Ruthven History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Ruthven family

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] It is thought that they held the Barony of Ruthven in Angus about 1050, and then branched into Perthshire.

Early History of the Ruthven family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ruthven research. Another 227 words (16 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, 1819, 1772, 1836, 1800, 1833, 1835, 1769 and 1840 are included under the topic Early Ruthven History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ruthven Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Ruthven family (pre 1700)

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 Councillor to Mary Queen of Scots; William Ruthven (1541-1584) 4th Lord Ruthven, Earl of Gowrie; John Ruthven, 3rd Earl of Gowrie (c.1577-1600), a Scottish nobleman who was killed while...
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ruthven Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Ruthven family to Ireland

Some of the Ruthven family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 86 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ruthven migration to the United States +

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 [2]
  • 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 immigrated to the United States, in 1893
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
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 immigrated to the United States from Paisley, in 1906
  • Thomas Ruthven, aged 8, who immigrated 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 immigrated to the United States from Gorebridge, Scotland, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Ruthven migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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

Australia Ruthven migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Ruthven Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Mary Ruthven (McVey), British Convict who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 9th March 1847, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]

New Zealand Ruthven migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Ruthven Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Ruthven, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Peter Denny" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 3rd September 1873 [4]
  • Mr. George Ruthven, (b. 1872), aged 15 months, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Peter Denny" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 3rd September 1873, died on board [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ruthven (post 1700) +

  • John A. Ruthven (1927-2020), 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 (1939-2021), 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
  • Major William Ruthven (1893-1970), Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross for deeds at Ville-sur-Ancre, France, in WWI


  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. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th February 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1847
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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