The CUB Report – 2007

November, 2007
Dear Cubbies,
Issue number 7 features:

Announcing the McCubbin DNA Project
McCubbin Families of Ayrshire, Scotland (Part Two)
The McCubbin Family of Dunscore/Kirkmahoe
The McCubbin Family from Keir, Dumfriesshire
News from Canada
A Clue about the Mystery of the Sundial, Bermuda
McCubbin Pioneers of Mid West America

The McCubbin DNA Project

Have you ever met a McCubbin who looks a lot like you, but isn’t one of your family? Do you ever wonder if you are related to a McCubbing, McCubbine, MacCubbin, McCubbins, or even a McKibben? Where did your McCubbin family originate – Scotland? Ireland? What’s the evolution of the McCubbin surname? Did you know that DNA testing can help find the answers to your questions.

What is DNA?

DNA is in the genes, which are in the chromosomes, which are in the cells, which are in the person. A small portion of DNA is carried on the Y Chromosome, which is passed almost unchanged from father to son through the generations. A DNA test has been developed to analyze this Chromosome. It is painless, quick, and the result contains no personal information. A test kit is sent to you in the mail. You swab the inside of your cheek and return it to the test lab. Each participant receives their own ‘customer code’ and each sample kit is coded so that, by logging onto a secure webpage set up for each Surname Project, participants can check the progress of their sample. All males sharing a common ancestor along the male lines should have the same DNA on the markers that are tested in this project. When we have enough results, a man in Australia might find that he has an exact match to a male in America. That male may be a direct descendant of ‘John the Colonist’ who arrived in Maryland in the mid 1600s. That line, in America, is a well documented tree. The Australian male now gains an extended family line he never knew existed.

DNA testing is an especially helpful tool when we have a One Name Study such as ours where we have hundreds of names sorted into family groups.

We hope to better understand our McCUBBIN kinship, family lines, ethnic origins, migrations, and even Scottish clan affiliations. In essence, this DNA project endeavors to answer two questions every genealogist has: Who are we and where did we come from? We can use DNA testing in our genealogical quest to help answer these questions.

The test result contains no personal information, and you will match those to whom you are related.

We have chosen Family Tree DNA as the lab to secure our records. Our name McCubbin, and variants are now registered with FTDNA. They have a very informative website where you can order your test at: Family Tree DNA

Women, you can test for your maternal lines at FTDNA. You can help with your McCubbin line by encouraging your father, husband, sons, uncles and male cousins to participate in the McCubbin DNA project.

McCubbin Families of Ayrshire

Alexander McCubbin & Jean/Joan Macilwraith
The Ballantrae McCubbins

The descendants of the family of Alexander McCubbin and Jean Macilwraith virtually span the globe from Scotland to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, South Africa, Canada and America. Alexander and the next two generations of Alexanders were Baron Officers and Land Stewards in Ballantrae and Dailly. From then on, the lure of the world took the McCubbins from Scotland as Sailors, Master Mariners and Ship Stewards. Some lost their lives at sea, others in the wars. Others emigrated and became Innkeepers, Bakers, Railway Workers and Artists, to name a few. (More about this family in previous CUB reports by descendant Penny McColm).

Alexander Charles McCubbin & Jean Smith
The Ayr McCubbins

Alexander McCubbin and Jean Smith married in 1765 and had eight known children, all born in Ayr. Many were Tailors and Clothiers. Some descendants moved to America and Canada. Check McCubbins of the Pacific (Canada) on our Links.

Daniel McCubbin & (1)Margaret McGhie (2)Margaret Eagleshom
The Girvan McCubbins

Daniel McCubbin, born circa 1759, was a Master Mason. He married Margaret McGhie, then possibly Margaret Eagleshom. He had eleven known children. Lynne McCubbin related: “They were Weavers, Farmers, Innkeepers, Miners, Tailors, Masons, etc. Some became prosperous others weren’t so fortunate. Many moved to Glasgow, with many more emigrating to America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.”

Descendant Mathew McCubbin, born c1877, died at Vimy, 1918, leaving his wife, Jessie and daughter, Jane. (More about Lynne’s family in CUB Report 2006).

James McCubbin & Elizabeth Bowman
The Maybole McCubbins

James McCubbin was a Tailor. He and Elizabeth Bowman had six known children, born between c1780 and 1790. Some of his sons were Drapers and Merchants. His son Andrew was a Master Draper, and Andrew’s sons were also Drapers. Some of them relocated to England and lived on Oxford St., St James, Westminster. Descendant Hugh James McCubbin married Evane Chambers in Shanghai, China. Their first child was born in Shanghai, the next in California and finally in New Zealand, where descendants live to this day.

John McCubbin & Elizabeth Arthur
Dalrymple, Coylton

John McCubbin was a Ploughman. He had two known sons, David and Alexander. Alexander married Margaret Currie, 1859, Coylton, Ayr and their first son John was born at sea, circa 1861, enroute to Australia. Daughter Jane was born in Australia. There is no further information about this family. If you are a descendant of this family and would like to help build this family tree, please contact us at  

Robert McCubbin & Elizabeth Lochiel

Robert McCubbin’s surname was listed as McGibbon on his son Joseph’s marriage register, 26 January 1872, making it a difficult family to trace as Joseph also had an alias of Cunningham (his mother’s name from a previous marriage). They were a family of Coal Miners. Robert’s grandson John McCubbin aka Cunningham was born 1878 in Kilmarnock, married Mary Murdoch Burnside Hay and moved to Australia. Many descendants live in and near Brisbane today.

