Jospeh Spottiswoode was born 18 November 1803 in Maxton, Roxburghshire, the son of Robert Spotswood and Elizabeth Fretter or Frater.
His wife Agnes was born about 1797 in Kelso, Roxburghshire, the daughter of Adam Alexander(born about 1766). Family history says Agnes had a brother, name unknown, and sisters Isabella(born about 1816, Sprouston, Roxburghshire) and Mary.

Joseph and Agnes had the following known children:

     Robert Alexander Spottiswood, born 31 January 1831 in Maxton. Robert A. died in infancy.

     Agnes Spotteswoode was born 16 July 1836 in Melrose, Scotland. She was christened there on 10 August 1836.

     Robert Spottiswood was born 21 January 1838, at Whitlaw Toll, Roxburghshire and he was christened in March 1838 in Melrose, Roxburghshire. Robert married Mary Williamson(1840-1929) and they had the following children: Joseph(b1870), Euphemie(b1871), Agnes Alexander Spottiswoode(b1872), Mary(b1875, Alison(b1876), Isabella(b1879), per the 1881 census.

From the 1841 census we find Adam ALEXANDER, age 60, farmer in Gattonside. Also in the residence were Isabel Alexander, age 25, his daughter, Agnes Spotswood, age 5 and Robert Spotswood age 4, (Adam's grandchildren by his daughter Agnes) All were born in Roxburghshire.

From the 1851 census we find the family living at the Melrose/Gattonside Bridge crossing:
On census page 2, lines 9 and 10, household schedule 6, we find:

Joseph Spottiswoode is listed as age 46, born in Maxton. He is the heaad of household and his occupation is Toll Keeper.
His residence is listed as Melrose Bridge Tollhouse. A household member is his son Robert, age 13, a scholar, born at Whittlaw Toll, Roxburghshire..

It is intereting to note that in late 1837 people transporting goods were complaining about the exoritant rates being charged at the Whitlaw toll-bar by the Roxburghshire Road Trustees. A meeting was held at Galashiels, officiated by John Sanderson, timber merchant and they made the following resolution:

"The inhabitants of Galashiels and neighbourhood have resolved that uintil a satisfaxctory modification of the rates at Whitlaw toll-bar takes place, to send all their carts round by Clovenfords and Crosslee, and to purchase no coal from any person or persons whatever not carted as aforesaid. And they further bind themselves not to employ any carrier but those that conform to the above resolution. This to take effect in the space of eight days from this date, when due notice will be given to all concerned.
On the part of the inhabitants a committee has been appointed to negotiate with the toll-keeper for an enumeration of differences in order that a regular and satisfactory adjustment may be made, util the Trustees in their wisdom reverse the grievance complained of."

Shortly there after the rate charge was reduced to a more reasonable amount.. Whitlaw appears to be located along the Blackadder Water, about halfway between Greenlaw and Berwick Upon Tweed.

On census page 29, lines 4 and 5, household schedule 107, we find the rest of the family

Agnes Spottiswood, age 47, wife, born in Kelso, Roxburghshire. She is a Toll-keeper
Her residence is listed as Melrose Bridge Side Toll-gate..
Her daughter Agnes is 14, born in Melrose, a scholar.

We have no idea why half the family is on page 2 and the other half on page 29. Was there a residence on both sides of the bridge?

On 21 April 1856 Agnes SPOTTISWOODE married Alexander Home HOPKIRK in Melrose, Scotland. They immediately began to build a family

From the 1861 census we find Joseph Spottswood, age 56, born in Maxton, Roxburghshire and residing in Gattonside, a farner of 84 acres. His wife is Agness, age 58,born in Kelso. Also, son Robert, age 23, a farmer and Thomas Dickson, age 24,

By 1871 Agnes(born 1836) has passed away, and her brother Robert has now married Mary Tait WILLIAMSON of Tranent, East Lothian. From the 1871 census Robert is age 33, born in Melrose and he is a farmer of 145 Acres with 125 Arable , employing 1 man and 1 woman. Mary is age 31, and son Joseph is 1 year old. Also, 19 year old Andrew Hall lives with them as a farmer servant.
Mary Williamson was born on 6 June 1839, and baptised on 30 June 1839, in Tranent, East Lothian, Scotland to James Williamson and Euphemia Tait, which is why she named her first daughter Euphemia Tait Spottiswoode.

Also from the 1871 census we find Joseph Spottiswood, age 66, born in Maxton, living in Gattonside, a farmer with 90 arable acres. His wife, Agnes, born in Kelso, and two farm servants, John Brown age 21 and William Hunter age 15.
The name "John Brown" in this census record is very interesting.. If you proceed to Agnes Spottiswoode Hopkirk's page you will notice in 1867 she and Alexander had a son named John Brown Hopkirk. Why the middle name Brown? Could this be the connection? Could this John Brown's father also been named John Brown? Could he have been a relative or close friend of the family who recently passed away?

From the 1881 census we find Joseph Spottiswoode now age 77, born in Maxton, a farmer of 6 acres of arable land, living in Gattonside. Also in the residnce is his wife, now 83, born in Kelso and Isabella Alexander, age 76, a servant, born in Sprouston. Isabella is really Anges' sister.

Also in 1881 we find son Robert and his family living at Allerly Mains Farm, in the Melrose district. Robert is 43, born in Melrose

Robert Spottiswoode Family
If you look closely at the bottom of the photo, you can see where Joe Hopkirk wrote in the names of all his relatives in this photo. "Uncle" of course is Robert Spottiswoode and "Aunt" is Mary Williamson Spottiswoode.
Standing in the back row, left to right: Euphemie(Phemie, b.10 Aug 1871) Tait Spottiswoode, Isabella(Bella,b.26 August 1878) Spottiswoode, Robert James (Bob, b. 4 Feb 1882) Spottiswoode, Agnes (b. 12 Dec 1872) Alexander Spottiswoode,
Joseph (Joe, b. 27 Nov 1869) Spottiswoode, and Alison(Alice, b. 17 Feb 1876) Spottiswoode
Seated left to right: Robert (b. 21 Jan 1838) Spottiswoode, Betsy(Bessie, b. 12 April 1884) Williamson Spottiswoode, Mary (b. 7  Sept 1874) and  Mary  (b. @  1840) Williamson.

It was Agnes Alexander Spottiswoode, standing in the very center of the photo who sent this photo to her first cousin Joe (b. 31 Jan 1858) Hopkirk.
Click on the following links to see the 2 page letter written by cousin Joe to Agnes in 1910.. Page 1     Page 2

This page was last updated on April 27, 2015.