Publication Update

We have now issued our April 2024 Publication List which includes the 1841 Census and the Order Form.

The Publication List is available on the Downloads page of the RESOURCES menu. If you are ordering by Mail Order please ensure you are using this latest Publication List and Order Form.

However, our Online Shop is available for the purchase of over 400 PDFs and Printed versions of our publications and Newsletters, which you can pay for them using PayPal or Credit/Debit Card.

Zoom Talks

We have updated our 2024 schedule and the full list is available at

You do need to re-register for our 2024 talks so please send an email to with your details including Location and Membership Number. You will be added to our “repeat” listing unless you say otherwise. If you do not have your membership number then please email either the UK Membership Secretary at or the Overseas Membership Secretary at who will be able to provide it to you.

Can you help?

We have the following opportunities available please contact if interested.


After a number of years of dedicated service to the Society our treasurer has moved away from the area. The Society requires a member to volunteer to take over this role. The outgoing treasurer is willing to brief any member interested in filling this position.


We urgently require volunteers. Due to the retiral of two of our volunteers we are appealing for some new people to come forward. If you are interested in Family History and have a few hours to spare, have you thought of becoming a volunteer in the Research Centre? You will be made most welcome. Training will be given.

Hawick Reivers Festival


From the 13th to the early 17th century the border between England and Scotland was a lawless and turbulent area. Ravaged by frequent wars and invasions, the inhabitants had to adapt their way of life to survive. Without the protection of either the Scots or English crown, their allegiance was first and foremost to their family or “surname”. Their livelihood was the raiding or “reiving” of livestock from their neighbours, both across the border and within their own country.


Prominent Reivers’ Surnames

Archibold Armstrong Beattie Bell Burns
Carleton Carlisle Carnaby Carrs Carruthers
Charlton Collingwood Crisp Crozier Cuthbert
Dacre Davison Dixon Dodd Douglas
Dunne Elliot Fenwick Forster Graham
Gray Hall Hedley Henderson Heron
Hetherington Hume Irvine/Irving Johnstone Kerr
Laidlaw Little Lowther Maxwell Milburn
Musgrove Nixon Noble Ogle Oliver
Potts Pringle Radcliffe Reade Ridley
Robson Routledge Rutherford Salkeld Scott
Selby Shaftoe Storey Simpson Tait
Taylor Trotter Turnbull Wake Watson
Wilson Woodrington Young


In an attempt to establish peace, codes of Border Laws were established and Wardens appointed to settle disputes in the six marches, or territories, three each side of the border. But often, the Wardens were themselves amongst the most notorious of reivers.

Even today, we have echoes of this way of life in our language, for example:  bereaved – to have suffered a visit from the reivers, blackmail – originally protection money, paid to the reivers to avoid a visit.

400 years later, the area is peaceful, but such a history should not be forgotten. The annual Hawick Reivers Festival commemorates this rich story, culture and tradition. While not seeking to glamorise what was undoubtedly a bloody and violent period in our history we aim to give visitors a taste of what life was like for ordinary folks in 16th century Hawick. The reivers were a hardy, independent, resourceful and resilient people – characteristics still evident in the modern day Borderer!

The festival has been held annually since 2003. It comprises a full weekend of activities, both in and outdoors, including re-enactments, concerts, lectures, drama, 16th century market an encampment and a torchlight procession and fireworks display.

We take pride in our key aims to “Explore, Explain, Experience”. With attractions to suit all ages, the events give the audience a unique opportunity to gain an understanding of life in this difficult and challenging period of our history.

The 2023 Festival will take place on 24th to 26th March and we look forward to welcoming family and local historians to this fascinating part of the world.

Find out more at:


Written by Wendy Tait Mayfield

Images thanks to Phoenix Photography Scotland