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Rutherford was accepted by CDSNA as a sept and allied family in July 2012.

The Clan Rutherford website states,

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 Rutherfurds, like their cousins the Douglases, most likely trace their ancestry back to West Flanders and to the powerful Erembald family. Other families in Britain who share these roots are the Ypres [Douglas], Furnes, Harnes, Lucy, Hacket and Winter families. The political events of the 11th and 12th centuries within Flanders were to change the lives of these families and push them down a migratory path which began in today's Belgium and ended up in Scotland, Ireland, America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.  Rutherfords have always followed the Douglases - in Flanders and in Scotland. Therefore, a secondary working theory has been that a detailed study of the Douglas family history in Flanders would certainly shed light on the origins of the Rutherfurds.

Like the Homes, Hopringles, Lauders and Nisbets, the Rutherfords were the ancestral escutifers [squires] of the Douglas chiefs.

Further evidence for Rutherford comes from an email from Dr. Deborah Richmond Foulkes, FSAScot:

 drfoulkes@mytruthliesintheruins.com, dated 08 Feb 2005:

"I had received this information from the Herald and Seneschal to the Chief - Clan Rutherfurd, Gary Harding...And it includes some references for Glendonwyn and Glendoning family information."

Here are two separate lines of descent which bring the Hunthill Rutherfords firmly into the Douglas family and fortunes. The fall of the Douglases also signaled the fall of the Rutherfords.

A portion of this email is given below and is also found earlier in the sept Glendinning.

12. Margaret Glendonwyn m. Robert Rutherford of Chatto (a 1484, d before 05.1495) who acquired Hunthill by marriage had confirmation of his late father's gift of Nether Chatto [Sir George Rutherford] November 21, 1429 from Archibald 4th Earl of Douglas, as his dear esquire (RCh), with Crown confirmation March 25, 1439 (Ib; not in GS). 4th of Drumlanrig William Douglas - Killed on 22 July 1484 at the Battle of Kirtle, fighting for the Crown against his cousin, 9th Earl of Douglas, who had invaded from England. - Robert Rutherford acceded in 1484 the same year as the battle of Kirtle. Robert Rutherford of Chatto acquired Hunthill by marriage had confirmation of his late father's gift of Nether Chatto November 21, 1429 from Archibald 4th Earl of Douglas, as his dear esquire (RCh), with Crown confirmation March 25, 1439 (Ib; not in GS). In November 1437 with four leading kinsmen he was on the retour at Jedburgh of Sir William Douglas of Drumlanrig as heir in the East Mains of Hawick (DB III? 371). On July 13, 1464 he and his wife Margaret had a grant of lairs (burial places) in the choir of Jedburgh Abbey from the abbot (MS 7,736). Hood's statement that by 1434 the choir was divided among the Rutherfords for burial was unfounded (IlkH lxi).

Robert served on another Douglas retour at Jedburgh in January 1464/5 (MS 7, 728). To judge by his heir's approximate birthdate Robert married Sir Simon Glendinwin's daughter Margaret long before December 12, 1465 when the knight gave them charter of lands 'in the west part of the town of Scraisburgh, and the lands commonly called 'le Hunthil' - from which their descendants took their designation, for a render of a pound of pepper or 3s. to Simon, five marks to the abbot of Jedburgh and 40s. to the king for castle ward (GS II N.899). Robert remained styled 'of Chatto'. He witnessed at Dryburgh Abbey in June 1468 an agreement between James Rutherford II of that Ilk and others dividing part of the Lauder inheritance (MS 12, App V!II, 121), and at Edinburgh in May 1471 a charter by William Lord Abernethy to Walter Ker"(MS 14, >App III, 21). With a George and a Richard, no doubt his sons, he was on the retour of John fourth Lord Maxwell at Jedburgh in April 1486 (Caer >II, 443).

On a website devoted to The Rutherfords of Hunthill, Gary Rutherford writes…

The progenitor of the Hunthill cadet was Sir George Rutherford of Chatto. Chatto and Hunthill are ancient estates quite near each other in Roxburghshire, Scotland. Hunthill is located very near Jedburgh just to the southeast of town and Chatto is located almost due east of Jedburgh near the Northumberland border. The family was later styled “of Hunthill” in the lifetime of Sir George’s son Robert. Sir George Rutherford of Chatto was the squire of Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas.

Central to Rutherford genealogy in Scotland and to the Hunthill Rutherfords specifically is the family’s connection and descent from the powerful Black Douglases and their kin, the Glendonwyns. The Glendonwyns, today are called the Glendennings, and are direct descendants of "The Good Sir James" who carried the heart of Robert the Bruce to Spain where he was killed by the Moors. This is a long and colorful story which is the source of the various Douglas coats of arms which bear a human heart as a charge. The Rutherfords and Glendonwyns were the "scutifers' or squires to the Douglas family along with the Home and Hoppringle families. Sir Robert Rutherford’s wife, Margaret Glendonwyn, was the grand daughter of both Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas and Margaret Stewart daughter of John Stewart, King Robert III of Scots.