Shaw McCubbin & Sarah Chapman
County Down – Ireland, & Girvan

Shaw McCubbin’s Irish history was researched extensively by David McCormack. Shaw’s Irish surname was McKibben. At the age of 23, in 1807, he leased a three acre farm from the Marchioness of Downshire, County Down. He married Sarah Chapman in 1808. One known son, William, was born circa 1811 in Ireland and moved to Girvan, Ayr. He was a Cotton Weaver. He and his wife Martha Hay had ten children who became Weavers, Plumbers, Painters, Railway Workers, etc. His daughters were Weavers and Shopkeepers. One daughter, Martha, married Alexander Birch. Their son, also Alexander, was a Civil Surgeon — he died in 1902 in St Helena, which was a concentration camp during the Boer War (1899 – 1902). There are many living descendants in Scotland, UK and Canada.

Andrew McCubbin & Margaret Warden

Andrew McCubbin was a Clergyman. His son Mathew was born 1810. Mathew was a Shoemaker. Mathew and his wife Margaret had five sons. Four of them became Shoemakers. Also a grandson, Mathew, became a Shoemaker, whose own son was killed in action in 1917 at Arras, France.

William McCubbin & Annie Watson
Dundonald, Kilmarnock

William McCubbin was born 1831, Symington. He married Annie Watson, 1853, Dundonald. William was a Pithead Man. Known children were 1)Thomas who married Elizabeth Stevenson, 2)William Simson McCubbin who married Mary Wood, 3)Andrew who married Jessie Cowan, 4)Annie who married John McIntosh. That’s all we know about this family. Contact us if you can help in the search.

John McCubbin & Elizabeth McIntyre
Maybole, Kirkoswald

John McCubbin, a Ploughman and Grieve, (a farm overseer or manager), and his wife Elizabeth had six known children, Henry, born 1796, Robert, born 1798, Agnes, born 1802, Elizabeth, born 1803, Jannet, born 1805, John, born 1806. Son Robert was also a Ploughman. he married Margaret Lightbody. His children Margaret. John and Elizabeth were born in Kirkoswald. Surnames of those they married were: Bray, Beaton, Thornton, Kerrigan, Wilson and Nicol.

David McCubbin & Margaret McKail
Kilmarnock, Auchinleck, Dundonald

David married Margaret McKail ‘McHaill’ 1850, Auchinleck. David was a Preserve Storeman. Children were John, David, Margaret (married John Blair), Agnes (married Robert Barclay), Alexander, a Preserve Manufacturer, married Isabella Weir.

Thomas McCubbin & Mary Blair

Thomas McCubbin, Mariner and Ship Rigger, and Mary Blair were married 1816, Lanark. Son, David was a Coalminer. He married Martha Harrigan in Irvine. Second son Gifford, married Mary Ann Harding. Following in his father’s footsteps, Gifford became a Mariner and Ship Rigger.

James McCubbin & Jannet Millar
Dailly, Maybole, Girvan

James McCubbin, also listed as McCubbine, was born circa 1692 in Brunston, Dailly. By the late 1700’s his offspring were Tailors. However, it’s obvious the next generations had a love for horses, being Coach Drivers and Ostlers. The meaning of Ostler for that period in time was, ‘one who tends to horses at an inn’. James’ great, great grandson, also James, born 1825, became an Ostler. His own son emigrated to Canada where he became a well respected Farmer and Horseman. “While actively engaged in farming, Mr McCubbin’s hobby was breeding of Ayrshire cattle and Clydesdale horses and many trophies of live stock exhibitions were won by his animals.” (information provided by Canadian family) Note the variation of the McCubbin name, i.e. McCubbine.

Thomas McCubbin, born 1833, Maybole, was also a descendant of James & Jannet. He became a well known proprietor of the Eglinton Hotel and later the King’s Arms Hotel, Maybole. Thomas and his wife Mary McClymont enlarged the hotel and stables. Upon Thomas’ death his son John Gillespie McCubbin was mainly interested in the hiring side of the business, with the result that he soon had about thirty horses for pulling brakes, waggonettes and carriages. Excursions became very popular and the Kings Arms soon acquired a great reputation, running regular four-in-hand sightseeing excursions to such beauty spots as Loch Doon, Tairlaw Linn and Maidens. Wordsworth, Keats, Dante, Gabriel, Rosetti and Robert Louis Stevenson all stayed in this hotel while exploring the neighbouring country. John Gillespie McCubbin became a prominent local Councilor and Provost of Maybole.  Source: and descendant Sally Walker.

John McCubbin & Agnes Hodgeon

John McCubbin was a Linen Weaver. He and his wife Agnes had three known sons, William, born 1798, Charles, born 1799 and James, born 1800. Descendants continued to work in the weaving business. Some also became Painters, and Bakers in Maybole, Glasgow and Greenock areas. John McCubbin, a great grandson of John and Agnes, worked for a time at the Taikoo Sugar Refinery in Hong Kong. His son John also became involved in the sugar industry and worked in India. Alexander, of this same family was born 1914 in Greenock. In a, sometimes amusing, sometimes sad, letter to Lorna McCubbin, he related parts of his life. “Sent out to the Middle East I was in Alexandria in Egypt when my first born, a daughter, was born. After various actions in the Middle East, Cyprus, Syria and the Western Desert, I was made a POW and spent the next three years behind wire. When the war ended I saw my daughter for the first time.”

