The Scottish side of my family is mostly a closed book to me.  I haven’t done a lot of research in this area, thanks to the monopoly that is scotlandspeople and their payment plans.  I intensely dislike having to pay to look at search results (especially when you don’t know if what you’re looking at is relevant).

Anyway, I’ll outline what I do have in this and some future posts.

George Sutherland was born on 9 November 1850 in Glasgow.  It seems I don’t have a birth certificate so how do I know this?  I obtained the information some years ago before realising the importance of recording resources.  I have it recorded elsewhere, however, that I got it from the IGI but I can’t find anything in my file saying this.  A search on familysearch and findmypast reveal nothing at all.  Thanks, scotlandspeople – thanks for making it impossible to verify or search for Scottish ancestors without paying you.

Regardless, according to census returns, George was born about that time.  He was the son of Archibald Sutherland and Jane Wilson.  According to my information he had a brother and four sisters, at least one of whom died young.

At the time of the 1851 census the family of five were living at 132 Gallowgate in Glasgow.  Any old buildings from that time are long since gone.  George’s father was a tailor.

In 1861 the family of six were living at 258 High Street.  The black-fronted shop below is not numbered, but sits between 260 and 252.  (I don’t know how old these buildings are though.)


I found this article in the Glasgow Morning Journal.


14 December 1863

The Sutherland family may have been neighbours.

By the following census in 1871, George’s father was dead.  His widow, Jane, was now head of the household with George and the youngest, Christina.  Jane was just 47 and worked as a winder (someone who winds thread onto the spindles used in shuttles).  George was a cloth lapper (someone who took the cloth from the carding machine and readied it for the next process).  They were now living at 4 Weaver Street (also long gone – the buildings on Weaver Street were cleared after the First World War).

George married Jessie Allison on 24 March 1876 at 109 Dale Street in Glasgow (also long gone).  He was still a cloth lapper (journeyman).  George’s residence at the time was 14 Maitland Street (no longer there) and Jessie lived at 16 Renfrew Street (you guessed it – gone).  So much of Glasgow history has been demolished, and what it’s been replaced with is no prettier.

The couple’s first child (as far as I know) was a daughter, Georgina, born in 1880.  Before the birth of their second daughter, Jessie, in 1881 another census was taken.  The family were living at 86 Hospital Street.  George’s two brothers-in-law were there too.

In 1891 the family of six (with four children under 10) were living in George Street, Glasgow, George still a cloth lapper.  The eldest, Georgina, is no longer with them.  She probably died, unless she was visiting relatives, but I’ve been unable to find her in the census returns, or to find a death record.

By 1901 the family had increased to eight, the children ranging in age from 19 to 6 years old.  They were living at 94 Parson Street.  You can see my earlier post with regard to where they lived then and in 1911.

In 1920, George’s fourth daughter, Jean, left for Australia to get married.  By this time, George had stopped being a cloth lapper and was a warehouseman at the age of 70.

I’m afraid I have no further information on George.  I don’t even know when he died.  I haven’t been able to find a record at all.  There are a lot of gaps.

Postscript: Since writing the above, scotlandspeople has changed their website, making it possible to do a search without paying.  I have confirmed George’s birth date but have been unable to find a death.


Sources: family archives; findmypast; Google;;