Issue Number 12 features:
Fifth Anniversary of the McCubbin DNA Project
The Peruvian McCubbins (Part 2)
Shot at Dawn – A Remembrance for Bertie McCubbin
Annie McCubbin and the Photo That Survived the Blitz
Two Brothers and How One Woman Became a Daughter in Law of Both
John McCubben, indicted for Mobbing and Rioting
The McCubbing Centenary Reunion in Australia
Fifth Anniversary of the McCubbin DNA Project
by Lorna McCubbin
Aloha, Hola and Hello!
One of the fun parts of our family research is when we discover an unexpected relationship among McCubbins. We learned very early in our research never to link families without documents that prove the relationship, unless the surety level is high. For the first time since we started our DNA project, we have been able to link two families together without a paper trail. We’ve recently discovered that the Peruvian family turned out to have an exact match with the Australian #02 family (and Hawaii). The main thing they had in common was that each family had Hamilton McCubbins. In all our research we have never found a Hamilton other than in the #02 family, #79 family of Ayrshire, and the Peruvian family. The three families had sons who left Scotland in the 1800’s and settled in the Pacific regions of Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Peru. There were enough clues for us to include the Peruvian family in with the Australian and Hawaiian family. To confirm this further a Hawaiian McCubbin is now awaiting his DNA results.
We now have 61 members. Not all are matches with the four DNA groups. A couple are women looking for their McCubbin roots. A few whose names are McCubbin do not match. This is what is known in genealogical terms as an NPE – a non paternal event – meaning an adoption, a female had a son out of wedlock, the son kept the surname and/or the child adopted the grandparent’s name, son took on stepfather’s name, or actual adoption by a childless couple.
Breaking News!!!! November 20th, 2012.
McCubbin or McKibben?? Yes, it can be either. A McKibben male of America has just received his DNA results giving him an exact match with a Scottish/Irish McCubbin. Read more about this McCubbin/McKibben(in) family at #55-DNA-3 Shaw McCubbin & Sarah Chapman
McCubbins in Peru (Part 2)
Family #02Peru, DNA Group 3
Intro by Kathy McCubbing Hopkins
In last years Cub Report we reported our contact from a McCubbin in Peru which prompted some research but it was limited as the only online records were those uploaded on familysearch.org and a few passenger lists. It was compounded by language difficulties as all the vital records are in Spanish. We put out a call for South American McCubbins to contact us and are pleased to report that we were put in touch with Jackie Stine (an American of Peruvian origin) who had started to research her McCubbin family. Her cousin Ana had seen our article and, in turn, Jackie was able to get in touch with our initial contact, Martin McCubbin Moscol*. He turned out to be a relation who had also been progressing his research though, unfortunately, we had lost contact with him again, because of the difficulties in communicating across the languages.
*it is probably worth noting here that the custom is for the mothers family name to follow the fathers family name in Spanish cultures.
By amazing chance, Jackie was about to embark on a trip to visit her parents in Peru and to travel with her father to northern Peru to investigate their roots. We were able to put her in touch with Martin (who she met) and who very kindly submitted to a DNA test which has linked the family with other McCubbins in DNA group 3 and either family #02 or family #79 (who are probably connected as they are both from the same area in Ayrshire), though precisely where they link in is still under investigation.
A Trip to Peru
by Jackie Stine
In July 2012, my father and I went for a trip to La Libertad, Peru, where for many years my great grandfather Alejandro McCubbin (1858-1913) worked and lived [with his wife Ygancia Vivanco]. He was an Engineer at the sugar plant of Casa Grande, at one time the biggest sugar plant of the Americas, bigger than Hawaii and Cuba, and it is said that he designed a machine to cut the sugar and that the machine had his name.
The same day we arrived in Trujillo, La Libertad, we went to the registry office and local church looking for birth and baptism certificates. From the documents recovered, we discovered that Alejandro had 9 children, not 6 as we believed.
We then went to the district of Ascope, where the sugar plant of Casa Grande is still operating. We found a house a few feet away from the plant and upon comparing features from this building to that of a picture from 1898, we concluded that it was the same house where Alejandro lived with his wife and children.
Alejandros children lived a very pleasant life in the country. There were farm animals, horses to ride and plenty of sunshine. The girls were photographed wearing beautiful dresses and jewelry. The two boys, Augusto and Alfonso, were sent to the United States to study [Augusto became a Mine Worker and then a Merchant, and Alfonso a Dentist]. Three girls died as infants, three girls remained single, and my grandmother Celina was the only girl to marry.
The children were:
Elisa McCubbin Vivanco
Rosa Elena McCubbin Vivanco 1887-1888
Augusto McCubbin Vivanco 1890-1963
Carlos Alfonso McCubbin Vivanco 1892-1955
[the Charles we found on passenger lists reported last year]
MarÃa Cristina McCubbin Vivanco
Rosa MarÃa McCubbin Vivanco 1896
Celina MarÃa McCubbin Vivanco 1898-1987
MarÃa Ester McCubbin Vivanco 1902
AÃda Luisa McCubbin Vivanco 1903-
My father was told that Alejandro had shares of the sugar plant which were kept in a box. After Alejandros death of diabetes, Ygnacia had recourse to the box full of papers, and started to sell them one by one.
