#62-DNA-1 John McCubbin & Agnes Hodgeon

The Homeplace – Maybole


MAYBOLE – The Town of Maybole is a burgh of barony, and the reputed capital of Carrick. It stands near the southern extremity of the parish of Maybole, on the road from Glasgow to Portpartrick, 9 miles south by west of Ayr, 12 north-north-east of Girvan, 22 south-south-west of Kilmarnock, and 81 south-west of Edinburgh. It stands chiefly on the declivity and partly along the skirts of a very broad based, and flattened hill, With an exposure toward east, the summit of the hill intervening between it the frith [firth] of the Clyde. On the south-east and south stretches the surgy surface of Carrick, expanding away in alternations of green height and brown bold upland till it becomes lost among the blue peaks of the southern Highlands of Scotland; on the south-west and west are the broad waters of the frith [firth] of Clyde, with many a sail like a sea-bird skimming the surface, and the rock of Ailsa riding like an ark on the wave, while behind are the serrated mountains of Arran veiled in misty exhalations, or curtained with clouds of every form and hue; on the north, immediately under the eye, extends the deep sylvan furrow of the Doon with the monuments of Burns glittering like a gem on its edge. The Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland Volume II (Gordon-Zetland)

Maybole Castle, c1838

Early Families

John McCubbin born 1776, married Agnes Hodgeon. John was a Linen Weaver. The couple had three known sons, William, born c. 1798, Charles b.1799, and James, b 1800.  Johns son William married Mary HENRY, 1823 in Maybole, Ayr. He appeared on the census of 1841 in Coral Glen, Maybole, Ayr; William, age 40, a Cotton Handloom Weaver, born Ayr, living with wife Mary, age 35, son James, 15, a Cotton Handloom Weaver (journeyman).

Occupations & Accomplishments

Weaving was the major profession of this McCubbin family in the 18th and 19th centuries. We find three recorded generations of weavers in this family. John was a Linen and Cotton Weaver. His son William was a Cotton Weaver and his son James was also a Weaver. Young James, at age 15, was working as a Handloom Weaver. James continued on in this profession for over thirty years. At the age of 50, he had left Maybole and Coral Glen and had moved to Glasgow with his wife Marion Goudie and family, which virtually ended the weaving in this family. James became a Church Officer and Spirit Salesman, then Night Watchman. He died 1893, age 68. His family found occupation in various other industries as a Ship Painter, a Baker, an Iron Borer, and Paper Cutter.

Leaving Scotland

To Hong Kong and Beyond
Glasgow and Greenock were very involved in the sugar processing industry.  Sugar cane from the West Indies and other parts of the world, was one of the main imports. Employment was available for eager young men.  James’ grandson, John, at the young age of 18, was recorded as a Sugar Boiler when in 1904 he married 17 yr old dressmaker, Agnes McLaughlin, the daughter of a Sugar Boiler. Two years after they were married, John and Agnes were off to Hong Kong, where John became Chief Sugar Boiler at the Taikoo Sugar Refinery. Johns son Alex related,

In those days you had a contract for 5 years then granted a years vacation. During those 5 years my sister and brother were born. At the end of the contract the family sailed for Greenock, Scotland for their vacation. My father returned to Hong Kong alone because of the war situation, and my mother was with child and advised not to travel. I was born Alexander on Dec. 17th 1914. My father did not see me until I was about five years old, when the family reunited in Hong Kong after the war. It seemed no time until my father was due for a holiday and in l923 we sailed for San Francisco where a family reunion was in the offing. My Grandmother, her four sons, one daughter, 20 grandsons and two grandaughters all attended. I still have the family picture taken at that time. We returned to Hong Kong, everyone else remained in San Francisco and multiplied. In 1928 my father retired from the Taikoo Sugar Refinery and we boarded ship this time to return to the land of our roots. We finished our schooling and started to work for a living.

Military Service

ALEXANDER McCUBBIN –  Scottish Commandos, WW2. Related Alex,

I was sent out to the Middle East. I was in Alexandria in Egypt when my first child, a daughter was born.
After various actions in the middle east, Cypress, Syria and the Western Desert, I was made a POW and spent the next 3 years behind wire. When the war ended I was expatriated and saw my daughter for the first time.

Facts of Interest

The Wee Spout in the Glen
In Coral Glen, earlier known as Quarry Glen, is the well-known “Wee Spout in the Glen” with the inscription above it,

“Ye may gang further and fare waur”
(“You May Go a Lot Further and Do a Lot Worse.)

The early McCubbin families in Coral Glen would have collected their water from this spring.

From earliest times great importance was placed on the plentiful supply of good wholesome water from the town wells and all writers specially mentioned that Maybole had a great number of springs and wells which provided the inhabitants with Adam’s Ale. Before piped water was commonplace in all communities the existence of good springs was of paramount importance and the Minniebolers [inhabitants of Maybole] were fortunate indeed that throughout the town there were numerous wells where water could be drawn within easy carrying distance of each home. Indeed the abundance of springs must have been one of the main reasons why the earliest inhabitants decided to settle here and for over seven hundred years Minniebolers thrived exceedingly well on the stoups of water they carried to their houses.

The McCubbin Mystery

Headline in the Swire News written by Denis Way of the Hong Kong Rugby Club:

Oh, the perils of research! They are exemplified by the presence in Hong Kong for twenty years of two men with the same name not a John Smith, Jones or Brown, but John McCubbin one of whom played a role in Clubs history and one who did not, except by marriage.

Click on each image below to read the full story.

5 Generation Descendancy Chart

Contributors: Campbell McCubbin, Colin McCubbin, Alexander McCubbin, Nancy Altman

Next  #81-DNA-1 Father of Daniel & Hugh McCubbin