Hawick, Roxburghshire, Scotland Genealogy

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png Roxburghshire, Scotland Gotoarrow.png Hawick

Hawick (#789)

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Hawick. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.



HAWICK, a burgh of barony and a parish, in the district of Hawick, county of Roxburgh, 10 miles (W. S. W.) from Jedburgh, and 50 (S. S. E.) from Edinburgh. This place, of which the name simply denotes "a village or town in the bend of a river," is of remote antiquity, and is generally supposed to have been originally of Saxon foundation. The present Town is pleasantly seated on the south-east bank of the Teviot, and is divided into two parts by the river Slitrig, which flows through it into the former stream. The old parish church, erected in 1764, on rising ground in the centre of the town, is a very plain structure containing 704 sittings, a number totally inadequate to the population. An elegant new church has been erected. The members of the Free Church have also a place of worship; and there are places of worship for the United Associate Synod, Relief, Independent body, Roman Catholics, and Society of Friends.[1]

The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/.  Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for Hawick. Also available at the Family History Library

Census Records

A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about Scotland Census Records.

Click here for a list of the Family History Library microfilm numbers for the census records of Hawick. 

Below is information for any known surname indexes:


Years Surname Index         
1841 941.47/B3 X2m 1841
1851 941.47/B3 X2m 1851
1861 941.47/B3 X2m 1861
1881 6086664 ( 3 fiche)

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.  To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access indexes through the library.

Church Records

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about Scotland Church Records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.



Established Church—Old Parochial Registers

Years Covered Family History Library Film Number
Births: 1634-1726 - indexed 1067934 item 5
1723-1854 - indexed 1067935
1836-1851 - neglected Births 1067936 item 1
Marriages: 1699-1815 - indexed 1067935
1821-1854 - indexed 1067936 item 1
Deaths: 1758-1820 1067935
1819-1841 1067936 item 1
Condition of Original Registers

Indexed: For an index to these records, see Scotland’s People website, a pay-for-view website. The Scottish Church Records Index is also still available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Some records may also be indexed in other FamilySearch collections for Scotland.
Births: There are no entries June 1657–August 1669. There is a double record November 1699–November 1719.also a duplicate January 1723–June 1726. There are no entries August 1747–June 1756, and irregular entries are frequent after 1770.
Marriages: There are no entries August 1730–August 1751 and except eleven transcribed entries of proclamation fees 1806–1815, November 1800–1821, from which date until 1826 proclamations are recorded. There are no entries 1826–1834.
Deaths: Records are Mortcloth Dues until 1775, after which deaths are recorded.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The session was made up of the minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Minutes 1700–1704, 1711–1725, 1751–1752, 1756, 1768, 1786–1788, 1790, 1798, 1807, 1815, 1821–1826, 1833–1960
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/1122.

Nonconformist Church Records

A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union Lists.

Hawick Free Church'

John Aikman Wallace, minister of Hawick, and the bulk of his congregation, "came out" at the Disruption. Church and manse were completed in 1844. With the growth of the population came the necessity for church extension, and in 1866, 127 members were disjoined to form St. Andrew's Free Church congregation. A mission was also undertaken, which developed into West Port Territorial Church.
Membership: 1848, 700; 1900, 647.
Source: Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843–1900, ed. Rev. William Ewing, D.D., 2 vols. pub. 1914. Film #918572. More details may be given in the source.

Baptismal Register 1842–1882
Marriage Register 1843–1872
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH3/1151.

Hawick West Associate Presbyterian Church

Several persons resident in and about Hawick acceded to the Associate Presbytery in 1741 and were included in the congregation of Midholm. Hawick and Midholm are nine miles apart and it was very inconvenient for the people in one place to attend public worship regularly at the other. In order to accommodate the members in Hawick, the minister of the Midholm congregation preached every third Sabbath of the month at Hitleburn, a farm near Hawick. This arrangement continued until 1763 when the members of Midholm, at their own request, were disjoined and formed a separate congregation. The first church was built in 1766; the second built 1823. A new church was built in 1872 in Orrock Place and opened in 1874.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source.

