Sutherland DNA Project


Wikipedia article about the Scottish Highland County of Sutherland.

County of Sutherland
until circa 1890
- Total
Ranked 5th
1,297,846 acres (5252 km²)
County town Dornoch
Chapman code SUT
The name Sutherland dates from the era of Norse rule and settlement over much of the Highlands and Islands, under the rule of the Jarl of Orkney. Although it contains some of the northernmost land in the island of Great Britain, it was called Suðrland ("southern land") from the standpoint of Orkney and Caithness.
Sutherland, especially the great North-West corner of the County, traditionally known as Strathnaver, was the home,of the powerful and warlike Clan Mackay, and as such was named in Gaelic, Dùthaich 'Ic Aoidh, the Homeland of Mackay. Even today this part of the county is known as Mackay Country, and, unlike other areas of Scotland where the names traditionally associated with the area have become diluted, there is still a preponderance of Mackays in the Dùthaich.
As well as Caithness to the north and east, Sutherland has North Sea (Moray Firth) coastline in the east, the historic county of Ross and Cromarty (formerly Ross and Cromarty) to the south, and Atlantic coastline in the west and north. Like its southern neighbour, Wester Ross, the county has some of the most dramatic scenery in the whole of Europe, especially on its western fringe where the mountains meet the sea. These include high sea cliffs, and very old mountains composed of Precambrian and Cambrian rocks.

Above: Dunrobin Castle, Golspie, Sutherland, Scotland. ( Home of the Clan Sutherland Society in Scotland(

Photo by: Robert J. Sutherland

Above: Ruins of the Sutherland's of Forse Castle on the East coast of Sutherland, Scotland (Jul 2009).

Photo by: Robert J. Sutherland