Scotland (Counties as in 1851-1901) => Scotland => Caithness => Topic started by: jamesmatthews45 on Tuesday 13 October 09 20:57 BST (UK)

Title: Sutherlands
Post by: jamesmatthews45 on Tuesday 13 October 09 20:57 BST (UK)
Back onto the case as I seem to be drawing a blank on the Robert McGregor and Mary Sutherland.

All this information has come from a Great Aunt who unfortunately was more interested in the McGregor side of the family.  From her notes I have put together the following however, I can’t find a lot of the documentation. 

However, I have put together the following and hope I can get more from people on the site.  Forgive me I am a beginner.

Father – John Sutherland from Wick
Mother Janet Cormack again I think form Wick

Son William Sutherland b 12/11/1785       )
                ) Yes Twins
Daughter Esther Sutherland b12/11/1778  )

I think Esther Married a John Sutherland.
My Aunt left notes stating that Esther died in 2nd April 1855 and is buried at Grahd ? Berriedale she also wrote Dunbeath, Latheron.

They possibly had the following children:
1.   Alexander 1832
2.   George 1834
3.   Ann 1838
4.   Janet 1840
5.   James (Dec)
6.   Hugh 1844
7.   Robert 1846
8.   William 1848
9.   William (Dec)
All these notes are written as is:
(F) William Sutherland – farmer
(M) Ann Sutherland
(H) or (M) John Sutherland – Farmer

Can anyone help?

Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: MonicaL on Tuesday 13 October 09 21:18 BST (UK)
Hi James

By the look of what you have posted here, in the main, the notes you have inherited come from Esther Sutherland's 1855 death cert. 1855 was the first year of official registration in Scotland. For one year only, the entries ran over two pages of the register and included a wealth of additional info. By 1856, the entries has been cut down to one page.

So for deaths, they would include:

- spouse's details
- where the person had been born and how long they had lived at place where they died
- parents' details
- full list of children, inc. year of birth and year of any deaths
- details of where they were buried.

As you can see, this pretty much fits with what you have here.

The only bit I am not getting are the parent details for Esther at the beginning of your post as the names differ what looks to have been included on the cert.

The certificate is availble to view and download on

Monica  :)
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: MonicaL on Tuesday 13 October 09 21:26 BST (UK)
Just realised also that the Esther showing as born in 1778 cannot be the same Esther having all those children up to late 1830s, it would be a fair age to be still having babies  ::)

You need to work on the details as showing on her death cert. The death cert will also include her age at death which will help you when looking for her birth and family.

Census info is a good way to go forward. Caithness is very well covered  by  You need to make sure you click the right tab for census year at the top.

Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: jamesmatthews45 on Tuesday 13 October 09 21:57 BST (UK)
Hi Monica,

All the details I have are on the McGregor’s is typed.  The information on the Sutherlands is hand written and I don’t know what is what I am only assuming is correct my Aunt put this together years ago.

The notes on the children might not be hers (Esther)?  I was on SP but could not find her death cert only the birth cert for Esther and William.

Perhaps I am doing things wrong.  I have only just started this but love it – perhaps it is becoming a bit of an obsession lol

Any help you or any of the members is greatly appreciated.

Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: jamesmatthews45 on Tuesday 13 October 09 22:00 BST (UK)
Hi again,

Forgot to mention as you pointed out on my Aunt's notes she has put the age of death as 72

Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: MonicaL on Tuesday 13 October 09 22:14 BST (UK)
I think we are missing a generation down from Esther and it may well be Esther and John Sutherland's son or daughter who died in 1855. Without knowing all their children, it is hard to guess at this stage.

Someone has a tree on Ancestry for John and Esther. They have included the OPR image of Esther's birth, clearly showing as the twin of William to John S and Janet Cormack.

However, on this tree, they only show one daughter, Jessie who married a James McGregor (is this any connection with your McGregors?). Their  list of children don't match what you have from your G Aunt, so not Jessie's family.