John and Agnes’ descendants held a family reunion in San Francisco in 2006. (see 2006 CUB Report).

The McCubbin Family of Dunscore/Kirkmahoe #32


The family headed by John McCubbin (c1723 – 1788) and his wife Elizabeth who hailed originally from Burnhead in Dunscore, and later moved to the nearby Kirkton, Kirkmahoe, were mainly Tailors until great grandson James McCubbin gave up tailoring around 1861 (perhaps when he married) to become a Stationmaster.

James W McCubbin, a descendant who now lives in Nottinghamshire, has been in contact with the One-Name McCubbin Study and has generously shared what he knows about his ancestors, paying tribute to his uncle: “I have drawn on written and verbal evidence in these narratives from letters and conversations between myself James William McCubbin and my late uncle (David Brown McCubbin), without whom the essence of these details would have been lost.”

Whilst James the Stationmaster is definitely worthy of note in that he seems to have been quite a character, another thing of great interest is his link with Alexander the Covenanter, by virtue of him reportedly having been in possession of the Covenanter’s bible.
According to descendant James, “Old Mac”, as James is affectionately known within the family, was quite a unique character. Until 1861 he apprenticed to his father John McCubbin (c1798 – 1863, Master Tailor) and he worked as a Tailor until around that time when he went to work as Stationmaster at Crawford and agent at Elvanfoot, amassing 34 years with the Caledonian Railway Company.

Descendant, James relates: “Crawford, Elvanfoot and the Leadhills were all contributing to the ‘new’ industrial revolution of the 19th century as the railways allowed for the transportation of lead and other metals that were being mined in the area at the time. Also, the London to Glasgow rail route was established. Long before telephones existed in that part of Scotland James set up his own telegraph system between Elvanfoot and Ivy Lodge at Crawford, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. He could be considered a charismatic character and a bit of a pioneer, perhaps, not least by being the first to explore the technology at the time, in that area.

James married Janet Brown from Dumfries in June 1861, so perhaps it was this life change that prompted him to change his work also. Perhaps Janet’s family were involved in the railways and this was how James came to be in this sphere of work.

Between 1862 and 1878 James and Janet had 8 children. Their only two sons, Joseph (1870 – 1946) and James (1872 – 1897) both worked on the railways: Joseph for the whole of his life, starting off in 1897 as a Railway Signal Man, becoming a Railway Guard by 1925. But, the younger son, James, started work as a Printsman and only during the latter couple of years of his life did he work as a Signalman. One of James and Janet’s daughters (Mary, born c. 1878) married John Martin, a Signalman.


Old Mac had Ivy Lodge at Crawford built for him in 1896 and he also owned the row of cottages named Rosemount. As Stationmaster at Elvanfoot, he also had a large house built named Marchmont and all of these properties are still in existence today. Marchmont is recognised by the two lions heads at the entrance gates.


It is through something that was written in “The Martyrs Graves of Scotland” by JH Thomson in 1906 and also mentioned in “Galloway and the Covenanters” by Paisley Alexander Gardener in 1914 that gives credence to the family’s ancestral link with Alexander the Covenanter. From the Martyrs Graves of Scotland:

“The Stationmaster at Elvanfoot, on the main line of the Caledonian railway, is a descendant of Alexander M’Cubbin and bears his name. He still possesses the martyr’s Bible. It is in good preservation. It is a small folio dated”

“Edinburgh, printed by Andro Hart, and are to be sold at his Buith on the Kirk Side of the Gates, a little beneath the cross Anno Dom 1610.””

Various efforts have been made to trace the Bible, sadly to no avail. Neither is it mentioned in James’ will, descendant James is in possession of, but one would assume that Thomson would have visited James and seen the Bible in order to make his remark “it is in good preservation”. What became of Alexander the Covenanter’s Bible looks sadly to remain a mystery.

Some months before his wife, Janet died in November 1909, James bought a motorcar which descendant James researched: “Cumbria Archive service positively identified it as a Panhard et Lavasser, 12 HP Tonneau, dark red with green leather to seat 4 or 5. First registered on 22 February 1904 and owned by Old Mac James McCubbin of Marchfield Cottage, Crawford on 3 August 1909.”

Stationmaster McCubbin

After the sad loss of his wife, James was not to remain single for long. He married his second wife, Janet Thomson a year later in November 1910 and, according to descendant James: “One story passed down through the family is that following his first wife’s death, he advertised for a Housekeeper and Jane Thomson (daughter of Walter Thomson – Farmer) applied for the job. The story goes that he suggested, ‘tongues would be wagging’ in the village at this arrangement, so they ‘might as well get married’; which is just what they did.

Above the couple are shown along with James’ mother in law, Mary Roddan Tait Thomson and one of Jane’s sisters in James’ motor car and presumably the photograph was taken with his camera. James was apparently fond of gadgets and had the werewithal to purchase them.

He also seems to be a man of fun, as shown by the snap of him and his wife, taken in the garden, with him pushing her in the wheelbarrow!

James, the Station Master

Descendant James writes: “James McCubbin (Old Mac) is buried with both his first and second wife in the Kirkyard at Elvanfoot, which makes an interesting arrangement. I believe, the church is, now, privately owned by a lady living in Glasgow. Someone appears to maintain the graves and I would hope that these continue to survive for future generations to connect with their ancestors.” His headstone notes, he was “Station Master in this district for 34 years and Elder for 26 years.”

