York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

Where does Rathton of York/Spring Garden Township Rathton Road fame come from?

The Rathton Road/South George Street intersection on York, Pa., south side is well-known for the water that collects there. And it’s known George is named after British royalty in the 1700s. But where does Rathton come from? Also of interest: Where did Camp Betty Washington Road get its name? and What do York radio station WSBA’s call letters stand for? Book bears neat stuff about early radio and Often forgotten: Achievements of people named on building facades.

A group of York County history enthusiasts were stumped on a question someone had raised.

Who was the “Rathton” in Rathton Road, that divider between York and Spring Garden Township? … .

That road starts at Hill Street to the east and ends in Country Club Road. Penn State York is located along that thoroughfare.
The ending “ton,” suggests it could be a town named after the “Rath” family.
And there are some Raths in the York phone book.
But a quick Google search indicates that Rathton is also the name of a Scottish family.
Or perhaps Rath is a derivative of Roth, a common German name in York County.
The reliable “Gazetteer of York and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania” does not include an entry on Rathton.
At any rate, none in the astute group puzzling the origin of the road’s name were aware of a Rath or Rathton or Roth family who might have loaned their name to such a major road.
Any reader of this blog want to help out this stumped group?