We were a little disappointed that Alejandro and Ygnacia never got married. But imagine our surprise and joy when the church El Sagrario told us that they found their wedding certificate. They married in 1908, when Alejandro was 50 years old.
The certificates which Jackie, her father and Martin have found in Peru have been invaluable, and Jackies help in translating and interpreting them is very much appreciated.
We had thought that Alejandros father was called John, as this was recorded on his death certificate, but on his marriage certificate (thought to be more reliable as Alejandro himself would have been the informant) his father is recorded as Hamilton McCubbin a name handed down through generations in family #02, but which we have also found in family #79 (for whom we have no information post-1813 and which could well be related to family #02 as they both come from the same area of Ayrshire) hence the difficulty in finding the precise link of the Peruvian cousins to the family. The little we know about Alejandros father, Hamilton, is that he is said to have died when Alejandro was 10 years old (in 1868).
While Jackie was in Peru, she was also able to find out a little bit more about Alejandros brother Santiago (translated as James) and his descendants, and this is a line of research she continues to pursue. Santiago married Julia Luisa Sobenez on 17 Dec 1902 in Trujillo and they may have had as many as 10 children, including twins: Anibal and Eduardo, and David (mentioned in last years Cub Report).
A daughter, Margarita McCubbin Sobenez, born c.1894 in Trujillo, married Charles Royle. They were found on a passenger list for the Oriana in 1920 travelling to New York with their 8 month old daughter Joyce Edith. They are recorded as English speakers with English nationality, who came from Cartavio in Peru (north of Lima) and their final destination is recorded as London, UK. Their onward journey is also recorded in the UK Incoming Passenger Lists to Liverpool, England where there future address was to be in Wanstead, London E11. Joyce Edith Royle McCubbin is later reported to have married Marcelo Llosa, according to a family member.
Some mysteries still remain. One of Santiagos children, Alejandro, is said to have remained single so it seems unlikely that this is the Alejandro who married Julia Albaraccin, mentioned in last years report. Also, we have been unable to find further evidence of Daniel McCubbin and wonder whether there may have been a typo on the 1920 passenger list on which he was recorded and that it was, perhaps, David who travelled to New York in 1920.
If you have further information to contribute or queries contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shot at Dawn
A Remembrance for Bertie McCubbin
Family #42, DNA Group 3
by Lorna McCubbin
Shortly after the McCubbin Family History Association came on-line in 2001, we began hearing about the tragedy of Bertie McCubbin. We hesitated about including it in our CUB Reports in deference to living relatives. But, during the following years, the internet has grown to the point that there are many references to Bertie and the soldiers who were court marshalled and shot during the First World War. It’s time for us to honour Bertie and tell his story.
Bertie was born in 1893, in Middlesex, London. His father, William, was a Scot, born in Wigtownshire. His mother, Emily, was born in England. The 1911 census shows Bertie, age 17, living at the household of his parents and five younger siblings.
The First World War began in 1914. Bertie signed up as a volunteer and soon found himself in the horror of the trenches of France. His father also signed up with the Royal Engineers and became a Serjeant.
For two years Bertie fought in the trenches in France. He apparently was a good soldier and “was never up before his company officer or colonel.”
Hundreds of men were massacred. The struggle was never-ceasing. By day and by night, trench warfare with all its beastliness and ghastliness, went on, through the mud and filth of winter. Men slept in the trenches beside dead companions. It became “the most brutal war in history and not even the most seasoned serviceman was prepared for the scale of carnage that unfolded before him. For many the horror proved too much. Hundreds were unable to cope, many were driven insane and several simply ran away.” Peter Taylor-Whiffen
In 1916, Bertie was narrowly hit by a bomb which exploded nine feet from him. He apparently suffered from shell shock for when he disobeyed an order to man a listening post in no-man’s land, he replied,
“I cannot do so,” he told the officer. “My nerves won’t let me; if I go over I shall be a danger to the other man who is out there, as well as to myself.”
Bertie was charged with disobeying orders and cowardice.
McCubbin wrote a letter in his defence which, no matter what your feelings regarding military executions in the Great War, cannot fail to move the reader.
“During my stay in the Annequin trenches I had my nerves shattered by a shell which burst on the railway which runs above our trenches, bursting three yards away. I have never been right since, my nerves being completely ruined.
‘This being the case, I put the plea forward that my case not being a blank refusal to an officer but as nervousness on my part being made worse by the incessant bombardment which has been going on here lately. I have never been up before my company officer or colonel before until now, this being the first time, and I have always tried to play my part while I have been in the Army.
‘I have also a father somewhere in France, leaving my mother at home with six brothers and sisters, and always thinking if anything had to happen to us to what would become of them, which does not help me to get on a deal. So I also put forward a plea that if you deal leniently with me in this case, I will try and do my bit and keep up a good reputation.”
