Issue Number 14 features:
- Seventh Anniversary of the McCubbin DNA Project
- The Poacher and the Gamekeeper – Family #23 DNA Group 3
- Reg McCubbin in the Pacific Theatre WW2, Part 2 – #05 DNA 1
- A Skilled Boatbuilding Family – #04 DNA 1
- Two Cousins from #03 DNA 4 and their differing fortunes
- McCubbings from #31 DNA 1 Visit the Ancestral Homeland
Seventh Anniversary of the McCubbin DNA Project
MORE VARIATIONS ON THE MCCUBBIN NAME
by Lorna McCubbin
Our DNA project continues to grow, especially in the past few years, for two reasons: the cost of a DNA test is not nearly as expensive, as well as the fact that people arent as wary of donating their DNA. When a person understands that the DNA results are in a secure situation and that they may remain as anonymous as they please, theres a greater willingness to find out who his/her ancestors really are.
Two new variations on the McCubbin name have appeared: McGibbon, of Ontario, Canada, who matches up with group 1, and Megibben of Tennessee, USA, who matches up with a McCubbins in Georgia, USA (not yet fitted into a group). McKibben and McKibbon continue to show up.
In 2014, we had two McCubbin males who match with Group 3: one in Canada (Jim and Lorna McCubbins grandson) and one in Australia.
And as ever, we still hope to test more McCubbin males in Scotland whose roots should be close to any of the four groups. If you are born in Scotland, you may be descended from King Niall of Ireland, or a strong family group in Wigtownshire, or a line of McCubbins skilled in husbandry, or a group of stonemasons and inventors. Scots, please contact us. We give free DNA test to qualified persons.
We now have 77 members.
To find out how to link your ancestors you can go to Family Tree DNA to read more and/or contact DNA Project Administrators at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Poacher and the Gamekeeper
Info researched by Iori Jones and edited by Lorna McCubbin
John McCubbin, was born in 1841 in Glenluce, Wigtownshire, Scotland. According to censuses, John became a Gamekeeper. He was 26 when he married Margaret McMaster in Newton Stewart and was working at his chosen profession. By the time he was 41, John and his wife and children were living in Wales. John was a Head Game Keeper and Land Steward in St George, Denbigh.
A few years ago, Iori Jones found the McCubbin Family History website and contacted me.
We live in Wales, and in doing research a long time ago, we picked up a story of one of our ancestors, William Parry Jones, who was a poacher. He and your ancestor, John McCubbin, were adversaries! It concerns night poaching offences for pheasant in 1884. Both men lived in the village of St.George, Denbighshire.
As a back ground, the village of St George at that time during the 1800’s was on the border of Flintshire and Denbighshire. There were two large estates next to each other. The Kinmel Hall estate on the Denbigh side, and the Bodelwyddan Castle estate was next to it on the Flintshire side. John McCubbin was employed by the Kinmel estate. The gentry who owned these estates used to have ‘shoots’, usually for pheasant which they bred, and poaching was of course against the law.
Wm Parry Jones was the son of Mr. Kyffin Jones, a respectable [tenant] farmer of Nant Meifod St.George. My guess is that William liked the thrill of poaching rather than the desire to eat pheasant, and of course as far as John McCubbin was concerned, he was arch enemy number one, and had to be dealt with!
During the 1980’s when I did most of my research, I went to meet a lot of mother’s cousins and local records offices to get information. This is how I found more about Wm Parry Jones and his poaching exploits. He was a very colourful character.
John McCubbin was charged with assault [setting his dog on Jones], by William Parry Jones, who stood accused of Night Poaching. They both appeared in the Abergele Petty Sessions, Jan 12, 1884. A transcript of the case was reported in the Abergele & Pensarn Visitor. It covered the front page for 3 weeks!
Following are excerpts from the Sessions obtained at the Ruthin Records Office. Note that McGubbin and McCubbin are one and the same.
John McGubbin, head gamekeeper at Kinmel Park said that at about 6a.m. on the 1st. December he heard a shot and went to the gate leading to Nant Meifod Farm, and he saw the shadow of a man coming from the wood below Nant Farm, where pheasants roost. When he came up, witness asked him for a gun, and he said he had not one. Witness (McCubbin) went a few yards further, and found a gun, which he picked up and handed it to his assistant Davies. The defendant, Wm. Parry Jones, then tried to get the gun from Davies, and witness had to interfere to get it back. He asked witness to forgive him, saying he would not offend again, but the witness, having previously overlooked an offence when he was under sureties of £20 against night poaching. Witness also asked him for the pheasant, and he replied he would pledge on his oath that he had not killed the bird. He then went into the house and came out with two young men. After again asking for pardon, he snatched the gun and threw it over into the yard. Witness could not catch him, and sent a large dog in front of him. A young man picked the gun up. It had been recently fired, the smell of gun powder being quite distinct.
