#44-DNA-3 John McCubbin & Margaret Gibson

The Homeplace – The Rhins and The Machars

This McCubbin family lived on the Rhins of Galloway in the 1700's, possibly earlier, and worked and lived in Stoneykirk.

This map shows the Machars where this family settled in several different towns and farms.

 Early Families

I.  John McCubbin was born about 1730. Research found him under the surname McKibband and McKibbon in the Old Parish Registers (OPR) of Stoneykirk, Wigtownshire. He married Margaret Gibson in 1755 in Stoneykirk.  Banns were read. They had five known children,

A. Alexander, B. Grizal, C. Susanna, D. Mary, and E. John.

A.  Alexanders surname was spelled McKibband in the OPR. He was born, 1755 in Balgreggan, Stoneykirk, Wigtown. He married Isobel Davidson, 1785 in Balgreggan, Stoneykirk. They had one known child, Elizabeth McKibbon, born 1785 in Kilaister, Stoneykirk.

B.  Grizals surname was spelled McKibban in the OPR. She was born 1757 in Balgreggan, Stoneykirk, Wigtown. She married John McCulloch, 1783 in Stoneykirk, her father listed as McKibbon. Two children were listed in the OPR, both born Stoneykirk, Alexander, 1784 and John, 1786.

C.  Susannas surname was spelled McKibband in the OPR. She was born 1759 in Balgreggan, Stoneykirk. She was christened in Stoneykirk as well as in Kirkmaiden by Drummore.. She had a son, Alexander,  with John Clugston circa 1789; there is no record of marriage. She had two two daughters, Mariamne and Susan, with James Paterson  after 1790; there is no record of marriage.

1.  Alexander McCubbin (Clugston) may have been raised with his mother’s surname, as he was illegitimate. He was born 1789 in Stoneykirk.

John Clugston Esq. Collector, Stranraer, & Susan McKibbon in this parish single persons a son ALEXANDER  born 1st March,  Bapt 10th March  [1789]

We need to accept the standards and values in society of the late 1700s.  An important man like John Clugston, Collector of Customs, would have acknowledged his child, then paid the mother a few shillings compensation and his fine to the Church.  The matter would be forgotten by him, and the child reared by the mother or grandparents. Alexander very likely grew up with the name McCubbin.

John Clugstons father was William Clugston, a Surgeon in Stranraer. His mother, Barbara Vans was of the ancient and powerful Vans/Agnew family of Barnbarroch, Kirkinner. The Vans arrived in Scotland during the Norman invasion.

D.  Mary McKibband,  McKibbon; as written in registers, was born 1762 in Kirkmaiden by Drummore.

The McCubbins Move from The Rhins to The Machars

The Machars

The Machars is a peninsula in Galloway in the south-west of Scotland. The Machars peninsula is roughly defined by a northern boundary stretching from Newton Stewart to Glenluce, the only other boundary being the sea. The primary industry in the area was agriculture.

Saint Ninian first brought Christianity to Scotland via the Machars, founding a small church at the Isle of Whithorn from which a mediæval cathedral later sprang at Whithorn. Ninian studied under St Martin of Tours and can lay claim to bringing Christianity to Scotland long before St Columba whose church at Iona is often mistakenly credited as the cradle of Scottish Christianity.

The descendants of John and his wife Margaret McWilliam resided in farms and villages throughout the Machars from Port William, Monreith, Port William, Whithorn,  Glasserton, Sorbie.

E.  John McKibbon was born 1766 in Kirkmaiden by Drummore. There were several in Stoneykirk in the late 1700’s whose names were McKibbon. The name appears more often in Ireland than in Scotland. Later, the spelling of their names were changed by the Parish Ministers and Registrars, to McCubbin. John was listed as  a Ploughman and a Tailor at various times in his children’s data. He married Margaret McWilliam, 1784 in Stoneykirk. Sometime after their children were born, John and Margaret made a major move. We next find this couple and their descendants residing across Luce Bay in the Machars. Why John made the move is hard to know, except he may have had an opportunity for the chance to leave the plough and become a Tailor.  He appeared on the census of 1841 in Knock Cothouse, Glasserton, Wig; age 81, living with wife Margaret, age 70.  Present, were two grandchildren, Margaret Guffie, age 4, & William Gilmore, age 2. John died about 1850. He had nine children, Lucien, Mary, Robert, Ann Hunter Ross, James Hunter, William, David, John and Jane.

