Sutherland, Scotland Genealogy

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Guide to Sutherland ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.



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 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.) ScotlandsPeople is one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. If you are researching UK genealogy, your Scottish ancestry or building your Scottish family tree, they have more than 100 million records to look through.

The comprehensive choice of Scottish records includes:

  • Statutory Registers
  • Old Parish Registers
  • Catholic Parish Registers
  • CPR Others
  • Census
  • Valuation Rolls
  • Soldiers’ Wills
  • Wills & Testaments
  • Coats of Arms

For more detail on exact record availability, see Availability. For examples of the records available, see Record Types and Examples. More information on the site, its contents, and instructions for using it can be found in the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article. Indexes may be searched for free, and there is a small pay per view fee to see the actual digitized record.


Many census records have been indexed by surname. Some indexes cover one parish (and will be listed in the Wiki on the parish page) and some indexes are for the county as a whole. The Family History Library has county-wide census placename indexes for Sutherland for 1881.  Click here for other census indexes available at the library.

Church Records

Civil Registration or Statutory Registers

For details on information found in statutory registers and other methods of searching them, see Scotland Statutory Registers - Vital Records.

Refer to the ScotlandsPeople Wiki article.
Images and Indexes Available at ScotlandsPeople Website ($)
Births 1855-1910 ◊ScotlandsPeople Website has indexes to 2012.
Marriages 1855-1935
Deaths 1855-1960


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. Click this link for an outline map of the parishes of Sutherland.

Parish No. Parish No.
Assynt 44 Golspie 51 
Clyne 45 Kildonan 52 
Creich 46 Lairg 53 
Dornoch 47 Loth 54
Durness 48 Rogart 55
Eddrachillis 49 Tongue  56 
Farr 50


Poorhouse Records


Genealogy Society
15 Victoria Terrace
Phone-0131 220 3677

The Highland Archive Centre
Bught Road
Tel: +44 (0)1463 256444


[Return to county list.]