Can I ask, which line up are you following? Might be a better way to work back given we are potentially missing a bit in the middle on your notes that you have inherited :)


Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: jamesmatthews45 on Tuesday 13 October 09 22:20 BST (UK)
think I might now know where I have gone wrong.  I have put the children down as 18... where as as  I have now got the record of death it the numbers at the side of the children are their age.

now that would make sence.

regards Jim
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: MonicaL on Tuesday 13 October 09 22:29 BST (UK)
A few more trees. Pulling together the children they show to John and Eshter (assuming no other couple with those names):

Alexander b. 1810 m. Catherine Henderson - their children showing on Ancestry don't match your list
Donald b. 1812
Catherine b. 1816
Jessie b. 1818 m James McGregor - their children showing on Ancestry don't match your list
Isabella b. 1818

Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: jamesmatthews45 on Tuesday 13 October 09 22:30 BST (UK)
Is the OPR from Brown/matthews if so then it is my daughter who started this.  I will look further into this in the morning as yes this is the correct McGregors for me.

Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: MonicaL on Tuesday 13 October 09 22:35 BST (UK)
Jim, it is your family tree where the OPR image shows. There are another three trees showing for what looks like the same line. The one for son Alexander and Catherine Henderson looks the most comprehensive apart from yours.

Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: jamesmatthews45 on Tuesday 13 October 09 22:52 BST (UK)
Hi Monica,

This is all great for me and thank you so much for you help and interest.  I will have to have a look in the morning as I have lost it a bit.  You will have to forgive me as I have only just got into this

regards Jim
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: MonicaL on Tuesday 13 October 09 22:58 BST (UK)

Take a break...brain start to go round in circles after a while  ;D I'll add anything I find and you can have a look through when you can  :)

Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: MonicaL on Tuesday 13 October 09 23:09 BST (UK)
From 1851, this looks like Esther and John, and daughter Jessie (Janet) and James McGregor:

John Sutherland 69, tailor, b. Parish of Berriedale, Caithness
Esther Sutherland 69, b. Parish of Latheron, Caithness
Anne Sutherland 25, daughter, hemp spinner, b. Parish of Berriedale, Caithness

Also at the same addresss of Knockally (on the same page) are your McGregors:

James McGregor 38, Agricultural Labourer, b. Parish of Latheron, Caithness
Janet McGregor 29, b. Parish of Berriedale, Caithness, as are all the children...
Jane McGregor 13
Isabel McGregor 12
Esther McGregor 9
Charles McGregor 6
Anne McGregor 3
Johanna McGregor 2

Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: MonicaL on Tuesday 13 October 09 23:16 BST (UK)
There is a death in 1855 showing on SP for an Esther Sutherland, with a birth year of 1783, in Latheron. I wonder if this is the one found by your G Aunty?

I found this:

Esther SUTHERLAND(2139) was born in 1783. She died on 2 Apr 1855. Parents: William SUTHERLAND  and Ann SUTHERLAND.

She was married to John SUTHERLAND in 1802 in Latheron.

Jim, might be worthwhile you looking at the original image for this death. As mentioned earlier, it will (should!) show her children's names and birth years or ages at the point of this Esther's death. This will let you confirm whether it is the right line. If the children match what you know about them, then it may be that you have the wrong parents in John S and Janet Cormack perhaps?

Also been thinking the list of children you show in your post. I think that the dates are not actual dates but should be ages for Esther's children from her death cert (if you take of the 18 from the numbers you show ;D)


Stage at a time though.....

Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: MonicaL on Tuesday 13 October 09 23:46 BST (UK)
Possible descendents for you to follow up with:

A possible further daughter: The parents of Margaret Sutherland 1807 Latheron were John Sutherland and Esther Sutherland

Regarding son Alexander: My G G grandfather, Alexander Sutherland .......On his death certificate his age was 71, His parents were John and Esther Sutherland.

Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: jamesmatthews45 on Wednesday 14 October 09 07:31 BST (UK)
Hi Monica,
I will go through all of this today as I am all over the place with it.  Perhaps it is time to get paper and pen out rather than looking at different computer screens lol.

This started years ago and the McGregor side is well documented.  However, my daughter decided to take it further but she has given up (addition to the family) so I will now take over.

I so appreciate your help already a fund of knowledge.  I even have trouble finding facts on SP I had done about 3 searches on Esther Sutherland with no results then don’t know what I done but there she was?

Please take a look at the Matthews/Brown family tree I am sure the McGregor part is correct to a point but being new to this I may have made basic errors.

Once again many thanks for all your help and time you are giving me.

Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: MonicaL on Wednesday 14 October 09 10:39 BST (UK)
Hi Jim

Looking at your tree on Ancestry. Not sure if you have the right 1841 census entry for James McGregor and Jessie Sutherland.

I think this might be them in 1841 with James working and living with his family at the household of Robert Ryrie, farmer:

Robert Ryrie 50, farmer
James Ryrie 15
John McGreggor 15, agr. lab.
Christina Stewart 15, servant
Helen Coghill 15, servant
Alexander Murray 60, farm manager
Janet McKay 30
James McGreggor 20, servant
Janet Sutherland 20
Ann Sutherland 13, servant...wonder whether this is Jessie's sister who shows with parents in 1851?
Jane McGreggor 4
Isabella McGreggor 3
Esther McGreggor 3 months

Address: Dunn, Watten, Caithness

Remember for the 1841 census, everyone over 15 is supposed to have their ages rounded down to the nearest 5 yrs and no relationships given with the household.


Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: jamesmatthews45 on Wednesday 14 October 09 15:08 BST (UK)
I think you are more likley to be right.  I would go with what you say as we are just learinging about these things and it would appear are making a lot of errors.

Where did you get this information?

Again many thanks.  Before I forget I put up the Birth Cert for Esther on Ancestry.  Also put up marrage cert for Charles McGregor and Isobel McKay but even with this not 100% sure I have correct documents.  God this is not easy lol

Regards Jim
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: jamesmatthews45 on Wednesday 14 October 09 15:28 BST (UK)
Hi Monica,

Have now found the correct documents and have uploaded them (James McGregor 1841)

Regards Jim
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: MonicaL on Wednesday 14 October 09 19:05 BST (UK)
That's great Jim, you are making lots of headway in verying your G Aunt's notes  :)

How lucky you have been that Esther died in 1855, as you have seen, the information contained there is huge. Pity they cut back the entries the following year! I am also glad to see that John, Esther's husband, is down as farmer and tailor as this then confirms the census entries where he shows as tailor. If you check on FreeCen on the link I gave you earlier, you will find John and Esther and perhaps a grandson, Alexander aged 14 in the 1841 census. John also shows as tailor that year.

The only bit I am still having a problem with is the birth entry you have for Esther....I don't think it is hers! As you have seen, Esther's parents were William and Ann, not John and Janet (Cormack). There is another Esther showing in 1841 in the same age group as your Esther, this one married to a Neil Sutherland. I wonder if she is the one that is the daughter of John and Janet (Cormack)?

Records for Caithness, as I am sure you have found, start to get quite bare the further back you go. With Sutherlands marrying Sutherlands etc., it gets quite hard to unravel in this period.

Monica  :)
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: jamesmatthews45 on Wednesday 14 October 09 19:22 BST (UK)
Hi Monica,

Its all good lol.  You are right about Esther so I will do more research.  The problem I have is  reading what they have written.

