Stranraer: Stranraer is a small parish within the burgh of the same name, much of the town today lying in the parishes of Inch and Leswalt. Located at the south end of Loch Ryan, and formally created as a burgh of barony in 1595 and as a royal burgh in 1617, it was a port and center of ship-building from very early days. Once famous for the herring fishery, it harbored early Clyde steamer services from about 1830. Sheltered in Loch Ryan from the stormy North Channel of the Irish Sea, it has been since 1866 the principal seaport for the Irish ferries, and is today the terminus of the railway which brings Irish boat trains through Ayr from Glasgow and London. John Bartholomews Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887) describes Stranraer as thus; royal and police burgh, seaport town, and par., Wigtownshire, at head of Loch Ryan, 7½ miles NE. of Portpatrick, 73 miles W. of Dumfries, and 87 miles SW. of Glasgow by rail – par., 55 ac., pop. 3528; royal burgh, pop. 3455; police burgh, pop. 6342; town, pop. 6415; P.O., T.O., 5 Banks, 1 newspaper. The town’s most notable building is probably the Old Castle of St John, which was used by James Graham of Claverhouse in 1632. The North-West Castle, meanwhile, was home to the famous Arctic and North-West Passage explorer, Sir John Ross, who was born in nearby Inch. (from Wigtownshire Free Pages)
Daniel, born c1745, and Hugh McCubbin, born c1750, were brothers.
1. Daniel married Margaret McCubbin, 1769 in Stranraer. They had six children. Their eldest son, Hugh, born c1770. He married Jane Maxwell and was a Cooper.
Hugh and Janes eldest son, John was born c1788. He married Elizabeth MAXWELL in 1808 in Stranraer. A Seaman, he died in 1862.
The couple had seven sons, Andrew, Hugh, William, John, David, Thomas and John. Andrew, born 1808, and his much younger brother, John, born 1823, were the adventurers. They left for Jamaica, West Indies. A brother, Hugh, remained in Stranraer and married Sarah Linn. He was an Ostler and Coachman.
2. Hugh, brother of Daniel, married Jean Aitken, and carried on the Cooper tradition of his father. They had a large family of nine children, all of whom remained in the Stranraer area for many years.
Occupations & Accomplishments
Various occupations of this family were Coopers, Ostlers and Coachmen, Mariners, Seamen, Steam Boat Clerk, a Magistrate and Justice of the Peace, a Plantation Owner, a Farmer, and a Seamstress.
To Jamaica, West Indies
In August, 2008 the McCubbin Family History Association received a very interesting email from the United States:
Hello, my name is Joy Mccubbin, I was born in St Elizabeth Jamaica WI. I was told by my father that my great grand father was from Scotland, and he and his brother migrated to Jamaica many years ago. Their names were John and Andrew Mccubbin. Andrew was an engineer in Trelawny, Jamaica and owned a sugar estate. Andrew was accidentally burned by the steam in his factory, and after the accident he and his brother returned back to Scotland. John had two children named Charles and Beckey, Charles had ten children in which one of them is my father. His name is Harold Mccubbin, born 1912, and had twelve children. He is a farmer and still alive and well. My reason for writing this email is so that I can try to locate my family. Everywhere I go people are always asking about our very unusual name. In the whole Island of Jamaica we were the only Mccubbins living there. I am very proud to have this name because it is a very uncommon name and I know that I am the offspring of some great ancestors.
I dont know much about my grand father or great grand father, except my father told us that my great grand father and his brother owned a lot of property. He said after the accident they left everything behind and the government took over a lot of their estate. [edited version]
We immediately began searching for Joy and Harolds family. As so many Scots were doing at that time in history, the McCubbin brothers had gone to the West Indies in the mid 1800s to seek their fortune. Andrew became a land owner and soon was involved with the local governing in his area. There is no record of John, however, he likely worked along side his brother on the plantation.
