Rutter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Rutter family

The surname Rutter was first found in Cheshire where it "is the name of an ancient and influential family of Kingsley, where they owned considerable estates from the 13th to the 17th century (O.). The name of Rutter is now best represented amongst the farmers around Tarporley, which is only some seven or eight miles from Kingsley, so that we may repeat the remark made by Ormerod about 70 years ago "that the descendants are still living (as yeomen) and day labourers within the precincts of the feudal power of their ancestors." The name is also established in the counties of Northumberland, Durham, and Lincoln, and in the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire. " [1]

As far as the etymology of the name, there is much debate. Most sources claim the name is from the German word for "ritter, a rider, i.e. a trooper." [2] [3] [2] [4] Halliwell goes on the note that "the term was usually applied to a fine, dashing, boasting gallant; one so fashionable as to speak much in foreign languages." [3]

However, one source claims the name was in fact, a Norman French name from "Roter" as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Fulco des Rotors, Normandy 1180-1195; and Fulco de Rotor, 1198 and then notes that Richard and Thomas Rotor or Rotour, were both listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. [5]

The famed English composer, conductor, editor, arranger, and record producer, John Milford Rutter CBE (b. 1945) was born in London.

Early History of the Rutter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rutter research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1697, 1775, 1687, 1730, 1720, 1727, 1635, 1698, 1775, 1723, 1724, 1687, 1730, 1719 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Rutter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rutter Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Rutter, Ruttery, Rutty and others.

Early Notables of the Rutter family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Rutty (1697-1775) a Dublin Quaker physician and naturalist born in Melksham, Wiltshire; and his cousin, William Rutty M.D. (1687-1730) was an English physician, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society 30 June 1720 and later became second secretary 30 November 1727. John Rutter (fl. 1635), was an English poet who belonged to Ben Jonson's latest circle of friends...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rutter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rutter Ranking

In the United States, the name Rutter is the 4,919th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [6] However, in the United Kingdom, the name Rutter is ranked the 989th most popular surname with an estimated 7,045 people with that name. [7]


United States Rutter migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rutter Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Rutter, who settled in New England in 1638
  • Elizabeth Rutter, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [8]
  • Richard Rutter, who arrived in Maryland in 1678 [8]
  • William Rutter, who arrived in Maryland in 1681 [8]
  • Conrad Rutter, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1683 [8]
Rutter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Rutter, who landed in Maryland in 1716 [8]
  • Thomas Rutter, who arrived in Maryland in 1716
  • Francis Rutter, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1753 [8]
  • Henry Rutter, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754 [8]
Rutter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Rutter, who arrived in America in 1807 [8]
  • Miss Elizabeth Rutter, (b. 1777), aged 63, English settler departing from England aboard the Ship "Royal Adelaide" arriving in the United States on 21st April 1840 [9]
  • Charles James Rutter, who arrived in Texas in 1850-1906 [8]
  • George Rutter, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1870 [8]
  • John Rutter, who landed in Arkansas in 1898 [8]
Rutter Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. John Henry Rutter, (b. 1881), aged 23, Cornish miner, from Camborne, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 3rd September 1904 en route to Houghton, Michigan, USA [10]
  • Miss Nellie Rutter, (b. 1885), aged 19, American returning from Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 24th April 1904 en route to New Mexico, USA [10]
  • Mr. Solomon Rutter, (b. 1885), aged 19, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 3rd September 1904 en route to Houghton, Michigan, USA [10]

Canada Rutter migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rutter Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. George Rutter U.E. (b. 1750) born in Wurtemburg, Germany who settled in Adolphus Town [Adolphustown], Ontario c. 1784 married to Elizabeth having 12 children, he died in 1848 [11]
  • Mr. John George Rutter U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [11]

Australia Rutter migration to Australia +

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

Rutter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Rutter, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Midlothian" in 1850 [12]
  • Alfred Rutter, aged 26, a shoemaker, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Trafalgar" [13]
  • Mr. Richard Rutter, (b. 1833), aged 27, Cornish settler who immigrated to New South Wales, Australia aboard the ship "Trident" in 1858 convicted at Darlinghurst Gaol in 1860 [14]
  • Mr. James Edwin Rutter, Cornish seaman who immigrated to New South Wales, Australia aboard the ship "Jason" in 1856 convicted at Maitland Gaol on 12th October 1864 [14]
  • Mr. Charles Rutter, English convict who was convicted in Birmingham, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Clara" on 28th January 1864, arriving in Western Australia, Australia [15]

New Zealand Rutter 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:

Rutter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Rutter (Retter), (b. 1804), aged 37, British labourer travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 24th May 1841 [16]
  • Mrs. Jane Rutter (Retter), (b. 1814), aged 27, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 24th May 1841 [16]
  • Mr. Charles Rutter (Retter), (b. 1839), aged 2, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 24th May 1841 [16]
  • Miss J. Rutter (Retter), (b. 1835), aged 6, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 24th May 1841 [16]
  • Arthur C. Rutter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Telegraph" in 1863
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Rutter migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [17]
Rutter Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Rutter, who arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Mr. Thomas Rutter, (b. 1613), aged 22, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [18]
  • Daniel Rutter, who settled in Barbados in 1685

Contemporary Notables of the name Rutter (post 1700) +

  • John Milford Rutter CBE (b. 1945), English composer, choral conductor and arranger, known for his Christmas carols, anthems and Gloria, the Requiem and the Magnificat
  • William J. Rutter (1928-1981), American biochemist, co-founder of the biotechnology Chiron Corporation in 1981
  • Troy Rutter (b. 1973), American actor, author and programmer from Ames, Iowa
  • Tommy Rutter (b. 1977), English American soccer player
  • Sir Michael Llewellyn Rutter CBE FRS FRCP FRCPsych FMedSci (1933-2021), English medical pioneer, the first person to be appointed professor of child psychiatry in the United Kingdom, the "father of child psychology"
  • John Rutter (1796-1851), English topographer and printer at Shaftesbury, Dorset, son of Thomas Rutter, a Quaker, of Bristol
  • Thomas "Tommy" Rutter (b. 1977), English football defender from Stroud
  • Edward Owen Rutter (1889-1944), English historian, novelist and travel writer
  • Barrie Rutter (b. 1946), English actor, founder and Artistic Director of the Northern Broadsides Theatre Company
  • Keith Rutter (b. 1934), English former footballer from Leeds
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • William Rutter (1917-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [19]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Sidney Frank "Graves" Rutter (d. 1912), aged 30, English Plumber from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [20]


The Rutter 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: Melitae amor
Motto Translation: Love of Malta.


  1. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Halliwell, James Orchard. A Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial WordsLondon: John Russel Smith, Old Compton Street, Soho, 1848, Digital, 2 Vols
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  6. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_new_york_1820_1891.pdf
  10. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  11. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  12. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MIDLOTHIAN 1850. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Midlothian.gif
  13. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 29th June 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Trafalgar 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/trafalgar1854.shtml.
  14. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_gaol_admissions.pdf
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/clara
  16. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  17. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  18. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 28th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  19. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  20. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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