A summary of the remaining session involved different scenarios of who the poacher may actually have been. A witness for Jones, Robert Davies, testified that, On Saturday 1st. December I was on the other side of the fence enclosing the wood. I saw a shot fired, and in 4 or 5 minutes a man came over the wire fence to come to the stile within 2 or 3 yards to me. It was another man who lives on the otherside of Cefn Meiriadog. I never saw him before in that wood. He had a bird and was busy putting it in his pocket.
Cross Examined: I am a farmer living close to the defendant. I was on my own land and the poacher came into my field, which is grass land. I have 4 acres of land abutting the wood. I had not then had my breakfast, but had fed my animals and gone for firewood for heating the oven. I would not for anything say who the man was as it would endanger my property. On being pressed for an answer the witness said in Welsh, with a look of astonishment which elicited loud laughter,’Daear annwyl, fydda yn arw o beth i mi ddeyd.'(trans. Dear me, I really don’t know what to say). The Chairman said that if he did not answer it would leave an impression on their minds that the other man was a myth! The witness was pressed further to answer but steadfastly refused. It was explained to him by Mr.George and Mr.Lloyd that he had sworn to tell the whole truth, and if he did not answer he was liable to be sent to prison for seven days. He said that did not signify much, and that he would not like to walk home that night if he divulged the name.
After several exchanges Chairman said that it was a disgraceful case, and they sentenced William Parry Jones to two months imprisonment with hard labour, without the option of a fine, and to enter into recognisance’s for good behaviour for 12 months, or to undergo a further imprisonment of six months. As to Robert Davies they would advise him to make up his mind in future to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” or to stop away. The case of assault against the keeper was dismissed.
However, as Iori relates, It appears that William was released on bale for what was then a huge sum of money. He was then caught throwing stones at the pheasants, and when they went to arrest him he wasn’t at the farm, he wasn’t there. John’s elder sister Jane had eloped and emigrated to the USA, and we think at that point he had boarded ship at Liverpool. He came back after five years with enough money to marry his sweetheart. During the methodist revival at the turn of the 20th century he became a devout Christian. He later regretted his earlier life style.
You will be relieved to hear that there are no more poachers in our family!
Australian Reginald Francis McCubbin #05 DNA Group 1
PART TWO: WW2 EXPERIENCES IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA, MOROTAI, TARAKAN AND BALIKPAPAN 1943-1945
by Trevor McCubbin
In last year’s Cub Report Reg’s son, Trevor, wrote about his father’s early life and his experiences in Timor during the Pacific Campaign in WW2 between 1941 and 1943. In this Cub Report he continues his account of his fathers war service.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA LAE HUON PENINSULA
Reg’s next overseas posting was at Buna-Lae. Regs 2/11 field coy was attached to the 8th Division. The 8th Division was in Singapore so the Company found itself attached to other fighting groups as the war proceeded. When he arrived in Buna in October 1943 the battle of the Coral Sea had been fought and the American war machine at home was in full swing.
The Huon Peninsula campaign was a series of battles fought in north-eastern Papua New Guinea in 19431944. The campaign formed the initial part of an offensive that the Allies launched in the Pacific in late 1943 and resulted in the Japanese being pushed north from Lae to Sio on the northern coast of New Guinea over the course of a four-month period. For the Australians, a significant advantage was gained through the technological edge that Allied industry had achieved over the Japanese by this phase of the war, while the Japanese were hampered by a lack of supplies and reinforcements due to Allied interdiction efforts at sea and in the air. The fighting took place from the September 1943 to January 1944.
After 4½ months in Buna, including Lae, on the 19 February 1944 he returned to Australia on the Katoomba on leave. The only action he has spoken about regarding Lae was a dog fight between Australian and Japanese fighters. It was a full scale battle with many fighters lost, mostly Australian. Most of the downed planes landed in the sea. He was able to get some aluminium from a downed plane and made a mould of what looks like a DC or as it was then known a biscuit bomber because they dropped food to the troops on the front. His son has the model.
A lot has been written about Australia in the War of 19391945 Google http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/second_world_war/ Reg embarked on the Katoomba at Lae on the 19 February 1944 disembarking at Bowen on leave on the 27 February 1944. In 1944 while on extended leave he married, and he and his wife still live together in their own home in Queensland.
On the 16 March 1945 Reg embarked from Cairns on board the Sea Barb for Morotai and arrived there on 28 March 1945 as part of the force used for the landings at Tarakan and Balikpapan. Morotai is an island north of Timor and west of Papua New Guinea.