McCubbin was found guilty and sentenced to death, with a strong recommendation for mercy on account of his previous good character and the state of his health. This view was echoed by other senior commanders, but General Monro, the fierce disciplinarian commanding First Army, proved unbending. ‘If toleration be shown to private soldiers who deliberately decline to face danger, all the qualities which we desire will become debased and degraded. He ruled. ‘I recommend the sentence of the court be inflicted.’
Bertie was executed at Lone Farm on July 30, 1916, at 5am. McCubbin’s death certificate contained the chilling statement ‘death was not instantaneous’ – which suggests he would have been finished off with a coup de grace from the officer’s revolver. He was buried in Brown’s Road Military Cemetery, Festubert, Pas de Calais, France. He was one of 306 British Soldiers “shot at dawn”.
Berties father, Serjeant William McCubbin, of the Royal Engineers, died age 51, November 17, 1918. Casualty type: Commonwealth War Dead.
The Debate – 83 years later
Scottish Parliament debate on 11 Nov 1999. Excerpts from full text Full text:
Sir David Steel
That the Parliament believes that it is not too late to restore the names and reputations of the soldiers of the British empire forces court martialled and executed, mostly on the western front, in the four years 1914-18, following charges ranging across desertion, cowardice, quitting posts, sleeping at posts, disobedience, striking a superior officer and casting away arms; regrets deficiencies in their opportunity to prepare adequate defence and appeals; notes the marked and enlightened change in the army’s attitude just over a score of years later to the consequences of soldiers enduring long periods of severe cold and damp, lack of food and sleep coupled with the stress and shock of constant shellfire with the result that not a single solider was executed on these charges throughout the six years from 1939-45; considers that the vast majority of the 307 executed were as patriotic and brave as their million other compatriots who perished in the conflict and that their misfortune was brought about due to stress, or the stress of their accusers, during battle, and that even if the behaviour of a small minority may have fallen below that of the highest standards then time, compassion and justice dictates that all of these soldiers should now be treated as victims of the conflict, and urges Her Majesty’s Government to recommend a posthumous pardon, thus bringing to a close a deeply unhappy and controversial chapter in the history of the Great War.
Elaine Murray (Labour)
Excerpt: Today, on this last armistice day of the century, I ask members to remember those victims with understanding and compassion, as we remember all those who endured the horrors of war in the service of this country. May the coming century be kinder than that which closes.
Cathy Jamieson (Labour)
Excerpt: “When we examine now what happened then, it is clear that some of the people who were executed by their own side were suffering from what would be seen now as clinical disorders such as post-traumatic stress syndrome.
I wish to speak about a particular case that Elaine has already alluded to. She mentioned the campaign by Private McCubbin’s niece, a constituent of mine who lives in Girvan. Aged 70, she has been campaigning for a number of years and recently tried to highlight some of the issues and how they affect her family. She talked in the local press about the trauma that her family faced: being misled about the circumstances in which her uncle died and not being given proper information until much later.
My constituent believes that her uncle’s death should not have happened and that the people who made the decision to take his life had no right to do so because he was not able to make proper representation. She argues that he volunteered to fight for his country in the first place. She said that
“He was a very sensitive man”
and explains that he appealed for clemency on the basis that his nerves were shattered that was his expression at the time which is exactly the kind of trauma that would be recognized now. Unfortunately, his appeal for clemency was not successful and, tragically, like so many others, he was executed.
I do not think that it is too much to ask, today of all days, for a unanimous view from this Parliament to give hope to Grace Sloan and others like her who have campaigned on their families’ behalf over the years. I give a commitment that I will continue to support her campaign and I ask members to support the motion.”
The Cenotaph 2000
The proud march of Grace for uncle branded a coward; Soldiers shot at dawn are remembered at last. Full text follows: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+proud+march+of+Grace+for+uncle+branded+coward%3B+Soldiers+shot+at…-a066655426
The Memorial 2001
The following article appeared in the Daily Telegraph (22nd June 2001), following the unveiling of a new memorial to those Shot at Dawn during the First World War.
Relatives of soldiers executed for desertion during the First World War renewed calls for the Government to pardon the men yesterday as they gathered for the unveiling of the Shot at Dawn memorial.
At the National Arboretum in Alrewas in Staffordshire, 306 stakes, resembling the posts to which men were tied before being shot, have been driven into the ground in memory of those executed. Each stake bears a metal plaque bearing the deserter’s name, age, rank and date of death.
In front of the semi-circle of stakes is a statue modelled on Private Herbert Burden, of the Northumberland Fusiliers, who had lied about his age to join up but was shot at 17 for desertion.
The Shot at Dawn campaign has been seeking a pardon for the 306 since Public Record Office files released in 1990 outlined the prosecution cases against the men.
Many had not been legally represented and most were suffering from shell shock or post traumatic stress disorder.
No pardon is being sought for the other 40 men executed for either murder, treason or mutiny.
Mrs Sloan, 72, and her brother, John Campbell, 74, were at the commemoration to remember their uncle, Bert McCubbin. He was a 22 year-old private in the Sherwood Foresters when he was shot on July 30, 1916.
