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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Borthwick family come from? What is the Scottish Borthwick family crest and coat of arms? When did the Borthwick family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Borthwick family history?

The roots of the Borthwick surname reach back to the language of the Viking settlers who populated the rugged shores of Scotland in the Medieval era. The Borthwick surname comes from someone having lived in the old barony of Borthwick, next to 'Borthwick Water' between Selkirk and Roxburghshire. 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.

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Few standards of spelling and translation existed in the Middle Ages. spelling variations, are thus, an extremely common occurrence in records of ancient Scottish names. Over the years, Borthwick has been spelled Borthwick, Borthwicke, Barthwick, Barthwicke, Borthock, Borthok and many more.

First found in Roxburghshire where this 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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Borthwick research. Another 643 words(46 lines of text) covering the years 1357, 1378, 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 Borthwick History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 193 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Borthwick Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Land and opportunity greeted all those who made it across the Atlantic. These settlers and their children went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. Clan societies and other Scottish organizations have preserved much of this heritage for the ancestors of those brave Scots. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Borthwick to North America:

Borthwick Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • James Borthwick who settled in Virginia in 1732
  • George Borthwick, who landed in New York in 1773

Borthwick Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John Borthwick, aged 61, arrived in New York in 1812
  • John, Borthwick Jr., aged 23, landed in New York in 1812
  • William Borthwick, aged 21, landed in New York in 1812
  • Robert Borthwick arrived in Philadelphia in 1822
  • John David Borthwick, who arrived in California in 1854

Borthwick Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Borthwick, a printer, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Adam Borthwick arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" in 1839
  • Isabella Borthwick arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" in 1839
  • Helen Borthwick arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" in 1839
  • Thomas Borthwick arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" in 1839


Borthwick Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Colin Borthwick, aged 38, a carpenter, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Resolute" in 1865
  • Susan Borthwick, aged 30, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Resolute" in 1865
  • Charles Borthwick, aged 11, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Resolute" in 1865
  • Thomas Borthwick, aged 9, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Resolute" in 1865
  • Margaret Borthwick, aged 6, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Resolute" in 1865


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  • John Henry Stuart Borthwick (1905-1996), Scottish nobleman, 23rd Lord Borthwick, Justice of the Peace
  • John Hugh Borthwick (b. 1940), Scottish nobleman, 24th Lord Borthwick, Deputy Lieutenant (D.L.) of Midlothian in 2001
  • Henry Borthwick (b. 1772), 14th Lord Borthwick, Scottish peer
  • Patrick Borthwick (b. 1772), 15th Lord Borthwick, Scottish peer
  • Archibald Borthwick (1732-1815), 16th Lord Borthwick, Scottish peer
  • Patrick Borthwick (1779-1840), 17th Lord Borthwick, Scottish peer
  • Archibald Borthwick (1811-1863), 18th Lord Borthwick, Scottish peer
  • Cunninghame Borthwick (1813-1885), 19th Lord Borthwick, Scottish peer
  • Archibald Patrick Thomas Borthwick (1867-1910), 20th Lord Borthwick, Scottish peer
  • William Henry Borthwick (1832-1928), 21st Lord Borthwick, Scottish peer

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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

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Borthwick Clan Badge
Borthwick Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...

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Septs of the Distinguished Name Borthwick
Barthwick, Barthwicke, Borthock, Borthok, Borthurck, Borthwick, Borthwicke and more.

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  1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  6. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  7. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  11. ...

The Borthwick Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Borthwick Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 30 November 2014 at 09:44.

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