Author’s note: Sometimes, if you are very fortunate, you can glean a lot of information from old newspaper articles. The quality of the copy isn’t always great, as you will see, but they do help fill out a story. Here are some interesting bits about Ann Walker’s nieces and nephew, Elizabeth and George Sutherland’s surviving children – Elizabeth, Evan Charles and Annie.
Elizabeth, Ann and brother John Walker shared the sad experience of losing their parents in 1823 at the ages of 22, 20 and 19 years respectively. They lived together, travelled together, and then with the death of John in 1830, Elizabeth and Ann became the last of their immediate family. Because John had no heir and no will, they inherited the vast Crow Nest Estate.
Elizabeth & Captain George Sutherland
Elizabeth Walker married Capt George M Sutherland in 1828.
Elizabeth gave birth to six children, two, John and Sackville, died within her lifetime. She died in 1844, at the age of 43 years, and her daughter Mary, 15 years old would die six months after her.
George Sutherland married Mary Elizabeth Haigh in 1846.
His second wife Mary Elizabeth gave birth to a daughter Mary Elizabeth one month before his death in 1847. While his body was lying in Shibden Hall there was a break-in. The last time such a robbery occurred was on the Captain and Mary Elizabeth’s wedding night. Most likely Ann Walker, Mrs Sutherland and the children were still in the house at that time.
The Surviving Sutherland Children
The surviving children of Elizabeth and George M Sutherland – Elizabeth Mackay, Evan Charles and Ann Walker Sutherland (known as Annie) shared the loss of their siblings John, Sackville and Mary as well as both parents by April of 1847. Elizabeth was then 14, Evan Charles 11 and Annie 9 years old.
In his will George placed his minor children under the personal care and superintendence of his second wife Mary Elizabeth.1
There are letters to suggest that his widow Mary Elizabeth Sutherland was an active presence in the children’s lives. In an undated letter from Mary Elizabeth to Lydia Fenton at Shibden Hall, she wrote:
“I am glad to say we are all well: I had Evan with me a few days being a little out of health, but he has gone back to Sowerby quite recovered.”2West Yorkshire Archives, Calderdale FW 120/32
This letter would have been written after Capt Sutherland’s death in 1847 and before Ann moved back into Cliffe Hill after Aunt Ann’s death. Evan Charles was at boarding school.
In a 10 September 1855 letter from Annie, who was at boarding school in Surrey, to Robert Parker, in his capacity as one of the Executors of George’s will, she discussed her financial needs and stated that she had spoken to Mrs Sutherland about them. She was also interested in buying a harp.3
Marriages & Inheritances
Elizabeth married David Sinclair Weymss, Esq. in 1850 at the age of 18 before she received her inheritances. David was 19 years her senior and had already inherited the South Dun Estate near Wick, Caithness.1 Their wedding was held at the home of Elizabeth’s grandmother Mrs Sackville Sutherland and was a time of great rejoicing at South Dun. They had 8 children while living at Ackergill Tower, near Wick, Scotland.
Evan visited his sister Elizabeth & her husband David in 1855.
Their aunt Ann Walker died 25 February 1854 while living at Cliffe Hill. These children were the closest family she had left. It was a custom at the time to give a remembrance, a token, in memory of the deceased to particular people. In this case, the children sent a memorial honoring their aunt to Mr. William Gray, Esq.
William Gray sent a note to Evan Charles on 21 April 1854 thanking him and his sisters for the memorial they sent him in memory of their Aunt Ann.
“I beg to express my thanks to you & Miss Walkers family for the memorial of your Aunt which I have just received & which is particularly gratifying to me.”2West Yorkshire Archives, Calderdale CN/103/2/42
Annie Walker Sutherland was living at Cliffe Hill when she married Captain Henry William Stansfeld in November 1858. The ceremony was performed by Rev Harry Tudor in Hastings. After their wedding they travelled to Italy where she gave birth to their first son Logan. Upon returning they moved into the Manor House where Henry ran the Colliery.3 In 1865 Henry purchased the Flockton estate where they would raise their 3 sons.
Evan Charles married Alice Sophia Tudor in February 1859 in London. This ceremony, like his sister Annie’s, was performed by Rev Harry Tudor, Evan’s brother-in-law. The young couple lived in Halifax and Scotland and had 8 children.
As heir to his mother, father, great Aunt Ann Walker, Snr and Aunt Ann Walker’s estates, Evan came of age in 1856 and became very wealthy. Elizabeth and Annie also received their substantial inheritances when they became 21 years.
Weymss Family Sadness
Through the years the children would visit each other for good times and sad times. In 1870 Evan Charles and Annie attended their sister Elizabeth’s son David’s funeral. He was only 18 years. Evan Charles was a chief mourner.
Annie left Ackergill Tower for home on 14 July.
Elizabeth Wemyss died in March 1872, of Brights Disease, at the age of 39, younger than her mother was at the time of her death. Her husband David was with her at the time per the death certificate.1
Evan Charles attended her funeral. Unfortunately, women were often not mentioned when attending a funeral so it’s not known if Annie attended as well.
