Clan/Family Histories
- Rutherford

Rutherford Crest The name is from the lands of Rutherford in Roxburghshire in the Scottish Borders. There is some debate as to whether the placename is derived from a man named Ruther who guided an ancient king of the Scots over a little-known ford on the river Tweed or from "Rue the Ford" after an English army had been defeated crossing the river.

There are records of Robert de Rutherford witnessing a charter by King David I around 1140 and there was a Gregory and Nicholas de Rutherford in the reign of William the Lion and King Alexander II (1165-1249). Others appear in the reign of Alexander III (1249-1286). Two Rutherfords signed the Ragman Roll in 1296, as required of 2,000 prominent landowners by King Edward I of England. Sir Richard Rutherford was a favourite of King Robert III at the end of the 14th century and was an ambassador to England in 1398.

The Rutherfords were well known for their raids into Northumberland. Thomas Rutherford, the Black Laird of Edgerston, turned the tide at a battle at Carterfell in 1575. A descendant of that Laird fought on behalf of Charles I during the Civil War in the next century but he was severely wounded and many of his men were killed at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. Lieutenant General Andrew Rutherford was raised to the peerage in 1663 and later became Governor of Tangier in Morocco. The title became extinct when he died without issue.

Sir Walter Scott's maternal grandfather was John Rutherford and his son Daniel was the discoverer of nitrogen. Ernest Rutherford (later Lord Rutherford) won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1908 and is also known as the "father of atomic power" having named the proton and propounded the theory of smashing the atom. His father had emigrated to New Zealand in 1841.

The Rutherford clan motto is "Nec sorte nec fato" which means "Neither by chance nor fate".

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