CLAN CARRUTHERS SOCIETY – UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
501(c)(3) Registered Organisation
(Proudly representing all Carruthers and derivatrives of our Name in the USA)
WHO ARE WE
Clan Carruthers is a Scottish Border Clan and Family, who can trace their paternal line back to 900AD and a Swedish male and their maternal line much further into Brythonic times.
They are named after the region in which they originated in Annandale, Dumfriesshire, South West Scotland. The name itself derives from the land around an ancient Brythonic fort, once held by a local war leader called Rydderch. In the ancient Cumbric dialect, rooted in Welsh, fort would be Caer and Rydderch would have been pronouned Ruthers leading to the lands of ‘Carruthers’, from which we took our name.
The first recorded use of the name was William de Carruthers owner of the land at the time, who gave a donation to Newbattle Abbey in the reign of Alexander II. DNA research puts William’s birth in and around 1185, and it is from this line that all our Chiefs are descended.
The Chief’s crest and therefore the one used by the clan within the belt and buckle, is the seraphim volant proper, which is always depicted as 6 wings, the upper most and lower most crossed in saltire and the middle spread as in flight with an angelic face in the centre. This, along with the Chief’s motto Promptus et Fidelis, is well over 350 years old.
The Arms of the chiefs of Carruthers have been recorded as far back as the 12th century, but the current Chief’s arms, along with all other official Scottish Chief’s arms have only been officially registered since the Lord Lyons Act of 1672. The Act was the origin of the Records of All Scottish Arms and Bearings, to be held by the Lord Lyon. They continue under his jurisdiction to this day. The Records themselves were set up to ensure that only those who were deemed worthy of bearing Scottish Arms by the Crown, could do so. Our Chiefs, Carruthers of Holmains have been included since its inception in 1672.
The Chiefs arms, which include the shield, are registered and copyrighted to him and can only be used with his permission. The Clan Carruthers Society – USA is the only group in the United States of America who have official authorisation of their use through their membership of Clan Carruthers Society – International.
Until the very early 1800’s historians tell us that no family/clan tartan existed and most certainly not in the Scottish borders. It wasn’t until ‘Scottishness’ became in vogue with the visit of King George IV to Edinburgh and his Grand Ball, that family/clan tartans were adopted. As borderers never wore tartan, the uptake of aligned tartans by border clans and families traversed from the 1800’s through the 1900’s and into the 2000’s. It was therefore not until 2017 that Carruthers eventually had any officially registered tartan of their own.
The Carruthers Tartan was designed by tartan historian Brian Wilton MBE, with the green, purple and lilac depicting the lands of our forebears in Annandale, Dumfriesshire. The red representing the blood spilt throughout our history in defence of our home, our family and our country. The subtle white stripe is in rememberence of our support of the Jacobite cause and the Royal House of Stuart.
The Clan Plant, derives from the ancient use of local flora in the caps of a clan during battle, which defined who they were. These existed well before the clan crest badge. In the case of Carruthers, the clan plant is the Gorse (Ulex europeaus). It was chosen as it is common in the lands of Carruthers and the yellow flower mirrors the gold on the Chief’s shield. Gorse was also used to corral and feed cattle owned and reived by our forebears, while burning it kept them warm on those cold, dreary Scottish winter nights. As a plant it thrives in the harshest of conditions, just as our ancestors did living in the West March of the Anglo-Scottish Borders. The long spiked leaves of the gorse are reminiscent of the ‘Lang Spears’ or ‘Prickers’ famously used by our family as Border Reivers and therefore reputedly as some of the finest light cavalry in Europe of their day.
The Society is represented in the United States of America by Clan Carruthers Society-USA. The Incorporation document was signed by the Secretary of State of the State of North Carolina on the 21st November 2019. This makes CCS-USA a legally constituted, non-profit organisation for the whole of the United States of America 501(c)(3) Inc, and membership is open to all Carruthers and derivations of the name.
The CCS-USA is registered through Garner, Wake County, North Carolina as of November 21st, 2019. There will be no address change nor name change, we remain who and what we are for the benefit of the whole clan and more importantly, a non commercial enterprise.
