Rutherfordiana/The Problem/John and Isabella

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This is one of a series of articles dealing with the Rutherford and Alleine Connection for the Katherine Rutherford (c1682-1738), wife of John Walker II (c1682-1734) of the Wigton Walker line. An index to the principal articles in this series is provided below:

Index to Articles
The Problem
Family Tree Source Material Extracts
Person Articles A Comparison of Sources
Bibliography Rutherford Timeline
Resources White Descendancy
DISCUSSION Working Conclusion

This particular article provides a discussion of the family history of John Rutherford and Isabella Alleine. It is an attempt to gather in the available information about their life, focusing on data related to their birth, where they were living when they met, where they eventually settled, and where they died. One of the objectives is to see if there's enough coherent information available on these subjects to justify a description of their family history, and to see whether that family history is compatible with the purported connection to Rev. Samuel Rutherford and Rev. Joseph Alleine.

A number of the works dealing with the genealogy of Katherine Rutherford provide information about the life history of her family. Not all of these sources are consistent with each other, and none provides any direct primary evidence to support the information they provide in this regard.

SourceInformation Comment
White, 1902 "lived on the River Tweed in Scotland." The River Tweed drains the Border's area of southeastern Scotland (see map); Some believe that John Rutherford was from the family of Rutherfords living near Roxburgh. White offers no basis for her statement, and there seems to be no specific primary data to indicate that John was from the area of the Tweed.

White, 1902Katherine Rutherford married John Walker II in 1702 at Wigtonthe simplest interpretation is that we would expect that Katherine's parents, John Rutherford and Isabella Alleine, were living in or near Wigton in 1702. A more complex interpretation could be given that allowed them to be living at a greater distance, but that requires more information than is available here.
McPheeters, 1842My Grandmother Jane Walker, as before remarked was born in Ireland. Her Father, John Walker, of Wigtown, left Scotland before marriage, and settled in Ireland. He there married, and then, I presume, his seven children...were born. This implies that Katherine's parents, John Rutherford and Isabella Alleine, were living in Ireland prior to the couples marriage. This seems at odds with White's clear statement that the couple married in Wigton. The simple explanation is that one of these statements is wrong. Either John Walker came to Ireland before his marriage, or he met and married Katherine in Wigton. More complex explanations that would reconcile these differences can be crafted. For example, they might have returned from Ireland to Scotland to marry in Wigton. Such explanations, while possible, far outstrips our information about this marriage.
WKRRev. John Rutherford and a brother were captains in the army of William III. They participated in the crushing defeat of the Irish in the battle of the Boyne and were awarded service lands in Ireland for their service. This implies that John settled in Ireland after the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
WKRRev. John Rutherford settled in Down County, Ireland, and continued his ministry which he had begun in Scotland. He married a grandaughter of the Rev. Joseph Alleine, author of The Alarm of (sic) the Unconverted. [214] This statement is consistent with 1) the idea that he received land for participation in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, 2) that previously he lived in Scotland, and 3) that daughter Katherine wed John Walker in Ireland rather than in Wigton. With regard to that latter point explanations that reconcile these conflicting views can be created, but require more information than is available to be accepted.

One of the primary issues surrounding this problem is that no one has offered anything in the way of primary source material related to the family history of John Rutherford (?-?) and Isabella Alleine (?-?). Different authors offer up different bits of information about their history, but none explain where that information comes from. As a result it is not possible to judge the merits of different ideas concerning the family history, and beyond that, it is not possible to confirm may features of the family history.

If one accepts the idea that John Rutherford (?-?) was the son of James Rutherford (c1605-c1668) aka "residenter of Utrecht" the presumption is that he was born in the Netherlands, probably by the early 1660's, though most likely considerably before this date. However, White, 1902 tells us that he "lived on the River Tweed in Scotland. To accept that one has to assume that he returned to Scotland, perhaps after his father's death c1668.

The question arises as to how John might have met Isabella Alleine. Assuming she was kin to Rev. Joseph Alleine, we might assume she was living in southern England at the time. The problem then becomes one of finding evidence that John Rutherford was ever in southrn England.

If we assume she was a Puritan, as implied by her connecton to the Rev. joseph Alleine, then its possible that her parents, fled England for the Netherlands to escape religious oppression. This could have led her to a circumstance where it would have been possible for her to have met and married John Rutherford, assuming he was in the netheroands with his father. It is also possible that for some reason John had returned to England prior to his marriage to Isabella, and was in the southern portions of England where the couple met and married. Many other scenario's could be developed to explain their marriage, but the truth is we have absolute no evidence that speaks to the matter, and there are many unasnswered questions:

We do not know where they married,
we do not know when they married,
we do not know when/if they returned to Scotland,
we do not know why a girl of staunch Puritan stock might come to marry a boy of staunch Presbyterian stock
we do not know if they settled in Ireland prior to the Battle of the Boyne, after the Battle of the Boyne, or if they settled in Ireland at all

Absent any direct evidence that speaks to these questions, almost anything is possible. It is also a distinct possibility that there is no connection whatsoever between John Rutherford and James the residenter of Utrecht, or between Isabella Alleine and the Rev. Joseph Rutherford. Given the lack of direct primary evidence on these matters in the works of many different authors, both antique and modern, one is tempted to think that this is simply a story. Refuting that view is not helped by the refusal of some recent researchers who have insisted these connections are true, to provide substantiating evidence. That refusal may be based on a simple unwillingness to reveal their information, but it is also possible that despite their insistence that the connections are real, they have no evidence to support their views.


The River Tweed

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