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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Scottish


Sutherlin is a name whose ancestors lived among the Picts, a tribe in ancient Scotland. The Sutherlin family lived in the county of Sutherland in the north of Scotland. The name was derived from Old Norse suğr 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.

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The surname Sutherlin 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 appearance of the printing press and the first dictionaries in the last few hundred years did much to standardize spelling. Prior to that time scribes spelled according to sound, a practice that resulted in many spelling variations. Sutherlin has been spelled Sutherland, Sutherlan, Suderland and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sutherlin research. Another 879 words (63 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 Sutherlin History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sutherlin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The expense of the crossing to the North American colonies seemed small beside the difficulties of remaining in Scotland. It was a long and hard trip, but at its end lay the reward of freedom. Some Scots remained faithful to England and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others fought in the American War of Independence. Much of this lost Scottish heritage has been recovered in the last century through clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Sutherlin: 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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  • William Thomas Sutherlin (1822-1893), American tobacco entrepreneur most famous for opening his Virginia home to the President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis and his Cabinet the week before Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered
  • William Thomas Sutherlin (1822-1893), American politician, Mayor of Danville, Virginia, 1855-61
  • W. H. Sutherlin, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Virginia, 1876
  • Roy F. Sutherlin, American Republican politician, Candidate for Missouri State House of Representatives from Iron County, 1964
  • Edgar Williamson Sutherlin (b. 1851), American politician, Member of Louisiana State Senate


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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.

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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  4. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Sutherlin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sutherlin Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 December 2015 at 10:56.

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