E-1 (son of John McC & Margaret McWilliam) Lucien Levison Douglas Stewart McCubbin, was born circa 1813 and baptized in Old Luce, Wig. The spelling of his first name varies in different records, i.e. Lucien, Levison, Luthan, Luther, Lathan, Lozen – a genealogists nightmare – six names, one person. He married Margaret Turner, daughter of John Turner and Helen McCubbin. Lucien’s marriage to Margaret Turner linked two Wigtownshire McCubbin families; Lucien’s line going back to John McCubbin & Margaret Gibson, (#44) Margaret’s line going back to Thomas McCubbin & Grizald McMeikene, (#44A). He appeared on the census of 1841, as Luther Cubbin,  in Port William Village, Mochrum, Wigtownshire; living with wife, Margaret, 23 and children, Thomas, 4, William, 2. Lucien. His wife Margaret died 1858 and he later married Jean Bradshaw McKaird, 1866 in Glasserton Parish, Wigtownshire. He died, 1879 in Monreith Village, age 65, a Fisherman. He had seven children, most of whom were fortunate to be going to school  instead of working in the fields at an early age. They were:

a) Thomas, b 1837, a Coachman, died age 29, Phthisis Pulmonalis

b) William Cubbin, b 1839 in Glasserton, c) Agnes Hannay, b 1840 in Glasserton,

d) Baby (McCubbin) b 1843 in Mochrum, e) James b 1845 in Glasserton,

f) John, b about 1849, in Mochrum and married Grace McClelland, 1871. He was a Fisherman and a Blacksmith. He died in 1928 in Whithorn, Wigtown. They had children Lucien, born 1872, John, born 1876, a Seaman, NNR, and Samuel, born 1886 a Seaman – Mercantile Marine,

g) Helen was born circa 1851 in Mochrum, and married William Bryan, 1872 in Monreith Village, Glasserton. She died 1886 in Monreith Village, Glasserton, age 35, of Phthisis Pulmonalis.

Helen and William Bryan had four children, Jane, Mary, Margaret and William.

E-2. Mary McCubbin, McKibbon, b 1786 in High Culgroat, Stoneykirk, married Michael Sherrie, 1826 in Stranraer, Wig. She died 1872 in Monreith Village, Glasserton, at age 86.

Their daughter Margaret, b 1827, married Robert Corrie, 1850.

E-3. Robert McCubbin, McKibbon was born 1789 in Altogue, Stoneykirk. Altogue is next to Balgreggan.

E-4.  Ann Hunter Ross ‘McKibbon’ born 1791, Portpatrick, Wig, had a son, James, born 1823, with (?) Mathews. She died 1880 in Monreith Village, Whithorn, Glasserton, age 88; Single. An Outdoor Labourer.

E-5.  James Hunter McCubbin McKibbon b 1797, Kildrochet, Stoneykirk, Wigtown

E-6.  William McCubbin McKibbon b 1801, Kildrochet.

E-7.  David McCubbin McKibbon b 1802, Kildrochet

E-8.  John McCubbin McKibbon was born circa 1805 in Glenluce. He married Helen Sproat. He was an Agricultural Labourer as listed on son John’s marriage reg in 1867. He died in 1873 in Broughton, Skeog, Whithorn; Consumption of lungs. They had ten children, all born Glasserton, Mochrum. a) William, b1830, b) John b1833-1859, c) Lucien 1834-1901, d) James 1836-1892,

e) Jane, f) Anne, g) William, h) David, i) Margaret, and j) Thomas. Several descendants died of Phthisis Pulmonalis(TB).

c)  Lucien 1834 -1901, son of John McCubbin & Helen Sproat, married Agnes Douglas, 1891, Whithorn. He began his working life as a Farm Servant and progressively worked his way up to being a Land Stewart. Living with wife and children at Highersock Cot House, Glasserton. They had seven children. Daughter, 1. Jane b 1861, married James McGhee and had 4 children. Her daughter Helen lost her husband at sea during WW1,  2. Agnes, b1863, died single, age 88, 3. Annie, 1868-1881, 4. Helen Donnan, 1873 – 1932,  had a son, William. She later married John McCreadie, 5. James 1875-1938, md Mary Lochrie, 6. John 1877-1949, md Lily HUNT. Died of Heart Failure at Red Lion Inn, Wigtown. 7.  William 1880 -1916 , md Janet Mackie. died Glasgow,

d)  James 1836-1892, son of John McCubbin & Helen Sproat married Mary Stewart. At the age of 14 he was an Agricultural Labourer and remained so until he died, age 55 of Tubercular Meningitis. They had seven children, 1) John 1868 – 1891, an Ag Lab, died of Phthisis, Whithorn. 

2) Robert Stewart 1870-1907, a Ploughman, died of Tubercular Meningitis, Whithorn, 3) Agnes, b 1872, 4) Helen 1875-1890 died age 15, of Phthisis, Balcray, Whithorn, 5) James 1877-1891 was a Drapers Apprentice at age 15, 6)  Margaret b.1881, 7)  William b. 1883 in High Balcray, Whithorn, A Scholar at age 7.

e)  Jane 1838-1862, daughter of John McCubbin & Helen Sproat, died in Broughton Skeog, Whithorn, age 23. Phthisis Pulmonalis, f)  Anne born 1840 in Glasserton, daughter of John McCubbin & Helen Sproat, appeared on the census of 1851 in Broughton Skeog, Whithorn, living with parents & siblings, age 11, g)  William 1842-1869 in Whithorn. He died age 26.

h) David 1844-1861, died in Broughton Skeog, Whithorn, at age 16; of Consumption, a Farm Labourer, i) Margaret was born 1849 in Whithorn.

