I have been interested in family history for many years and have my own website:

I discovered my four times great grandfather, one Richard Sutton, was possibly a role model for Heathcliff, then began a love affair with the Sutton branch of my family tree, resulting in the fascinating story of Will Sutton: The Forgotten Trail Breaker of Vancouver Island.

William John Sutton (1859-1914), known to his family and friends as Will, was a timberman, geologist, mineralogist, assayer, surveyor, lecturer, explorer, pioneer and promoter of Vancouver Island, British Columbia and stood twice in B.C. elections; he also robbed the graves of First Nation people. A short overview of his life can be found on Wikipedia (see link at bottom).

Will Sutton: The Forgotten Trail Breaker of Vancouver Island, Ⓒ Jan Bridget 2018


List of Photographs


Please note: I am in the process of re-organising the book and removing the first four chapters so that it starts with Chapter Five.

Chapter One: Early Years, Education, Vancouver Island

Chapter Two: Cowichan, Magnificent Timber

Chapter Three: Politician, Assayist or Lumberman?

Chapter Four: Phrenology and Grave Robbing

Chapter Five: West Coast and Ucluelet

Chapter Six: Family Business

Chapter Seven: Politics, Michigan, Mines and Ghost Towns

Chapter Eight: Geologist

Chapter Nine: First Nation Villages

Chapter Ten: Treasure Island and Tree Conservation

Chapter Eleven: Respected Scientist



Appendix A: William Sutton Fonds, PR-0202, Royal British Columbia Museum Archive, Victoria, B.C.

Appendix B: Quatsino Mining & Reduction Co has received the following letter from the Geologist, Mr W J Sutton, Maine: [Colonist, 25.11.1900]

Appendix C: Vancouver Island and its Resources, Lecture by W.J. Sutton, M.E., F.G.S., The Colonist, 15th February 1903

Appendix D: "The Geology and Mining of Vancouver Island", W. J. Sutton Transactions of the Manchester Geological & Mining Society, 1903-1904 volume 28

Appendix E: Mineral Finds Accredited to William Sutton

Appendix F: Memorial of William John Sutton by William Fleet Robertson, Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, Volume 27, 1916, editor Joseph Stanley-Brown.