The Battle of Morotai had begun on the 15 September 1944. The Allies needed it as a base to support the liberation of the Phillipines later that year. The main objectives on the island were to capture it within two weeks and build two major airfields. Morotai also developed as a naval base for torpedo boats and became the staging port for the invasion of Tarakan and Balikpapan. The Allies constructed 3 large airstrips, accommodation for 60,000 air force and army personnel, a 1,900 bed hospital, bulk storage facilities and ship docking facilities. To construct these facilities the task force included 7,000 engineers and service troops, of whom 84% were American and the remainder Australian. The airstrips accommodated 253 aircraft including 174 heavy bombers.
The conflict on the island continued as the Japanese built up troop numbers and ran a blockade with supplies. The allies were unable to completely stop the Japanese build-up. The last Japanese supply barges reached Morotai on May 12 1945.
Private Teruo Nakamura, the last confirmed Japanese holdout on Morotai or elsewhere, was captured by Indonesian Air Force personnel on December 18, 1974, almost 30 years after the war had ended!
The invasion force to take Tarakan, which included the 2/11 field Company, left Morotai on the 22 April 1944. On 1st May the Borneo campaign had opened with the landing of the 26th Australian Brigade Group at Tarakan.
The landings at Tarakan and Balikpapan were Australian run operations with American air and naval support.
The field Companies, or Engineers as they were called, were trained to support the infantry by clearing beaches, blowing up tunnels and building infrastructure. They were needed to lift mines, disarm booby-traps, blow up tunnels and lay corduroy on the roads. One section of engineers was allotted to each battalion, and one section to each troop of tanks, a half section to the Pioneers, and a half section to the 2/4th Commando Squadron. Until the other two field companies allotted to the operation arrived this left only five sections of the 2/ 13th Field Company for other tasks.
Regs role in the 2/11 field Company included clearing obstacles on the beaches when the landing was underway so the infantry and supplies could land. He was armed with a Thomson machine gun but generally was mainly associated with demolition, installing water supply equipment and supporting the infantry to blow up the entrance to tunnels built by the Japanese to trap them inside. He returned to Morotai on the 18 May to prepare for the attack on Balikpapan.
Borneo the attack by the 7th Division on Balikpapan. On the 22 June Reg embarked on the USS Titania for Balikpapan as part of the invasion force to liberate Borneo. Detailed accounts can be found on the site noted above. On 15 August 1945 after the atom bombs were dropped on Japan they signed the surrender papers.
Reg left Balikpapan and sailed to Sydney on the Morton Bay on the 7 December landing in Sydney on the 19 December 1945.
He has never spoken much about his war experiences except to say that working at the HQ on Timor saved his life as he didnt get cut off by the Japanese paratroopers, and after the Australian surrender he was able to withdraw to join the 2/2 Independent Coy in East Timor. That part of the war is well covered in the extracts in Part One of this account (in the Cub Report 2013). He speaks well of the Timor natives who saved many Australians lives by getting the wounded to safety. They fought for months behind enemy lines using hit and run tactics to survive.
He spoke of a near miss in Balikpapan when a Japanese bomber dropped a bomb where he and another Australian were putting a water supply line to the beach. They dived to each side of a log and it landed on his friends side.
While we were watching a war movie with flame throwers being used he spoke of the terrible effects of the flame throwers. He was working with an American blowing up tunnels and they had put the flame thrower down the tunnel and were entering it to blow it up when Japanese came out still fighting although their clothes were burnt off and the their bodies charred and black.
When Reg was asked to contribute to this article and some of the information was shown to him after a short look he just said I would prefer not to remember.
Lest we forget
A lot has been written about Australia in the War of 19391945 Google http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/second_world_war/
A Skilled Boatbuilding Family
THE MCCUBBINS #04, DNA 1: FROM ANNAN IN SCOTLAND TO CANADA AND THE USA
by Don McCubbin in the USA with contributions from Janice Kent on behalf of Don’s cousin Kay Cross in Canada
The McCubbins were boat builders and carpenters in the later 19th century Annan, Scotland. Nick Miller in his book The Lancashire Nobby (published by Amberley Publishing, Plc in 2009) mentions that when the Annan boat yard closed in 1865, Rabbie (Robert) McCubbin, who was stated as being the yards boat builder, continued to build small craft. Mr. Miller goes on to write, The Dumfries & Galloway Saturday Standard” describes (Roberts son) Mr. James McCubbin in a report of 24 April 1897, which stated that James had produced the accurate model of a trawl boat as a prototype for a silver model, presented to MP Sir Robert Reid. The silver model is on display at the Dumfries museum. Don McCubbin, great-great grandson of James, now has the wood model of a Solway shrimper that James built. Don suggested to one of the managers at the Dumfries museum that they make a trade the silver model for the wood boat, but she politely declined the offer. James McCubbin entered the wood model into the Great Fisheries Exhibition of 1883 and he was awarded a bronze medal.
see: Wood model, prize medal and the Canadian family at https://mccubbinhistory.info/2021/03/16/people-dna-group-1/ James McCubbin is the 2nd from the right, front row, in the family picture.
