Ancestry indicates that Sutherland surname is a Scottish regional name from the Old Norse suðr ‘south’ + land ‘land.’ Sutherland lays south of Scandinavia and the Norse colonies in the Orkney and Shetland Islands. Forebears add that it comes from the province of Moray.
Today, the most significant number of people with the Sutherland surname live in the United States with over 40,000. As you might expect, it has the highest frequency in Scotland, where one in 462 people have the surname.
In the United States, the most significant number of people with the Sutherland surname live in California, with over 4,000 people. The highest frequency for the surname is Wyoming, where one in 3,823 have the surname.
Direct Sutherland Ancestors
I have not had a chance to do in-depth research of my Sutherland ancestors, so all of my estimated ancestors are notional. However, it appears that I have seven known Sutherland ancestors in two separate paths.
- 3rd Great-Grandmother: Tamise (Possibly Tammy or Fanny) Sutherland (1796-1864)
- 4th Great-Grandfather: Reuben Sutherland (1768-1799)
- 5th Great-Grandfather: William J Sutherland (1741-1815)*
- 6th Great-Grandfather: William Sutherland (1715-1768)
- 5th Great-Grandmother: Hannah Sutherland (1747-1810)*
- 6th Great-Grandfather: Col. David Sutherland (1711-1794)
- 7th Great-Grandfather: William Sutherland (1690-1772)
(* Note: William J Sutherland and Hannah Sutherland married. It is unclear what their relationship may have been before their marriage.)
Interestingly enough, Tamise Sutherland, wife of Joel Cruff Taft, is my next planned research subject in my Roberts Research.
1840 – Tamise (Sutherland) Taft is my only known Sutherland ancestor that was living in 1840. She had already married Joel Cruff Taft. They lived in Broome County, New York, at the time. In 1840, 29% of the Sutherlands (or 96 households) in the United States lived in New York; however, none of the Sutherlands appear to have lived in Broome County.
Direct Sutherland Descendants
My records have identified 287 direct descendants of William Sutherland (1715-1768) and 289 for William Sutherland (1690-1772), most of whom are duplicated. These include 27 Barnes, 21 Roberts, 17 Ransford, 15 Taft, and many more surnames. I only have eight descendants of the Sutherlands with the Sutherland surname, indicating I have much more research to do on my Sutherland cousins.
Of course, there are many famous Sutherlands. Donald Sutherland and his son Kiefer are probably the most famous. However, Elizabeth Sutherland, 24th Countess of Sutherland, also comes to mind. Again, I have much more research to do on my Sutherland cousins. I would love to learn that Donald, one of my favorite actors, is related.
- Ancestry Surname Page: http://www.ancestry.com/learn/facts
- Forebears Surnames Page: http://forebears.io/surnames
- Ancestry – Don Taylor’s Roberts-Brown tree on Ancestry/
[i] Current populations based upon information available at Forebears.