Rutherfordiana/The Problem/Ministry

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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

White 1902 refers to John Rutherford, father of Katherine Rutherford, as a minister at two points in her discourse:

White, 1902:xxv:
...John [Rutherford] was a minister at St. Andrews where he died and was minister of Manisty and Deal of St. Andrews. It would seem that inasmuch as Rev. Samuel was a minister at St. Andrews where he died and was buried, this is the line through which we might trace his ancestry, were the facts known to us; then his near relative, John, the father of Katherine, was also a minister. Of course, these are only suppositions, and as such I give them, hoping the matter may some time be settled to our entire satisfaction.'
White, 1902:250:
...Katherine Rutherford, whose father, the Rev. John Rutherford was nephew to to Rev. Samuel Rutherford, "that sweet saint of the convenant", and his wife Isabel Alleine, the daughter of Rev. Joseph Alleine, the author of "The alarm" in Scotland...."

While it is clear that White thought that John Rutherford was a minister, the exact meaning of the first passage is slighty obscure. It is not clear that she means that Katherine's father was in fact a minister at St. Andrews. That is implied but White caveats her statement with the phrases 'were the facts known to us' and then 'Of course, these are only suppositions'. WKR, 1986:88 carries on the theme noting that

Rev. John Rutherford settled in Down County, Ireland, and continued his ministry which he had begun in Scotland.

Which is echoed by KRD, 1987

JOHN, a Presbyterian minister, fought at the Boyne and settled in Co. Down.

None of these authors indicate their basis for saying that John Rutherford was a minister, let alone that he served first at St. Andrews, and later in Ireland. One later Rutherford genealogist has noted that there were at least four "Rev. John Rutherfords" at St. Andrews:

1. 1515-1577 - Rev. John Rutherford - professor of Humanity - St. Andrews
2. 1540-1585 - Rev. John Rutherford - 3rd master [rector] of the university -St. Andrews
3. 1600-1656 - Rev. John Rutherford - MA - St. Andrews
4. in 1709 - Rev. John Rutherford is decribed as 'rector of St Andrews'

No source is given by this author for this information

Of these only the last, the Rev. John Rutherford described as 'rector of St. Andrews', could conceivably match John, father of Katherine. (The dates for the others are too early to be Katherine's father, all dying by 1656, whereas we believe Katherine to have been born c1682.) The last named personcould conceivably be Katherine's father, but his presence as rector at St. Andrews in 1709 makes it unlikely that he had relocated to Ireland, as WKR and KRD tell us. Still, White does not mention John Rutherford as living in Ireland, and it could well be the Rev. John Rutherford rector of St. Andrews in 1709, whom she had in mind.

At anyrate, none of these sources tell us the basis for the ideas that John Rutherford was a) a minister, or b) was at St. Andrews. Specific data is needed to establish these ideas as factual, and at the same time demonstrate that Katherine's father was in fact a minister at St. Andrews.

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