1897 – 1965

James “Rube” McCubbin was James W McCubbin’s grandfather and grandson of James the Stationmaster. He was born in 1897 at Sunny Brae Cottage in the District of Forth, Lanarkshire. He married Jane Carlyle in 1919 and they had 5 children. Below he is shown with his wife, Jane Carlyle and their mothers.

Rube and Jane Carlyle and mothers

Descendant James writes:

“Rube/James McCubbin worked in the coal mines in Lanarkshire and was a Contractor, setting on men and developing tunnels into coal seams. He was part of the team that atempted a mine rescue in which many miners died. I think the mine in question was Kings Hill No. 1 or No. 2.

James was born two months after his father’s death. He was the only son and his mother brought him up single-handed. For many years she kept a sweet shop at the village of Forth, in Scotland. It still exists but is now an Indian takeaway.

James (Rube) was a Stone-mining Contractor in the Scottish coal-fields, employing men, driving the tunnels, by blasting and clearing the rock, which would allow men access to the rich coal-seams in the Ayrshire coal-fields. He was the man that hired and fired the labour.

Below are extracts taken from personal notes to me from my late uncle David Brian McCubbin. “Father’s team were the main rescue and repair men at Kingshill Colliery No. 2, ten miles from the village of Forth, Lanarkshire. Whenever there was a ‘cave in’ [roof fall] dad’s team would clear the debris and shore up the roof. Disaster struck in 1934 with an underground fire. Six men burned to death, a real tragedy in a small village.” (DB McCubbin, 2001). “During the general strike of 1926, he had to seek work away from the Lanarkshire coalfields. No unemployment in those days. He got the job of Grave-digger in the village of Kirkpatrick Durham, near Dumfries. He was known as a bit of a joker and he dug graves as darkness set in. He also knew of two old ladies who would walk the same route past the church in the evening. When digging a grave near the cemetery wall, a crumbling coffin exposed a skull, which he put on the wall and put a stub of a candle inside. Needless to say the old ladies fled for their lives.” (letter, D. B. McCubbin 2002).

James McCubbin (Rube) was also a member of the Masonic Lodge in the village of Forth, Lodge, Wilsontown, St Johns no 236 and Pastmaster 1931 – 1932.”

by Kathy McCubbing Hopkins, co-ordinator for Dumfries. Contributors: Descendants James W McCubbin & the late David Brown McCubbin

The McCubbin Family from Keir, Dumfriesshire #05


An interesting part of the Keir McCubbin family history relates to McCubbin lads who were born a generation apart at Kirkbride Farm in Keir and who emigrated from Scotland to New South Wales in Australia in the early to mid 19th century. The earliest pioneer, James McCubbin (1810 -1888), was an early emigrant, arriving in Australia in the 1830s where he set about making his fortune with some verve. He was followed some 15 years later by 2 nephews, both called John, sons of his brothers John and William.


The fascinating story of James McCubbin will be told in another Cub Report, but in this Report we’d like to relate the tale of one of his nephews John (1835 – 1886) because, Lisa Josey, in Queensland, Australia has recently been in touch with the McCubbin one-name study and told us the story of an heirloom which was given to John by his parents when they left Scotland and which is still worn on special occasions by McCubbin descendants to this day! Lisa relates:

“The Shell Pendant we have was given to John by his mother. Apparently his mother, Annie McCubbin (nee Paterson) picked two shells up on a beach after she saw him and his cousin off on the ship to Australia. She had the shells set with gold and attached them to a fob watch and sent them to her son and nephew. The gold on the shell that we have is engraved with a date (185_?) This story has been passed down the line so I guess that there is no way of knowing whether it is completely accurate but we certainly have the shell, which is now a brooch, and the lid from the the fob watch. As far as the second shell goes I don’t know who is in possession of it but it would be great to be able to investigate. -don’t know where to start really!”

The Shell Pendant

According to Lisa “It is tradition for it to be worn by female McCubbin descendants on their wedding day. Most recently it was worn by my Grandmother on her 90th birthday last December.”  Lisa and her parents visited Dumfriesshire last summer (2007) and we were happy to put her in touch with 3rd cousins still living in the area she visited. Leslie and Billy McCubbin kindly extended their hospitality to Lisa and her parents and showed them the area. Lisa brought some wonderful photos with her and generously shared copies with us.


The emigraton of cousins John (1835-1886, son of John McCubbin and Annie Paterson of Kirkbride, Keir) and John (1834-1877, son of William McCubbin and Jane Stitt of Keir, Glencairn and then Willowgrove, Dumfries) from the BUSY BIT in Keir, Dumfriesshire to New South Wales has now become something of a local legend.

A number of sources cite the event and an interesting account of it, the Busy Bit area, and the community in general are recalled in an interview with a nephew of one of the emigrants, Philip McCubbin (1900 – 1991, Leslie’s father) in the Dumfries and Galloway Standard in 1988. In summary, legend has it that the whole Busy Bit community upped its roots and moved, lock, stock and barrel to Australia in 1872 [this date is cited in many sources but appears to be incorrect, we know that John was in Australia by 1861]. The Schoolmaster went, the Blacksmith and, it is even said the Clydesdale horses…the first to arrive in Australia according to one version of the story.

Philip recounted that “there were only four young men, of about 19 years old” who went. He said that his Uncle John (1835-1886) married out there and had ten of a family [they appear to have had eleven children, although their daughter Catherine died in infancy in 1870]. Philip seems to have skipped a generation when recounting that…John [John 1867-1919, son of John and Agnes McCubbin?) died sometime after the First World War, and when his wife died the letters stopped coming.

