Show ContentsRetherford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Retherford family

The surname Retherford was first found in the Parish of Maxton, town of Rutherford, county Roxburghshire. The first bearers of Retherford on record were two knights: Gregory and Nicholas de Rutherford who were listed in the reigns of William the Lion and Alexander II. About the same time, Sir Richard, lord of Rotherford was listed as was William de Rwthirford, a cleric who witnessed a charter by Henry de Grahame. Nicholas de Rothirford, knight, rendered homage to King Edward I of England at Montrose in 1296, as did Margarete la fielle Nicol de Rotherforde who also rendered homage for her lands. [1]

Early History of the Retherford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Retherford research. Another 284 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1165, 1200, 1215, 1249, 1285, 1296, 1361, 1411, 1413, 1451, 1493, 1448, 1580, 1600, 1661, 1600, 1664, 1600, 1661, 1577, 1506, 1582, 1552, 1695, 1779 and are included under the topic Early Retherford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Retherford Spelling Variations

Spelling rules had not yet evolved in medieval Scotland, some names dating from that era often appear many different ways. Some spelling variations of Retherford include Rudfard, Ruterford, Rudforde, Rudfithy, Rudforthy, Rudforthe, Rudfith, Rudforth, Rudfearde, Rudfarte, Rudfarde, Rudferd, Rutherfard, Rudfart, Rutherfart, Ruddefork, Ruddeforde, Ruddeford, Ruddefithy and many more.

Early Notables of the Retherford family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661), Scottish principal of St. Mary's College, St. Andrews, born about 1600 in the parish of Nisbet, now part of Crailing, Roxburghshire. [2] Andrew Rutherford (d. 1664), was a Scottish soldier of fortune, created 1st and only Earl of Teviot by Charles II; and Samuel Rutherford (ca. 1600-1661), a Scottish theologian and controversialist, born at Nisbet, Roxburghshire, educated at Edinburgh University, where he...
Another 73 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Retherford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Retherford Ranking

In the United States, the name Retherford is the 18,027th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Retherford family to Ireland

Some of the Retherford family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Retherford migration to the United States +

The Boernician-Scottish people who came to North America were often nearly penniless when they arrived, and brought very few personal effects with them. Much Scottish heritage was lost in the process, and it is only this century that highland games, Clan societies, and other patriotic Scottish organizations have helped the ancestors of Scots to rediscover their national legacy. Retherfords were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Retherford Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Austin Retherford, aged 46, who immigrated to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1913

Contemporary Notables of the name Retherford (post 1700) +

  • Zain Allen Retherford (b. 1995), American freestyle wrestler and graduated folkstyle wrestler, silver medalist at the 2022 World Wrestling Championships, seven-time gold medalist
  • Robert Curtis Retherford (1912-1981), American physicist, known for having revealed the Lamb shift in the fine structure of hydrogen
  • Wes Retherford (b. 1984), American politician, Member of the Ohio House of Representatives (2013-)
  • Claude Retherford (1926-1998), American politician, Mayor of Tulare, California, 1982-98 [4]

The Retherford Motto +

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.

  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 10) . Retrieved from on Facebook