TWEEDSMUIR PARISH HISTORY.

Tweedies of Oliver.

The first recorded Tweedie of Oliver was William Tweedie of Oliver who was alive in 1489.  He was descended from the Tweedies of Drumelzier and was a younger son of James Tweedie of Drumelzier and Catherine of Caverhill.(1)

(There are several Tweedie family lines descended from the Tweedies of Drumelzier(2).   One important line is that descended from the marriage in 1525 between James Tweedie of Drumelzier and Catherine Fraser the Heiress of the Frasers of Fruid, more about this on page Frasers of Fruid.) 

The first few generations of the Tweedies of Oliver were known as the Tweedies of Oliver Castle.  Although they lived there they did not own the castle as the superiority was held by the Knights of St John the successors to the lands held by the Templars.  (A probable reference to the Knights of St John is depicted on the heraldry of the Tweedie family of Essex - see page on the Frasers of Fruid).    However by 1649 The Tweedies must have obtained some of the lands as Patrick Tweedie built a house on his own lands of Oliver, and after that the family were designated as "of Oliver".  In a deed of 1657 the lands are described as " the 50s. Temple land on the west side of Oliver Castle" (1).  One presumes that by 1649 Oliver Castle which had been built by the Frasers of Oliver in the twelfth century had became uninhabitable. Hence the requirement for a new dwelling and the castle site then became a ruin of which nothing now sadly remains.  However the house of 1649 built to the west of the castle was replaced in 1734 by a smaller house built to the south east of the former.  This is the current Oliver House though it itself has been significantly modified.   The construction of the house of 1649 by the Tweedies would certainly have used much  material from the ruins of Oliver Castle (2).   The fact that there is now no evidence of a medieval castle at the site is undoubtedly partly the result of Tweedie activity in 1649.   The Tweedies continued this policy, when the current Bield Inn was constructed in 1726, by using material from a tower on the site.(1) 

John Tweedie the son of the above Patrick married in 1652 Elizabeth Laidlaw.   According to the marriage record Elizabeth was in Easter Oliver (2).  Where and what was Easter Oliver?  It was possibly an early name for the Halfway House that was situated on the main road between Oliver and Crookhaugh.

The construction of a new house on their own lands must have raised the local profile of the family as Patrick and Walter Tweedie were ordained as Elders in the Parish in 1648. (1).   The year of 1648 was when the first Tweedsmuir Parish Kirk opened although construction had started in 1644 when a minister was appointed. 

Unlike their lawless ancestors the Tweedies of Drumelzier the Tweedies of Oliver were upright citizens and very capably carried out their duties as Lairds of Tweedsmuir.

Thomas Tweedie of Oliver was laird during the Killing Time of the Covenanting era 1660-1680 and undoubtedly he held the community together during this difficult time.   More about the Covenanters in Tweedsmuir on the Covenanters page.

The second son of the above Thomas, also a Thomas, was the ancestor of the Tweedies of Rachan and Quarter line.   His youngest grand daughter was Anne Tweedie (1797-1824) married to Robert Newbigging(1).  Memorial headstone in Tweedsmuir Kirkyard near to the Tweedie of Oliver lair (3).   The headstone recalls that the third son of Anne and Robert - also a Robert - died on board ship named the Woodstock leaving Jamaica in 1838.  He was only 18 years.  Their second son John died in Jamaica in 1839 aged 22. 

Unfortunately the male line died out with the death of Thomas Tweedie of Oliver in 1803.  His youngest daughter Christian married Thomas Stodart of Cardrona Mains and their eldest son George born 1799 took the name of Tweedie - Stodart.

References.

1)  Buchan, J. W. and Paton, H, Rev; History of Peeblesshire, Jackson Wylie, Glasgow, 1927. Vol III pp 383-385 for Tweedie of Oliver. p383 footnote for Elders, p385 for Bield, p 284 for Tweedie of Rachan.

2)  Tweedie, Forbes, Michael; The History of the Tweedie or Tweedy, Family; A Record of Scottish Lowland Life & Character, W.P. Griffiths, London, 1902. p145, for Easter Oliver p214

3)   Scott, Sheila, Monumental Inscriptions for Peeblesshire, Scottish Genealogy Society, Edinburgh, 1993. p 114.

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