Rutherford (surname)

The surname Rutherford, also Rutherfurd, is a Scottish and Northern English habitational surname deriving from a place in the Scottish borders region near Roxburgh.[1]


According to one theory, the name can be traced back to the West Flemish name Ruddervoorde, a community now part of Oostkamp.[2] Another theory of the origin of the name states that a man by the name Ruther carried an ancient king of Scots over the River Tweed. Eventually, a descendant of the king gave land to the family that carried his forefather over the river and when surnames were adopted, Rutherford came into being.[3]

The motto of the Rutherfords of one of the clans is Nec sorte nec fato, represented as "Nor by fate nor by chance."[4]


Notable people with the name include:

See alsoEdit

  • Edward Rutherfurd, nom de plume of Francis Edward Wintle, author of historical fiction


  1. ^ "Rutherford Name Meaning & Rutherford Family History at".
  2. ^ "Flemish Roots". Archived from the original on 2007-03-11.
  3. ^ "Origin and History of the Name Rutherford".
  4. ^ "The History of the Surname". Doug Baldwin. Retrieved 2014-06-12.