It is officially recognised by the Clan Carruthers Society (International) to represnt Carruthers in that region and as such has as their Honorary President, Peter Carruthers of Holmains, hereditary Chief of the Name and Arms of Carruthers
As a regional branch of CCSI, the Clan badge and tartan of the Society will be used by CCS-USA. The badge is made up of the crest of the Chief : a seraphim volent Proper (always portrayed with a face), encircled by a belt and buckle, on which is engraved the Chiefs motto, Promptus et Fidelis. The wearing of the badge in Scottish culture shows a pride in belonging to the clan itself and fealty to its chief.
The official Carruthers Clan tartan is registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans (STR 11700) and will also be used by the Society. This again reflects the pride in belonging to this ancient Scottish Border Reiver clan and family, and acts as our own individual visual identity, allowing us to stand out from other clans such as Bruce etc.
The Board consists of the following clansmen and clanswomen and it is headed by the Clan Commissioner for the region.
All Regional Commissioners are personally commissioned by the chief, Carruthers of Holmains, to represent him and his clan in that region. There are currently Commissioners in Africa, Australasia and Oceania, Canada, Europe, UK/Scotland and the USA.
MEET THE USA BOARD
Hereditary Chief: Dr Peter Carruthers of Holmains
The hereditary Chief of Clan Carruthers is Dr Peter Carruthers of Holmains. Peter can trace his personal ancestry back to Thomas Carruthers, 1st of Mousewald, who received a charter of land from Robert the Bruce in 1320 for services to his family and beyond.
DNA research is showing that this line hails back to the first use of the name by William de Carruthers, born circa 1185, who gave a donation to Newbattle Abbey during the reign of Alexander II (1214-1249). The Mouswald line became extinct in 1548, leading to the chiefly line being passed to the next senior house of Carruthers Holmains, where it has sat ever since.
Born in India to British expatriate parents working in the tea trade, Peter was educated in the UK to doctorate level as an agricultural scientist, with further post graduate qualifications in management and theology. His grandfather was Colonel Nigel Laurie Carruthers, who served with the British Army in India and his great uncle was the famous explorer Alexander Douglas Carruthers.
As chief, he is keen to bring the diaspora together under one banner and has authorised Clan Carruthers Society-International and through them, Clan Carruthers Society – United States of America to represent his clan in their region.
Clan Commissioner-USA: Dana Caruthers Norton FSA Scot.
The Clan Commissioner for the region is Dana Caruthers Norton, FSA Scot. Dana received her commission for the region from the Chief himself in 2019. As Commissioner, Dana is also Chair of the US Board.
She was born in Sterling, Rice County, Kansas and has been involved in the society since before its inception and along with the Clan Convenor, Dr George Carruthers, Dana was one of the original architects of the Clan Carruthers Society.
Coming from the corporate banking sector, Dana can trace her own Carruthers lineage back to one of the first of our name to arrive in the ‘Americas’; James Carruthers, who was a Revolutionary War Veteran. According to a Scottish heraldist, James may possibly have been descended from the cadet branch of Holmains; Carruthers of Rammerscales but as the evidence is not currently robust, Dana is researching this line further.
Her genealogy does show an intertwining with some of the more prominent Colonial families of the time. It is through this proven and well documented ancestry that she is a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
As Senior Clan Genealogist, Dana is highly regarded and is in membership of many well respected international and national genealogical, historical and heraldic organisations. This includes holding a prestigious Fellowship of the Society of Antiquaries in Scotland (FSA Scot).
It was Dana’s 3x great grandfather, the Reverend Richard Alexander Caruthers, who brought the Methodist Church to the state of Kansas in 1857, which has since flourished in the state.
Dana also holds a place on the Society’s international Executive Council, holding the title of Vice-Convenor along with the Chief’s cousin, Cécilia Mitchell-Carruthers, Commissioner for Europe.
Vice Chairman: David Caruthers Newton
Born in Sterling Heights, Michigan, David is married with three children and has worked in IT for over 36 years.
