Why did your Ancestors settle in Hawick

Old Hawick

Old Parish Records

OPR's began in Hawick in 1634. Hawick is Parish no 789 in the County of Roxburgh.

The Name

Hawick's name is said to come from the Anglo Saxon 'haga wic' which means the settlement, or wick, surrounded by the hawthorn hedge.

The Early Years

In 1537, Hawick's lord, Sir James Douglas, Baron Drumlanrig, gave a charter to the little town which allowed it to hold markets, and this encouraged growth. The limits of the town until the 18th Century were marked by the four 'Ports' or gates, and these are still marked by plaques which give a measure of the small size of the settlement.

The 1700 and 1800s

The beginnings of the hosiery or knitwear industry in 1771 led to rapid growth, with Pringle being founded in 1815. The railway line reached Hawick from Edinburgh in 1849 (and from Carlisle in 1862), more and more factories were built, and by 1891 there were 19500 inhabitants. In 1752, however, the manufacture of carpets was commenced, and from that time the town dates the commencement of its prosperity and extension. This was followed in 1771 by the introduction of the stocking manufacture, commenced by Bailie John Hardie, and afterwards more extensively carried on by Mr John Mixon. The inkle manufacture was introduced in 1783; and the manufacture of cloth in 1787. At first the woollen yarn used was spun by the hand; but about 1787 machinery was introduced.

If you would to know where your ancestors came from and what they did there then we offer three packages to suit all needs and budgets.

Back to Scottish Towns.