William Sutherland, aged 54, emigrated from Balnavaliach, Kildonan, Sutherlandshire, in 1815. He was accompanied by his wife Isabella, 50, and four of their children: Jeremiah (15), Helen (12), Ebenezer (11) and Donald (7). (1) The Scottish Old Parish Registers record the births of these children, a son William in 1792, and daughters Barbara and Ann in 1795 and 1796 respectively. There were two older children, Alexander and Catherine, unrecorded in the OPRs.
William Sr was granted lot #11 (Fidler’s survey) by Lord Selkirk in 1817. He farmed at the settlement until his death in February 1838. His widow went to Iowa with her sons Donald and Ebenezer in 1838 and died at Scotch Grove in 1839.
Alexander, Catherine and William Jr were the first members of this family to come to Red River. They sailed with the 1813 colonists, (2) who were disembarked at Churchill Fort instead of York Factory due to an outbreak of typhoid on the ship. They wintered at a camp about 15 miles up the Churchill River where William Jr died. Alexander and Catherine arrived safely at Red River in 1814 and were amongst the settlers who held fast to the settlement in 1815 when the majority were transported to Upper Canada by the NWC.
Alexander Sutherland received lot #10 from Lord Selkirk in 1817. He farmed his land for eight years, and then returned to Scotland in 1825. He remained in Scotland for three years and married there. He returned to Red River with his wife Jean/Jane in 1828. (3) They had five children at the settlement and left for Scotch Grove, Iowa, in 1837.
Catherine (Kitty) married John McIntyre in June 1815. John had also arrived with the 1813 party, but joined the HBC and served at various posts in the Red River area prior to his marriage. About 1837 they left for the United States. They did not settle in Iowa as many of the Red River people did, but crossed the Mississippi and took up land in Jo Daviess County, Illinois.
Ann married John Gunn in Scotland in 1815. They had five children prior to immigrating to Red River in 1823. (4) They remained at Red River and had seven more children.
Jeremiah married Margaret Sutherland, daughter of John and Christy Sutherland, in 1823 at Red River. They had three children, Isabella, Alexander, and Nehemiah (a girl). Jeremiah died in March 1829 and in 1831 Margaret married James Matheson, son of Alexander Matheson of Coirag. They had two daughters at Red River and then left the settlement about 1837 to relocate in Jo Daviess County, Illinois.
Helen married George McRae, who worked at the colony farm (Hayfield). They had two children at Red River and then returned to Scotland in 1824 where eight more children were born. They immigrated to New Zealand in 1842.
Ebenezer married Sarah Bunn, daughter of Thomas Bunn and Phoebe Sinclair, at Red River in 1829. Five children were born in the settlement. They moved to Scotch Grove, Iowa, in 1838. Three more children were born there.
Donald married Nancy Livingstone, daughter of Donald and Ann Livingstone, at Red River in 1834. They had two children at the settlement and moved to Scotch Grove in 1838.
(1) HBCA C.1/345, passenger list of the Hadlow, outward bound 1815
(2) HBCA C.1/778, passenger list of the Prince of Wales, outward bound 1813
(3) HBCA C.1/912, passenger list of the Prince Rupert outward bound 1828
(4) HBCA C.1/800, passenger list of the Prince of Wales, outward bound 1823