Touching Branches

I don’t recall what age I was when my mother gave me the silver medallion.    She knew I was curious about it, and that I would take good care of it, which I was/am and have.  The name on it is George Angus Sutherland.  My grandfather’s name was George Sutherland Low, so we all figured there was a connection.  For the life of me I have not found it yet.  After obsessively scouring, I have a deep and wide picture of grandfather’s family tree.  Likewise, I have dug into the lineage of George Angus Sutherland.

He was born about 1847, in Aberdeenshire.  He earned the medal honoring his diligence and good conduct, while a student at The Gordon Fraser Hospital, a vocational school for boys of poor families in Aberdeen.  His name is on the 1861 Scotland Census as being 14, and residing at the school.  There are three other census records I have found that are definitely him.  In 1871, age 24, he is listed as the son and is living with his mother, Isabella Kelly age 48.  In 1881 and 1891 he is listed with his wife, Mary Sutherland.  There is no record of children.  End of his line.

What has me flummoxed is the lack of a link with the George Sutherland Low family tree.  George Angus Sutherland’s mother, Isabella Kelly, doesn’t show up on any other census records.  So where did she come from?  There must be a tie in somewhere.   I’m sure I have found her parents and family and I believe it is a correct link because of her birth year (1823), and her registration district; Old Machar, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire.

Isabella was the daughter of Mary Massie (1799-1874) and George Sutherland (1781-?).  She had two brothers and two sisters.  On their limbs I have added thirteen potential cousins of George Angus Sutherland.  In the 1841 Scotland Census,  Isabella Sutherland, her parents and siblings are on the roster of a poorhouse.  Five years later, George was born.  There is no record of a marriage, no birth/christening, only the census account in 1861, that George Angus Sutherland is fourteen.  Then in 1871, the census lists him living with his mother, Isabella Kelly , and the next record I find of Isabella Sutherland, born 1823, Old Machar, Aberdeenshire, she  is the head of a household with boarders.  A Mazeing.  And I still don’t know where the branches touched.  But somewhere they did.

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4 Responses to Touching Branches

  1. Mom says:

    These are frustrating but also fascinating mysteries aren’t they! I love stories like this, I am glad you are writing about their lives and your diligent searching! Keep it up. Someone really should write this stuff down !
    ❤ Mom aka Kassie

  2. Kara says:

    I can completely relate, until two weeks ago I was stuck trying to get “across the pond” as it were to get information on my great-great grandparents, or rather, THEIR parents. I recently got an email from a church over in Germany who received one of my letters inquiring on their name, and am now in contact with folks sharing my lineage, it’s fascinating stuff! Is it possible Isabelle was married/widowed at some point to end up with the Kelly last name?

    • Lindy Le Coq says:

      I am quite sure she did marry into the Kelly name. I am unsure if she was married before George was born. It is entirely possible since I have seen many girls with their maiden name the same as their married name. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • Lindy Le Coq says:

      Eventually I found the link,though it was indirect. I believe the medallion was passed from one sister to another and came to my family through marriage. Fascinating stuff!

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