Sutherlan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The current generations of the Sutherlan family have inherited a surname that was first used hundreds of years ago by descendants of the ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. The Sutherlan 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 Sutherlan family
The surname Sutherlan 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 Sutherlan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sutherlan 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 Sutherlan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sutherlan Spelling Variations
Scribes in the Middle Ages did not have access to a set of spelling rules. They spelled according to sound, the result was a great number of spelling variations. In various documents, Sutherlan has been spelled Sutherland, Sutherlan, Suderland and many more.
Early Notables of the Sutherlan 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 Sutherlan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sutherlan family
The cruelties suffered under the new government forced many to leave their ancient homeland for the freedom of the North American colonies. Those who arrived safely found land, freedom, and opportunity for the taking. These hardy settlers gave their strength and perseverance to the young nations that would become the United States and Canada. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Sutherlan: 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 Sutherlan 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)