Elizabeth’s husband David Wemyss died in 1877. Among the chief mourners were Evan Charles and Captain Stansfeld, Annie’s husband. Annie had wreaths of flowers placed on the coffins of her sister, nephew and brother-in-law who were buried side by side in the family vault.
Evan Charles and Annie’s husband Captain Henry William Stansfeld were two of David’s Executors.
David Wemyss’ death left his children parentless. His two youngest daughters Janet and Mary, 14 and 11 respectively, are listed in the 1881 UK Census living with a governess and servants on the Flockton Estate in Wakefield where their Aunt Annie and her family lived.1
By the 1891 Census, Janet and Mary, now 24 and 21 respectively, were living at Flockton Manor with Annie & her family.2
Evan Charles and Annie
Evan Charles and Annie both lived at Cliffe Hill after their aunt Ann Walker’s death (as described in Annie’s marriage settlement with Captain Henry William Stansfeld1). Their closeness continued throughout their lives.
The 1871 UK Census shows Annie and her lady’s maid visiting Evan Charles in London where he lived with his wife, five children and nine servants.2
The same year that his sister Elizabeth died, Evan Charles purchased Skibo estate in Scotland. His late sister was mentioned in that announcement.
In 1883 Evan Charles hosted a ‘Coming of Age’ party for his son William Tudor at Skibo. His sister Annie and one Wemyss niece joined in the festivities.
In September 1884, Evan Charles’ son William Tudor was elected with others to become life members at The Northern Meeting, a big event of the Highland Gatherings. There were 2 days of outdoor events and several balls attended by hundreds. Among the attendees was Annie, “Mrs Stansfeld, Flockton Manor, Wakefield and Miss Wemyss, Flockton Manor, Wakefield.”3
In 1892, Elizabeth Weymss’ daughter Janet, who lived with Annie, married Annie’s son Francis and set off for California.
In 1894, Elizabeth’s other daughter Mary, who also lived with Annie, married Annie’s son Logan.
In 1913 Evan Charles died of an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta in London at the age of 78. His son Alic Sutherland is listed as present per the death certificate.4
Annie Walker Stansfeld would be the last surviving child of Elizabeth & George Sutherland. She died in London of old age and cardiac failure in 1917. Her son Logan Stansfeld was in attendance.5
Did these three siblings learn early in life, from their parents, that family takes care of one another? They would have witnessed their father Capt Sutherland leave their home to travel to Russia to bring their Aunt Ann back to Halifax after Anne Lister’s death. In addition, they lived sporadically with their aunt after she was found to be of unsound mind and their parents had become her committees of person & estate. After their mother Elizabeth’s death, the family moved to Shibden Hall with Ann Walker. Capt Sutherland, as committee for Ann, was required to live with her in Halifax instead of his beloved Aberarder estate in Inverness, Scotland.
To lose both parents at such young ages might have made them closer as a surviving family unit. Between the inheritances of both parents, their elder Aunt Ann and Aunt Ann the younger, these children were financially set up when they came of age. Also, Elizabeth and Annie married well. These newspaper articles show that distance didn’t stop them from being in each other’s lives during happy and sad times. It’s not at all surprising that Annie would take in her sister’s two youngest daughters to raise after they too lost both parents at such an early age, just as Annie had. The three Sutherland children who reached adulthood evidently shared a strong bond.
The Surviving Sutherland Children
- Edinburgh Sheriff Court Wills Ref#SC70/4/4 National Records of Scotland
- West Yorkshire Archives, Calderdale FW 120/32
- West Yorkshire Archives, Calderdale WYC 1150/74/32/1
Marriages and Inheritances
- Papers of the Sinclair Wemyss Family of Southdun, Caithness, https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/search/archives/d8e11df4-d239-3d01-aea7-dd325b71096d
- West Yorkshire Archives, Calderdale CN/103/2/42
- 1861 UK Census Ancestry.com Reference Ancestry.com Ref# RG 9 3417
Weymss Family Sadness
- Elizabeth Wemyss death certificate – General Register Office, Catriona Findlay (2023) “Elizabeth MacKay Sinclair Wemyss ”: In Search of Ann Walker [Accessed 12.31.23]
- 1881 UK Census Ancestry.com RG11/4570
- 1891 UK Census Ancestry.com RG12/3742
Evan Charles and Annie
- West Yorkshire Archives, Wakefield WYW1630
- The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1871 England Census; Class: RG10; Piece: 103; Folio: 24; Page: 1; GSU roll: 838762
- 24 Sept 1884 Northern Chronicle and General Advertiser
- Evan Charles Sutherland death certificate – General Register Office
- Annie Walker Stansfeld death certificate – General Register Office
Ancestry.com – A paid service
britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk – A paid service
Diane Halford – archival research
Caroline Maillard, Trish Rafa & Martin Walker – editing
In Search of Ann Walker’s research into Ann’s life is ongoing, therefore new discoveries may change the way we chronicle her life in the future.