19 September1999 hewat@ill.fr

Relations between Early Hewats in Roxburgh

The parish records are themselves very difficult to read, especially the older ones, and deaths are not indexed. But I did find the entry for Andrew Hewat, son to Richard Hewat tenant in Ettrick Braes and his wife Barbara Hog, baptized Sept 15th 1750, and the marriage records of December 1703 for James Hewat Roxbo. and Bessie Penman Kelso (although both are almost impossible to read from these scanned photocopies). This was the first mention I had seen of Richard's final location at Ettrick Braes in Makerstoun.

From the chart of the early Hewat families we can try to guess the identities of the 2 James Hewats mentioned in the 1727 Heuitt Bussiness. The James who married Bessie Broun in 1696 had his last child in 1710, and was probably still alive and in his 50's in 1727. He might then have been the 'other James' mentioned in the Heuitt Business (he had more than one son com'd to manhood in 1727, so could not have been the James of the affair).

James (1686) son of Roland (if alive) would have been in his prime in 1727, and might well have been the James of the Heuitt Bussiness, and also the tenant of Barns buried in the churchyard, who died in 1745 aged 59 (?). He would have been rather young (17) to be the James who married Bessie Penman, but that marriage was first declared in Kelso on 1 Dec 1703, and only 2 weeks later declared in Roxburgh - perhaps he eloped, just as gg.grandfather John 'eloped' to Australia at the same age. He was certainly old enough (21) to be Richard's (1707) father, and of course James of Barns was an unusual man in other ways, having apparently married at least three times.

It may also be asked if the move of Richard from Roxburgh to Makerston in 1747/48 (according to the baptismal records of his children) had something to do with the death of James of Barns in 1745, as it might if James had been his father. Richard must have been relatively prosperous, even at an early age, to have married a Hog whose brother became Minister of Roxburgh, and to have given a Kelso and Edinburgh education to his son Alexander. Being the son of James of Barns would have helped.

Of course all of this is inconculsive, and assumes that another James Hewat was an elder of the Church in the early 1700's (perhaps the James who married Nans Pursone in 1668?), and that yet another James took communion in Roxburgh after 1745 (there's no problem to find other candidates, with Jameses born in 1691, 1706 and 1719 !). Certainly Hewats thrived in Roxburgh well before 'our' James; in 1690 an Andrew Hewat had 2 hearths, clearly more prosperous than most, and he or one of his sons may well have qualified to be an elder.

I hope to classify the early Hog family and construct a chart as I did for the Hewats, but there are many more of them, and it must all be typed by hand, being of too poor quality for automatic scanning. The Roxburgh Estate has remained all this time in the family of the present Duke (Ker of Cessford), and many old records are kept in Floors Castle in Kelso (some listed in the Selkirk center). Victoria has already attempted to search them, but it must be a formidable task without detailed indices.

What happened to the other sons of Richard ? I found that the last, Henry (1753) died in 1845 at Sorrowlessfield Mains, in Melrose. Much else remains to be done*. An index of the Hewat deaths around the turn of the 17th century would eliminate some that died early, but I understand that the death records only start in 1783 (and are not indexed !). Similarly, a chart of Hewats taking communion, or otherwise mentioned in Roxburgh parochial records, would provide an (incomplete) census of that period. A search for Hewats in neighbouring parishes, such as Cockburnspath, may reveal the origins of some Roxburgh Hewats, such as the first Rolland (Victoria says he was a merchant, and so he may have travelled further); this may finally link these seperate Hewat families.

We should also search the records of the Makerstoun church, which apparently were all taken back to Edinburgh by one of the ministers; the Church of Scotland, 121 George St., must still have them. The Mertoun Estate changed hands early this century, and the estate office has no earlier records, but directed me to the trustee for the previous owner, Lord Polwarth. (J. Hamilton Buchanan, 8 York Place, Edinburgh), and the solicitors who handled the transaction (Messrs J.C. Brodie & Sons, 5 Thistle St., Edinburgh).

*The Selkirk center recommended Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors (revised edition) ISBN-0-11-495865-3 from the Stationary Office, Scottish Record Office.
The Secretary, National Register of Archives (Scotland), P.O. Box 36, H.M. General Register House, Edinburgh EH1 3YY.

Alan William Hewat (hewat@ill.fr)