William Rutherford Sr. of Montreal and Elizabeth Jackson were the couple who established our branch of the Rutherford family in Canada. William Rutherford was born in Jedburgh, Scotland, in 1831 and moved to Canada in 1852, where he married Elizabeth (see previous post). Now here's how the family goes back, according to the tree in my mother-in-law's possession.
William Rutherford was the son of James Rutherford and Helen Paton. James lived in Jedburgh, Scotland, and married twice--William was his child by his first wife. James died of old age in 1883, at the age of 81, which would place his birth circa 1802.
According to the Borders Family History Society, which has transcribed gravestones in the area, James and Helen are buried at Jedburgh Abbey. James's grave reads: "James Rutherford Forester Linthaugh b. 17.3.1802 d Linthaugh 15.7.1883 1.w. Helen Paton d. 21.8.1846 36 2w Margaret (Temple) d. 6.1.1893." The part about the wives is a little cryptic: I take it to mean that Helen, his first wife, died on August 21, 1846 at age 36, and his second wife, Margaret, died on January 6, 1893, ten years after James.
Here are some pictures I found of Jedburgh Abbey and the adjoining cemetery--not of the Rutherford graves, unfortunately. I love the ruins of the Abbey--what a fabulous historic site! If I ever get to Scotland again this will definitely be on my list of places to visit.
The James Rutherford family appears on the 1841 census of Scotland. The family at that point consists of James, age 35, Helen, age 25, and their children James (11), William (9), Margaret (7), Isabel (5), Helen (3), and Andrew (5 months). They have one live-in servant. In the 1851 census, the household consists of James (now listed as 49), his second wife Margaret (35), William (19), Isabel (15), Helen (13), Andrew (10), and two new children, Robert (2) and Alexander (8 months). This census lists James' occupation as "Forest (over six men)", which I take to mean that he was the head forester, with six men working for him. One year after the 1851 census, at age 20, William immigrates to Canada.
Later census records, and the Rutherford family tree, show that even more children were born to James and Margaret: John, Jamima (a girl), Annie, Jean, Mary, Jessie, and Agnes. Altogether, James Rutherford was blessed with at least 15 children.
James was apparently a member of the Royal Scottish Forestry Society. Here is his name on a list of members in 1877.
Both James' death record and the Rutherford family tree confirm that his parents were James Rutherford and Jeanie Thomson. James and Jeanie's marriage record gives the brides' name as Jane Thomson and gives their wedding date as May 10, 1795, at Wilton, Roxburgh (which is pretty close to Jedburgh).
|May 10, 1795: Wilton registry. Proclaimed James Rutherford in this parish and Jane Thomson in the parish of Pellesleaf.|
|William Rutherfurd in Trove had a Child Baptized named James born the 4th June inst. Records of the County and Parish of Roxburgh, 1767.|
The website findagrave.com has an entry for James Rutherford's burial at Jedburgh Abbey in 1802, but there is no photograph, no grave transcription and I am unable to find an official death record for him.
James' father, as shown in the family tree and confirmed on the above birth record, is William Rutherford. The family tree tells us that William was born in 1730 and married Margaret, last name unknown. Here's where the records get a bit sketchier. There is birth record for a William Rutherford, born in Maxton in 1729, whose father is James Rutherford, a tenant, and whose mother is unnamed.
|Febry 23, 1729. Maxton Parish. James Rutherford Tenant in Maxton Child Baptized Called William.|
This is probably our William, although I'd feel better if I knew his mother's name too. The Maxton Parish Website indicates that Maxton is a rural village right next to the parish of Roxburgh, so the area is right. Maxton has strong associations with the Rutherford family.
The Scottish Border Society also has a grave transcription for a William Rutherford in Jedburgh Abbey, in the grave right next to James Rutherford Jr. and Helen Paton. This inscription reads: "William Rutherford Forester Linthaugh d 20.5.1816 82, w Margaret Turnbull d 25.4.1815 75 4 chn da Ann d 27.4.1840 70 da Isabella d 11.6.1847 70". This may not be the right William Rutherford, since the birth date would be off by around four or five years. However, this William does have a wife named Margaret, and he does die after 1802, when the James Rutherford who "died before his father" passes away. He also appears to hold the family job--Forester in Linthaugh.
Next on the family tree is James Rutherford, born 1685, married Jane Jerdon in 1728. I can't find a record for this marriage. I also can't find a record for a James Rutherford born in 1685. There is one born in 1684 in Cupar, Fife, son of Edvard (sic) Rutherford and Helen Turnbull. Possible, but not enough information to confirm right now, especially since the family tree lists yet another William Rutherford as James' father. .
The only information the tree gives us about this William Rutherford is that he was born in 1650 to George Rutherford and Margaret Oliphen. To me, there seems to be a big gap between William's birth in 1650 and his son's birth in 1684/5. I can't find records for any of these people. And here's where things get a little confusing.
According to the tree, George Rutherford was "vested in lands of Headfaulds and Caldschiells." and mentions his grandfather William having exchanged or bought these two properties from his younger brothers Andrew and Nicol, giving them his own property Rottenrow "and paid them besides 1000 marks." George Rutherford's father was James Rutherford, no dates given but "acted as bailis in May 1604 in giving Sasine of Wanliss Lands in Regality of Jedburgh Forest to Andrew Rutherford". And obviously, James Rutherford's father would be William, right? Except that the tree also says of James that he 'died before his father Thomas Rutherford'. Ahhh! There's no way Thomas and William are variants of each other like some other names are. There's something askew here somewhere.
Like James, William Rutherford has no vital dates attached to his record, although he "possessed Rottenrow 1560". He has two younger brothers, Andrew and Nicol, who are on the tree. William, Andrew and Nicol's father is Thomas Rutherford, born 1537, his father is Nicol (no other information), Nicol's father is Thomas of Rutherford, who in turn is a younger son of Nicol of Hundole, circa 1404, who "Got into 1426 Charter under Great Seal". Nicole of Hundole was a younger son of Richard of Rutherford, circa 1366 (his older brothers were James of Rutherford, circa 1400, and John of Chotte). Richard of Rutherford was "Ambassador of England 1398. Warden of Marehead 1400".
Richard's father was William of Rutherford, circa 1336, son of Richard of Rutherford, circa 1325. He was the son of Sir Richard of Rutherford, circa 1300, who was the son of Robert of Rutherford, circa 1276, "said to be a friend and valuable assistant to Sir William Wallace. He joined Wallace in Ettick forest with 600 men.". Sir Richard was the son of Robert of Rutherford, circa 1276, who was the son of Nicolas of Rutherford, circa 1246. That appears to be the end of the genealogical line, although there are a few more names at the top which are undated.
I think the repetition of names in the family is interesting. From the 1200s down, here is a list:
William (who begins the Canadian branch of the family, and passes down William as a male name).
There's a lot of work to be done on this tree before it's properly documented, but still, it's an intriguing start.