Southerlen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
In Scottish history, few names go farther back than Southerlen, whose ancestors lived among the clans of the Pictish tribe. The ancestors of the Southerlen 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 Southerlen family
The surname Southerlen 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 Southerlen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Southerlen 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 Southerlen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Southerlen Spelling Variations
Although Medieval Scotland lacked a basic set of spelling rules, which meant that scribes recorded names according to their sounds it was not uncommon for the names of a father and son to be recorded differently. As a result, there are many spelling variations of Scottish single names. Southerlen has been written Sutherland, Sutherlan, Suderland and many more.
Early Notables of the Southerlen 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 Southerlen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Southerlen family
Thousands of Scots left their home country to travel to Ireland or Australia, or to cross the Atlantic for the North American colonies. The difficult crossing was an enormous hurdle, but those who survived found freedom and opportunity in ample measure. Some Scots even fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence. This century, their ancestors have become aware of the illustrious history of the Scots in North America and at home through Clan societies and other organizations. Passenger and immigration lists show many early and influential immigrants bearing the name Southerlen: James Sutherland known as the Yellow Haired James (Seumas Buidhe), led the mass migration sponsored by the Sutherland Transatlantic Friendly Association to the Selkirk settlement along the Red River Valley in mid western Canada. In 1814, 700 refugees from the Highland Clearances around Straconan sailed aboard the sailing ships Prince of Wales and the Eddystone..
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The Southerlen 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.
- ^ Lowe, 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)