j) Thomas 1850 -1887, born Whithorn,  married Jane Dunn. He was a Ploughman when he died in Balsier, Sorbie, Wigtown, of Phthisis Pulomonalis, age 37. They had five children: 1. John Dunn 1871-1887, 2. Janet Smith b 1874, md John Hamilton, 1902, Beith, Ayr, 3. William 1877-1894, a Ploughman, died of Phthisis, age 17, 4. James 1879-1893, died age 14, Whithorn,

5. Thomas, born 1883, Penkiln, Sorbie,  was only 5 years old when his father Thomas McCubbin died. Two years later his mother died. After his parents died, Thomas along with his older brother James, went to live with his uncle and aunt, James and Mary (Stewart) McCubbin at Balcry Cot house, Whithorn. They had a sister Janet who was 16 when her parents died. She went to work in Dalry, Ayrshire as a farm servant. Father was a Ploughman and signed register with ‘X’. In 1901, Thomas was age 18,  he was a Ploughman, employed by Farmer, William Watson, at Colvend, Southwick. He married Mary Mungall in Hamilton, Lanark and at that time was a Ploughman. Liz McCubbin of Stoneykirk, in an email to Lorna McCubbin relates,

This is the job he did all his life and indeed the job that eventually killed him when one of the horses bolted. He had a habit of winding the lead reign round his thumb and when the horse bolted his thumb was injured and he contacted lock jaw which very quickly killed him. Yet another sad tragedy for the McCubbins.

How much heartache they must have experienced with the death of so many loved ones. But they were made of very strong stuff, were very resilient and very determined not to give in to all the trials that faced them. I recognize many of these fine qualities in the present day McCubbin clan! I am sure you will see these strong qualities evident in your McCubbin family also.

Thomas death registration states, that he died 1949 in Killearn Hospital, Stirling, Scotland, at age 66; of a compound injury and Tetanus.

Thomas and Mary had three sons, John, Thomas and William. William 1915 -1984, married Agnes Christie. A son returned to Stoneykirk bringing the family full circle.

9.  Jane 1810-1896, daughter of John McCubbin and Mgt McWilliam, unmarried, was a female servant. Jane had a daughter, Margaret McGuffie, b 1835, Glasserton, who became a Seamstress. Jane also had two sons, William Gilmore, b1839, and John Milvein,1842-1924, died age 82 in Glasserton.

Occupations & Accomplishments

This family had such a difficult time getting ahead in life, what with coping with the killer disease, Tuberculosis. Children died young or were orphaned early. Gradually moving away from the gruelling life of working for a farmer and into other occupations we find them as a Blacksmith, Tailor, Fisherman, Motor Van Driver, Seaman NNR, Mercantile Marine, Drapers Apprentice, and their lives slowly improved.

Military Service

Helen McCubbin McGhee, daughter of Jane McCubbin & James McGhee, lost her husband, Charles Drysdale in WW2.

In Memory of Third Engineer Officer CHARLES DRYSDALE S.S. Cape Nelson (Glasgow), Merchant Navy who died age 32 on 23 February 1941. Son of Charles and Elizabeth Drysdale; husband of Helen Drysdale, of Glasgow. Remembered with honour, Tower Hill Memorial.

His ship, SS Cape Nelson was sunk by a U-95.

Facts of Interest

Phthisis Pulmonalis (Tuberculosis) –  also known as Consumption. Phthisis, from Latin/Greek means any disease causing a wasting away of part or all of the body, especially Tuberculosis. Consumption – meaning the disease consumes the body from within.  In past centuries Tuberculosis was a major cause of morbidity and mortality. In the 17th century John Bunyan termed the disease captain of all the men of death.  In the middle of the 19th century tuberculosis accounted for approximately one in eight of all deaths in the UK.  That tuberculosis was an infectious disease carried by a bacillus was not realized until 1884, and it took much longer to eradicate. It took until the 1940s and the discovery of penicillin for TB to be brought under control. Until that time it remained the main killer.  Farm labourers and workers in Scotland, who lived in crowded conditions with large families, sometimes in one room cot houses, were among the hardest hit by Tuberculosis. Spread through the air when people who have the disease cough, sneeze, or spit, generations of the descendants of John McCubbin and Agnes Gibson were stricken.

Scholars – Census records help us see the different dynamics happening within a family.

Scholar when written in the census, means that the child is a student at school. The 1872 Education (Scotland) Act brought in compulsory education for all children between 5 and 13 although fees still had to be paid until 1890. Local School Boards made sure sufficient schools were built and that children attended them. Up until that time, families that were hired by a farmer, were expected to work on the farm. It was a fortunate child who could attend school instead of weeding turnips and pulling stanes (stones). Even a ten year old would be seen to be ploughing the fields.

The 1881 census of this McCubbin family began to show children as Scholars. In one short generation we see a father who signs his name with an X to a child, age seven, as a Scholar.

5 Generation Descendancy Chart

Contributors: Karen Downie, Bill & Liz McCubbin, David Addison, Moira Sweeney.

Next #45-DNA-3 Alexander McCubbin & Agnes Weir