The Hiddleston Families of Dumfries
Welcome to my website a work in progress which will explore the various Hiddleston families that can be traced back to a few villages in Dumfriesshire, South West Scotland.I first started this research before records became available on the internet which meant trudging graveyards, searching paper records and interviewing as many Hiddlestons as possible. Inevitably, more information has been acquired now that so much is readily available on the web. So please enjoy the fruits of my labour!
The publication Surnames of Scotland cites the name Hiddleston as of local origin from the Parish of Westerkirk, Dumfriesshire. However, this appears somewhat unlikely, as this parish is situated much further to the East than any recordings of the name. The confusion probably arises because there is a Templand in Westerkirk and also near Keir Mill where the early records begin. What is certain, however, is that the name does originate from S W Scotland. Wherever they are in the world now, any Hiddleston's roots can be traced back to a few villages in Dumfriesshire.
This work also suggests that the name was borrowed from the West Riding of Yorkshire, where there is a Huddleston Hall, but as the Huddleston family were centred much nearer Scotland - at Millom Castle, County Cumberland - this is a more likely link.
Records show that Richard de Hodlesdon and John de Hodeleston lived in what is now known as Cumbria in the 1100s, and it is known that King Edward recruited his armies there when he moved north to fight Robert the Bruce.
Is it possible that the Hiddlestons who settled in Dumfries were Mercenaries from Cumbria who decided not to return South? A theory supported by the fact that DNA testing suggests a definite link to Huddlestons
Early recordings of the name Hiddleston (and variants) in Dumfriesshire are rather sparse, since in the main they were well behaved and gave little cause to be entered in official records as either landowners or villains.
However, from the early records it would seem that Keir and Dunscore are the Parishes in which the Hiddlestons were settled by the 1600s, and from which they slowly spread outwards and northwards up the Nith valley. In the nineteenth century, the effect of the Industrial Revolution and the building of the railway becomes evident, as Hiddlestons from Dumfriesshire appear in Glasgow, Liverpool and other urban areas.
Some emigration also took place to America in the early 1800s, when John Hiddleston, and Martha Philpott settled in Ohio and others went to Australia and Tasmania.
The main Parishes where the name appears are:
Annan, Closeburn, Dumfries, Dunscore, Durisdeer, Glencairn, Holywood, Kirkconnel, Kirkmahoe, Morton, Penpont, Sanquhar and Tinwald.