Which Rutherfords owned slaves or were indentured, owned or sold?
So far, the Rutherford lines we descend from have not shown to be slaveholders, but there defintely were some Rutherford families that were.
Over the years we have known non-white Rutherford families who lived in Milwaukee where we used to live, (we are white), but since we do not know their full American family history, we don't yet know if we are related. Today I learned of The Beyond Kin Project.
Included on this page will be information related to people with the name Rutherford, as well as Rutherford Counties which are spread across America. Slaves occasionally took their "new" surnames from their slaveholder or the locations they resided in when gaining their freedom.
While doing my own research for our Rutherfords, primarily in Virginia and West Virginia, I frequently come across newspaper articles or postings that reference slaves, either for sale or who were being sought as runaways. I have always found those postings to be interesting from a historical perspective as well as being a sad commentary on humanity. This family history is important and should not be buried or glossed over, but instead should be brought into the light.
Just as with my Jewish ancestors who endured progroms and the Holocaust, there are Rutherfords who have either been slaves or had been sent to America as indentured servants, (a euphemism used in some cases for slavery). Some are offended by that comparison, but the Dictionary.com definition is pretty clear;
Orphans were often treated no better than slaves, as they were "lent" to an extended family member or even strangers to help work farms in exchange for food and board, which in too many cases also led to severe physical and/or sexual abuse. The laws used to control the indentured were not much better than those used to maintain slavery; the one important difference was that at least they were usually counted as people instead of property, but that also means they may not have been documented.
I am posting some links &/or copies of articles that may be of interest to those researching Rutherford slaves or slaveholders. My intent is not to abuse copyrights, so links will be cited and attributed the best I can, but I also want to show enough information to be useful to those who read this section. If anyone who owns these articles feels I've misued the info, please advise your connection and request removal or a change to the citations, as necessary.