SCOTTISH BORDER HOY BRIEF HISTORY & LINKS         return to index page

The earliest reference we have been able to locate in legal documents to the Scottish Border Hoy Family is of a sasine from Erlistoun (Earlston) in the Sheriffdom of Berwick. It concerns an instrument following on a mandate from the king to Henry Hately of Mellerstain as attorney for Archibald Earl of Angus. It refers to Lands at Coldenknowes and was given on the lands 12 August 1483.  Thomas Hoy, William Purves senior and William Purves his son and Archibald Leirmonth are named as witnesses. Historical Manuscript (MSS) Commission  WDA25M2AT pp117-8 MSS of the Earl of Home.

Another early reference is the Instrument of Sasine recording the giving of real actual and corporal possession with the feuing of Drygrange from the Monastery of Melrose by James Sinclair of Stevinstoun, bailiff in hac parte for the abbot and convent to the said William Linlithgw for himself and to William Hoye on behalf of the said John Linlithgw by delivery of earth and stones duly made at the mansion or dwelling place of the lands of Drigrange about noon on 21 January 1539, 13th indication, 6th year of Pope Paul III, witnesses being Sir James Halywell chaplain, Henry Symsoun sergeant of the laird of Melross, David Roper and Thomas Wallace. The notary officiating was Patrick Crawford, priest and notary of the Glasgow diocese. Melrose Regality Records, maintenance of monks, AC8256.a. Vol13 p192.

The HOY family name also appears as a witness to a sasine transfer in the Scottish Borders as John Hoy (Hoye or How) of Cumlyhill in the case of the venerable priests Robert Liddaill and Thomas Mersair , lord and Dean of Melross, and Sir Andrew Dure, Abbot of Melross  by John and Ninian Brydin, Notaries Public, on 23 October 1534.  This is in a publication of the Stair Society, Edinburgh and the Walter Mason Trust (Selkirk 1993).

The links from these references to the present generation of Scottish Border Hoy Family have been researched by Dr Charles Hoy in the Scottish Borders and Mr William Boyles of the USA.  From the Melrose Record of Baptisms we have identified the birth on 20 April 1746 to a John Hoy and Esther Martine in Melrose of a son named John Hoy. The witnesses were a John Hoy and George Martine. The evidence being followed up at this time is whether indeed John Hoy was the son of William Hoy of Hume Mill near Kelso born 1718.  We suspect he was, but this is still the subject of investigation.

Other relations of this Border Hoy Family include; Carolyn Williams (nee Hoy) in New Zealand, and Debra Hoy in the USA who are working of the links to the present day carriers of the SCOTTISH BORDER HOY names.

Dr Charles Hoy , the author of this article died in October 2021.

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