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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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

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.


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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.

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Another 301 words (22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ruthven Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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


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


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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  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. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  3. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  4. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  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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