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Welcome to Clan Rutherfurd/Rutherford

The creation of the Clan Rutherfurd is an historic occasion; we hope to continue a long tradition of service to those around the world who are members of our family. Historically, the Rutherfurd family has been a sept of the Clan Home/Hume since May 18th, 1516 when Thomas Lord Rutherfurd of Edgerston allied himself, along with his kinsmen John of Hundalee and George of Hunthill, in a bond of manrent to Alexander Lord Home. As a Scottish Borders family, we were a family with a Laird rather than a Clan with a Chief. William Edward Rutherfurd, the last Rutherfurd Laird of Edgerston, sold Edgerston in 1915 and immigrated to Kenya. He died in 1931 with no known descendants. The Rutherfurd/ Rutherford family has been a Family without a Laird since that time. The last Lairds brother, Malcolm Brakspear Rutherfurd, immigrated to Douglas, Wyoming, USA where he married Anne Amelia Dickson on April 29th 1897. He had five sons before he died in 1913. The descendants of Malcolm Brakspear Rutherfurd have elected the oldest male Rutherfurd of their family as the Family Representative, Edward Charles Rutherfurd. Because we no longer own Edgerston or any other Rutherford estates, our responsibility to the family is to provide clan organization. Each cadet or geographic line will post its genealogy; we hope to be a resource to Rutherfurds/Rutherfords around the world in researching their family history. Also posted here are things of interest to Rutherfurds/ Rutherfords - pictures, arms, mottos, clan history and more.

The Family Representative

Edward Charles Rutherfurd is the grand nephew of William Edward Rutherfurd, the last Rutherfurd Laird of Edgerston. Edward C. Rutherfurd graduated with a masters degree from the University of California Long Beach. He taught High School for 35 years and retired in 1997. He and his wife Lorraine celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2004. They have seven children and sixteen grandchildren. Edward, along with his wife and daughter Deborah and her family, visited Edgerston, Scotland in the summer of 2003. The current owner of Edgerston House permitted them to tour the inside of the house; this was a dream come true for all of them. They also had a great time enjoying the beautiful Scottish countryside and visiting many family estates and sites.

The Tartan - shown as the background of this web site

As a sept of the Clan Home, we proudly wear the Clan Home tartan. The Clan Home and Clan Rutherfurd have an ancient and colorful association on the Scottish Borders. Both families served as squires to the powerful Black Douglases and today’s chief unifies these two clans with the name Douglas-Home. In July of 1436 Lord James Rutherford witnessed *sasine to Sir David Home 1st Baron of Wedderburn. Later that same year on December 11th James Rutherford of that Ilk had *sasine at Linlithgow, with Sir Alexander Home of that Ilk. These lords were brothers-in-law. James Rutherford was married to Christian Lauder and Marion Lauder her sister was married to Sir Alexander Home. Over 500 years later, David Douglas-Home, is the 15th Earl of Home and, thus, Chief of Clan Home and all its septs.

* sasine is the Scottish term for the act of giving legal possession of property or the instrument by which such possession is proved, something like a deed.

Rutherfurd of Edgerston

The Edgerston Rutherfurds are the traditional family of the chief of the Clan Rutherfurd. Edgerston is located south of Jedburgh quite near the border with England. It served for centuries as a first line of defense against English invasions of Scotland. As defenders of the Scottish realm, the Rutherfurds of Edgerston were closely aligned with the Clan Home and Clan Douglas. The Exchequer Rolls reveal that Lord James Rutherfurd II had possession of Edgerston in 1448. Edgerston remained in Rutherfurd possession until the 20th century. It was the only property not lost to a pretended heiress in the 16th century who had married into the Stewart family of Traquair. The family managed to keep Edgerston until 1915. There was also a junior Rutherfurd line in the 18th century located at the estate of Bowland.

The Edgerston Rutherfurd arms are the arms of the Clan Chief. "Argent, an orle gules, and in chief three martlets sable, beaked of the second."

Blazon’s translation: A red voided [empty] shield is placed upon a silver/white shield. At the top portion of the silver/white shield there are three black legless birds with red beaks.

Motto: "Nec sorte, Nec fato" - "Neither by chance nor by fate"

Rutherford of Hunthill

The Hunthill cadet's name is spelled Rutherfoord and/or Rutherford. The Hunthill estate is south of the town of Jedburgh just east of the Jed Water. This cadet’s orignal location Chatto is located almost due east of Jedburgh near the Northumberland border. This cadet also owned an estate in Peeblesshire near West Linton and Carlops called "Rutherford Castle". The Hunthill line goes back to the 15th century and produced through one of it's branches Andrew Lord Rutherford, Earl of Teviot. The Earl's title passed through the Lords of Hunthill till the line died out in 1720. There are many junior lines from this family; Longnewton, Bankend, Littleheuch, Capehope, Ladfield, Knowsouth and Kidheugh. Some are possibly of Hunthill origin but are unproven at present. The Hunthill Rutherford's have many descendants in the USA from the Nisbet-Crailing area.

Hunthill - "Or, three passion nails within an orle gules, and in chief three martlets sable, beaked of the second."

Blazon’s translation: A red voided [empty] shield is placed upon a golden shield. At the top portion of the gold shield there are three black legless birds with red beaks. Hanging from the inside of the red shield are three triangular piles or nails.

*Differenced with the Gordon of Huntly red rooster as a crest and 3 piles in gold from the Douglases of Morton. The three piles, also known as passion-nails, refer to the three nails used to fasten Jesus to the cross.

*The simple coats of arms are always the most ancient. Whenever anything else gets added, it's called "differencing" and is used later in history to denote different individuals.

Motto: "Provyd" - "Provide" or "God provides all that is needed"

Rutherford of Hundalee

The Rutherfords of Hundalee can also be traced to the early 15th century. This cadet's name is spelled Rutherford. The Hundalee estate is south of the town of Jedburgh west of the Jed Water. This cadet has ancestry from the House of Tudor, Henry VII King of England. This line ended in the 17th century when the last heiress of Hundalee married into the Kerr family. There is a possible connection to the Fairnilee cadet in the 18th century.

Hundalee - "Argent, an orle or upon an orle gules, and in chief three martlets sable, beaked of the second."

Blazon’s translation: A red voided [empty] shield is placed upon a silver/white shield. Placed upon the red shield is another gold shield. At the top portion of the silver/white shield there are three black legless birds with red beaks.

*Differenced with a "wildman" as a crest and a golden orle upon red.

*The simple coats of arms are always the most ancient. Whenever anything else gets added, it's called "differencing" and is used later in history to denote different individuals.

Motto: "Provyd" - "Provide" or "God provides all that is needed"

Rutherford of Fairnington

The Rutherfords of Fairnington were a junior branch of the dominant line at Edgerston. The estate is located north of Jedburgh to the south of the River Tweed, quite near the hamlet of Rutherford. This family line is well represented in New Zealand and the USA. The Fairnington estate was sold in 1922.

Fairnington - "Argent, an orle gules engrailed, and in chief three martlets sable, beaked of the second."

Blazon’s translation: A red voided [empty] shield with escalloped edges is placed upon a silver/white shield. At the top portion of the silver/white shield there are three black legless birds with red beaks.

*Differenced with an orle engrailed and a Gordon of Huntly red rooster as a crest.

*The simple coats of arms are always the most ancient. Whenever anything else gets added, it's called "differencing" and is used later in history to denote different individuals.

Motto: "Amico Fidus Ad Aras" - "True friends are a refuge"
 
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