Ann’s People

Elizabeth, Evan Charles and Annie Sutherland

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.

12 November 1828 Aberdeen Press and Journal©The British Library Board

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.

Newspaper death notice for Elizabeth Sutherland.
8 January 1845 Inverness Courier©The British Library Board

George Sutherland married Mary Elizabeth Haigh in 1846.

Newspaper image of Capt George Sutherland's wedding to his second wife Mary Elizabeth Haigh.
20 May 1846 Aberdeen Press and Journal©The British Library Board

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.

Newspaper clipping about a robbery at Shibden Hall while Capt Sutherland's body was lying in the house.
1 May 1847 Leeds Intelligencer©The British Library Board

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.”2

West 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.

Newspaper clipping describing the wedding of Elizabeth and David Weymss.
30 August 1850 John o’Groat Journal©The British Library Board

Evan visited his sister Elizabeth & her husband David in 1855.

Image of newspaper clipping of Evan Charles visiting his sister Elizabeth and family.
6 April 1855 John o’ Groat Journal©The British Library Board

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.

Image of the Remembrance card of Miss Ann Walker, Cliffe Hill
West Yorkshire Archives Calderdale WYAS SH:3/L/120

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.”2

West 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.

10 November 1858 Morning Post©The British Library Board

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.

18 February 1859 Elgin Courant, and Morayshire Advertiser©The British Library Board

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.

07 July 1870 Northern Ensign and Weekly Gazette©The British Library Board

Annie left Ackergill Tower for home on 14 July.

14 July 1870 Northern Ensign and Weekly Gazette©The British Library Board

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

Newspaper image announcing the death of Elizabeth Weymss of Southdun.
14 March 1872 John o’Groat©The British Library Board

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.

Newspaper account of the funeral of Elizabeth Wemyss.
21 March 1872 John o’Groat©The British Library Board

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.

20 December 1877 John o’Groat Journal ©The British Library Board

Evan Charles and Annie’s husband Captain Henry William Stansfeld were two of David’s Executors.

Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

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

1881 UK Census Ancestry.com showing Janet and Mary Wemyss living on the Flockton estate with their Aunt Annie.
1881 UK Census Ancestry.com RG11/4570

By the 1891 Census, Janet and Mary, now 24 and 21 respectively, were living at Flockton Manor with Annie & her family.2

1891 UK Census showing Janet and Mary Wemyss living in the home with their Aunt Annie and family.
1891 UK Census Ancestry.com RG12/3742

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.

Newspaper announcement of Evan Charles purchasing Skibo estate.
11 July 1872 John o’Groat Journal©The British Library Board

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.

Newspaper clipping of Evan's son William Tudor's coming of age party at Skibo.
01 November 1883 John o’Groat Journal©The British Library Board

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.

Newspaper clipping of the wedding of Francis Stansfeld and Janet Wemyss.
18 June 1892 Huddersfield Daily Examiner©The British Library Board

In 1894, Elizabeth’s other daughter Mary, who also lived with Annie, married Annie’s son Logan.

Newspaper clipping of the wedding of Logan Stansfeld and Mary Wemyss.
8 Sept 1894 Yorkshire Gazette©The British Library Board

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

26 July 1913 Aberdeen Press and Journal©The British Library Board

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

8 Nov 1917 Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer©The British Library Board

Conclusion

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.

Resources

The Surviving Sutherland Children

  1. Edinburgh Sheriff Court Wills Ref#SC70/4/4 National Records of Scotland
  2. West Yorkshire Archives, Calderdale FW 120/32
  3. West Yorkshire Archives, Calderdale WYC 1150/74/32/1

Marriages and Inheritances

  1. Papers of the Sinclair Wemyss Family of Southdun, Caithness, https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/search/archives/d8e11df4-d239-3d01-aea7-dd325b71096d
  2. West Yorkshire Archives, Calderdale CN/103/2/42
  3. 1861 UK Census Ancestry.com Reference Ancestry.com  Ref# RG 9 3417

Weymss Family Sadness

  1. Elizabeth Wemyss death certificate – General Register Office, Catriona Findlay (2023) “Elizabeth MacKay Sinclair Wemyss ”: In Search of Ann Walker [Accessed 12.31.23]
  2. 1881 UK Census Ancestry.com RG11/4570
  3. 1891 UK Census Ancestry.com RG12/3742

Evan Charles and Annie

  1. West Yorkshire Archives, Wakefield  WYW1630
  2. The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1871 England Census; Class: RG10; Piece: 103; Folio: 24; Page: 1; GSU roll: 838762
  3. 24 Sept 1884 Northern Chronicle and General Advertiser
  4. Evan Charles Sutherland death certificate – General Register Office
  5. Annie Walker Stansfeld death certificate – General Register Office

Other Resources

Ancestry.com – A paid service
britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk – A paid service

Special Thanks

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.

How to cite this article:
Deb Woolson (2023) “Elizabeth, Evan Charles and Annie Sutherland ”: In Search of Ann Walker [Accessed “add date”]

Deb Woolson

I'm semi-retired and live in the US. Between researching for ISAW and dabbling in politics, my time is well spent. I watched GJ S1 and was overwhelmed by the beauty of Yorkshire and the amazing story of these two women. (Months later I learned my ancestors came from Yorkshire!) I have such admiration for Ann Walker and am honored to work with the talented ISAW team to bring her story to the forefront.