His interest in family history started in Junior High School and he can trace his Carruthers lineage back to James Carruthers, who it is thought may have been off the Carruthers of Rammerscales line but further research is ongoing. James was one of the first of our name to land the Americas. It was James’s son Richard who dropped one of the ‘R’s to become Caruthers
Richard became an Adjutant in the 2nd Battalion, Cumberland County, New Jersey; Adjutant, Colonel Potters Regiment, State troops. He was listed on the Muster Roll of Light Infantry, Potters Brigade, Bridgeton, N.J. Potters Regiment, fought at the Battle of Trenton, Boxing day 1776, alongside General George Washington. Potter received a Distinction, for his part, which suggests his troops played an important role in the fighting. Richards older brothers James and Obidiah, were also listed in the Official Register; Jerseymen in the Revolutionary War.
David is webmaster for the Clan Society and as a founding member he has been integral to the success of Clan Carruthers Society internationally. David is also proud to be on the American Board as Vice Commissioner for the USA, a role he takes very seriously and as part of the team will continue to work for its success.
Treasurer/Secretary: Dr William L Carruthers
Proud to hold his position on the Board, Bill was born in a small community near Rochester, New York, USA, tracing his Carruthers surname to Glasgow in the early 1800s and his mother’s surname (Steedman) to Dundee in the 1750s
Bill’s parents were proud of their Scottish heritage but his grandmother Carruthers is responsible for his interest in his ancestry, after passing him the family stories, daguerreotypes and pictures, and bibles that she had collected. One of the stories was that his second great grandfather Thomas Carruthers immigrated to the USA from Scotland at age 2. Bill still has the handwritten note he made at the time the story was told. This allowed him to identify his 3x great grandparents, William and Ann(e) Hamilton Carruthers. Bill’s DNA fixes him firmly in the cadet lines of Carruthers, and through them to Holmains
Bill along with his wife, also with Scottish ancestry have become the “go-to” persons for their family histories and artefacts. Bill only became serious about organizing this material collected in 2011 and is still at it.
He attended college at Purdue University, Wichita State University, and North Carolina State University. His first degree is in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering; and his final is in Psychology.
Bill serves as the Secretary/Treasurer with Clan Carruthers Society – USA, and resides in North Carolina. Bill and his wife Barbara have been married 50+ years and have visited Scotland on three occasions and hope to return in 2022 for the Military Tattoo and more!
Clan yDNA Research Director : Steve Colburn (Carruthers)
Our yDNA research program is headed by Steve Colburn and includes input from our clan genealogists.
His interest in ancestral genetics began many years ago leading to his preferred use of Big-Y (700) DNA studies. In scientific terms this test is the most complete y-DNA test currently offered as it includes the traditional Y DNA STR marker testing, along with SNP results that define haplogroups. Reflecting his willingness to achieve a depth, robustness and accuracy in our Clan research, Steve brings with him his expertise as the Manager for a Y-DNA project hosted at the Family Tree DNA commercial website.
Y-DNA tracks the male descendants and has a low rate of mutations over the generations. As a Scottish clan, his modest goal for Carruthers is to build, in conjunction with our genealogists, our family tree as accurately as possible going back to William of Carruthers. William was the first on record to use the name Carruthers (born circa 1185).
Steve’s family are originally from the Allegany/Steuben area of western New York but he moved to California at an early age. One of the most famous of his ancestors, through his maternal line, was his 10x great grandfather William Bradford of the Mayflower.
Steve’s line intermingles closely with that of other senior clan members, dating back to the origins of the House of Dormont and beyond. Steve is proud to lead our yDNA research project, which is built on the most robust and accuraste research available to us.
If you or a relation to you have interest in joining the Y-DNA project, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: Only males may take the Y-DNA test and all are welcome to join the project whether you are a USA resident or not.
Member at Large: Pam Caruthers Wong
Pamela Caruthers Wong, was born in Lyons, Kansas. She graduated with a BA from Central Bible College, Springfield, Missouri, travelling extensively as a private tutor within the USA. Returning to academia Pam graduated from Fort Hays State University, Kansas with a BA in History, serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the University History Department focusing on military and US history. Her teaching career covered pre school to university, but a change in direction led her into the Not-For-Profit occupational realm.
