"HOBKIRK - anciently and properly HOPEKIRK - a parish in the district of Teviotdale, Roxburghshire. It extends in a stripe north-north-eastwards, from the watershed with Liddesdale to the centre of the county. It contains the post-office station of Bonchester-Bridge, 7 miles east-south-east of Hawick. It is bounded by Cavers, Bedrule, Southdean, Castleton, Teviothead, and Kirkton. The length is nearly 11 miles; and its breadth varies from less than 3 miles to about 1½. Rule water is formed by several head-streams in the southern part of the parish, and runs thence first some distance through the interior, and then along the boundary with Bedrule ... Population in 1831, 676; in 1868, 771."

From the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.



George Tancred's Rulewater and its People was first published in 1907 and reprinted in 1992 by the Borders Regional Library. This gives "the history of many parishes in Rulewater, Roxburghshire, and adjoining lands and families." It is listed in the LDS Family History Library catalogue in microfilm format, so is hopefully available worldwide in LDS family history centres.



Selkirkshire Antiquarian Society has published a CD containing transcripts and digital photographs of gravestones in the Hobkirk cemeteries old and new.



Graham and Emma Maxwell have transcribed and indexed the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census returns for this parish.



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Hobkirk, Church of Scotland

Church History

Rutherfurd's Southern Counties Register and Directory of 1866 lists the following non-conformist churches:

  • Wolfelee Free Church

There may have been other non-conformist churches at different times.

Rev. William Ewing's Annals of the Free Church of Scotland (published 1914 in Edinburgh) notes that Wolflee congregation "was formed by people who in the parishes of Hobkirk and Southdean 'came out' in 1843". Tancred's Rulewater and its People (see Bibliography section) has quite a bit about this Free Church (on pages 318-326), including a list of the congregation in 1849.


Church Records

The parish church (Church of Scotland) has registers dating from 1726. Old Parish Registers (before 1855) are held in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh, and copies on microfilm may be consulted in local libraries and in LDS Family History Centres around the world. Later parish registers (after 1855) are often held in the National Records of Scotland as are any records of non-conformist churches in the area (often unfilmed and unindexed, and only available there).

The parish registers available worldwide on microfilm include kirk session accounts for the years 1726-1733 and 1754-1776 (in part 790/1 of the microfilm). More information on kirk sessions and their records can be found in the Church Records section of the Roxburghshire page.


Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. For further details of this see the National Records of Scotland website.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Hobkirk which are provided by:





The National Records of Scotland holds the following as part of its collection of maps and plans:

  • 1919: Abbotrule Estate. Scale 1:7500. Size 58x74cm. Grid (map) reference NT6012. NRS reference RHP.4412/2 + RHP.4412/1 (printed booklet describing land for sale)
  • 1923: Wolfelee Estate. Scale 1:10,560. Size 67x55cm. Grid (map) reference NT0958. NRS reference RHP.4406/2 + RHP.4406/1 (printed booklet describing land for sale)

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT572097 (Lat/Lon: 55.379541, -2.676765), Hobkirk which are provided by:



Here are some figures showing the parish's population through time:

  • 1755 - 530
  • 1801 - 760
  • 1811 - 709
  • 1821 - 652
  • 1831 - 676
  • 1861 - 771