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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Clue!

Elizabeth Jackson married William Rutherford Senior on May 30, 1856, and together they founded a large and socially active family.  Although the Rutherford roots are quite well documented, I've been able to find out very little about Elizabeth Jackson and where she came from.  The only pieces of information I have found before this week were on their marriage register, which was witnessed by a Thomas Jackson (although the relationship was not stated) and her recently found obituary, which stated that she was born in Biggar, Scotland, and came to Canada as a child with her parents.  I've done an unsuccessful search for Elizabeth in the 1851 census, and indeed I've been unable to find any Jackson family in that census which lived in Montreal but came from Scotland.  Now I have one more piece of information to add to the hope of tracking down Elizabeth's family;  this week I tracked down a copy of the Montreal Gazette which had a short wedding announcement for the couple.

"In this city on the 30th ultimo, Mr. William Rutherford, to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Mr. Thomas Jackson, all of Montreal."  (June 2, 1856, p. 2).

This is great!  Now I can confirm that the Thomas Jackson at Elizabeth and William's wedding was indeed her father and not a brother or cousin.  It also appears that Elizabeth had younger siblings, probably sisters. Her mother is not mentioned, but knowing the name of her father will definitely help find her birth family.  I wonder if he was in the construction trade?  

Monday, July 8, 2013

Obituary for William Rutherford Jr.

From the Montreal Gazette, February 29, 1932.  Page 4.

"WESTMOUNT LOSES PROMINENT CITIZEN IN W. RUTHERFORD / Former Mayor and Alderman of Suburban City Dies in 68th Year / LEADING INDUSTRIALIST / Was Director of Lumber Business Bearing Family Name--Had Various Sporting Associations.

Over the city hall of Westmount a flag flew at half mast yesterday.  It signified that the municipality is  mourning one of its most distinguished sons--William Rutherford, ex-alderman, former mayor, and widely known business man, who died on Saturday evening at his home, 458 Mount Stephen avenue.  He was 67 years of age and had been ill for a long time.

Always interested in civic affairs, Mr. Rutherford was elected by acclamation to the highest post the municipality could offer, that of chief magistrate.  He occupied the mayoral chair for the term of 1911-12 and previous to that had been an alderman for three years.

His business activities were centred in the Rutherford Lumber Company, formerly known as the William Rutherford and Sons, Company, Limited.  This firm was founded by Mr. Rutherford's father.  At the time of his death he was a director of this firm having served for many years as treasurer.  

Mr. Rutherford had wide business interests and was called upon to serve on the board of many business associations.  He was a past president of the Quebec branch of the Canadian Manufacturers Association, a past president of the mechanics institute and a former councillor of the Montreal Board of Trade.  

Following his term as mayor of the city of Westmount he was elected chairman of  the board of school commissioners of the municipality, a post he filled with distinction for many years.

Keenly interested in sports, Mr. Rutherford was a life member of the Montreal Athletic Association, and, as a younger man, he belonged to many curling and bowling clubs.  

He was a lifelong member of St. Andrews Church, Westmount. 


William Rutherford was born in Montreal on April 22, 1864.  His father, William, was a native of Scotland, locating here in 1852, and he established his lumber business in 1856.  He was one of the pioneers in the development of the Province of Quebec, and was of that famous old Scotch and Presbyterian strain which produced many of the sturdy men of Canada.  His mother was Elizabeth (Jackson) Rutherford, also a native of Scotland.

Mr. Rutherford received his education in the high schools of the city, later taking a course at the private school of the late Professor Edward Springrice.

He is survived by his wife, formerly Miss Ida Bulmer;  three sons,  William Jackson, John Bulmer and Andrew Scott Rutherford;  two daughters, Mrs. H.G.D. Ross of Larchmount, New York, and Mrs. R.H. Wallace, of Shawinigan Falls;  four brothers,  Andrew Rutherford and Stewart S. Rutherford of Montreal, Forest Rutherford of New York, and Gordon S. Rutherford, of Painesville, Ohio, and two sisters, Mrs. William Dunlop of Ottawa, and Mrs. Thomas McIntosh, of Montreal.  

The funeral service will be held at 2:30 o'clock in St. Andrews United Church, Westmount.  Internment will be made in the Mount Royal Cemetery."  

The more I read about William Jr., the more I picture him as a vigorous, active and successful man, comfortable with leadership, and interested in making a mark on his city, which he certainly seems to have done.  I'm still trying unsuccessfully to find out more about his mother, Elizabeth Jackson, and her family.  Hopefully I'll get a breakthrough soon.