While serving in AmeriCorps she established a community social service center; First Call For Help, which led to working with the American Red Cross as Executive Director for Ellis and Douglas counties in Kansas.
Shifting to Not-For-Profit health services with Hays Medical Center she became a Certified Dietary Manager progressing to the position of Food and Environmental Services Director for the University of Kansas Health System and served on the Boards of the Food and Environmental Services state organizations.
According to a Scottish heraldist and researcher, her family’s Carruthers lineage could possibly go back to Carruthers of Rammerscales in Dumfriesshire, but further research is required for clarification.
In America she traces her Carruthers family back to the Fenwick Tenth, intertwining it with other prominent families who arrived prior to the Revolutionary War; Findley, Ewing, Maskell, Forsyth, Fithian, and Venables, to name a few.
A proud mother, Pam has never lost her love for history, especially Carruthers history and is excited and proud to serve on the Clan Carruthers US Board.
Member at Large: Jeanne Crouthers Abert
Jeanne was born in the late 50’s in Alton, Illinois, a historical river town near St. Louis, Missouri. She holds a business management degree and broker manager license in real estate and manages her own properties, while enjoying my family and other interests. She loves to travel, study family history and enjoy nature.
One of the highlights of her life was when she travelled to Scotland in 2019. As with many who have proud Scottish ancestry, Jeanne felt a deep connection to the country, customs and people and plans to return sometime in the future, looking forward to making many more of those memories.
Jeanne has Scottish ancestry on her father’s side and Irish on her mother’s, while her grandfather was a quiet and serious man very proud of their Scottish ancestry. It wasn’t until later in life that Jeanne realized the impact of it.
Her 5th grandfather was Lt. Andrew Carothers who immigrated from Scotland as a young boy with his twin brother James. She has a newspaper article with a story telling why the spelling was changed from Carruthers to Carothers, through the influence of a local schoolteacher.
Jeanne’s ancestry is not only steeped through Carruthers in the history of Scotland but also in the US, as Andrew fought at the battle of King’s Mountain in the Revolutionary War. Lt Carruthers sword is on display at the National DAR Museum in Washington, D.C. With this lineage in mind she is always excited and pleased to learn the history of her family!
Jeanne proudly serves on both the Board of Directors of Clan Carruthers Society – USA and the Board of The Scottish St. Andrews Society of Greater St. Louis, Mo. She lives on a lake in the metro east area of Illinois near St. Louis, Missouri.
CCS-I Representative to the Board: Dr George Carruthers, FSA Scot
Dr George Carruthers, FSA Scot is proud to represent the Scottish clan and family of Carruthers as Clan Convenor and proud to serve on the US Board.
Born in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland his interest in Carruthers and its history began with his father. Over time, he set his goal to try to give all Carruthers a solid anchor in Scotland, by ensuring that they took their rightful place through documented facts and evidence, as an officially recognised Border Reiver Clan and Family in their own right. To do this a Chief had to be found from the chiefly line of Holmains.
This research began in 2007 as the chiefship had lain dormant for 210 years since the death of John Carruthers 12th of Holmains, 8th Baron who died in 1809. Finally, in 2019 after over 12 years of investigation, nearly 2 years of analysis of the petition and two court hearings, Peter Carruthers of Holmains, John’s 4 x great grandson was confirmed Chief of the Name and Arms of Carruthers by the Lord Lyon.
Carruthers was no longer armigerous, having successfully attained official clan status through our chief as a ‘Noble Incorporation’ and was now listed as such in official Scottish records going forwards.
In preparation for a chief, George commissioned the Carruthers tartan to be designed by Brian Wilton MBE, a renowned tartan historian and designer. This was the first ever tartan to our name. It is registered, as are all recognised Scottish Clan and Family tartans, with the Scottish Register of Tartans in Edinburgh, as the official tartan of Carruthers (STR 11700).
George is an armiger, a Burgess and Freeman of Glasgow and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in Edinburgh.