His mother later received a telegram saying her son had been killed by “gunshot” and discovered the truth only after a friend of his returned from the front line. Mrs Sloan said: “She went insane with grief. She never received his medals and never received a pension because he was shot as a coward.
“I have been fighting for a pardon for my uncle for more than a decade. The Government just cannot admit they made a mistake.
“But it is a wonderful feeling to have a memorial to him and all these others who I believe were wrongly killed. It is an honour to think his name is now on the memorial.”
The Pardon 2006
Mirror News by Tom Pettifor, Bob Roberts 16 Aug 2006
A total of 306 soldiers shot for cowardice during the First World War are to be pardoned.The Government is making the historic move 90 years on following the High Court case of Private Harry Farr. He was just 25 when he was executed in 1916 for refusing to fight. His family always argued he was suffering from shellshock after two years of horrific frontline trench warfare. Now, following a legal fight, his name has been cleared in a case which has opened the floodgates for others shot for military offences in the conflict.
Last night Pte Farr’s daughter Gertrude Harris, 92, said: “I’m so relieved. I’ve always argued my father’s refusal to rejoin the frontline was the result of shellshock. I believe many other soldiers suffered from this.”
Last night the Government confirmed it will seek Parliamentary approval to pardon the 305 others executed for “cowardice, desertion and comparable offences”. Defence Secretary Des Browne said: “I am conscious of how the families of these men feel today. They have endured a stigma for decades.
“I do not want to second guess the decisions made by commanders in the field. But the circumstances were terrible, and I believe it is better to acknowledge injustices were clearly done in some cases, even if we cannot say which – and to acknowledge that all these men were victims of war.”
Kathy McCubbing Hopkins made a special trip to the memorial at Alrewas in Staffordshire to pay her respects and take the following photos.
Annie McCubbin and the Photo that Survived the Blitz
Family #61-43, DNA Group 2
by Ailsa Hamilton
This is my great-grandmother Annie McCubbin. She was born on 3rd May 1872, at Balluskie Farm, Colmonell, Ayrshire. She was the daughter of Gilbert McLellan McCubbin, b. 1838, New Luce, and Isabella Galt, b. 1842, Colmonell. Annie married Thomas MacLean Hamilton in 1892, Dumbreck, Glasgow.
The others in the photo are her children. The tallest is my grandmother who somehow obtained this photograph from her parents or perhaps after Annie died, for she died comparatively young.
Annie’s husband, Thomas, was already widowed when Dalmuir, outside of Clydebank was blitzed by the German Luftwaffe. As a result of the raids on the nights of 13 and 14 March 1941, the town was largely destroyed and it suffered the worst destruction and civilian loss of life in all of Scotland. 528 people died, 617 people were seriously injured, and hundreds more were injured by blast debris. Out of approximately 12,000 houses, only seven remained undamaged – with 4,000 completely destroyed and 4,500 severely damaged. Over 35,000 people were made homeless. Annie’s husband was one of them. He lost everything, but this photo was kept safely by his daughter who did not live near him.
Two Brothers from Girvan, Their South African Connections and How One Woman Became a Daughter In Law of Both of them
Family #06, DNA Group 1
By Liz Ridout
(Foreword by Kathy McCubbing Hopkins)
Liz Ridout contacted us on 6 April 2012 and shared her research about her family who descend from Hugh McCubbin (1833-1911, DNA Group 1, family #06), and also to seek help in solving a conundrum regarding a John S McCubbin who she recently discovered had died in South Africa and who, until that time, was believed to have been John Sinclair McCubbin who had married her apparently widowed great grandmother. By extraordinary coincidence a day later, on 7 April, we received an email from Anne Clarkson, a South African genealogist, who had been researching the McCubbin branch of the family for her cousin, and who kindly offered to share the fruits of her research with the McCubbin Family History Association.
Thus followed a period of correspondence in which both branches of the family were able to share information which elucidated the links and relationships ancestors had shared, and the conundrum Liz had encountered during her research was solved.
Both Liz and Anne (with permission from her cousin) very generously shared a range of documentation and photographs which have greatly enhanced the knowledge we now have of these two branches. Liz has kindly put together this report about her family.
Brothers Hugh McCubbin (1833 – 1911) and Thomas McCubbin (1845 – 1925)
This article is about two of the sons of James Cotton Warper McCubbin and his wife Mary (nee Rowan). They are their second son HUGH, born 10 November 1833 and their fourth son THOMAS, born 5 September 1845. Mary died in 1845 possibly from a childbirth related
Sometime before the 1851 census the family moved from Girvan, to Glasgow and were residing at 2 Eglington Lane, Gorbals on the census of that year. James is shown as a widower, HUGH aged 16 is a clerk and THOMAS is a child aged 5.
HUGH, occupation Mercantile Clerk, married Elisabeth Steven on 3 August 1860 in Glasgow. His address at the time of his marriage was 125 Eglington St, Glasgow which is the address for his father and siblings on the 1861 census. On the census THOMAS, now 15 years old, is a clerk in a West Indian Merchants office. In 1861 HUGH (still a Mercantile Clerk) and Elisabeth were living at 315 Eglington St where their first child of six, Hugh James, was born on 14 May 1861. A second son, John, was born at Pollock Road, Shawlands, Glasgow, a better area, in1863. By 1865 the family was living at 1 Pollock Villas, Shawlands where their third son Thomas was born in 1865. HUGH is now described as being a West India Merchant.