During his interview Philip was quite definite and said he had never heard anything about a schoolmaster going, but the son of the Blacksmith at Barndennoch (Barndennoch replaced the Busy Bit school) was in the small group. It is thought that the boys left Scotland from Carsethorn and it took six months to reach Australia. In our time of high speed communication and travel it is a sobering thought that their families received no news about their loved ones’ safe arrival for at least a year.

The Busy Bit was a small farmtoun settlement, nestling in the narrow valley on the road between Dunscore and Glenmidge. A handful of families lived in what was probably a single, long building with several homes. There may have been other cottages nearby that belonged to the community. There was also a Busy Bit school which McCubbin boys from Kirkbride attended, the ruins of which are still just visible. A modern agricultural barn now stands on the site of the Busy bit.

The site hasn’t been inhabited since the McCubbin lads left. Philip’s closing remarks were: “The Busy Bit! It’s never been busy in my day.”


It is thought that John emigrated to Australia sometime during the 1850s. By 1861 he had taken over the running of the Post Office in Coolah from his uncle James. At this time, like his uncle and his cousin John, he was an Innkeeper, running the Red Heifer (also known as the Red Cow) at Warana Creek and he was also the Newspaper Agent for the West Post, Coolah.  John was to become uncle James’ son-in-law in addition to being his nephew when he married his cousin Agnes in July 1862. They had at least 11 children who were born in the Coonabarabran district (probably in Coolah).  By 1868 he became the Publican at the Box Ridge Inn in Coonabarabran, which is mentioned on a number of occasions in “Coonabarabran, As It Was In the Beginning”, (published 1983, Joy Pickette & Mervyn Campbell, Macquarie Publications Pty Ltd). In about 1880 it seems the McCubbin family moved. The Lovells moved out to the old inn at Box Ridge where they replaced the McCubbins. By now it had become quite a going concern. Very large stock yards had been built close by.”  John died in 1886, aged 51 but it is not known where he is buried.  Lisa provided this wonderful photo of Agnes, wife of John, who was born in 1846 in New South Wales and lived until 1930. She died in Narrabri, NSW.


John and Agnes’ descendants have been found in Narrabri, NSW (daughter’s families) and in Roma, Queensland (family of son William James McCubbin (1875-1943) who is a direct ancestor of Lisa Josey).  William James McCubbin married Clara Tunney in Roma in April 1909 and they had 9 children, many of whom are still living in various parts of Queensland.
by Kathy McCubbing Hopkins. Researched by Kathy, Lorna McC, Penny McColm. Contributors: Lisa Josey & descendants of the above family.

News From Canada

Doris McCubbin Anderson
1921 – 2007

Doris McCubbin Anderson

Jim McCubbin and Lorna Kinsey McCubbin, sponsors of the McCubbin Family History Association, lost a beloved sister/sister-in-law when Doris (nee McCubbin) Anderson died at the age of 85, of Pulmonary Fibrosis, in Toronto Canada, Mar 2, 2007.

“Doris, a magazine editor, author and campaigner of women’s rights, was an independent spirit always ready to defy authority in defence of her principles” – a spirit not unlike her Scottish born father, Thomas McCubbin. When she was younger she did not always agree with her father. Late in life she said, “He was a rebel, and he had a good mind, read widely and challenged everything.”

Doris graduated from teachers’ college in 1940 and earned enough money teaching in rural communities in Alberta, Canada, to put herself through university where she received a BA in 1945. She worked her way into journalism, joining the Chatelaine magazine in 1951. During 1957 – 77 she was its editor. Doris did not believe women’s rights were sufficiently supported by changes that were being made to Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. She led a fight that resulted in one simple statement being enshrined in the charter: “men and women are equal under the law.” She was a champion of fairness for all women. During her career, Doris wrote for the Toronto Star, completed an autobiography titled Rebel Daughter (1996), The Unfinished Revolution: Status of Women in Twelve Countries (1991), Affairs of State (1988) and authored several novels. She received many awards including three honorary degrees.

Doris loved her brothers and three sons and treasured family gatherings. The family and its history was an important part of her life. At the age of nearly 80, she thought nothing of scrambling through overgrown cemeteries with her brother Jim and his wife, Lorna, while searching for the family’s roots in Wigtownshire, Scotland and the Lake District of England. Doris kept notes, records and photos of her family and ancestors for many years. They became the backbone for Lorna’s compiling of their McCubbin family tree, their ancestral book, and ultimately the founding of the McCubbin Family History Association.

by Jim & Lorna McCubbin.

James McCubbin with his sister Doris McCubbin Anderson


More about the Sundial Mystery

In the CUB REPORT 2006 we told the tale of a sundial found on a vacant piece of land owned by a resort company in Bermuda. While clearing the land a sundial was found bearing the name of Rev Andrew McCubbin, Leswalt. Andrew was born in Wigtownshire, Scotland about 1765. The tale sparked some interest from a reader who wrote:  “I have been spending the day trying to research my family, and found mention of a sundial found in the weeds in Bermuda and saw your site.

About thirty years ago, when I was in high school, I was on a study trip to Antibes, France about 1975. Trying to learn French in France, and being very shy. But I went down to the parlor school dorms to read a book and get out of the hot sun for a while.

