Esther Sutherland1

(22 December 1862 - 10 January 1942)
FatherAlexander Sutherland2 (Dec 1841 - Apr 1915)
MotherCatherine Bain (Dec 1841 - Jun 1904); The identification of Cath Bain mother of Esther (with Alexander Sutherland) as the same Catherine Bain as the one with son Donald Bain or Gray is highly likely. Certainly Catherine was living in the right place (Dale, Halkirk) and Alexander was the brother of Catherine's brother's future wife, plus in the 1861 census, their respective houses were nearby. In 1871 Esther was living with Alexander's parents as their grandchild. The evidence between Esther and the Catherine, dtr of Donald Bain and Maggie Taylor is more circumstantial, although when Esther married in 1907, her mother Catherine was shown as deceased, which also fits3,2
Relationship1st cousin 3 times removed of Lorna Henderson

BMDB data

     Esther Sutherland was born on 22 Dec 1862 Dale, Par. of Halkirk, CAI, SCT, place from igi which says 'Sutherland or Bain'. Birth cert: Esther Sutherland or Bain (illegitimate) born 22 Dec 1862, Dale, Halkirk to Catherine Bain and Alexander Sutherland. Cert adds Alexander, farm servant, not present.2,4
     Esther Sutherland married George Mackay, son of Robert Mackay and Mary MacKay, on 25 Sep 1907 Thurso, CAI, SCT, Esther, 44, laundry maid Royal Hotel, Thurso, dtr of Alexander Sutherland, farm servant, and Catherine Bain, dec. George, 50, fisherman of 1 ?? Lane, Thurso, son of Robert Mackay and Mary m.s. Mackay, both dec. Wit: Andrew Docherty and Dorothy Macleod.5,6
     Esther Sutherland died on 10 Jan 1942 1 Sutherland Cottages, Thurso, CAI, SCT, at age 79; cert shows she was married to George MacKay, and the inf. was her nephew Richard MacPhail of 6 Smith Tce, Thurso.5

Census/Where lived/Occupations

     In the census of 1871 Esther Sutherland was Dale, Par. of Halkirk, CAI, SCT, in the household of Alexander Sutherland and Catherine Sutherland as granddtr of Alexander.7,8
     The census of 1881 showed Esther in the household of her grdparents Alexander and Catherine Sutherland Sibster, Par. of Halkirk, CAI, SCT, enumerated as Alexr SUTHERLAND, 69, farmer 12 ac. arable b Latheron, wife Catherine, 69, b Bower. Dtr Johan, 34, unm, b Halkirk. Grd dtr: Esther, 18, dom serv, b Halkirk. Sister Isabella SUTHERLAND, 63, retrd cook, b Bower.9
     By Sep 1907 Esther Sutherland was a laundry maid at the Royal Hotel, Thurso, CAI, SCT.3


     Esther Sutherland was also known as Esther Bain.

All the other info

     Family stories say that her mother worked at "the big hoose."10

Family 1

John Miller (say 1860 - )
  • Johan Sutherland11 (Jul 1881 - )

Family 2

George Mackay (cir. 1857 - )
Last Edited8 Jun 2022


  1. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Bth cert 1862 (reg. 1863) Esther SUTHERLAND/BAIN, trans. Bobby B, May 2003, rechecked Mar 2004.
  2. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Birth cert 1862 (reg. 1863) Esther SUTHERLAND or BAIN, Halkirk, CAI, trans. Bobby B, rcvd May 2003, rechecked Mar 2004.
  3. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Mar. 1907 Esther SUTHERLAND or BAIN to George MacKAY, transcr. Bobby B, Apr 2004.
  4. Births deaths marriages index: Scotland 1855+, Birth reg. 1863 Esther BAIN (also indexed as Esther SUTHERLAND), reg. Halkirk, CAI, 037/ 1, rechecked May 2021 ,
  5. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Dth 1942 Esther MACKAY, nee SUTHERLAND/BAIN, trans. Bobby B. Mar 2004.
  6. GRO, SCT, BDM searches at GRO SCT: Marr. 25 Sep 1907 Esther SUTHERLAND or BAIN to George Mackay, transcr. Bobby B, Apr 2004.
  7. Letter, Robert B to Lorna Henderson, Jun 2003.
  8. 1871 Census transcripts, Scotland, via, Dale, Halkirk, CAI, Par. 37 ; ED: 6; Page: 9; hsehold of Alexander & Catherine SUTHERLAND, extracted (also image via John Stewart) May 2021.
  9. 1881 Census transcripts, UK, via Family Search/LDS CDs, Sibster, Halkirk CAI FHL Film 0203400 GRO Ref Volume 037 EnumDist 4 Page 5, hsehold of Alexr & Catherine SUTHERLAND, extracted Dec 2002.
  10. John H SUTHERLAND, "Corres. re Alexander SUTHERLAND ex John H, York," e-mail to L McIntosh (1), Rcvd Feb 2004.
  11. Scottish BMDB entries (from 1855),, Birth 12 Jul 1881 Johan SUTHERLAND, d/o Esther SUTHERLAND, reg. Halkirk, CAI, 037/ 45, copy d/loaded May 2021.

E. & O. E. Some/most parish records are rather hard to read and names, places hard to interpret, particularly if you are unfamiliar with an area.