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The Ruthven surname is a Scottish habitation name. That is, the surname is derived from a place name. Some suggest the name is derived from the lands in Perthshire long held by this family.

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The surname Ruthven was first found in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), at Ruthven, a parish in the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, formerly known as Forfar or Forfarshire. This noble Scottish family claims to trace its ancestry to Thor, the Scandinavian, who settled in Scotland in the reign of David I (12th C.) [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
It is thought that they held the Barony of Ruthven in Angus about 1050, and then branched into Perthshire.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Ruthven, Ruthen, Ruthin, Wruthven, Wruthen, Rutheven, Rotheven, Rothveyn and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ruthven research. Another 453 words (32 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1528, 1488, 1582, 1600, 1641, 1673, 1651, 1838, 1921, 1919, 1528, 1552, 1520, 1566, 1541, 1584, 1577, 1600, 1600, 1671, 1701, 1816 and 1819 are included under the topic Early Ruthven History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Notable amongst the Clan from early times was William Ruthven, 1st Lord Ruthven (died c. 1528), a Scottish nobleman, Privy Counsellor of Scotland; William Ruthven, 2nd Lord Ruthven (died 1552), a Scottish nobleman, Extraordinary Lord of Session and Keeper of the Privy Seal; Patrick Ruthven (ca.1520-1566) 3rd Lord of Ruthven, Privy...

Another 108 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ruthven Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ruthven Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • James Ruthven, who arrived in America in 1785

Ruthven Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Ruthven, who arrived in New York, NY in 1835
  • Edwin Ruthven, who settled in Philadelphia in 1861
  • John Ruthven, aged 17, who settled in America from Glasgow, in 1893
  • Mary Ruthven, aged 21, who landed in America, in 1893
  • Mrs. Ruthven, aged 50, who emigrated to the United States, in 1893
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Ruthven Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • J. W. Ruthven, aged 33, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Chas. Ruthven, aged 31, who emigrated to the United States from Paisley, in 1906
  • Thomas Ruthven, aged 8, who emigrated to the United States from Gorebridge, Scotland, in 1909
  • Robert Ruthven, aged 32, who settled in America from Gorebridge, Scotland, in 1909
  • Allice Ruthven, aged 29, who emigrated to the United States from Gorebridge, Scotland, in 1909
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Ruthven Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Neil Ruthven, who was on record in Ontario in 1815
  • Colin Ruthven, who arrived in Ontario in 1818
  • Hugh Ruthven, who settled in Ontario in 1818
  • John Ruthven, who arrived in Quebec in 1828
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  • John A. Ruthven (b. 1927), American wildlife painter, awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2004
  • John A. Ruthven (b. 1927), American artist best known for his paintings of wildlife, recipient of the National Medal of Arts in 2004
  • Richard "Dick" David Ruthven (b. 1951), American former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Alexander Grant Ruthven (1882-1971), American educator, President of the University of Michigan (1929 to 1951)
  • Alexander Patrick Greysteil Ruthven PC, FRSL (b. 1939), 2nd Earl of Gowrie, Irish-born, Scottish politician, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1984-1985),hereditary Clan Chief of Clan Ruthven
  • John Ruthven (b. 1783), Scottish engineer
  • Allan Ruthven (1922-2003), nicknamed "the Baron," an Australian rules footballer, recipient of the Brownlow medal (1950)
  • Edward Southwell Ruthven (1772-1836), Irish Repealer politician
  • Admiral Sir Henry Ruthven Moore GCB CVO DSO (1886-1978), British Naval officer, Commander of the Home Fleet during World War II
  • Malise Ruthven (b. 1942), Irish academic and writer
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Citations



  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)

Other References

  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  3. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  4. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  5. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  7. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Ruthven Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ruthven 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 17 June 2015 at 13:52.

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