While there, a group of island (Bermuda and Jamaica) teens and some of the American teens were there talking in French/English and drinking doctored Fanta soda. They were later sent home early for causing problems, but I heard one talk of moving a sundial, or found it, not sure which, and it would cause a lot of grief for the people who wanted to find it. The person said it was near a school or some buildings.When I heard them talking I couldn’t understand if they went to a school there or they just hung out at the school’s remains. So either the stone was near to where it was placed or it was transported a ways, I don’t know which, but there was some mischief in it. I’m glad it has been found.”

McCubbin Pioneers of Mid West America

Since forming the McCubbin History Association eight years ago, we have received many copies of letters, documents and photos. Among them are some letters and articles by John Cameron McCubbin. John was descended from John the Colonist, and his descendant James McCubbin and wife Polly Cook of North Carolina. Also known as John C McCubbin, he was born 1863, near Carthage, Hancock Co, Illinois. He was an avid Genealogist and Historian. Known to be accurate in recording his research, he wrote numerous articles and letters about his family. John died 1957 in Los Angeles, California.

Following are excerpts from John McCubbin’s papers. To round it out, included are census records and land grant records, (sourced from They are copied exactly as they were spelled on the originals. Thus, you will once agan see the variations of the spelling of the McCubbin surname as well as Christian names. The individuals aren’t necessarily James and Polly’s descendants, they may also be from James’ brothers.


LIST OF SOULS was the heading for the census of 1790 for Rockingham County, North Carolina. There were three McCubbin families listed, those of James, John and Nicholas. It is assumed these three were brothers, (further research is required to prove so). We will focus mainly on James this time.


From John C McCubbin’s memoirs, Fresno CA Sept 6, 1928, (John was a great grandson of the following James and grandson of Joseph)

“My great grandfather, James McCubbin (born in North Carolina) moved with his family from the northern part of Rockingham County, North Carolina over the moutains to Green County, Kentucky. James had relatives there, who had resided there since 1796, and in 1805, James took his family over there and visited these relatives. He was so favorably impressed with the new country that he moved there the following year. One of James’ sons, Joseph, my grandfather, died Jan 4, 1881, when I was seventeen years of age. He was always proud of the fact that his father, James McCubbin had served in the Continental army during the Revolutionary war, and would often relate stories which he had heard his father tell concerning his army life.

I have in my possession the record of the birth of James McCubbin family and the date of the death of James McCubbin on sheets of coarse, unruled yellow paper. This was copied from the old family Bible by Nicholas McCubbin, as son of James McCubbin, nearly one hundred years ago. Copied from that old sheet:”


James McCubbin…………………………………..April 14, 1755….March 16,1824
Polly Cook………………………………………….November, 1769……….(blank)
John McCubbin…………………………………….May 15, 1785…………..(blank)
James, Jr……………………………………………July 10, 1789……………(blank)
Sally…………………………………………………Sept 19, 1791…..Nov 28, 1885
Zachariah…………………………………………..June 2, 1794…………..1893
Joseph………………………………………………Feb 27, 1796…….Jan 4, 1881
Polly…………………………………………………Aug 24, 1798…….Feb 10,1893
William…………………………………………….July 16, 1800……June 12,1863
Eleanor B…………………………………………..Oct 26, 1802……………1864
Pleasant…………………………………………….Sept 17, 1804……Oct 6, 1863
Nicholas…………………………………………….Aug 6, 1806…….Sept 6, 1869
Thomas………………………………………………July 2, 1809……….(blank)
Elizabeth……………………………………………Sept 8, 1811……….(blank)
David……………………………………………….Sept 22, 1813………….1908

The above thirteen children were all alive and well and attended their father’s funeral.” The first 9 children were born in Rockingham Co, N.C, Pleasant being the last in 1804. Nicholas and his younger siblings, Thomas W, Martha Elizabeth, and David, were born in Green Co, Kentucky.

Settling into Kentucky, the McCubbins received the following land grants along with the water course:

James McCubbin, 150 acres, surveyed 1815. “The James McCubbin ‘plantation’ in Kentucky, manufactured powder [“hand ground in an old coffee mill”] and the growing of tobacoo, both produced for the market.”
Nicholas McCubbins, 24 acres, Green River, 1832
John McCabaness, 15 acres, Russells Creek, 1821
John McCabaness, 10 acres, Green River, 1821

Zachariah McCubbin, 42 acres, Knox Lick Creek, 1848
Zachoria McCubbin, 50 acres, Green R., 1822
Zachariah McCubbin, 15 acres, Lynn Camp Creek, 1848
Zachariah McCubbun, 5 acres, 1848
Sallie McCubbins, 92 acres, 2 miles S Bacon Creek, 1865

William McCubbins, 50 acres, Bull Cr., 1817

Tracing the McCubbin family in early America(and their name variants) is a relatively easy thing to do. Click into, type in McCubbin (with Soundex to included sound alike names) and the State. (Sometimes has free trials, otherwise a subscription is required).

Census of 1820
Mundfordville, Hart County – Zacheriah, James and families (no names). Name spelled ‘McCUBBEN’.
Franklin, Simpson County – John McCUBBIN and family

Census of 1830
Greensburgh Township, Green County – Zachariah, Elizabeth, James, Pleasant and families. All on same census page. All spelled ‘McCUBBINS’.

