Resources for Borthwick Researchers





Borthwick Researchers

Books / Clan Badges / Coats of Arms / Diaries & Stories / Family Crests / Genealogies / Music / Tartans / Other Websites / Miscellaneous Resources

The following information on books, family trappings, genealogies and links to websites are posted to assist Borthwick researchers. I will try to keep them updated. If you find that a link doesn't work try searching using relevant keywords in a good search engine such as Google.


Books about Borthwicks

Alexander E Borthwick, Annals of the Family and House of Borthwick, ??? {I have not been able to find a copy of this book. If any reader has one, or knows where it might be accessed, I would love to hear from you.]

Rev Hugh Douglas Borthwick, Borthwick Castle, or Sketches of Scottish History.

The Borthwick Family, A History and Genealogy of the Family of Borthwick by Halsey M. Borthwick, Boulder, Co., 1903. This book was added to in 1942 and became History and Genealogy of the Family of Borthwick, Chiefly in Scotland and America. ISBN: 0832836451.

Godfrey Harrison, Borthwicks. A Century in the Meat Trade, London, 1963. The story of Thomas Borthwick and his family, including his son Thomas Banks Borthwick who became Lord Whitburgh.

The Borthwick family book ? ( What is this one and who wrote it? I've seen references to it in a few places but have not seen the book itself.)

Other sources

1) The Scots Peerage, edited by Sir Balfour Paul, C.V.O., LL.D, Lord Lyon King of Arms (well, back in 1900 he was !) Numerous pages about titled Borthwicks, far too many for me to copy. Check it out at your own main libraries.

2) The Dictionary of National Biography. Gives brief biographies of 4 or 5 Borthwicks, there's one at least from late 16th century. Check this out also at your main library.

3) Anglo-Norman Families in Scotland, 1057-1200. By James Coutts.

4) Clans and Families of Scotland. By Alexander Fulton. Includes tartan photo, motto, color coat of arms, and short history.

5) Clans and Tartans of Scotland. By Iain Zaczek. Tartan photo plus one-paragraph history.

6) Collins Pocket Reference Clans and Tartans. By George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire. Includes color photo of tartan, short clan history, crest, motto, and plant badge.

7) Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, By George Way and Romilly Squire. Includes the arms, crest, motto, supporters, standard, clansman´┐Żs badge, as well as a history of the family and a color illustration of the tartan.

8) Scottish Clan and Family Names. By Roddy Martine. Includes tartan photo, short family history, and color coat of arms.


There is no such thing as a 'family crest' or 'family coat of arms' which anyone or any whole family can use. There is no such thing as a 'Clan coat of arms' - the arms are personal, they are the arms of the chief alone. It is illegal to assume and purport to use your chief's coat of arms without a due and congruent recorded difference.

In order to obtain a coat of arms, a person has to petition for a Grant of Arms (which costs approx. one arm, one leg and a king's ransom !) The only privilege a clan member, or a member of an approved sept or follower of a clan is allowed is to wear a Crest Badge, designed to show the Crest of the Chief within a strap and buckle surround bearing the chief's motto. This is for personal wear only, to indicate that the wearer is a member (or an approved sept or follower) of the clan whose chief's crest-badge is being worn. The Badge is not depicted on personal or business stationery, signet rings or plates, etc, because that would import that the teapot or whatever was the chief's property !

Crests and arms, etc, are governed by law and many of the items for sale on the internet, despite the company guaranteeing their authenticity, have absolutely no status or asuthenticity at all.


The Borthwick Diaries: Events of the Cornwallville Community Culled from Sixty Years of Diaries of William S. Borthwick 1888-1947 Contributed by the Durham Center Museum and re-typed and sorted alphabetically by surname by Judy Davison.



Bruce Borthwick: I have a clan crest which is different from the one you have at the top of this letter. It shows a saracen head on a shield and the motto, "Qui conducit". I understand one of the early Borthwicks cut off the head in a crusade and carried it back on a pike!