The fishing industry in the Annan area was fading by the end of the 19th century; due in part to the arrival of the railroad in Annan. The channel adjacent to Port Street continued to fill with silt which limited the size of boat building efforts. James and his sons Robert and William continued working as boat builders and carpenters, in a declining industry.
In April 1905, Robert McCubbin and Matthew, the two oldest of the McCubbin brothers, departed Scotland for Canada as passengers on the SS Sardinia. They were the first of the family to head to Canada and began finding work and building a family home; their parents and the rest of their family were to drift over later.
It seems that North Bay was a draw for the McCubbins for several of reasons. Lake Nipissing, a large shallow lake was suited to the types of craft the McCubbins built for fishing the Solway Firth. In the early 1900s there were a growing number of sportsmen looking for fishing craft and also transportation to the lakes islands.
North Bay also offered jobs working on the rail. Both the Northern Ontario Railroad and the Canadian Pacific offered work. The construction and operation of the new Canadian Pacifics trans-Canadian railway was just underway. Matthew found work as a machinist and James, the third oldest son, found work in a yard office. Finally, North Bay was well represented by the Protestant church, to which the family belonged.
As World War I approached three eligible McCubbin brothers enlisted for service. Robert was already 35 years old and James had injured his left hand and was exempted from enlistment. The picture (link above) of the McCubbin family in North Bay probably taken just before three of the brothers (featured in the Gallery link above) William (back left), Matthew (back right), and Gilbert (front center) shipped out on the S.S. Empress of Britain to England.
At the time of their enlistment with the 159th Battalion, Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force (the 1st Algonquians). Matthew was 32 and married to Margaret (McGregor Baxter) residing at 108 5th Ave in North Bay. William (24) and Gilbert (19) were both unmarried and living in the McCubbin familys North Bay home on 6th Street. The brothers returned from the war in the spring of 1919.
By 1921 Matthew and Elizabeth were the only married children of James and Elizabeth. Elizabeth was the only one of the three McCubbin daughters to marry. Of the eight McCubbin children shown in the family picture they had only four children amongst them. Matthew and Margaret had one girl, Elizabeth, who died at birth and a son James, who became a lawyer in Toronto. James and Cynthia had one child, Robert. And Elizabeth and Joseph Cross had two children: Kay and Jim.
As told by her daughter Kay, while her mother Elizabeth was short in stature, she had a mind of her own. Elizabeth told her mother that she wasnt staying in North Bay because there were no men there. She left North Bay for Toronto soon after this family picture was taken and found employment at Eatons where she would met her husband, Joseph Cross. Elizabeth and Joseph Cross were married in North Bay on April 26th, 1917 and while they considered other locations, made their home in Toronto.
William and Isabella Kirkpatrick married soon after William returned from the war in 1919. William and Isabella continued living in North Bay as William found work with the Ontario Northern railroad.
James McCubbin was the fourth of the McCubbin children to marry when he and Cynthia Everette married in December, 1920. James and Cynthia had one son, Robert. Robert went on to earn a medical degree from University of Western Ontario in 1944. Immediately after his graduation Robert was called into the Royal Canadian Air Force as a Captain in the Medical Corps. While he was in the RCAF he met his wife, Elizabeth Whalen. Elizabeths father was a manager with International Harvester in Hamilton and Elizabeth was a member of the Canadian Red Cross. After the war, Robert and Elizabeth moved to the Chicago area in the US.
More about this family at https://mccubbinhistory.info/2021/03/16/04-dna-1-james-mccubbin-isabella-stoddart-2/
Two Cousins from #03, DNA Group 4 and Their Differing Fortunes
1. THE MYSTERY OF JAMES MCCUBBIN 1820-1858 2. JAMES MCCUBBIN 1830-1896 AND HIS GSON KENNETH, AWARDED DCM IN WW1
THE MYSTERY OF JAMES MCCUBBIN 1820-1858
by Kathy McCubbin using information researched in Australia by Rob McCubbin (descendant)
James was born in Penpont, in Dumfriesshire, into a wealthy family of builders and masons who had built and owned various properties in the area, and who had also acquired several pieces of land which were held in trust and passed from generation to generation. James’ own father, George, continued this tradition and, at the time of his death, in January 1848, he held the considerable sum of £491 13s 11d in cash in his account at the Union Bank of Scotland, in addition to the various properties and land he had inherited from his father. The terms of George’s will meant that the Trustees (of whom James was one, as was his mother) could advance funds to George’s surviving children who had reached a majority and, in addition, his two daughters were to be provided with [named] ‘heritable properties’ and James the sum of £100 (as long as the Trust funds were deemed healthy enough at the time of his death to provide these legacies).