Same county township and county as above – Pleasant McCUBBINS
Green County – Joseph McCUBBINS, Joseph McCUBBINS, Jr., in separate residences, on same page.
Washington County – Nicholas McCUBBINS and family
Hart County – William and Zachariah ‘McCUBINS’

Census of 1840
Green County – James, Zacharia and Nickolas McCUBBIN and families
Nickolas McCUBBIN and family
Nickolas McCOBBIN and family
Marion County -Nicholas McCUBBINS and family, James and 1 female
Hart County – Zachariah McCUBBINS and family
Estill County – Jas McCUBUIN and family
Census records give us sources to help back up and verify written or oral information from family members. John C McCubbin’s account about some of the McCubbins moving out of Kentucky to Illinois is clearly seen in the above censuses. For example, Pleasant was apparently no longer in Kentucky. Following are excerpts from John C McCubbin’s papers:


“Between Sept 24 and Oct 1, 1830, an emigrant party mainly Rupes, Bloyds and McCubbins, started northward from Green Co Kentucky with the intention of establishing homes for themselves in the wilds of western Illinois. Among the party of at least 29 were the following McCubbin families: Pleasant and Matilda (Rupe) McCubbin and their eight children, William H and Eleanor (McCubbin) Rupe and their four children. (Pleasant McCubbin and Wm H Rupe had each married the other’s sister). They continued their journey to Hancock Co and located in what is now Oak Grove school district. They built their houses of logs.”

In 1831 Levi and Barbara Bloyd, who lived in the settlement, sent a letter back to Kentucky to family and friends. The original transcriber aimed to reproduce as nearly as possible, the spelling and use of capital letters. Following are excerpts from ‘The Pioneer Letter’:

“November the 1th in the year 1831

Dear friends I wonst more take My pen in hand to write to you to inform you of our health at this time we are tolerable well at this time except Letle Levi he has Chis and fevers yet we have all been sick we got our sickness By going to the Elenoys River we Believe this to Be a healthy pace and we hope these few lines will find you all engoing your healths we are living in handcock county on the west fork of Crucked Creeke Near the Mouth of it A New settlement Cold Rays Settlement No one has lived here longer than this summer Corn is scars in this settlement it was planted late and got frost bit frost fel here in the Latter end of September But there are plenty within twenty five mils of us at one doler in trad pr Barrel Wheete is plenty at fifty Cents pr bushel and I hope it will always be that it is Redy market for Cash this is a fine furtile Countre we have plenty of Clard Land and that is good and A plenty of good timber two A plenty of Stock water good mill seats here we have to dig wells Mostly to use Best of hog rang and all kin of stock But I would advise purson that Coms to this plce to Bring all the Cattle they possible Can thay are Not Much expense and thay are hard to get here William Rupe and plese [Pleasant] McCubbin is living here But plese is going back to Bierds fery to stay this winter [Next few sentences of the letter are omitted as there are several unreadable spaces] we are all well plesed with Country wish our Mother and joseph Winn to come out to us we want Samuel phillips to Move out here Nicholas Mccubbin an Jack Mccubbin also to Mov out we think thay can do Much Better her than there we Remember our Compliments to old mother pierson Joseph winn direct your letters to Bierds ferry Morgan write as soon as posable This to Smauel phillps to Nicholas Mccubbin to old Mother pierson and to all friends So No More at present But Remember your Loving Friends until death we are and ever Bee your friends until death Levi Bloyd Barbara Bloyd”
(From Hancock County Historical Society Newsletter, Vol 1V, Oct 1986, Newsletter No 52.) From Bloyd Genforum on-line, Nancy Scott

Related John C McCubbin: “All went well with the new settlers until their crops were in, when an Indian scare created a disturbance in that section. There were good grounds for such an excitement at that time on account of the Black Hawk war that was being waged not far to the north of them. They abandoned their homes at once, they made all haste possible with their slowly plodding ox teams to Beardstown, 50 miles east of the Illinois River. Here they built one log structure and lived there until they felt it would be safe, then returned to their homes.”

[The Black Hawk War of 1832 resulted in the deaths of 70 settlers and soldiers, and hundreds of Black Hawk’s band. As well as the combat casualties of the war, a relief force under General Winfield Scott suffered hundreds dead and deserted. The war also resulted in the settlement of Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. It ended the threat of Native American attacks in northwest Illinois and allowed the region to be further settled.]

“Reports sent back to Kentucky were so favorable that they prompted Thomas, David and Joseph, who were brothers of Pleasant, to eventually move their families to the new settlement.” However, by 1840 we find only Joseph McCubbin in Illinois. Many of his descendants live there today.

Hancock, Illinois, Joseph McCUBBIN and family.

What prompted the McCubbins to continue moving is hard to say, Better land, more land, better climate, less stress with relations with Indians? Within a few years the McCubbins and the Rupes, except Joseph McCubbin and his family, relocated to Benton, Missouri in 1836. The last to leave was Pleasant McCubbin.

Lindsay, Benton Co, Pleasant McCUBBEN and family
Lindsay, Benton Co, David McCUBBIN and family
Glaze, Miller Co, Thomas, John, James and William McCUBBIN and families
Cooper Co, G M McCUBBIN
Fulton, Callaway Co, Alpheus McCUBBIN
Ripley Co, William McCUBBIN

At the time the census of 1840 was taken, Missouri and Maryland had the largest number of McCubbin families in the whole of America, which really wasn’t a lot when you look at the numbers used. The largest numbers were between 6 and 9 families. Taking second place were Kentucky and Virginia with 3 to 5 families recorded. Next were Arkansas and Indiana with 1 to 2 families. The remaining had zero McCubbins recorded. However, by using the McCubbin name with an ‘s’ ending, a different total appears with Kentucky as the front runner and next Tennesee and North Carolina.