1865 is also the year that HUGHs younger brother THOMAS, emigrated to Durban, South Africa where he prospered. Their father, James had died the previous year.
1867 saw the birth of a fourth son, William Alexander, to HUGH and Elisabeth at Pollock Villas. Their next child, a daughter, Elisabeth Steven, was born in 1869 at Holly Grange, Town Row, West Derby, Liverpool. HUGH must have seen a move south as a chance to further his career and upward mobility, Liverpool being the largest trading port in the UK at that time.
In the 1871 census HUGH and family are recorded at Holly Grange, Town Row, West Derby and his occupation is West India and African Merchant. This same year in South Africa, THOMAS marries Mary Martin Sinclair at her fathers home in Durban on 28 September. Mary was also Scottish (born in Blairgowrie). THOMASs occupation at marriage is Merchant and he and Mary were probably ahead of the times in having a pre-nuptial agreement whereby each kept their own property and were not liable to each others debts.
In 1872 both HUGH and THOMAS’ wives had children.
It was HUGH and Elisabeths last child, Mary Louise, and THOMAS and Marys first, a son, Sinclair James.
THOMAS and Mary had more sons, Hugh (1874), Thomas (1876), another Thomas (1878) a daughter, Katherine Stewart (1880) and in 1881 a further son, John Sinclair (Jack). The family home was a house called Seaforth, in Durban.
HUGH and THOMAS were working as partners trading between the UK and South Africa as H & T McCubbin, Agents. HUGH made a number of trips to and from South Africa on cargo ships during the 1870s and 1880s, appearing on several passenger lists.
The next UK census in 1881 shows that HUGH and family had moved again, to a larger house, The Elms, Town Row, West Derby, Liverpool.
The 1880s were a time of further success and rise in social standing for both brothers.
THOMAS and Mary, in Durban, had three more children, Fergus Allan (1882), Gladys Mary (1884) and Graeme Valentine (1890).
Alongside his success as a Merchant THOMAS also volunteered as a soldier. In a photo of 1882 he is in uniform as a Major in the Durban Light Infantry (DLI).
Later he was recorded in the soldier list for the Boer War as a Lieutenant Colonel in the DLI between 1899 and 1901. He was also a Justice of the Peace (JP) and in 1901 was appointed a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (CMG) by King Edward VII. The CMG was awarded to men and women who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country.
He was also awarded a Colonial Auxiliary Forces medal, an award to officers of Volunteer Forces in India and the Colonies. This meant that THOMAS could style himself T McCubbin JP CMG VD.
Meanwhile in Liverpool HUGH was scaling the social and business ladder. He was appointed as a member of The Historic Society of Lancaster and Cheshire in 1889. He travelled to Durban again in 1890. During the 1880s he moved for the last time to a large merchants house in West Derby, Mill Bank House and that is his residence at the time of the 1891 census. He traded as H McCubbin & Co from offices at 11 Orange Court and later in The Temple, Dale St, Liverpool. He is listed in the 1893 Liverpool Legion of Honour, serves on the City Council and is a Lancashire County Councillor. In 1895 he was appointed an Alderman of Liverpool and this continued until 1907 by which time he had retired.
HUGHs wife Elisabeth died in 1896 and was buried in West Derby Cemetery. He married again on 9 July 1901, at Malvern Priory, Worcestershire, to Eliza Bowden a spinster aged 51. The marriage took place shortly after the 1901 census so Eliza is not listed at Mill Bank House. Elizas brother was a Ships Captain.
By 1911 HUGH was a sick man and two sick nurses are listed in the household on the 1911 census. He died at home on 26 September 1911 aged 77 and was buried in the same grave as his first wife in West Derby Cemetery. His will was proved in the UK in November 1911 and resealed in Capetown in June 1913. Two memorials exist to him, a fountain erected in Girvan with a plaque which reads Presented by Hugh McCubbin of West Derby Liverpool to his native town of Girvan 1911 [see Cub Report 2006 for photo] and the Village Hall in West Derby (now apartments) which bears the inscription In Memory of Hugh McCubbin 1912 on its front.
Both brothers, HUGH and THOMAS, lost children prior to their own deaths. In HUGH and Elisabeths case it was their second son, John, who died suddenly in 1891, aged 28, at his older brothers house in Blaauwfontein, Griqualand East, South Africa. For THOMAS and Mary it was much sadder. THOMAS was predeceased by five of his nine children. Mary only knew of two of these deaths as she died in 1917. The children who died early were the first Thomas in 1876 at 14 days old, Sinclair James in 1913, aged 40, Fergus Allan in May 1918, aged 35, also in May 1918 Katherine Stewart, aged 38 (possibly both victims of the 1918 flu pandemic) and Hugh in 1924, aged 50 (he was disabled).