But it is great that you think I am on the right line.  Just as a matter of interest I was trying to find information on the farm at Dunn, Watten, Caithness to show where James lived and worked (meat onto the bones)

I will go for now and keep looking  ;)

Regards Jim
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: ostler on Wednesday 21 October 09 16:54 BST (UK)
Hi Jim

I'm also looking at the family of John and Esther. Esther's parents (William and Ann Sutherland) are potentially my great x5 grandparents. I've studied this area (Knockally/Dunbeath/Latheron) extensively, and it makes sense that Esther had a brother called Neil, who - without doubt - is my great x4 grandfather. However, there are at least three families descended from separate William and Ann Sutherlands in roughly the same area and this is why I'm not 100% certain Esther is one of mine.

I have nine children for John and Esther and estimated years of birth for them - some others I got their births from IGI.

Let me know if you would like further information.
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: jamesmatthews45 on Wednesday 21 October 09 20:13 BST (UK)

That would be great.  I have not been able to work on it for the last week but any information you have I would love to look through.  You will have read that I am very new to this but fortunatly people have kept me on the right path lol.  I also have a page on the Ancestry website under the name of Matthews/Brown family tree where I have uploaded the 1855 cert forEsther.

Regards, Jim
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: ostler on Wednesday 21 October 09 22:07 BST (UK)
I don't appear to have as much as I thought but I'm going to New Register House tomorrow so I'll see what I can find.

Esther Sutherland born c1783 to William and Ann Sutherland in Balnabruich, Dunbeath, died 2 Apr 1855 in Knockally, Dunbeath. Buried in Berriedale Burial Ground.

Her children:

William born c1807
Robert born c1809
Hugh born 1813 in Balachuistel, Dunbeath, baptised 5 May 1813 in Latheron
James born 1816 in Balnabruich, baptised 19 Sep 1816 in Latheron
Janet born 1817 in Knockally, baptised 24 Apr 1817 in Latheron
Anne born 1819 in Balnabruich, baptised 6 Oct 1819 in Latheron
George born 1821 in Knockally, baptised 26 Oct 1821 in Latheron
Alexander born c1823

Possible deaths for the children (going by this site:

Erected in 1862.
Erected in memory of.
William Sutherland, farmer of Balnabruich, died 29th July 1861 aged 54.

The mill of God.
In memory of.
Isabella Sutherland died 21st March 1863 aged 42 Wife of James Sutherland Smerlie.

Erected by James Sutherland in memory of his wife.
Elizabeth Sutherland died 19th July 1845 aged 32.
Son Alexander died 1865 in infancy.
Husband James Sutherland, farmer of Knockinnon and elder of the Free Church Latheron, died at Latheronwheel March 1885 aged 73.
In business he was scrupulously upright and in his Christian profession consistent and zealous for the truth.
2nd wife Elizabeth McGregor died 3rd December 1900 aged 84

Jane Sutherland died 30th July 1902 aged 84.

In memory of.
Alexander Sutherland of Oamaru New Zealand died at Janetstown Latheronwheel 5th November 1894 aged 70.

I'll look into these deaths tomorrow and see what I dig up. Hmmm probably not the best choice of words there...
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: jamesmatthews45 on Thursday 22 October 09 07:22 BST (UK)
This is brilliant.  I am off to work shortly but will have a look at what I have when I return this evening.  It looks like it will put a lot more meat onto the bones, perhaps not the best way to put it lol.

I also have another side of the family from Latheron and other small settlements in that area, who are the McGregor’s.  It would appear that they come from the Sutherland line. 

It would appear that they moved to the Perth area at some stage where I was eventually born.  I now live just outside of Elgin so a trip to Latheron in on the cards at some stage but I would prefer to do this when I have more information and know the places I want to visit. 

I still think I will have to put all this on a large sheet of paper it would be easier that jumping computer screens.

