Isabella Easton and Thomas Rutherford

Isobel Easton was born on 2 April 1824 in Lilliesleaf, Roxburgh, the daughter of James Easton and Harriet Rutherford.1 Isobel's name in later life was nearly always styled as Isabella.

Isabella married Thomas Rutherford on 8 December 1844 in Ancrum, Roxburgh.2

Thomas Rutherford was born about 1823, a date that is calculated from his age stated at later events. Thomas was probably a native of Jedburgh, and it was here that Thomas and Isabella had the following children (according to later testimony):

  • Agnes Rutherford was born about 1848.
  • John Rutherford was born about 1850.

These details about the two children appear on the 1851 census.3

Name

Relationship

Condition

Age

Sex

Occupation

County of Birth

Thomas Rutherford

Head

Married

28

M

Ag. Lab.

Jedburgh, Roxburgh

Isabella Rutherford

Wife

Married

27

F

 

Lilliesleaf, Roxburgh

Agnes Rutherford

Daughter

Unmarried

3

F

 

Jedburgh, Roxburgh

John Rutherford

Son

Unmarried

10 Mo.

F

 

Jedburgh, Roxburgh

Also appearing in the census in the same household was a young man of 16 named James Easton, probably a relative of Isabella's although he was officially recorded as their servant. After this time the couple disappear from the Scottish records but re-appear in 1870 living in the state of Michigan in the United States of America. At that time we learn that they had the following children in Canada.

  • Isabella Rutherford was born about 1853.
  • Mary E. Rutherford was born about 1856.
  • James Rutherford was born about 1860.

John however does not appear on the 1870 census and so circumstantially he probably died in the intervening years between 1851 and 1870. The following individuals are recorded on the census for South Sagma and the town of Spaulding in Michigan on 29 June 1870.4

Name

Relationship

Condition

Age

Sex

Occupation

County of Birth

Thomas Rutherford

Head

Married

47

M

Labourer

Scotland

Isabella Rutherford

Wife

Married

46

F

At Home

Scotland

Agnes Rutherford

Daughter

Unmarried

22

F

At Home

Scotland

Isabella Rutherford

Daughter

Unmarried

17

F

At Home

Canada

Mary Rutherford

Daughter

Unmarried

14

F

Attends School

Canada

James Rutherford

Son

Unmarried

10

M

Attends School

Canada

Thomas Rutherford died in 1871 or 1872 in Surrey, Clare County, Michigan, USA. This time frame is derived from the fact that he was alive in the 1870 census but declared as deceased when Isabella Rutherford died on 24 December 1873 in Surrey, Clare County, Michigan, USA.5

Headstone of Isabella Rutherford
Headstone of Thomas Rutherford
Headstone of Isabella and Thomas Rutherford
Surrey Township Cemetery Photos

Around 1874 Isabella and Thomas' daughter Agnes Rutherford married Joseph McKee. Joseph was born about 1853, the son of Joseph McKee and Mary Potter.6 Agnes and Joseph had three children that have been traced. They appear in the 1880 census living in Surrey, Clare, Michigan as follows.7

Name

Relationship

Condition

Age

Sex

Occupation

County of Birth

Joseph McKee

Head

Married

26

M

Farmer

Canada

Agnye McKee

Wife

Married

30

F

Keep House

Scotland

Isabella Lamssen

Sister in-law

Married

26

F

 

Scotland

James Rutherford

Brother in-law

Single

4

M

 

Michigan, USA

Clyde R. McKee

Son

Single

4

M

 

Michigan, USA

The families can’t be traced in the 1890 census because The Eleventh Census of the United States (1890) was destroyed/damaged by fire, at the Commerce Dept. in 1921. Less than 1% survived, covering 6,160 individuals.8

In the 1900 United Stated Census the McKee family appear as follows:9

Name

Relationship

Condition

Birth

Age

Sex

Occupation

County of Birth

Joseph McKee

Head

Married

Apr 1850

50

M

Saloon Keeper

England

Agnes McKee

Wife

Married

Apr 1852

48

F

 

England

Mary Rutherford

Sister in-law

Single

Jun 1856

44

F

 

New York

Harry McKee

Brother

Married

Nov 1860

40

M

Bar Tender

England

Mary McKee

Sister in-law

Married

Feb 1865

35

F

 

New York

Clyde R. McKee

Son

Single

Aug 1876

24

M

Stenographer

Michigan

Pansy McKee

Daughter

Single

Nov 1884

16

F

At School

Michigan

Lizzie Cole

Servant

Widowed

May 1870

30

 

Servant

Mississippi

In the 1910 census the McKee family appear as follows.10

Name

Relationship

Condition

Age

Sex

Occupation

County of Birth

Joseph McKee

Head

Married

55

M

Salesman

Can-English

Agnes McKee

Wife

Married

60

F

None

Scot-Scotch

Clyde R. McKee

Son

Single

33

M

[Fruit]

Michigan

Pansy McKee

Daughter

Single

25

F

None

Michigan

Mary E. Rutherford

Sister

Widowed

53

 

None

Can-Scotch

James Rutherford

Brother

Single

50

 

Labourer

Can-Scotch

Charles Simmons

Roomer

Single

60

 

Labourer

Michigan

Joseph McKee died on 25 August 1912 in Yakima, Yakima County, Washington, USA.11

As the 1910 census demonstrated Mary E. Rutherford had been married and was widowed. Her first husband’s identity is unknown. Mary was recorded as a widow when she married for a second time to James A. Hart on 9 November 1914 in Walla Walla, Washington, USA.12

In the 1920 census the three siblings, Agnes, Mary and James were still living together in Yakima County, Washington State, USA.13

Name

Relationship

Condition

Age

Sex

Occupation

County of Birth

Agnes McKee

Head

Widowed

71

F

None

Scotland

Mary E. Rutherford

Sister

Widowed

63

 

None

Canada

James Rutherford

Brother

Single

60

 

None

Canada

James Rutherford died on 15 September 1920 in Yakima, Yakima County, Washington, USA.14

Agnes McKee, nee Rutherford, died on 12 October 1926 in Seattle, King County, Washington, USA.15

In the 1930 census Mary Hart, nee Rutherford, was living in Fairview Township in the Yakima County of Washington state as follows:16

Name

Relationship

Condition

Age

Sex

Occupation

County of Birth

Mary E. Hart

Head

Widowed

71

F

None

Canada

Mary also had three "Roomers" staying with her, Myron and Francis Hamilton and their daughter Sarah Ann. Myron was an insurance salesman, and letting rooms may have been Mary’s source of income.

In the 1940 census the roles were reversed, so that Mary was now the lodger with a Harriet Doppa at 10 South Eighth Street, Yakima Township, Yakima County, Washington, USA.17

Name

Relationship

Condition

Age

Sex

Occupation

County of Birth

Mary E. Hart

Lodger

Widowed

84

F

None

Canada

Mary E. Hart, nee Rutherford, died on 23 June 1944, Yakima, Yakima County, Washington, USA.18

HART – Mrs. Mary E. Hart, 88, died early this morning in her home in Yakima. She had made her home in Yakima for the last 35 years. She is survived by two nieces, Mrs. Pansy Lum and Mrs. C. R. McKee, both of Seattle; and a nephew, Ben Jerome of Yakima. Shaw & Sons is in charge of the funeral.19