While his father was still alive and James was living at home he worked as a Mason (journeyman).
By the time his father died, James had been widowed for 6 months: his wife, Margaret Corrie, having died some months after the birth of their second son, George, who died in the same year, in infancy. So, James and his eldest son, James (then 4 years of age), were left without wife and mother, but not for long, because James remarried in October 1848 to Agnes McNeish and, together, they were to have five children, their eldest son together, born in 1849, being named for his late half-brother and his grandfather, George.
On the 1851 census James was described as a Farmer of 14 acres, employing one labourer. Whether this was because the family’s land needed tending, or building/masonry work was in short supply is unknown, but it seems to have been a temporary situation and not his preferred livelihood because, when he emigrated to Australia when he was 38 years old, in 1857, he described himself as a Builder.
James probably had the means to emigrate by virtue of his legacy, and James and Agnes and the children (by that time James (11½), George (7), Agnes (5), Robert (3) and Isabella, just an infant) set sail for Australia on the Sardinian from Liverpool, arriving in Melbourne, Australia on 18 March 1857.
Only 16 months later James was to take his own life while in the custody of the local police in Melbourne, leaving his wife (then pregnant with their son William), to bring up their children alone in their new country, where they would remain for some years until all but eldest son, James (son of James and his first wife, Margaret Corrie), returned to live in Dumfriesshire (probably in the late 1870s). They weren’t entirely without relations in Victoria, Australia, though, because, as well as having James’ younger brother, Robert, living with his family in Woodend (he immigrated at around the time of James’ death), a cousin, Isabella Lorimer McCubbin (1824-1918), who had married James Kinvig in 1855, lived in Ballarat, though both of these towns were a fair distance north-west of Melbourne, so they may not have had much contact, if at all.
Statements made at the inquest (and researched by Rob McCubbin, descendant, in Melbourne) give some indication about what happened on the fateful day of James’ death, Saturday 1 July 1858 and some circumstances of his life at that time:
John Glairon, Constable, reported that he apprehended James at quarter-to-five on Great Bourke Street in Melbourne, Victoria and recorded in the statement he made the next day to the inquest that, when apprehended, James: was drunk and lying upon the footpath. I took him to the Swanston Street Lock Up. I searched him and found fifteen shillings and sixpence upon him.
His friend (or perhaps acquaintance), William Stephens, reported that he had known James for seven months. He told the inquest that there was a warrant out against James from the County Court for £36 6s and costs. He said that James had not been home since last Monday morning [i.e. James had been away from home for almost a week] and he also said that James was in the habit of occasional bouts of drinking.
James Matthews, the lockup keeper at Swanston Street Watch House reported that when he visited James at twenty past six, James had asked for some blankets. He reported that two men had come to arrest James for debts and said that they held a warrant sentencing deceased to two months imprisonment but he had refused to allow them to see James without an order from a Magistrate. When he went to visit James at 7 o’clock he found him apparently standing by the door but when he opened the door he realised that James was hanging from the bar on the door by his handkerchief. He got assistance and then cut him down and sent for medical assistance, and attempts were made to revive James but it was too late.
William Gilbie, the Senior Surgeon who examined James while the body was warm noted that he could only see a slight mark round the neck and he also notes that There were no marks of value upon the body. Although difficult to read he does also seem to note ‘congestion’ in relation to James’ face. All of this is consistent with suicidal strangulation by ligature, in which case the mark left by the ligature (such as a handkerchief) would not have been expected to have cut deeply into the neck, as indicated by this extract from a forensic pathology website:
In suicidal strangulation, the signs of venous congestion are very well developed above the ligature and are especially prominent at the root of the tongue. This severe congestion probably results by the slow tightening of the ligature, and also because it is usually so secured that it remains in place after death, preventing post-mortem drainage of blood. Injuries are usually less marked because less force is used. In all cases of suicidal strangulation, the ligature should be found in situ, and the body should not show signs of violence or marks of struggle …A correct medical opinion may be usually formed from the course and direction of the tie, the way in which it was secured or fixed to produce effective pressure on the windpipe, and the amount of injury to the muscles and parts beneath. Persons under the influence of alcohol….may be strangled either by a tight scarf or collar and neck tie. It may occur if an intoxicated person rests the neck against a bar or other hard object. From: http://www.forensicpathologyonline.com/e-book/asphyxia/ligature-strangulation
The suicide was reported in the Bendigo Advertiser on Saturday 3 July:
A man named James MCoppin committed suicide in the Swanston Street watch-house last evening. At half past 4 oclock he was taken to the watch-house drunk and he was placed in a cell with another prisoner. About an hour later, two men came to the watch-house with a warrant of arrest against MCoppin for debt; and when they had gone he asked what they had been there for. The watch-house keeper went his usual half-hour rounds and at seven oclock he found MCoppin suspended by the neck from the bar in the door of the cell. A doctor was immediately sent for but Mr Gilbee on his arrival pronounced the man dead. This is not the first accident of this type to have happened in this watch-house and so long as the bar in the door of the cell, offering a direct assistance to the commission of suicide, is allowed to remain, it is not probable that it will be the last.
