Rutherford Surname Project

Also consider joining
  • 166 members

About us

Updated 21 October 2019

Use the menu bar to the side of the project page to navigate to any page of the project website.  To post to the forum ("Activity Feed"), make sure you are signed in as a member.  But you will not be able to invite members to join in - any new member must first test with FTDNA and must then join the project.  (mtDNA;  Y-DNA;  atDNA makes no difference).

Updated 18 April 2014

The website below will be valuable to all researchers of this ancient family surnamed Rutherford.  It tells of the history of the Rutherfords - who are generally thought to be a sept of the Clan Home.  (Home is pronounced "Hume")

The following is a small extract from that site:-

The Rutherford Coat of Arms

The origin of heraldry was not Norman but Flemish. The Normans were not in a position to know about the symbolic devices of Charlemagne's court. It is most likely, therefore, that the origins of English and Scottish armoury are to be found not in Normandy (the Normans were of mixed Scandinavian and Frankish descent), but in the system adopted by certain ruling families descended from the Emperor Charlemagne, the military and political colossus who ruled the Frankish Empire of northern Europe from 768 to 814. These families perpetuated much of the administrative organisation of the Carolingian Empire, including the use of dynastic and territorial emblems on seals, coinage, customs stamps and flags. There is evidence to suggest that these devices were common to families or groups linked by blood or feudal tenure, and were of necessity hereditary. With the redistribution of lands following the Norman Conquest, the cadets in England of Flemish families who were of Carolingian descent, and the devices used by them, became integrated in Anglo-Norman society. During the first Crusade, only thirty years after the Conquest, the mass cavalry charge of mail-clad knights remained the standard tactic of warfare. Order was maintained in the ensuing fight by the use of mustering flags bearing the personal devices of commanders and it is clear that these were sufficiently distinctive to be recognised, even in the heat of battle. It is likely that they also possessed a peacetime function - that of marking territory and symbolising authority - and that the devices used for this purpose also came to be engraved on seals by which documents were authenticated. The proto-heraldic devices were displayed, not on shields at that stage (many similar shields are shown on the Bayeux Tapestry but rather on seals and banners. Hereditary devices may have been known in 1066, and symbolic banners seem to have been carried at the battle of Hastings and in the First Crusade.[Department of Medieval Studies at the Central European University-Budapest]

Updated 4 March 2013.

The Rutherford motto, "Nec sorte nec fato" - "Neither by chance nor byfate"

Extract from the "Historical & Critical Remarks on Prynne's History" commonly called Ragman Roll p 23.

Dominus Nicolaus de Rutherford is the ancestor of the Rutherfords of that Ilk who came to be designed Domine ejusdem in King Robert II's time.  They were a family of reputation and held the most part of their estate of the Earls of Douglas.  The family split betwixt an heir-male and heirs of line, in King James IV's reign.  Rutherford of Edgerston was the heir-male, and now represents the principal original family, and the Earl of Traquair is the heir of the line, who carries the arms of Rutherford in his achievement.Use the menu bar across the top of the project page to navigate to any page of the project website.

Surname DNA testing is the the best "add-on" tool available to genealogists!  The many advantages include:-

  • Surname tests (Y-DNA) enable genealogists to verify their father's father's...father's paternal ancestry.  (The molecular (aka genetic) ancestry overrides the surname ancestry).
  • Molecular ancestry information can be very powerful when combined with traditional paper trails and can uncover family secrets!

The following Surnames are currently included in this project:

Retherford, Rutherford, Ruther

The Rutherford DNA Project is open to all families who have a match with this surname, of all spelling variations, and from all countries throughout the world.  
(If your surname is not included please contact the Project Administrator.)   

The Rutherford DNA Project was started to:

  1. Help researchers from common or related families work together to find their shared heritage. 
  2. Identify how the participant's families are connected, both genetically and through paper trails.
  3. Identify and confirm Lineages of ancestral families.
  4. Ultimately catalogue pedigrees and genetic connections of all of the known project families.

 Participating in a Surname DNA Project provides:

  • The participant's Y chromosomal DNA, which is very close (and sometimes identical) to his earliest known ancestor.
  • The participant's "deep" ancestry (Haplogroup), which identifies the paternal ancestor's prehistoric origins.
  • A sense of camaraderie, which is particularly strong for those who share a molecular (genetic) ancestry.
  • Stimulation to family research and renewed sharing of information.
  • A wider sense of identity and relationship, as we begin to realise how much we are a World Family.
  • A chance to compare your molecular (genetic) ancestry with those of your Surname ancestry and the spelling variations.
  • Your molecular matches who do not share your surname.  (This aspect is always fascinating)!
  • An administrator who can guide, combine, and advise - particularly where the records have been lost.
Here is a hint for you if you have tested FF.

Once you (or anyone) joins a project, you can go to your FTDNA Home Page and hover your mouse over the FF Drop-down menu visible in the blue tool bar. Then select  "Advanced Matches" from that menu. Check FF and select whether you want to see your matches in either the full data base, or just in the specific projects that you have joined.

Because it is a pain switching from one window to another, I have three browsers, so that I can get the same person’s Home page up showing different reports for the same tester all at the same time.