The plains and west coast began to attract McCubbin families. In the 1880’s John Cameron McCubbin and his father Joseph moved to California. More about them and their relatives who settled western America in the CUB REPORT 2008.

Above researched by Lorna McCubbin. Many thanks to Dave McCubbin of Kansas for sending copies of John C McCubbin’s papers as well as other documents. Corrections and additions welcome.


Following is the kind of query we often receive. Sometimes we have no luck at all, other times we can help a person find their ancestors. Eventually we come to a point where we ‘hit a brick wall’, (as the genealogy folk say). We’ve hit the wall with the following query, yet we feel this person should link into a much larger family group, that of the above families of McCubbins and to John the Colonist of Maryland.

“Hi, my name is Kristen McCubbins and I was wondering if you have a family tree about my McCubbins? My granpa’s name was Herbert V McCubbins, but he died before I could ask him about his family background. My dad’s dad was named Herbert V McCubbins Jr and his dad was named Herbert V McCubbins Sr. I thank you very much for helping with this”

This is what we found of Kristen’s ancestors. Kristen didn’t know the sad story of her great, great, great grandfather who was killed when struck by lightning, leaving four young children to be raised by his wife.

All the following records were found using – McCubbin (with and without an ‘s’ is shown below as found in the records).
Kristen’s great grandfather was: HERBERT V McCUBBINS, son of GEORGE THOMAS McCUBBINS. Herbert was born 25 April 1913, Hart Co, KY.

GEORGE THOMAS McCUBBINS son of JOHN D McCUBBINS, married Francis Puckett. They had a daughter, Ada, born May 1903. son Clarence, born abt 1906, son Roy S, born abt 1908, son, Herbert V, b 25 Apr 1913, Their father GEORGE THOMAS McCUBBINS, a farmer, died 2 May, 1915, Hart Co., struck by lightning and died instantly. Death record shows his father as John McCubbins and Harriet Logsdon.

The census of 1920, Munfordville, Hart, shows Francis, 34, a widow, with children, Ada, 16, Clarence R, 14, Roy S, 12, Herbert D (should be V), 6.

JOHN D McCUBBIN, son of JOSHUA McCUBBIN, married Harriette B Logsdon. The census of 1900, Munfordville, Hart, shows John, 39, Harriette B, 39, George T, 17, Eugene, 15, Charles, 11, Willie, 9, Claud, 6, Mary A, 5, Lulie B, 4, Lena M, 11 months. JOHN D McCUBBINS died 9 Sep 1930. George T was recorded as a Private in the 27th KY Infantry Regiment.

JOSHUA McCUBBINS, born KY, abt 1828. Kentucky Marriage Records show JOSHUA B McCUBBIN, 26, Birth, Green, Residence, Hart. Married Mary J Reynolds, 21. Date of marriage 14 Dec 1855. The census of 1860 then showed them living in Hart Co, daughter Martha E McCubbins, 9 mo old, was with them. Another daughter, Nancy Susan born 1856, to JOSHUA B McCUBBINS and Mary Reynolds, Hart Co.

Nancy Susan died 1858, Hart, age 2, of Hydrocephalus (water on the brain). The census of 1870 finds them at Lower Brush Creek district, Green Co listed as J.B. McCUBBIN, 42, Farmer, wife Mary J, 34, born Virginia, Martha E, 11, William T, 9, John D, 9 (twins) Zacheriah, 2.

US Civil War Soldiers 1861 – 1865: JOSHUA B McCUBBIN, Side – Union, Regiment – Kentucky, Regiment name 6th Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry, Company L, Rank in: Private, Rank Out: Corporal.

Here’s where we hit a brick wall. We could find no record of JOSHUA B McCUBBIN’S birth. Surely he was related to the many other McCubbins in Green and Hart counties. He gave his youngest son the name, Zacheriah – a name which runs through the McCubbin/McCubbins families who lived in that area of the world.

If you are a descendant and have any information about Joshua and who his parents were, please contact us at: 


McCubbin Place Names

The McCubbin name and variants of McCubbin can be found in various locations around the world, both natural features and names where McCubbins likely lived such as streets and roads.  Because McCubbin is a rare name in most parts of the world, there aren’t many places with our McCubbin name. Here’s a few:  McCubbin (and McCubbins) Lane in Germantown, Maryland as well as in Munfordville and Bardstown, Kentucky. McCubbin Road in Virginia, Oregon and Missouri. McCubbin Street – Australia, Texas, Missouri, North Carolina. McCubbin Court, Australia. There’s a McCubbin Corner in Cumnock, Scotland, a McCubbing Drive in Lexington, Kentucky, and a MacCubbin Road in Damascus, Maryland.  McCubbin Creek runs through McCubbin Basin in Wallowa County, Oregon. McCubbins Point is at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri and a McCubbins Gulch on Mt Hood, Oregon.  There’s a McCubbin Fountain in Girvan, Ayrshire, a McCubbin Building in Rogers, Arkansas and numerous memorials with McCubbin names, dedicated to those who lost their lives during wars and the covenanting times.  Our early McCubbin settlers left their mark. You may have a few more to add to the list.

Thanks again to all who have contributed to our continuing research. Contact us about any questions or queries about your McCubbin ancestors. Next year we’ll tell you more about our DNA results.

All the best for 2008!

Lorna McCubbin
Penny McColm
Kathy McCubbing Hopkins
Lynne McCubbin

The McCubbin name is registered with the Guild of One Name Studies
Searching the McCubbin name and variants worldwide.
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