James’ younger brother, Robert, immigrated to Australia at about the time of James’ death (he married Jane Young in Emerald Hill, now known as South Melbourne, in 1860). Whether he might have been able to assist and support his brother through this ordeal, or send home for funds to help resolve the situation, will never be known. He remained in Australia, as did his nephew (James’ eldest son James) for the rest of their lives while James’ widow, Agnes, and the rest of the children returned to Dumfriesshire in Scotland.
How James had come to be in such debt is unknown, as is whether he really felt so desperate about his situation that he would have taken his own life had he not been under the influence of alcohol, having heard about his imminent arrest and imprisonment for those debts, but look out for descendant Rob McCubbin’s forthcoming novel which will offer a possible scenario of James death and the reasons for it.
Rob says he uses his family history as the skeleton for his stories, and fleshes them out with possibilities. He says his main aim is to show how some people lived in that time. More information about Rob and his novels can be found at his website: www.talespinnerbooks.com
JAMES MCCUBBIN 1830-1896, AND HIS GRANDSON KENNETH (1897-1963)
by Kathy McCubbing with contributions from a descendant in England
While James McCubbin (1820-1858) attempted to start a new life in Australia, his first cousin, James McCubbin (1830-1896), who had been born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, eldest son of Edward McCubbin (born Dumfriesshire), was having rather more success in his life and business ventures in England. James had started out a Tea-Dealer, as his father had been in the 1840s and 50s, but by 1851 he had established himself as a Draper, a trade in which many other relations in various branches of this family group were involved, and one in which some descendants continued until relatively recently.
That James was a successful businessman and active member of the community is evidenced by the extensive report in the Buckinghamshire Herald on 28 November 1896 which related great detail about his death, the inquest and his funeral. In the report he is described as one of the oldest and best known inhabitants of Linslade and it further describes his very active and busy life and achievements:
He came to Linslade a single man, about forty-five years ago, and married a daughter of the late Mr John Chubb of Heath-road. In years gone by he took considerable interest, and bore an active part, in connection with sporting affairs, local and general; but whatever might be the calls of business or the demands upon his time in regard to the lighter or more attractive pursuits or diversions of the world, he always found time to take his share of the burden of citizenship and to participate in works of benevolence. He has held at different times the parish offices of surveyor, overseer, and lighting inspector; he was vice-chairman of the first School Board for Linslade, elected fifteen years ago; for twenty-five years he was guardian of the poor for the parish – an office to which he held tenaciously and the duties of which he discharged so satisfactorily that when, on two or three occasions, an opponent was put up at the time of election, he was always returned by a very large majority of the ratepayers. At the time of his death Mr McCubbin was district councillor and guardian for Linslade, and a vicechairman of the Parish Council. He was a prominent member of the Masonic Craft. Twenty-eight years ago he was initiated at the “St Barnabas” Lodge (948), and since that time he has occupied every chair in this lodge, of which he was the oldest member, and he was also a Past Master of the “Beaudesert” Lodge (1087), Leighton Buzzard. At the time of his decease Mr McCubbin was Past Provincial Grand Junior Warden and acting Senior Warden of his lodge. In the Royal Arch and Mark Lodges he had filled every chair, and was almoner for the district, representing both the local lodges. Deceased was widely known throughout the country, and esteemed for his general benevolence, his substantial gifts to Masonic charities, and his thorough knowledge of all that pertains to the working of the affairs of the craft.