We know that Andrew owned some land along with his daughter, Theresa, and her husband Henry Fray. It is assumed that the sale took place after Andrews accident. The Trelawny and Public Advertiser, published in Falmouth, Jamaica, Apr 19, 1877, records: “The estate in the Parish of Hanover known as Mosquito Cove, owned by Andrew McCubbin and Henry Fray Esquires and Mrs Theresa Fray, wife of the latter, was sold on the 14th of March out of the Encumbered Estates Court for the sum of Pounds 2500.” (One pound sterling in 1877 was $62. 25.)At this point, it hasnt been possible to find out what happened to the brothers after they left Jamaica. However, the death of Andrews wife was recorded in the Wigtownshire Free Press: “May 1911 – McCubbin – At Clarendon Park, [Jamaica] the residence of her daughter Mrs Teresa Fray on the 24th inst. Mrs Andrew McCubbin aged 93 years relict of the late Andrew McCubbin Esq of Strenrear, Wigtownshire, Scotland and J.P. of St Elizabeth and Hanover.”It appears that Andrew also had a son, Andrew, who was born circa 1848 in Jamaica, West Indies. He appeared on the census of 1861 in 14 George St, Stranraer, Wigtownshire; a Scholar, age 12, at the household of his uncle and aunt, Hugh McCubbin, 45, and Sarah McCubbin, 43. He appeared on the census of 1871 in 145 Nelson St, Glasgow, Govan, Lanarkshire; a Sailor, age 22, born West Indies, a Lodger at the household of Jane Gibson and family and three other Lodgers. No further record of him has been found.
When we first heard from Joy, we asked her father Harold if he would have a DNA test done. When the results were returned I was delighted to tell Joy that they had matches with members of Group 1 DNA McCubbins. Joy wrote back,
Hi Lorna, I dont know where to start from, Im so happy to hear the good news. Im very happy to know that we have family somewhere out there. My father is very happy to hear the good news and hopes to meet some of his cousins before he dies. God Bless you and thank you so much for what you have done for us. This is the best gift I could ever ask for. Joy
Her father told her he could now die happy. [Harold died 17 September 2011]
We notified the McCubbins of DNA group 1. A few months later, Nancy Altman, descendent of John McCubbin and Agnes Hodgeon, wrote:
My brother Frank and his wife were in New York last week and had dinner with Joy McCubbin, her sister Annie and daughter Teslar. Our son Evan who works in Manhattan was able to join them as well. He is in the hotel/hospitality business and he said that it was one of the most memorable evenings he has spent in a long time.
The attached photos show how warm and wonderful the evening was. (see photos in The Gallery) Again…thank you for making the DNA connection between our families. Hopefully we will make it to Jamaica one of these days.
The latest addition to this famiy is the link with Guyana. See ‘Links with Guyana’ CUB Report 2001. Howard McCubbin had his DNA done this year and we found that he and his brother Stephen, both born Guyana, fit into DNA Group 1. At the present time we are unable to make a paper link with Harold and Joy, but the probability is very high. Kathy and Lorna are now working on the charts and narratives.
Facts of Interest
A Coopers Occupation
Traditionally, a Cooper is someone who makes wooden staved vessels of a conical form, of greater length than breadth, bound together with hoops and possessing flat ends or heads. Examples of a Cooper’s work include but are not limited to casks, barrels, buckets, tubs, butter churns, hogsheads,firkins, puncheons, pipes, tuns, butts, pins, and breakers. Everything a cooper produces is referred to collectively as cooperage. “Cask” is a generic term used to describe any piece of cooperage containing a bouge, bilge, or bulge in the middle of the container. In the 1800s a man skilled at making barrels was an important person. Many goods were shipped and stored in barrels. This skill was often passed down from father to son.
Jamaica and Scotland in the 1800s
There were many Scottish folks present in the West Indies. Some made their fortunes travelling to places like Jamaica to try their hand at sugar or coffee production. Others died there, or suffered accidents such as Andrews in the sugar mill.
The bulk of the Scottish people in the West Indies were in Jamaica. Today, many of the local population have Scottish names. Jamaica was a British colony until it gained its independence in 1962.
Andrew McCubbin and the Vestry System in Jamaica
The early form of Local Government was called the Vestry system, patterned after the form of Local Government that existed in England at the time. This name came about because a body called the Vestry governed local authorities. The Vestry of each parish was drawn from the lay magistrates and the clergy of the particular parish. These Vestries supported the clergy, maintained the churches, offered relief to the poor, maintained the few roads which existed at the time, and maintained public order.
The vestry consisted of the custos, two or more of the local magistrates, ten vestrymen (landowners), and the rector of the church. The vestrymen were elected annually by the freeholders. The vestrymen in turn appointed all the parochial officers at their first meeting. These vestries, which formerly ran the local parish government, were eventually replaced by Parochial Boards during the government reorganization.
7 Generation Descendancy Chart
Contributors: Joy McCubbin and family, Nancy Altman
Next DNA Group 2