Borthwake History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The forefathers of the Borthwake family were Viking settlers who came to Scotland in the Middle Ages. Many places were named by these Norsemen, and the Borthwake surname was taken on from one of these place names, when someone lived in the old barony of Borthwick, next to 'Borthwick Water' between Selkirk and Roxburghshire. "This place, anciently called Locherwart, assumed the appellation of Borthwick about the time of the Reformation, from the family of that name." 
Bearers of this surname have inhabited this area since at least the 14th century. Documents first mention 'Quondam' Thomas de Borthwick, who held lands in Middleton, Midlothian, and who had a charter from John of Gordon, Lord of that Ilk, for the lands near Lauder, between 1357 and 1367. 
Early Origins of the Borthwake family
The surname Borthwake was first found in Roxburghshire where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated at the Barony of Borthwick along the coastline of Borthwick water in the parish of Roberton in that shire. Thomas Borthwick was a tenant of Lord Gordon in the lands of Ligertmood in 1357. William Borthwick in 1378 acquired the lands of Cateune in Midlothian, and changed the name of the estates to Borthwick.
The family prospered through an uncertain era of raiding, feuding and warring in Southern Scotland. By 1400, the Border feuds had taken shape into a Code, which although to us at this time may seem like straight outlawry, was a strict set of rules governing the apparent indiscriminate burning of homes and theft of cattle, horses and even women.
Early History of the Borthwake family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Borthwake research. Another 258 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1424, 1450, 1423, 1430, 1513, 1650, 1600, 1986, 1905, 1411, 1458, 1483, 1503, 1485, 1542, 1566, 1582, 1570, 1599, 1623, 1616, 1675, 1690, 1666 and 1706 are included under the topic Early Borthwake History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Borthwake Spelling Variations
Sound and intuition were the main things that scribes in the Middle Ages relied on when spelling and translating names. Since those factors varied, so did the spelling of the names. Spelling variations of the name Borthwake include Borthwick, Borthwicke, Barthwick, Barthwicke, Borthock, Borthok and many more.
Early Notables of the Borthwake family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir William Borthwick, 1st Lord Borthwick (c.1411-c.1458), Scottish peer and ambassador; William Borthwick, 2nd Lord Borthwick (died 1483), Scottish ambassador to England; Sir William Borthwick, 3rd Lord Borthwick (d. 1503), Scottish nobleman, ambassador, and Master of the King's Household in 1485; William Borthwick, 4th Lord...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Borthwake Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Borthwake family
In North America, the monarchy was thousands of miles away and Scots were free to settle on their own land and practice their own beliefs. The American War of Independence provided an opportunity for these settlers to pay back the English monarchy and forge a new nation. Recently, this heritage has survived through North American highland games and Clan societies. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Borthwake or a variant listed above: James Borthwick who settled in Virginia in 1732; Robert Borthwick arrived in Philadelphia in 1822; John Borthurck arrived in Philadelphia in 1876.
Related Stories +
The Borthwake Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Qui conducit
Motto Translation: One who serves
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)