According to the newspaper, his funeral was a grand affair attended by many:
The funeral took place on Wednesday afternoon, the deceased’s remains being interred in the graveyard of St Mary’s, Old Linslade in the presence of an exceptionally large number of inhabitants of Leighton, Linslade, and the neighbourhood. Business houses were partially closed, and the blinds of private dwellings drawn as the mournful procession passed through the streets of Linslade. The hearse, with three carriages occupied by the family and relatives of the deceased, was preceded in six broughams, by twenty-five representatives of the Leighton “Beaudesert” and Linslade “St Barnabas” Lodges of Masons, including the respective Worshipful Masters – Bros W Seedhouse and F H Lehmann – and other principal officers of the two Lodges, together with brethren from Tring, Aylesbury, Berkhampstead, and Buckingham. A large number of personal friends and acquaintances followed on foot. The service in the church and at the graveside was taken by the Rev F W Linton Bogle, curate of Linslade. The coffin, of polished oak, with brass fittings, was covered with a profusion of beautiful and in some instances costly wreaths.
KENNETH MCCUBBIN (1897-1963) AWARDED THE DCM IN WW1
Of James’ three grandchildren who are known to have served in World War 1, all sons of James George McCubbin and Harriet Lambert, and who are described on the #03 McCubbin family pages, information provided by the daughter of Kenneth McCubbin (1897-1963) and further research conducted this year tells us more about Kenneth’s life and why he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM):
Before his father died in 1911 (at the age of 52), Kenneth had been apprenticed at Saville Row as a cutter, but when his father died he had to leave home and go to work. According to his army discharge documents, he was an Apprentice Warehouseman with the prestigious shop, Jones and Higgins Ltd in Peckham, London before he entered the army in 1915, where he served in the Royal Field Artillery as a Rough Rider. His service record shows he enlisted with the 216th London Brigade, at the rank of Driver, and was promoted to acting Bombardier later in 1915. He was part of the Expeditionary Force in 1917. He was promoted to Sergeant on 14 August 1918 and was awarded the DCM for his remarkable and very brave actions in October 1918:
“On the night of the 7th/8th October 1918 the battery wagon lines near Becalaere were heavily shelled. One shell burst in the tent where he was sleeping, killing four men and wounding him in two places. Nevertheless, he forthwith rendered first aid to the survivors and afterwards gave assistance to other wounded men. He next saw his subsection horses safely away, and then was one of the foremost in a party extinguishing some burning ammunition wagons, after which he reported his wounds. He showed conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty”.
It is noteworthy that he was only 21 years of age at this time!
Kenneth and Phyllis (his wife and 2nd cousin, 1908-1976, who he married in 1931) had several small shops in Lewisham, London and were successful, although one shop, a newsagents and tobacconists, was bombed by a direct hit in the Blitz in World War 2. At one stage they had three shops at once and his wife served in one, a draper’s, and Kenneth served in another. According to his daughter if a customer went into the third one across the road, one of them would run across to serve them.
McCubbings from #31, DNA 1 Visit the Ancestral Homeland
While I (Lorna McCubbin) was setting up the CUB Report, in one of our many emails Kathy McCubbing wrote: I love the idea that we have two McCubbings from the same family (#31) from very different parts of the world telling us about their visit to Dunscore where their ancestors come from. I’m so pleased and proud that we’ve been able to help people in this way and really grateful to Leslie who is such a fantastic, generous and welcoming guy!
CANADIAN MCCUBBINGS VISIT THE HOMEPLACE AND THE MARTYRS GRAVE
by Nancy Blue
Our father, Alexander Robertson McCubbing, was born at the Parish of Kirkmahoe, Dumfries, Scotland, on September 11, 1906. His parents, Alexander and Elizabeth (nee Robertson) immigrated to Canada in 1906, leaving behind their infant son [Alexander] to be raised by grandparents and families. In 1935 Alex came on his own to Unity, Saskatchewan to meet his parents and 8 siblings. He never had an opportunity to return for a visit before his passing at age 61.
Because our father never talked much about his background it left myself, Nancy, and three siblings, Velma, Lorna and Gordon, ever wondering about Scotland and where he was raised. We always talked about making a trip to Dumfries and how wonderful it would be to actually touch the ground where he played, grew up and worked so many years ago. What was the country-side like, the buildings, the farms and the county town of Dumfries?
Our long awaited trip to Scotland became a reality August, 2013. There were five of us Lorna, Nancy and husband Dan, and Gordon and his wife Georgina. Velma, the eldest was unable to accompany us as was Lornas husband.
After a 16 day guided bus tour of Ireland and Scotland we left the tour group in Edinburgh and travelled by train to Dumfries. Our first day was spent walking the streets and alleys and visiting areas that Robbie Burns frequented, and also his burial site. The lovely waterfront along the River Nith drew us back several times.
On our second day in Dumfries we rented a van and enjoyed a whole day of sightseeing and visiting areas our father must have known very well. How fortunate we were to have made contact with a distant cousin, Leslie, who lives nearby in Dunscore, and have him generously offer to drive us around.
