Place:Sutherland, Scotland

Alt namesCataibhsource: Wikipedia
Sutherlandshiresource: Wikipedia
TypeTraditional county
Coordinates58.25°N 4.45°W
Located inScotland     (1889 - 1975)
Also located inHighland Region, Scotland     (1975 - 1996)
Highland (council area), Scotland     (1996 - )
See alsoHighland (council area), Scotlandunitary council of which it has been a part since 1996
Contained Places
Former region
Strathnaver ( - 1601 )
Altnaharra ( - 1975 )
Clashnessie ( - 1975 )
Coldbackie ( - 1975 )
Creich ( - 1975 )
Croick (Sutherland) ( - 1975 )
Inchnadamph ( - 1975 )
Meikle Ferry ( - 1975 )
Oykel Bridge ( - 1975 )
Rosehall ( - 1975 )
Stoer ( - 1975 )
Syre ( - 1975 )
Inhabited place
Bettyhill ( - 1975 )
Bonar Bridge ( - 1975 )
Brora ( - 1975 )
Dalhalvaig ( - 1975 )
Dornoch ( - 1975 )
Drumbeg ( - 1975 )
Embo ( - 1975 )
Golspie ( - 1975 )
Helmsdale ( - 1975 )
Kinbrace ( - 1975 )
Kinlochbervie ( - 1975 )
Lairg ( - 1975 )
Littleferry ( - 1975 )
Lochinver ( - 1975 )
Melvich ( - 1975 )
Portgower ( - 1975 )
Rogart ( - 1975 )
Scourie ( - 1975 )
Strathy ( - 1975 )
Tongue ( - 1975 )
Assynt ( - 1975 )
Clyne ( - 1975 )
Creich ( - 1975 )
Dornoch ( - 1975 )
Durness ( - 1975 )
Eddrachillis ( - 1975 )
Farr ( - 1975 )
Golspie ( - 1975 )
Kildonan ( - 1975 )
Lairg ( - 1975 )
Loth ( - 1975 )
Rogart ( - 1975 )
Tongue ( - 1975 )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

For a brief description of the county, see The Gazetteer for Scotland.

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Sutherland is now a land registration county and lieutenancy area and formerly a traditional county within the Highland Council Area of Scotland. Its county town is Dornoch. It borders Caithness to the east, Ross and Cromarty to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west.

In Gaelic the area is referred to according to its traditional areas: Dùthaich MhicAoidh (or Dùthaich 'IcAoidh) in the northwest, Asainte (for the Assynt area), and Cataibh for the east). However, Cataibh is often used to refer to the area as a whole.

The name Sutherland dates from the era of Norse rule and settlement over much of the Highlands and Islands, under the rule of the jarl of Orkney. Although it contains some of the northernmost land in the island of Great Britain, it was called Suðrland ("southern land") from the standpoint of Orkney and Caithness.

The northwest corner of Sutherland, traditionally known as the Province of Strathnaver, was not incorporated into Sutherland until 1601. This was the home of the powerful and warlike Clan Mackay, and as such was named in Gaelic, Dùthaich 'Ic Aoidh, the Homeland of Mackay. Even today this part of Sutherland is known as Mackay Country, and, unlike other areas of Scotland where the names traditionally associated with the area have become diluted, there is still a preponderance of Mackays in the Dùthaich.

The parish of Reay was originally partly in the county of Caithness and partly in the county of Sutherland. However in 1891 the parish boundaries changed so that the fairly substantial portion of the parish of Reay that was in Sutherland was disjoined and became part of the parish of Farr in Sutherland. The boundary line between the counties did not change.

Much of the population is based in coastal towns, such as Helmsdale and Lochinver, which until very recently made much of their living from the rich fishing of the waters around the British Isles.

Much of Sutherland is poor relative to the rest of Scotland with few job opportunities beyond government-funded employment, agriculture and seasonal tourism.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Sutherland.

