Sutherland, Scotland Genealogy Genealogy
Sutherland is a county in the north of Scotland, bounded on the north by the North Sea, on the east and north-east by Caithness-shire, on the south by Ross-shire and the Firth of Dornoch, on the south-east by the Moray and Dornoch Firths, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. It is about 62 miles in length and 49 miles in breadth, comprising an area of 2875 square miles or 1,840,000 acres, of which about 32,000 are inlets of the sea, forming salt-water lochs.
The proprietor of nearly the whole county is the Duke of Sutherland whose ancestors have been the proprietors of the territory since the 13th century.
The county, which contains thirteen parishes, includes the royal burgh and county-town of Dornoch, and several villages on the coasts. The surface of the county is one of mountainous heights, valleys, and moors in continous seccession. The land in the south-eastern district is flat and fertile and sheltered on the north-west by a ridge of hills. The remainder, which embraces nearly five-sixths of the whole, is wild and mountainous, abounding in lakes and Alpine scenery, intersected with some pleasant straths and rivers. It also contains some large tracts of table-land. The inlets of the sea along the coasts form excellent harbours of refuge for ships and boats.
Only a comparatively small proportion of the land is in cultivation, the greater part by far being mountain pasture, heath, and moor. The chief crops are barley and oats, and some wheat. Peas and beans were formerly much cultivated, but have been replaced by potatoes. Sheep are the principal stock. Cattle is also reared, as well as horses. There are a few remains of ancient woods, and recent plantations. The principal substrats are coal, limestone, marble, and freestone, but no minerals of importance. There is herring fishing off the coasts, and the chief trade of the several ports is the exportation of sheep, wool, salmon, and kelp. The cattle are mostly driven to the southern markets.
The population of the county in 1851 was 24,782.
(Source: Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 2nd ed., 1851. Family History Library book 941 E5L.)
Here is a list of historic parishes for the county of Sutherland with their parish numbers. Click on a parish name to see information about records.
The Family History Library has county-wide census indexes for Sutherland for 1881. The library also has a collection of census surname indexes for different places within Sutherland. Click here to see a table listing these other census surname indexes that are available at the library.
Sutherland Combination (Stonehaven) www.workhouses.org.uk/Sutherland/
Click on the map at the right to see a larger version, and click again on the larger map. Next, click on the ‘Expand’ button when it appears in the lower right-hand corner of the map.
Click here for an outline map of the parishes of Sutherland.
[Return to county list.]