Isabella BAIN, my great grandmother was born 1857 in Caithness and is the closest of my Caithness ancestry.
She emigrated to New Zealand in 1875 with her parents, and a MANSON uncle, aunt and their children, her cousins.
I was very privileged to be able to do the reverse journey, in rather more comfortable circumstances no doubt, back in 1994, and again in 1995. Many thanks to all of those involved who helped me along the way.
The highlights were being able to see John BAIN and Catherine GRAY's headstone at Ballachly, and meeting, completely, by accident, a living relative! Neither were expected outcomes from my travels.

I'm very interested in my Caithness heritage and would love to hear from any relations, potential relations, or fellow researchers of the surnames included in Isabella's pedigree chart below (see footer for contact details).


To aid my understanding of my Caithness families, I administer several DNA projects for the Caithness surnames of interest to me, monitor some of the kits representing these surnames in other projects, along with helping fellow researchers with interests in Caithness, both for Y-DNA (direct male line), and for atDNA (the autosomal DNA we all inherit, randomly, from all of our ancestors).
See the DNASurnames project list for links to each project mentioned.
Many also belong to the newly created (May 2013) Caithness-Sutherland project.

We are still looking for Y-DNA representatives of the projects mentioned below, preferably at least two from separate lines of each, from distant cousins. Some we already have a single representative for and therefore need to corroborate the single signature we already have.
Perhaps one day we'll find out which lines of BAINs or MANSONs among the many in Caithness are actually related to ours?

  • BAIN - corroboration needed from a different line down from John & Catherine (GRAY) BAIN of Clashscribie (Latheron)
  • FINLAYSON - corroboration needed from other FINLAYSON lines from Caithness
  • GEORGESON - any takers?
  • GRAY - need a representative from Donald & Kathrin (MORGAN) GRAY of Watten to check if the existing GRAY project representative from Caithness is indeed a relation
  • MANSON - corroboration needed from a different line of descent from James & Euphan (MALCOLM) MANSON of Watten
  • McADIE - corroboration needed from another line down from George & Margaret (COTTAR) McADIE of Watten
  • TAYLOR - any takers down from William & Janet (SMITH) TAYLOR of Bower/Watten?

If genetic genealogy are foreign words to you, here are some links to items that may be of interest to explain why genealogists are turning to this fascinating, now not so new, science for their family forests.
The above projects are primarily focussed on Y-DNA, but all happily accept any descendant of the people mentioned who has tested atDNA, although my autosomal DNA project FFLornaHen may be more applicable given that surnames can be almost irrelevant for atDNA.
Links are harder to prove using atDNA but not impossible, and we already have many intriguing matches to explore.

My Caithness ancestors

male Bain ?Donald (bef. 1764 - )
John Bain (R-BY2937) (cir. 1784 - 1853)
Donald Bain (1806 - 1892)
John Gray (say 1700 - aft. 1749)
Donald Gray (cir. 1727 - aft. 1765)
Margaret Fowler (say 1705 - aft. 1749)
Donald Gray (cir. 1754 - bet. 1800 - 1841)
Kathrin Morgan (say 1730 - aft. 1765)
Catherine Gray (cir. 1785 - 1865)
Janet Sutherland (say 1755 - bet. 1800 - 1841)
John Bain (cir. 1832 - 1909)
William Taylor (say 1725 - aft. 1771)
William Taylor (cir. 1749 - aft. 1799)
Janet Smith (say 1725 - )
William Taylor (1772 - 1860)
James Finlayson (bef. 1731 - )
Isabella Finlayson (say 1751 - aft. 1784)
Margaret Taylor (cir. 1802 - 1861)
Isobella McDonald (bef. 1775 - bet. 1806 - 1827)
Isabella Bain (1857 - 1915)
James Manson (cir. 1700 - aft. 1735)
David Manson (1724 - aft. 1771)
Euphen Malcolm (say 1701 - aft. 1735)
James Manson (1756 - bef. 1823)
Helen J. Miller (bef. 1735 - aft. 1771)
Donald Manson (1796 - bet. 1841 - 1851)
Male Georgeson (say 1700 - )
Donald Georgeson (say 1730 - cir. 1793)
Christan Georgeson (bet. 1756 - 1761 - bet. 1823 - 1841)
Esther Miller (say 1735 - aft. 1766)
Sinclair Manson (1828 - 1893)
George MacAdie (say 1730 - aft. 1760)
Robert MacAdie (cir. 1760 - aft. 1826)
Robert Cottar (bef. 1689 - bet. 1724 - 1725)
Margaret Cottar (1725 - aft. 1760)
Katherin Calder (bef. 1689 - )
Isabella S. MacAdie (cir. 1800 - 1873)
William Sinclair (say 1735 - aft. 1767)
Margaret Sinclair (cir. 1768 - bef. 1841)
Katherine McKonlay (say 1735 - )
Y DNA tested line

Caithness people on this site

The following link is a list of all people included on this site with a page of their own and therefore further information.
Bear in mind that the flag this is based on isn't always accurate however, and some people will not necessarily have been to the places shown, eg they may have a relation there instead.
All name variants recorded for each are indexed, so some will appear more than once.

Caithness map

Caithness descendants (and spice): BDM events
Where assorted of my Caithness born descendants were hatched matched and despatched (Births & Marriages green, Deaths & Burials red)

Sutherland Family Treasure Trove

  • Sutherland Family Treasure Trove Clippings, certificates and photos and many more items, connected with the SUTHERLAND family initially of Caithness, then the Shetlands, then Victoria, Australia