Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Wives of Thomas Sutherland

Grace Hogg (abt. 1777-1853)
Painting by David Scott of Edinburgh (1806-1849)

It seems highly probable that all but one of the children attributed to Thomas Sutherland (1772-1850) and Grace Hogg (abt. 1777-1853) are not, in fact, hers. According to a family history, TS and GH had three sons (Alexander, George and Edward) and two daughters (Thomas-Ann and Grace). However, the dates of birth for three of these individuals precede the marriage of TS and Grace by some time.

Namely, in very neat handwriting, the parish record for May 15, 1825 in Edinburgh Parish, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland reads:

Thomas Sutherland, tailor, College (?) parish & Grace Hogg same parish
Daug. Of Geo. Hogg …no objections.

This marriage occurred closely after the death of TS’s first wife, Elizabeth Beddoes, on Aug 23, 1824, as reported in The Scotsman. What this record also suggests is that the daughter of TS, Grace, was probably not born May 14, 1824, but rather in 1826. One could try to argue that she, too, might have been the daughter of Beddoes, but given that Beddoes was born about 1760, it seems highly unlikely.

In short, it appears the following are the children of TS and Beddoes:
Thomas Sutherland (1797-1880) “poet of Moore
Richard Sutherland (Sept. 25, 1802- March 27, 1822) died in Edinburgh of “decay”
Alexander Sutherland (1804-1840)
Laura Alison Sutherland (1805-1894)
George Sutherland (bet. 1811/1816-1888)
Thomas-Ann Sutherland (1812-1902)
…and John Sutherland (abt. 1807-Nov. 12, 1826), previously unmentioned, but whose death record lists TS as his father and gives the address (2 Drummond) at which the family resided at the time. Cause of death: typhus.

This means in all probability the only child of TS and Grace Hogg is Grace Sutherland (abt. 1826-1861).

Edward Sutherland (bef.1827-bef. 1833) A family record has him dying before 1833, but I've found no further concrete information about his date of birth.

While some may have felt it was sufficient to present the marriage record as proof the GH was not the mother of many of the children attributed to her, it would have been premature. The family records are in such conflict with census records (and the names of the children so common) that it was necessary to establish in other ways that TS was married to both women (hence the usefulness of the post office directories in establishing residency). I will note that the dates of birth of the children may be off here—the census and death records are inconsistent, and I haven’t bothered double checking them all. And as of yet birth or christening records have not been uncovered.

Thank you to Kathy Witheridge for directing me to the Sutherland histories available through the Lambton County Branch of the OGS. See especially, The Sutherland Saga by Winning Pendergast.

No comments:

Post a Comment