  • Sir William Watson Rutherford (1853-1927), English politician, created 1st Baronet Runtherford in 1923, member of the UK Parliament



  • Genealogical History of our Ancestors by William Kenneth Rutherford.
  • Rutherford Gleanings by William A. Yates.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nec sorte, nec fato
Motto Translation: Neither by chance nor destiny.


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  1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  4. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  10. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  11. ...

The Rutherford Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rutherford Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 20 April 2014 at 20:28.

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