Extent of records is unknown.

Hawick East Bank Associate Burger Presbyterian Church

This congregation originated with members of the First congregation of Selkirk, who, on account of the inconvenience of traveling regularly there, applied to the Associate Burgher Presbytery of Kelso to be disjoined and formed into a separate congregation, which was formally done in 1773. Church built 1780.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source.

Extent of records is unknown.

Allars Relief Presbyterian Church

This congregation originated in a deficiency of accommodation in the parish church, that church, until the time of the Disruption, being both small and uncomfortable. The persons who withdrew from it on this account were taken, upon application, under the inspection of the Relief Presbytery of Kelso, 1810. Church built 1811.
Source: Annals and Statistics of the United Presbyterian Church, by Rev. William MacKelvie, D.D., pub. 1873. Film #477618. More details may be given in the source.

Extent of records is unknown.

Hawick Evangelical Union

In 1798 James Haldane and John Aikman preached in Hawick to large congregations. From their joint labours sprang the first Congregational church in the Borders. In 1804 the congregation built the Tabernacle in the Kirk Wynd, and in November of the following year a church was formally constituted and Charles Gray, a student of Robert Haldane’s Academy in Edinburgh, was called to the pastorate. For a time the congregation prospered. Then Gray was converted to Baptist views along with the Haldanes themselves and the Church was a good as swamped in the immersion of its minister’. The reappearance of Congregationalism in Hawick in the 1823 was due to the evangelical zeal of James Douglas of Cavers. In 1824, Francis Dick, a native of Monifieth, came to the district on his first preaching tour of the south of Scotland. He preached in Hawick and in other areas and continued to do so for nineteen years. As a result of his labors a Congregational church of fifteen members was formed in 1836, with William Munro as pastor the following year. This church seems to have ceased about 1878. Another Congregational church was formed in the town in April 1842 but ceased about 1845. The present church in Hawick was formed in connection with the Evangelical Union in May 1848 by 45 members of William Munro’s church. Alexander, or Archibald, Duff became the first pastor in the following year. The congregation formally joined the Evangelical Union in 1859. The Evangelical Union and Congregational Union combined in 1896.
Source: A History of Scottish Congregationalism, by Harry Escott, pub. 1960; Family History Library British Book 941 K2es. Source contains more details and a list of ministers.

Extent of records is unknown. For more information write to:
The United Reformed Church, Scottish Synod Office
PO Box 189
240 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G1 2BX

Hawick Baptist Church

This congregation was originally formed as Congregational, as mentioned above, but joined the Baptist church when its minister, Charles Gray, was converted. In 1813 Gray left Hawick and the Tabernacle was abandoned and sold. Other members left over the years and a Mr. Thornburn was appointed leader of the few that remained and continued until his death in 1836. They were visited from time to time by the Evangelist of the Baptist Union, and their number gradually increased until August 1846 when the church was formed with 23 members. A church building was constructed in 1883 and a hall and vestries were added in 1891.
Source: History of the Baptists in Scotland, by Rev. George Yuille, pub. 1926; Family History Library British Book 941 K2hi Source contains a list of ministers

Extent of records is unknown. For more information write to:
The Baptist Union Office
Baptist Church House
14 Aytoun Road
Glasgow G41 5RT

Hawick Catholic Church

This congregation was formed in 1838 but the church wasn’t built and consecrated to Saint’s. Mary and David in 1843. It was served from Edinburgh earlier.

Baptisms 1847–1895
Marriages 1847–1895
Obituaries 1855–1887
Note: Available online for a fee, at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, record RH21/79.
See Edinburgh for earlier records.

Civil Registration Records

Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.

See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.

Probate Records

Hawick was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Peebles until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Jedburgh.  Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk.  You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library  catalog for the 'Place-names' of Roxburgh and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Peebles.
The library also has some post-1823 probate records for Roxburgh. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of Roxburgh and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'

Read more about Scotland Probate Records.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 527-539. Adapted. Date accessed: 27 March 2014.

Return to the Roxburghshire parish list.