I really appreciate all the help I am getting from yourself and others as a fumbling novice lol. 
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: ostler on Thursday 22 October 09 22:07 BST (UK)
Hi Jim

I actually forgot to look at the deaths I listed above, but I did get a few generations further forward if you're interested. I'm not sure how much relevance it has for you.
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: ostler on Thursday 22 October 09 22:07 BST (UK)
Also I've been doing this for nearly four years and I'm still fumbling!
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: jamesmatthews45 on Friday 23 October 09 07:14 BST (UK)
Hi Ostler

LOL that would be great I have Janet as being the one who went on to wed a James McGregor on 14 Sep 1837 at Latheron.  I still might be fumbling but it keeps me oiut of trouble lol.

I was trying to search old maps last night trying to identify places as it would appear that my family lived in Lybster, Berriedale, Latheron and places that no longer exist. 

Again I am just trying to put meat onto the bones as to the kind of life people lived.

Thanks again, any information is greatly appreciated.

Almost forgot to ask, I recieved some paperwork and on on page it mentions Latheron Parish Poors Cash (says Cook) Book  1842 Latheronwheel district, Widow Charles McGregor 4/-  paid to Joseph McKay.  The following year he pays to himself (says herself) four shillings? Would you have any idea where I would start with this one?

Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: ostler on Wednesday 28 October 09 15:19 GMT (UK)
I didn't find anything out on Janet I'm afraid.

Anne, son of John and Esther, died 21st March 1915 in Newport, Berriedale age 97 years. She never married. Her nephew-in-law, George Chisholm, was the informant. I have my suspicions that George was actually her great nephew-in-law.

Ann's brother Hugh was the only other person in the family I could find anything out on. He was a master shoemaker and died age 90 in Knockally. He married Barbara Gunn, 1st January 1836 and she died 31st August 1907 age 98 years. They had at least nine children:

Donald (1836-1914)
Ann (1838-1914)
Esther (1840-?)
Williamina (1842-1866)
John (c1845-1899)
Isabella (c1847-?)
Robert (c1849-?)
Barbara (c1851-1873)
Hugh (1857-1883)

Donald Sutherland was born 25th September 1836 and died 20th April 1914 in Knockally age 78 years. Like his father he was a master shoemaker. He married Annie Grant in Dunbeath on 5th February 1857. They had at least four children:

Barbara (1861-1961)
Hugh Grant (1866-1921)
Donald Grant (1873-1929)
Isabella Esther (1879-?)

Ann Sutherland was born 23rd August 1838 and died 5th November 1914 in Dunbeath age 77 years. She married John Sinclair on 4th February 1859 in Dunbeath. They had at least nine children:

George (1859-?)
Hugh (1860-?)
John (1862-?)
Catherine (1864-?)
Williamina (1866-?)
Donald (1868-?)
James (1870-?)
Barbara Esther (1872-?)
Donaldina (1874-?)

Williamina Sutherland was born 24th September 1842 and died 2nd May 1866 in Knockally age 24 years. She never married.

John Sutherland was born c1845 and died 25th August 1899 in the Square, Ellon, Aberdeenshire age 55 years. He married Isabella Sutherland.

Barbara Sutherland was born c1851 and died 25th February 1873 in Knockally age 21 years. She never married.

Hugh Sutherland was born 23rd January 1857 in Knockally and died 28th May 1883 also in Knockally age 26 years. He was a journeyman shoemaker and never married.

Barbara Sutherland was born 21st April 1861 in Ramscraig, Dunbeath and died 21st October 1961 in "Seaview", Inver, Dunbeath, age 100 years. She married Mackay Sinclair Gunn McLeod.

Hugh Grant Sutherland was born 6th February 1866 in Ramscraig and died 7th January 1921 in 11 Main Street, Dalmuir, Old Kirkpatrick, Dumbartonshire. He was a journeyman blacksmith and married Mary Chisholm, 7th July 1899 in Cardell Halls, Govan Road, Govan. They had at least five children:

Christina McLure (1900-1963)
Donald Grant (1901-1985)
Mary (1905-2002)
Ann Grant (1907-1997)
Elizabeth (1909-1975)

Donald Grant Sutherland was born 17th March 1873 in Knockally and died 31st May 1929 in Royal Asylum, Montrose age 55 years. He married Ann Sutherland on 4th December 1896 in Lybster.