Of HUGH and Elisabeths children three travelled to South Africa: Hugh James, John (mentioned in the preceding paragraph) and Thomas. Both Hugh James and John sailed to Durban in January 1891, John dying there in August 1891. Hugh James must have soon after returned to the UK as he marries on New Years Eve 1891 in Nottingham. His bride is Ethel Elizabeth Mary Weaver from Nottingham and his parents are witnesses. Hugh James is recorded as being a Merchant, the same as his father. In 1896 Hugh James, Ethel, her brother Edward and a servant are shown on a passenger list travelling to Durban. Sometime later Ethel returned to the UK.
Meanwhile in 1893 Thomas (third son of HUGH and Elisabeth) travelled to Durban. There is a photo of him with his uncle THOMAS taken in Durban.
Back to Hugh James who served as a Trooper in the Boer War between 1899 and 1902. His service is recorded in two different regiments and this was because of a break in service. He returned to the UK and registers the birth of his daughter, Marjorie Elizabeth, in Woking, Surrey in 1900. His occupation is given as Mining Agent on the birth certificate. He is a witness at his sisters (Elisabeth Steven) wedding to John Unsworth in Liverpool in September 1900 and returns to Durban in March 1901. Until recently it was thought that Hugh James remained in South Africa until the 1920s. This is not so, he went to Canada and then crossed into the US in December 1906 heading for Duluth, Minnesota; his occupation, Miner.
His wife and daughter remained in the UK, living in London and Sussex. Ethel worked as a Secretary and then ran her own successful export business. Her father in law HUGH made provision for her in his Will, this was probably because the family had lost contact with Hugh James at that time.
Just as some of HUGHs children travelled to South Africa one of his brother THOMASs sons travelled the other way. This was THOMASs fifth son, John Sinclair, born 1 August 1881. He is in the UK in 1915 and is listed as an Accountant and Office Manager, also a 2nd Lieutenant in the South African Scottish Regiment. The document this is recorded in is a marriage certificate. John Sinclair marries his cousins (Hugh James) wife Ethel Elizabeth Mary on 12 November 1915 in St Marleybone, London. Ethel is recorded as being a widow and knocks a few years off her age to show it as 38 to John Sinclairs age of 34. It is not known if Ethel went through the lengthy official route of having her husband recorded as dead, having been missing for over 7 years, allowing her to legally marry.
Hugh James was not dead and is recorded in Liverpool in 1921, making a Will there in which he states he is lately of Durban and about to depart for Canada. The sole benefactor is his daughter Marjorie Elizabeth. The Will shows that he is aware that she is married (May 1920 to Major Ian Macdougall OBE). He must therefore also been aware that Ethel his wife had married his cousin.
Hugh James left for St John, New Brunswick, Canada in January 1921. Ethel died aged 54 in 1924. The death occurred in London but her home was in Henfield, Sussex. At some point after her death Hugh James returned to the UK and spent his final years in Henfield, near his daughter and died there in 1934. John Sinclair moved to London after Ethels death and in 1933 married again. He died in 1953 in Willesden, London.
Written by Liz Ridout, great grand daughter of Hugh James and Ethel E M McCubbin.
I thank the following (listed alphabetically), Leslie Brown, Anne Clarkson, Kathy Hopkins, Lorna McCubbin and Lynne McCubbin for their help. The research carried out by Anne, together with the documents and photographs she provided were particularly useful in writing this piece.
John McCubben c. 1813-1866, indicted for Mobbing and Rioting
At the end of June 1834 John McCubben, a 21 year old apprentice calico printer at the printworks of John Barr at Maryhill, just north of Glasgow, stood trial at the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh, along with five other calico printers accused of mobbing and rioting earlier that year occasioning assault, entering premises and deterring, or preventing by force, workmen from following or entering upon their lawful employment. In addition several of the workers were carried away to Glasgow by the rioters.
The indictment, held in the National Archives of Scotland (AD14/34/359), lists some 26 witnesses to the events, and records the testimonies made by these workers, bystanders, police officers and constables and indicates that a great number of disaffected workers were involved in the action. On 5 April 1834 McCubben was taken before Walter Moir Esq, sheriff substitute of Lanarkshire where he made a declaration, and was then arrested on 8 April 1834 and made a further statement before Sir John Hay, Baronet, advocate, one of the sheriff substitutes of Stirlingshire and was subsequently held in the Tolbooth in Stirling until his trial.
The trial was held on Monday 30 June 1834 and all those arrested with McCubben pleaded guilty to the charges and were sentenced to varying periods of imprisonment; John McCubben was sentenced to 7 months and was imprisoned in Stirling jail.
Records in the National Archives in Kew (HO 17/22/18A) record that petitions were made on behalf of the prisoners pleading for clemency giving reasons that the prisoners had pleaded guilty; that they had been imprisoned many months and had been imprisoned before the trial; that they were young men of previous good character; that they had behaved well in gaol and had committed the act as a sudden burst of feeling; that their relations and connections were respectable and that they were willing to work under any terms, and that imprisonment had impaired their constitutions. It is not known whether this petition was successful.
