The Rutherford Family

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Rutherford children

Vintage uncertain

The Rutherford family were one of the leading families in the Borders district between England and Scotland, and occupied the hereditary post of Provost of Jedburgh. They ran a private army which they hired out to whichever side was bidding the most in the frequent border wars.

In my mothers branch of the family the oldest son was always named James, and in about 1602 the then James moved to Ireland, but in about 1800 their property was attacked by Irish rebels, and James and most of the family were killed. Only his wife, their infant son and a nurse escaped. His widow fled to America with their son, and part of the family still lives there.

In about 1850 the then James, who had been a poor schoolteacher in the States, came to Australia to join the gold rushes. After a short time prospecting unsuccessfully, he went into business, and apparently his first venture was cutting timber in the Dandenongs. This provided him with sufficient money to be able to join a syndicate which bought out the goldfields coaching company "Cobb & Co". Rutherford moved the company to Bathurst in New South Wales, and built it into a national institution.

My mother was one of his granddaughters(1). She was born on a country property out of Dubbo in 1893, and had wanted to train as a doctor, but could not do so for family reasons. When the 1914-18 war broke out she was desperate to take part, so she trained as a masseuse, and began working in a military hospital in Britain in 1917.

In 1930 she married Adrian William Riordan, a captain in the permanent Army. Shortly afterwards he was moved to Melbourne, and their children remained in Victoria.

1. Roslyn was the 4th of her parents 5 children. They were:

1. Kathleen Alice Michell 30/12/1890 - 31/7/1976
2. Norman (Jim) 3/9/1892 - 18/12/1953
3. Hilda (John) 3/9/1892 - ?/9/1956
4. Roslyn Newell 18/10/1893 - ?/3/1979
5. Thelma Maurice 18/1/1896 - 25/2/1958


My first school

RNR: Childhood pranks

More outrageous adventures

Timbercutting in the Dandenongs

An early venture of her grandfather's

Ghost stories

Birth of RR

A work of love

A booklet of poems prepared by an admirer of Mary Gilmour

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 © Roger Riordan 2004-2019