31 October 2000 alan.hewat@gmail.com

Welcome to our Hewat family home pages

This is the story of the Hewat family throughout the world - from the Scottish borders to America, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Africa, New Zealand and more. All Hewats appear to originate from just two families only 30 miles apart in the Scottish borders - Roxburgh and Cockburnspath.

So what's new ? A visit to Rivara (40km north of Turin) the birthplace of one of my g.grandfathers Pietro Bertino, and some photos of Bertino tombs. Rosemary Thorburn (Dunfermline) with the help of the late John Tamlyn Hewat (Katkikati), W Hewat McLeod (Dunedin) and Victoria Dunlop (Melbourne), has sent me a large GEDCOM file of New Zealand Hewats and their ancestors from William (1649). I have made a Giant chart of NZ Hewats from it. And don't miss the report on my visit to Roxburgh, with lots of pictures of old Hewat gravestones, houses etc and transcripts of old Parochial records of births and marriages. And see Victoria Dunlop's Scattered Harvest pages. Reload to make sure you have the latest version of the Hewat WWW pages.

Old stories have it that Hewats descended from two Huguenot brothers who left Normandy after the first religious wars in the early 16th century. Spelling was less important then, but the present form was established at the end of the 16th century by Peter Hewat (who was himself exiled in 1619 - the year of the Mayflower - for opposing the church policy of James I). The name is probably just the diminutive of "Hew"; it usually exists in France as "Huet", and Hewat family arms contain owls ("chouettes" in French). One motto, "post tenebras lux" (the biblical "after darkness, light") shows a sense of owlish humour among early Hewats. And if you want a Hewat lucky number, it would have to be "huit" (8 in French).

Stretching imagination a little further Hewat is pronounced not unlike the old Saxon/Danish word Hwaet which is a greeting and the opening exclamation from the poetic saga Beowulf where it might be loosely translated as Await! In another context it appears as the grain Wheat.

When record replaces legend, GGGGGG grandfather James Hewat (1670s) was taking over other people's land in Roxburgh in 1727 (for which he was expelled as an elder of his kirk !). His son Richard (1707) re-established himself (as a church elder) and Richard's sons Alexander (1739) and Andrew (1750) set out for the new world. But they were expelled for being on the wrong side of the American revolution - Dr Alexander had refused to renounce his allegiance to the crown, and Captain Andrew had raised a company to fight for the King ! With his return to the Scottish borders, Andrew's grandsons Thomas and William established the Dublin commercial family, while other grandsons made a fresh start in Australia with John (1836) and in Africa with Andrew (1839). Other descendants of Richard have 'conquered' England, Canada, and later even America again. The most interesting sources of records are the UK Public Record Office in Kew (London) and the General Register Office for Scotland in Edinburgh.

These WWW pages are just for our personal interest. Those who want answers to serious questions should ask Hewat historians, cousins Victoria Dunlop, Dianne Kelly and Jo Hewat Olmstead, who provided most of the information here. Of course we would be delighted to have more, especially copies of photographs and documents, or just an email message to say hello. And don't miss the list of mainly early Hewat books, including those of historian, preacher and poet Alexander, accountant Archibald, painter Sybil et al.

Jo Hewat Olmstead has sent me her latest GEDCOM file(77K), prepared with the help of husband Ron. I have produced a giant chart(101K) from it. Yet it contains only an outline of some of the present-day Hewat families. And look at the personal WWW page of Ardonna Hewat in Canada, who has also emailed me.

Here are some pictures of my own Hewat family, as well as Tracy Howlett's photos of Huffer ancestors (my mother's family), and a giant chart of Australian Hewats prepared from Victoria Dunlop's latest gedcom file. Unfortunately, the Australian Hewat tree is so big that some WWW browser's won't display it, but you can download it by holding down your mouse button here (RIGHT hand mouse button on a PC) and opening the file (242 Kbytes) with some other graphic application. Yet Victoria warns me that this is only a preliminary version that she is still working on; much information came from Nellie and Kathy Hewat, but more would be welcome.

To more easily understand how we are related look at these small pictures (prepared from Jo's latest GEDCOM file - if there are errors complain to her not me :-) Alan-Victoria, Alan-Dianne, Alan-Rob, Alan-Patricia, Alan-Jo, Alan-Henry, Alan-Ardonna. (Others on request :-)

Please don't take all this too seriously; there are no doubt errors. A couple of quotes I find appropriate:

"After all those generations, how do you know there isn't a cuckoo in there somewhere ?" (Sceptical wife)

"Dad, what's 2 to the power of 8 ? That makes about 0.4% of me !" (Patronising son)

Giant chart of some descendants of James Hewat (1679-1745) (37Kbytes)

To print the giant chart, retrieve this postscript file and send it to your printer.

Giant chart of Victoria Dunlop's Australian Hewats (242 Kbytes)

Giant chart of Canadian Hewats (7Kbytes)

Giant chart of American Hewats (55Kbytes)

Giant chart of Jo's latest GEDCOM data (101Kbytes)

Again, retrieve this postscript file of the American Hewats and send it to your printer (eg using dropPS on a Mac).

Finally, here are various references to the name "Hewat" I found during a few days I spent in the Scottish Records office way back in 1980. (Actually I had more, including stories about Peter Hewat winning a property court case for a relation in the 16th century, his internal exile for agitating for Church freedom etc., but have temporarily mislaid them !)

The Hewat family (with some duplicates from Jo's GEDCOM which I haven't pruned, and as yet without Harry's American Hewats) SURNAMES.

Jo Hewat Olmstead's first GEDCOM file. (24K)

Jo Hewat Olmstead's latest GEDCOM file. (77K)

The Hewat Root GEDCOM file. (22K)

Alan Hewat's Australian GEDCOM file. (22K)

Bob/Patricia Hewat's Canadian GEDCOM file. (22K)

Harry Hewat's American GEDCOM file. (33K)

Note: Would Guy Arrowsmith please send me with his return email address (missing from his earlier message)

I think that no one person should be responsible for maintaining all the data (too difficult). It would be best if we divided the tree into a 'root' (say up to and including Richard Hewat's (1707) children), and branches for each of the Scottish, Australian, Canadian etc families. Seperate GEDCOM files for the root and these branches would be maintained by Jo, Alan, Patricia/Bob etc. Then it would be easy to join them together. Otherwise, it is too messy to merge files and eliminate duplicates.

Suitable PC applications for this are Kith and Kin or Family Tree. For Macintosh, try Gene 4.3 or Heritage. You can download the above GEDCOM files and import them into these applications.

Alan William Hewat (alan.hewat@gmail.com)