That's about all I got, but now I know where the connection is (Janet b1817) I have a clearer idea of what to look for next time.
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: jamesmatthews45 on Saturday 31 October 09 09:20 GMT (UK)
Hi Ostler,

Sorry it has taken me a few days to get back to you but I have been snowed under with work and have not had a chance to get onto the site.

All this information is great and I will try and upload it during the weekend.  I think I will purchace more credits on Scottish People and get Certificates for all these people - just something I like to do.  Same as trying to get old maps and pics to upload onto ancestory site.

Once again many thanks for everything you are doing.

regards, Jim
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: kshaw on Friday 11 March 16 13:11 GMT (UK)
Hi I'm a few years late to this party But wanted to see how you made out, as I am a 5X great grandchild of Esther & John Sutherland, through their son Hugh 1813 - 1903.
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: ostler on Monday 14 March 16 22:01 GMT (UK)
Hi kshaw, I would love to hear what information you have on John, Esther, Hugh and their families.
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: kezd on Monday 01 May 17 03:21 BST (UK)
I am a descendant of William Sutherland born 1781 died about 1861 and married to Elizabeth (Lilly) Mackay.  Their son, Benjamin, is recorded as born in Latheron, Caithness, in 1810.  He married Elizabeth Gunn in 1842 (daughter of John Gunn and Mary Sutherland).  Their daughter Lillias was my GG grandmother and she and a number of siblings came out to New Zealand and settled around Dunedin and Lawrence.
I am going to visit their home areas in June/July this year.
Keen to chat to any of the many 'cousins'.
Kerry Driscoll
New Zealand
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: ostler on Monday 01 May 17 19:47 BST (UK)
Hi Kerry

I don't think there's an immediate/obvious connection between the two of us but my family are also from Latheron. I've been up to visit the area every year for the last 10 years now so if you would like to go with someone as a guide then I'm happy to help if I can.

Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: kezd on Tuesday 02 May 17 03:13 BST (UK)
That is a very kind offer.
Yes, thank you very much.  Always is good to talk with people who know places.

Much appreciated.
Kerry Driscoll
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: M S Harmer on Monday 04 November 19 03:19 GMT (UK)
Hi kezd
I am so a Sutherland researcher, I noticed you are connected to a William born 1781 in Halkirk. I also have a possible William born same year, do you know of any siblings and and his parents to help me rule him in or out.
Any help may be helpful
Regards Martin
Title: Re: Sutherlands
Post by: kshaw on Monday 04 November 19 12:30 GMT (UK)
Hello, I somehow never got a notification when you replyed to me Ostler. But I did get one today... So I'm so sorry for not getting back to you until now. 

I have John Sutherland ? - 1874 wife Esther m.s. Sutherland 1783-1855
Their children were
William 1807-1908
Robert 1809
Hugh 1813-1855
James 1816
Janet 'Jessie' 1817-1891
Ann 1819-1915
George 1821
Alexander 1823

My line is through Hugh who married Barbara Gunn 1814-1855
I've only been able to confirm details about two children Donald 1836 -1914 and Ann 1837-1915.

Donald was my 3rd great grandfather. He was a master shoemaker and married Ann (Annie) Grant 1838-1927. I'm lucky to have a photo of them.

Their daughter Williamina 1868-1958 was my 2nd great grandmother, she married Donald Sutherland 1857-1936. I have confirmed 4 children but they might have had more.

Williamina & Donald's eldest daughter, Annie, went to Canada and married David Bradshaw. She died shortly after their 5th child was born.

Williamina & Donald's youngest daughter, Isabelle "Belle", went to Canada for work. Last-minute she decided to go two months earlier to help her sister's widower and children. She and David were married later that year. Belle and David had five children together and their eldest was my grandfather.