Research Tips

Notes for the Highland Council Area and the Western Isles Council Area

The local archives are held by The Highland Archive Service which is based in Inverness with branches in Stornoway, Fort William and Caithness. It is "responsible for locating, preserving and making accessible archives relating to all aspects of the history of the geographical area of the Highlands."

Family history societies and historical associations covering the Highland Council Area and the Western Isles Council Area are:

These associations publish their aims on their websites as well as a list of publications. In many cases the publications are also available through the Scottish Genealogy Society (see below).

Sources for Old Parish Registers Records, Vital Records and Censuses

  • Scotland's People This is a pay website providing vital statistics and census data for all of Scotland with original images. There is a description at Scotland under Genealogical Resources.
  • See the publications lists of the above Family History Societies.
  • The FreeCen Project--Scotland has a searchable (not browsable) transcription for each of the counties in the area. Nairnshire and Caithness have the 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1871 complete. Inverness-shire and Ross and Cromarty have 1841 complete with some work on 1851 and Sutherland has not completed 1841.

Transcriptions of Gravestone Inscriptions

  • The Scottish Genealogy Society provides a series of monumental inscriptions either in print in booklet form or on CD for each of the counties in the area (Caithness, Inverness-shire, Nairnshire, Ross and Cromarty, and Sutherland). Some of the booklets cover only one graveyard, others cover a group. Prices vary. In many cases the coverage is of pre-1855 stones only--this is because gravestone inscriptions are often used by family historians as death registration equivalents in the era of the Old Parish Registers (when deaths were not universally recorded).
  • Sutherland cemeteries are covered in Pre-1855 tombstone inscriptions in Sutherland burial grounds by A S Cowper & I Ross, published at Edinburgh in 1989 by the Scottish Genealogy Society.
  • There are no specific notes for gravestone transcriptions for either Inverness-shire or Nairnshire in GENUKI. However, the Scottish Genealogy Society lists booklets for both counties.

Sources for Emigration Records

  • Hebrides People have a database containing lists of people who emigrated to North America from a number of parishes in the Western Isles.

Further Sources of Reference

Please note and respect the copyright warnings on these websites.

  • GENUKI has articles on each of the counties. These may not appear up-to-date but a query to the organizer made in August 2014 was answered within a few hours and followed up by an amendment to the article.
  • The Gazetteer for Scotland provides an article on each of the old counties of Scotland. The tabs on the right provide more information, plus a map of the county within its surrounding area, with parishes highlighted and linked to more information. Each parish within the county also has a set of webpages which follow the same design.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki article on Scotland provides information on research in Scotland in general and links to pages for the individual counties and from there to some individual parishes.
  • The National Library of Scotland have a website devoted to maps from the 1600s right up to the present. Comparisons of modern-day and old maps of the same place can be made. From the home page click on "Find by place" and then follow the instructions on the next page. Once you are viewing the place you want, use the slider <----> at the top of the map to compare the layout of roads and the place names of smaller areas, perhaps even farms, with the landscape today. The website takes some getting used to. The One-inch 2nd edition, Scotland, 1898-1904 OS is a series of maps with the parishes delineated. Each of these maps cover an area of 18 x 24 miles and will zoom to comfortable reading size with a couple of mouse clicks on the map itself. Unfortunately, they are not geo-referenced, and it is necessary to go to the OS One Inch 1885-1900 series to locate places by latitude and longitude.
  • The Statistical Accounts for Scotland In the 1790s and again in the 1830s, the ministers of the all the parishes of the Church of Scotland were asked to provide a description of their parish to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The original account request included 160 questions to be answered. These accounts are available in print in 20 volumes and are also online where it is freely available to browse. The browsing portal is below the viewing area of most computer screens. Scroll down to "For non-subscribers" and click on "Browse scanned pages". This brings you to another page on which one can enter the name of the parish in which you are interested.
  • Excerpts from The Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885 are provided by Scottish Places. Selections from Groome and other gazetteers from the 19th century are also found on GENUKI.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Sutherland. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.