Sotherland History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The chronicles of the Sotherland family reach back into Scottish history to an ancient tribe known as the Picts. The ancestors of the Sotherland family lived in the county of Sutherland in the north of Scotland. The name was derived from Old Norse suðr or "south" land, due to the area being south of Scandinavia and the Norse colonies in the Orkney and Shetland Islands. The Earls of Orkney referred to the Dales of Caithness as the Southland, even though they are in the more northern parts of Scotland. It was here that the great Lords of Freskin held their territory in the 11th century. They later intermarried with the great and royal house of Moray; hence, the three stars on the Sutherland coat of arms.
Early Origins of the Sotherland family
The surname Sotherland was first found in Caithness (Gaelic: Gallaibh), the northern tip of Scotland, a Norse/Viking controlled region from the 9th century, which became the Earldom of Caithness, where they held a family seat from the 11th century. Their early Clan chiefs were styled the Lords of Freskin in the Dales of Caithness.
"The founder of the clan of Sutherland settled in the XII. century in the province of Murref, Moray, or Moravia, comprehending the modern counties of Murray or Elgin, and parts of Inverness and Banff, whence the family for several generations assumed the name of Murref or De Moravia, which they retained even after their occupation of Sudrland or Sutherland, and their elevation to that earldom." 
As the name was originally of territorial origin from the province of Moray, early records of the family referenced that territory. "William de Moravia (lord of Petty) was witness to a royal charter to the Abbey of Holyrood, 1203. A little earlier he appears as William, son of Freskin. Hucting de Moravia witnessed confirmation of sale of the land of Scrogges, c. 1208-13 and Malcolm de Moravia witnessed gift of a mark of silver annually to the Abbey of Arbroath, c. 1250." 
Early History of the Sotherland family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sotherland research. Another 440 words (31 lines of text) covering the years 1211, 1333, 1389, 1682, 1598, 1601, 1745, 1759, 1794, 1674, 1705, 1734, 1639, 1719, 1676, 1705, 1710 and 1768 are included under the topic Early Sotherland History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sotherland Spelling Variations
When the first dictionaries were invented in the last few hundred years, spelling gradually became standardized. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound. Names were often recorded under different spelling variations every time they were written. Sotherland has been written Sutherland, Sutherlan, Suderland and many more.
Early Notables of the Sotherland family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Alexander Sutherland, 1st Lord Duffus (d. 1674); James Sutherland, 2nd Lord Duffus (d. 1705); Kenneth Sutherland, 3rd Lord Duffus...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sotherland Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sotherland migration to the United States +
The crossing to North America did not seem so great in comparison with the hardships many Scots endured at home. It was long, expensive, and cramped, but also rewarding. North America offered land and the chance for settlers to prove themselves in a new place. And many did prove themselves as they fought to forge a new nation in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of those Scots can now experience much of their once-lost heritage through the Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up across North America in the last century. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Sotherland:
Sotherland Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Ansel Sotherland, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1651 
- Ansell Sotherland, who landed in America in 1652 
- Patrick Sotherland, who landed in America in 1652 
Sotherland Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- John Sotherland, who arrived in Virginia in 1716 
Related Stories +
The Sotherland Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Sans peur
Motto Translation: Without fear.
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)