We really enjoyed visiting the Drum farm [in Lochrutton] where our grandfather and great grandfather farmed and raised Clydesdales. The farm is now owned by a lovely family, the Harveys, I think, and they were so gracious to let us wander around and take pictures.
We also visited the site where one of our ancestors, Alexander McCubine was hanged for refusing to renounce his commitment to the Covenants on March 3, 1685. The church nearby had several grave stones with the name McCubbin.
And who knew Dumfries had a connection with Peter Pan? [Author JM Barrie played in the riverside gardens at Moat Brae in Dumfries as a child and based Neverland on his experiences].
We had done some research for our trip and all thought we had a grasp of what we wanted see, but there is so much history. I, for one, felt totally naÃ¯ve. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to LornaMcCubbin and Kathy McCubbing, our first contacts, and Leslie for our wonderful tour, and the instigators of the McCubbin Family website and the Cub report for giving us some insight to our backgrounds.
As much as we loved the mountains, highlands, lochs, ruins and castles, Dumfries was definitely the highlight of our trip.
AN AUSTRALIAN, IAN MCCUBBING, VISITS HIS 5XGREAT GRANDFATHERS GRAVE.
Through my cousin Diana Neale, who is keeper of the family history for her generation, I have been introduced to The CUB Report and Kathy McCubbing.
I am part of #31 DNA-1 James McCubbin and Mary McMurdo family. Diana and I are descendants of Charlotte Lottie Gover and Robert Swan McCubbing.
After Robert died, Charlotte bravely left Uddingston and travelled to Fremantle, Western Australia with five of her eight children. One of her children, my grandfather, had already settled in Western Australia.
The CUB Report histories had traced my ancestors (early 1700s) to Dunscore and this year I had an opportunity to make a very brief trip from Melbourne, Australia to the area. Kathy McCubbing kindly provided me with contact details for a kinsman Leslie McCubbin.
My wife and I arrived at our B&B , the delightful McMurdoston House. James McCubbin had married a McCurdo so the accommodation felt all in the family! We took advantage of the long summer evening to find McCubbington and drive to Dunscore.
The country side is stunning with lush rolling hills, quite different to Western Australia. But after a quick a stop at the Dunscore pub we knew we were in for a wonderful and fascinating time. The pub used to be the butcher shop and is run on a roster basis by members of the community. Those drinking that evening were warm in their welcome of us.
Next morning we met Leslie McCubbin and his wife at their house in Dunscore. Leslie took us on one of the most amazing tours my wife and I have ever experienced. Over six hours Leslie showed us one extraordinary McCubbin site and building after another, all the while regaling us with ancedotes from his childhood and family history. I had read about Edgarton, Springfield and Friarscarse, but to drive past them and to get a strong sense of what the area looked like and where each site was in relation to the other made the family history come alive for me.
One of the highlights of this incredible tour was seeing the monument to executed Covenanters (including Alexander McCubine) near Irongray. I could see my wife, a journalist, similarly swept up in the story of the brave Scots determined to practice their own religion that was so well told by Leslie.
However, for me the pinnacle of the day was the surreal feeling that overcame me as I scraped the moss and growth slowly away from a tombstone in the Old Dunscore Graveyard, a forgotten space in the middle of a field of cattle. As the moss gave way to the inscription underneath it, I realized I was standing on my 5xGreat Grandfathers grave.
Without Leslies assistance I would never have found the Old Dunscore Graveyard in a brief twenty hour visit much less have traversed centuries of McCubbin/ McCubbing life in the Scottish lowlands.
I experienced a wonderful day but now realise I need to do so much more in piecing together our family history. Who was the McCubbing of McCubbington? Why did the family leave Dunscore and move to Balmaclellan? Can we go back beyond James McCubbin?
Thanks to all involved with the McCubbin Family History Association, The CUB Report and especially to Kathy and Leslie.
All the best for 2014!!
The MCFHA Committee
- Chairperson of McCubbin Family History Association – Kathy McCubbing.
- 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 – Heather McKibbon Marshall
- Penny McColm – MCFHA Co-Founder & Co-ordinator for Australia & NZ
- Co-ordinators specialties: Kathy McCubbing, Dumfries, Ronald ‘Rick’ McCubbin, America, Lorna and Kathy – the rest of the world
- MCFHA Sponsors – James & Lorna McCubbin
Click to whom you wish to email; Kathy, Lorna, Heather, Penny, Rick.
To the many people who have contributed to the content of the CUB report, we say Thank You!
We are especially grateful to those of you who provided samples for the DNA project. It is providing a great insight into our past.
Contact us about any questions or queries about your McCubbin ancestors. The McCubbin name, and variants, are registered with the Guild of One Name Studies Searching the McCubbin name and variants worldwide.