This case is one of many industrial disputes which were sweeping Scotland and England in the early years of the 19th century and which were widely reported in the press of that time. It is an example of organised worker action against employers who installed cheaper workers in their factories to the detriment of the existing workforce.
The Scottish Chronicle contained a report from the High Court of Justiciary from as early as June 1812 concerning three journeymen calico printers who were accused of unlawful combination for the purpose of raising their wages and mobbing and rioting on the streets of Glasgow.
The Edinburgh Review: or Critical Journal in 1838 included a piece which, while expressing a viewpoint unlikely to be shared by the workers, provides background and some context to John McCubbens experience:
The west of Scotland was convulsed with a series of strikes in many skilled trades particularly the calico-printers in January, 1834, which lasted nine months. We have taken the trouble to trace the results in one instance, and found them to be in the highest degree. Messrs Barr and Company were calico-printers at Kelvindock, near Glasgow; their business was extensive and prosperous; they had fields in many different places, and gave employment to about two thousand persons. Their engagements however, as might naturally have been expected with an establishment supporting so great a number of workmen, were of a very extensive kind, and they had several heavy bills running against them in the autumn of 1834. The workmen were well aware of this, and they accordingly struck work in a body in the month of September of that year and immediately began assaulting the new hands with whom the Company to supply their place. The military out and quartered around the mills for some months, and in their immediate tranquility was perfectly maintained, and work was to a certain extent resumed with the new hands. In other quarters, however, where the mills of the same company were not protected, and soldiers could not be got, the combined workmen broke into the buildings, and forcibly turned out the new hands. The intimidation produced by these riots was such, that the mills were obliged to be stopped for some months; and, after vainly holding out as long as they could, Barr and Company were obliged to make a compromise with their workmen, and they began working again in January, 1835. The losses they sustained, however by their capital being unproductive during the strike were such that they became bankrupt in July, 1835, – about six months after the strike had ceased, and the working had recommenced. Two thousand persons were immediately thrown idle by this calamity. They immediately made the most piteous complaints to the magistrates of the county, who, however, had not public funds out which to afford them any relief, and the helpless multitude were in a great part thrown upon the parish funds, or reduced to utter despair by the consequences of their own acts, while the in that quarter were totally destroyed, and that thriving branch of altogether extinguished.
With regard to the events of 3 February 1834 and the mobbing and rioting in which John McCubben was involved, the indictment records that the mob were armed with sticks and stones and that they invaded the premises of John Black and Company in Milngavie by open a gate or a door and James Black junior, a partner of the firm, having to resist the mob, was attacked and assaulted and struck by the mob with sticks and stones before they went on to break open the door of a laundry and attacked a number of the men working there, and compelled them to leave the premises. They held several of the workmen prisoner and took them a considerable distance from Milngavie in the direction of Glasgow.
The mob then assembled at the premises of Muir, Brown and Company in North Street, Anderston, near Glasgow and forcibly invaded the premises there and John Pollock, nightwatchman in the Anderston police establishment, managed to apprehend and lock up sixteen of the rioters in the Gall house, but the door was forced and they were rescued by their associates, during which police officers and constables were attacked and assaulted.
In his statement John McCubben confirmed that he was a member of the Calico Printers Apprentice Association and that a strike or turn out had occurred at various printfields in and around Glasgow, and that he had heard that the Master Calico Printers had agreed to take new hands to their works on 3 February. He declared that after breakfast on that day he went to Mr Barrs printworks waiting for work, but he did not get any as it was not ready for him. He said that he wasnt aware that any of the printers left the village on the said day and that he did not leave it.
He admitted to knowing the works of Muir, Brown and Co printers in Anderston but said that he wasnt there on that Monday and he had no concern whatever in mobbing, rioting or destruction of property that took place there on said Monday afternoon. He declared that his time was spent principally in the warehouse of Mr Barr waiting for work or in other parts of the said printworks but he could not cite anyone who could prove that he was there at about 4pm on that day.
John McCubben ultimately pleaded guilty and he seems to have been convicted largely on the testimony of workers at John Black & Co, specifically William Smellie who identified John McCubben as particularly active in the works at Milngavie and along the road thence towards Glasgow but cannot recollect how far or whether he went further than Maryhill. Statements from other workers Charles Quinn, John McNaught, John Scott and Jeremiah Wilson reiterated Smellies statement.
James Black, a partner of the firm of John Black & Co identified by name some of those accused alongside John McCubben but could not identify McCubben, but heard his brother Philip Black, say that there was a man in the crowd and riot who had a stick leg and who was particularly active, which, in the context of the remark, seems to imply that John McCubben had a stick leg himself.
Following the bankruptcy of John Barr & Co, John McCubben does not seem to have remained out of work for long, if at all, as it appears that he completed his apprenticeship and continued working in his trade. He is recorded as a journeyman calico printer on the 1841 census and in 1858 on the death record of his son, Arthur, although in later years he became a fish merchant and later still a greengrocer.