Margaret Glendonwyn’s father was Sir Simon Glendonwyn of Glendonwyn and Parton (a 1455) who was married to Elizabeth Lindsay daughter of Alexander Lindsay, 2nd Earl of Crawford and Marjory (Margaret) of Dunbar a descendant of Gospatrick the great earl. Alexander Lindsay's aunt, Agnes Dunbar, was the wife of Sir James Douglas - 1st Lord of Dalkeith and as such was also the great great aunt of Sir Simon Glendonwyn. The Hunthill coat of arms carries a charge of three passion nails which came from the Douglas of Morton coat of arms. Margaret Glendonwyn, daughter of Sir Simon Glendonwyn married Sir Robert Rutherford of Chatto (a 1484, d before

05.1495) and acquired the land in Roxburghshire that is called Hunthill through marriage. Sir Robert Rutherford had confirmation of his late father's gift of Nether Chatto on November 21, 1429 from Archibald 4th Earl of Douglas, as "his dear esquire", with a Crown confirmation on March 25, 1439.

The Roxburghshire inventory of the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments for Scotland includes (No.441) a late medieval carved stone panel built into the north-west wall of Hunthill House: "At top and sides there are little paterae; the upper corners contain rosettes and the lower ones sprays of foliage. The shield is charged: Within an orle, three Passion nails and in chief three martlets, for Rutherford of Hunthill and Chatto".

The Hunthill or Chatto cadet spells its name Rutherfoord and/or Rutherford. 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 Rutherford's have many descendants in America from the Nisbet-Crailing area; the Wigton-Walkers, the descendants of Thomas Rutherford of Paxtang, PA, the descendants of James Rutherford of Walker’s Creek, VA, the descendants of James Rutherford of Cub Creek, VA and the descendants of General Griffith Rutherford.

Arms of John Rutherford I of Hunthill [c. 1510 – 1577]: "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 cock [red rooster] of the Gordons of Huntly as a crest with tinctures [gold and red] and 3 piles in gold. The three piles, also known as passion-nails, refer to the three nails used to fasten Jesus to the cross and were taken from the arms of Douglas of Morton.

motto: "Provyd" - "God provides all that is needed"

Generation 1

- 1. Sir George Rutherford and Jonet Rutherfurd

(c.1380 - c.1428)

The Rutherford connection with the estate of Chatto began when, soon after Thomas Chatto's forfeiture in 1424, Archibald 4th Earl of Douglas gave George Rutherford charter of Nether Chatto, South Sharplaw, Eddyllcleuch and Hangandshaw (The Scots peerage. ed. Sir J.B. Paul, 9 vols. (1904-14)). as 'Georgius de Rutherfurde, scutifer' witnessed at Edinburgh shortly before February 29, 1413/4 a charter of Wedderburn by Archibald 4th Earl of Douglas (The register of the Great Seal of Scotland, ed. J .M. Thomson etc., 11 vols. (1882-1914) II N.189).

On July 7, 1414 George Rutherford signed another charter by the earl [Archibald Douglas] to Michael de Ramsay at Lochmaben Castle (Ibid II N.70).

Lochmaben Castle in Dumfries and Galloway was a Black Douglas stronghold. Because of its proximity to the border it was captured and recaptured on many occasions. Lochmaben was also the seat of the Bruce family and it is claimed that Robert the Bruce (King Robert I) was born there, a claim disputed on behalf of Turnberry Castle in Ayrshire. Lochmaben was granted royal castle status in 1455. Sir George Rutherford died before February 6, 1429/30, the date of an indenture between Jonet relict of George Rutherford of Chatto and Patrick son of Robert Lorraine lord of Homylknoll.

Generation 2

--2. Robert Rutherford of Chatto

(c.1410 - 1490/5)

Robert acquired Hunthill by marriage had confirmation of his late father's gift of Nether Chatto November 21, 1429 from Archibald 4th Earl of Douglas, as his dear esquire, with Crown confirmation March 25, 1439 (Rutherford charters in the Register House, Edinburgh).

Another website devoted to The Rutherfords of Hunthill and other Rutherford families posts the following information :

The Rutherfords are related to the Homes by marriage and direct descent through the Clan Lauder.  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. 

And makes this statement regarding which tartan is appropriate for Rutherford:

The first choice [of tartan] for any Rutherfurd or Rutherford would be the Home [Hume] tartan and second the Douglas.




Foulkes, Dr. Deborah R., , FSAScot.  8 Feb. 2005. E-mail.

Rutherford, Gary. Clan Rutherfordhttp://www.clanrutherfurd.org/

Rutherford, Gary.  The Rutherfords of Hunthill. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~rutherford/rutherfords_of_hunthill.htm

Rutherford, Gary.  The Rutherfords of Hunthill.   http://hunthill.4t.com/custom.html


The similarity of caer Ruther or Rutherfort to the surname Rutherford seems to be more than a simple coincidence.  Is it possible that Carruthers and Rutherford are branches of the same family?  More research needs to be undertaken to determine this.