History of the Mutch surname and some famous Mutches.....


Firstly I must say that to my knowledge there is no link between the Mutch surname and any clan! So don't go looking for a Mutch tartan even if at least two Mutches are reported as having fought for Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden.

I can find no definitive information on where the Mutches came from and why in the UK they are concentrated in pockets (North-east Scotland and Cheshire in England). Most references associate the name with the old style linen woman's cap with protruding frill, worn under a women's bonnet and imply a link to the weaving trade. There certainly were attempts to develop weaving communities in the North-east and links existed with Flemish craftsmen and agricultural methods. Mutches also start to appear around the time of the Huguenots and the persecution which led to mass emigration from France and the Low Countries.

Trish MacKenzie provided the following quote:

The Concise Scots Dictionary says 'mutch' comes from Dutch (mutse), Low German (mutze), East Frisian (mutse with an umlaut) and Mod. German (Mutze, umlaut again).

In the introduction it says: "Between the 12th and 18th centuries, contact between Scotland and the Low Countries were constant and close,with, for example, Flemish craftsmen settling in the Scottish Burghs and Scottish traders settling at the staple ports in the Netherlands. One result was the many Scots words of Dutch or Flemish origin, such as bucht, callan, croon, cuit, mutch, pinkie, golf and scone, and the name of measures such as mutchkin."



Jeannie Mutch
If you are visiting Aberdeen you can drop in to see the collection at Marischal College Museum featuring Jeannie Mutch.

Frederick Bowie and Jeannie Mutch were missionaries in Vanuatu in the New Hebrides Islands between 1896 and 1933, initially for the Free Church of Scotland and probably, post-1900, for the United Free Church of Scotland.

Included in the collection are:

  • About 60 ethnographic objects from Vanuatu.
  • 81 photographs, mostly of Vanuatu.
  • Diary of Bowie (216 pages, 1896-97).
  • Diary of Mutch (60 pages, 1914-15).
  • Notebook on the folklore and customs of Vanuatu (49 pages, c 1914-1915).
Thanks to Julia Bricklin of Los Angeles for this link.


George Mutch
George Mutch scored from the penalty spot in extra time for Preston North End in the 1938 F.A. Cup Final! Another historical note of interest is that this was the first Cup Final ever televised live.

Previously he had played for Manchester United from May 1934 until September 1937. He made 120 appearances, scoring 49 times and was capped for Scotland.

George and I were neighbours in Ferryhill in the late 1970's.

Sandy Mutch
Alexander 'Sandy' Mutch was a goal keeper for Aberdeen, Huddersfeild Town and Newcastle United. He is generally remembered for being the longest-serving individual of Newcastle United F.C., dedicating sixty-four years of his life to serving the club. He played for Huddersfield Town between 1910 and 1922, wining the FA Cup with them. He joined Newcastle in 1922 and after retiring as a player went on to coach the first-team.

He was born in Inverurie in 1882 the son of Alexander and Ann Milne Birse and grandson of Alexander and Christian Matthew. See family line A24 for more details.

Details of Sandy's football career and the photographs have been provided by Lynda Wilson. Her grandfather was his nephew.


Thomas A. Mutch
On the 20 July 1976 VIKING 1 was the first space craft to land on Mars and send back photographs and data on the environment. It has been designated the Thomas A. Mutch Memorial Station in honor of the late leader of the lander imaging team. You can read more about him here. The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC is entrusted with the safekeeping of the Mutch Station Plaque until it can be attached to the lander by a manned expedition.

You can find information on this mission at NASA's site here.

His daughter Patricia helped me link Thomas to family line W22 - William and Mary Shand. Further details can be found there.