Our McCubbing Centenary Celebration in Perth, Australia, June 2012
Family #31, Group 1 ‘The Edgartoun McCubbins’
By Diana Neale
When Robert Swan McCubbing, writer and joint agent of the British Linen Bank Uddingston, died in April 1911, he left his widow Charlotte, nee Gover, and 8 surviving children, ranging in age from 26 years to nearly 3 years. Robert, the 4th son of John McCubbing and Elizabeth Grierson, was born in 1851 and brought up at Shirmers, Balmaclellan, Kirkcudbrightshire.
Charlotte, born in India in 1864, having lost her father and 3 siblings to cholera in 1872, came to England with her mother and sister Clara, and married RS on her 19th birthday. Her mother subsequently remarried and (again) crossed the world to Western Australia in 1910.
Thus it was that on June 15th 1912, Charlotte arrived in Western Australia with daughters Elfreda, aged 11, Mary, 10, and Jean, not quite 3, escorted by her third son John, aged 21.
Two older boys, Robert Swan and Charles Edward were living in Canada, and James Unwin the youngest boy had arrived in WA a little earlier. Only Elizabeth, the eldest daughter remained in England. In time, Robert Jnr (Bob) and Charlie joined the family in WA and made their lives there.
And so, on June 16th 2012, almost 80 descendants gathered at Mosman Park Bowling Clubto celebrate the Centenary of the arrival in Western Australia of our branch of the McCubbings.
Several had flown to Perth from the Eastern States, and others came from country WA.
Present were 9 of the 13 surviving grandchildren of Robert Swan and Charlotte Gover, and many of their children and grandchildren, all coded as belonging to the families of Bob, John and Jimmy McCubbing, Freda Van Noort and Jean Allan, (Charlie and Mary were childless). Represented by video from Rugby UK, was cousin Anna Notton, daughter of Betty (the child remaining in) with her 3 children and grandson.
A very special guest was our second cousin Margaret McColl, the granddaughter of Isabella McCubbing (Robert Swan McCs sister). Margaret came all the way from Hawera, New Zealand, no easy journey believe me, and was joined by her grandson Jay Gable who lives in Perth (WA). Some years ago I travelled to New Zealand especially to meet Margaret, the only second cousin I had ever known of, so I can understand that to Margaret, the prospect of meeting with 9 second cousins all at once, was irresistible!
The Reunion was held at Mosman Park Bowling Club overlooking a magnificent stretch of the Swan River. We had hoped that following lunch and some tuition, there would be family rivalry on the bowling green, for grandfather Robert and his sons were all champion bowlers, and it seemed a fun tribute! Unfortunately, the threat of rain meant that the bowls game didn’t happen, but nobody seemed to mind or to miss it! Table tennis occupied the littles.
A lot of noise and chatter, and lovely happenings of cousins meeting up for the first time….. I was talking to my nephew Ian Crooke when cousin Tony Allan’s son Mike came up to him to say “I know you – Ian said “What school …when…It turned out they were at the same school 2 years apart, but did not know they had parents who were first cousins! (Tony’s been a farmer all his life…)
Of course we had a Piper! John Hill, a friend of cousin Peter Van Noort, brought tears to the eye and set many feet a-tapping during the afternoon.
I was struck by how happy everybody was, and how well they all got on the young adults thrilled to find so many 2nd and 3rd cousins their own age! Many of them went out on the town that night and continued the party.
Suddenly 5 hours had gone and it was over, people were leaving and I hadn’t yet got to chat to them, nor did I have a chance to get my camera out! So I just wanted to start again and be able to talk to people….The memorabilia table had some wonderful exhibits on it, and I am hoping that the skills of various cousins, their photos and their videos will result in a lasting record of a truly wonderful occasion. My Dad, his brothers and sisters, would have loved it!
Margaret McColl remained in Perth another week, giving her the opportunity to talk more to her new found cousins and us to celebrate her 87th birthday with her a week or two in advance! Anna Notton in England turned 87 the day after Margaret.
Sadly, I should record that Robert Swan McCubbin’s oldest grandchild, Freda Hamilton, who through ill health had been unable to attend the reunion, died in Canmberra on 10th September 2012, a few weeks short of her 95th birthday.
All the best for 2013!!
The MCFHA Committee
Chairperson of McCubbin Family History Association – Kathy McCubbing Hopkins,
Member – Guild of One Name Studies – Kathy forwards world queries to co-ordinators.
Lorna McCubbin – McFHA Co-Founder
DNA Project Administrator – Lorna McCubbin, Co-Admin – Kathy McCubbing Hopkins
Penny McColm – MCFHA Co-Founder & Co-ordinator for Australia & NZ
Co-ordinators specialties: Kathy McCubbing Hopkins, Dumfries, Lynne McCubbin, Ayrshire, Ronald ‘Rick’ McCubbin, America, Lorna and Kathy – the rest of the world
MCFHA Sponsors – James & Lorna McCubbin
Website – L. McCubbin
Click to whom you wish to email; Kathy and/or Lorna, Penny, Rick, Lynne
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We are especially grateful to those of you who provided samples for the DNA project. It is providing a great insight into our past.
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