There are many genealogies for the Lords Borthwick and their kin in the books referred to above. However, most Borthwick genealogists in the world today are unlikely to be able to trace their ancestry to one of these famous families. Instead, there are many well researched (and some not so well researched) Borthwick genealogies on the internet and these are well worth exploring for a possible connection to your family.

On other pages of my site you will find family trees for various Borthwick families. To locate these click on the "What's New?" button and scroll down to "Other Borthwick Families".

1. The Borthwick/Borthick Families of America

Rhonda Hester's site. Has a great deal of information about two particular families:

1. James Borthwick married to Margaret Byres with children: James, Griselda, George, John M., Jane, Alexander, and William
2. John Borthwick married to Mary Nelson with children: Jane, Joseph, Lucretia, Mary, Samuel, John Jr., William and James William.

The two families do not link together in America, however they both immigrated to New York. Rhonda is descended from John 2, husband of Mary Nelson, who is one of the zillion John's born in Scotland, or perhaps Ireland, between 1749 and 1751. He came to America about 1794 and was married to a Mary Nelson. The "w" was dropped early, and as far as Rhonda knows, each Borthick is definately related - a small family. She has not been able to find out who John Borthwick's father was (presumably his name was John). He did have some children in Ireland. In Rhonda's early research, she came across Halsey's books, and eventually entered all the information into her genealogy program and posted it on her web site.

2. Borthwick Mitchell Families

Val Hvidston's site has much information about the descendants of Robert Borthwick b: Abt. 1748 d: 15 October 1829 in Wamphray, Scotland who married Martha Halliday b: Abt. 1773 d: 1834. I suspect that this family is somehow connected to mine.

3 Thomas Borthwick and Jane/Jane Little

Thomas BORTHWICK ( 1759-17 Oct 1816), son of Alexander Borthwick (miller at Milntown, Dumfries) and Margaret Anderson, married Jane LITTLE (10 Feb 1772-29 Sep 1849) on 29 Mar 1798. Grant Dixon has some wonderful Borthwick family photographs and a descendant tree for Thomas and Jane Borthwick on his site.

4. Alexander Borthwick & Isobell Paisley

Brenda Sadler's terrific pages on her Borthwicks, who came to the NorthEast of England from Scotland abt 1849. They are descended from Alexander Borthwick born 1760 and Isobell Paisley who he married on 30 January 1747 at Langholm, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Brenda was one of the first email friends I made when beginning genealogy and very generously helped me with my tentative steps along the path to discovering my own Borthwicks.

5. Isabel Borthwick & James Drummond

George Graham is descended from another branch of the Borthwick/Paisley family, Isobel Borthwick, born on 26 November 1791, the daughter of Alexander Borthwick and Helen Nichol, at Langholm, Dumfries, Scotland.The descendants and ancestors of Isobell Borthwick (b. 1791) and her husband James Drummond, are well documented on George's site.


Wearing of tartan is a different issue, not covered by law, but by convention. If your name isn't one of those for whom a tartan exists, but you can make an association with a name, then you can wear the tartan for that name. If you can't identify with a particular name, then you could wear the tartan of the district to which you connect. The Lord Lyon says that, if you decide to wear the tartan of a clan of your choosing, then there would be no objection to your wearing of the badge of that same clan.


MARCHES IN 6/8 AND 2/4 TIME~The Borthwick of Borthwick




Borthwick Family Genealogy Forum:

Borthwick Family Trees on Family Tree Maker site:

Electric Scotland: Tartans and Crest

Borthwick History:

Scotland On Line. Has a page for Borthwick tartans

SurnameWeb - Borthwick Genealogy Resource Center ... it with other Borthwick's. Submit the Origin. Search SurnameWeb for another surname Input Surname: Browse our surnames: ... FREE Family Tree Software. FREE Family ... - 26k - Cached - Similar pages



Frequency of the Borthwick Surname Borthwick is the 26,786th most popular last name (surname) in the United States; frequency is 0.000%; percentile is 80.686 [SourceCBN]

Copyright 2001, Ann Carson. All rights reserved.
Page: Borthwicks in Glasgow
Created;1 April 2001
Updated: 12 April 2001

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