The CUB Report – 2015

The CUB Report – 2015

November, 2015
Issue Number 15 features:

  • Eighth Anniversary of the McCubbin DNA Project
  • A Visit to Knockdolian Castle – DNA Group 2
  • McCubbin Gravesite on Old Homestead in South Africa,
    Family #06, DNA Group 1
  • The Mystery of James McCubbin and Elizabeth Lowery in Tasmania,
    Family # 07
  • A Canadian Query – Grace McCubbin
  • Mike Clark’s Visit to Ancestral Homeland – Family #31, DNA Group 1
  • Rick McCubbin, 2015 Kentucky Police Chief of the Year Award,
    DNA Group 2
  • Obituaries
      • Richard Rawstron, New Zealand – DNA Group 3
      • Marjory Woodward, England – DNA Group 3
      • James ‘Jim’ McCubbin, Canada – DNA Group 3

Eighth Anniversary of the McCubbin DNA Project


by Lorna McCubbin

The McAbee Name

Throughout our research we have come across the McAbee name linking in with the McCubbin name, but without proof. We now have proof that the McAbee name, at times, was an offshoot of McCubbin. Possibly it was due to the ’n’ being dropped at the end. And many of you McCubbins would know how our name in real time can often become a nickname ‘Cubby’. So it wouldn’t take much imagination to see the name change within a changing dialect in a geographical location. This year we had three McCabees who descend from John the Colonist (DNA 1). Two trace their ancestor to Spartanburg Co, SC (South Carolina), to the early 1800’s. We know there were actual McCubbins in this area. The third McAbee traces his to ‘KY or IL’ (Kentucky or Illinois) with his ancestor born 1831.

Our DNA project has continued 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 aren’t 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, there’s a greater willingness to find out who his/her ancestors really are.

We now have 80 members. To find out how to link your ancestors you can go to Family Tree DNA add to read more and/or contact DNA Project Administrators at

A Visit to Knockdolian Castle, Colmonell, Scotland. DNA Group 2


When we began the McCubbin Family History group Micki Collins was one of the first to contact us and sent a picture of Knockdolian Castle.The most recent treasure trove of pictures was taken by her sister Judith ‘Jude’ Sandberg on a recent visit with her husband Sam, to Scotland.

Jude writes:

“The first picture is of Melissa, a woman who lived right across the road from the entrance to the estate we were looking for. The gate was kind of hidden in foliage and we stopped to ask directions of her. She lived in the most charming cottage with her cat Lucy (“Lucile when she misbehaved, which is often.” She listed all Lucile’s faults but you could see she loved her to death (she had gotten her when she was a “wee scrap”, though by now she was so fat I mistook her for a dog from a distance). She also loved the birds at the feeder, some kinds I had never seen before.


Melissa’s Cottage by Knockdolian

The castle only had 2 keyhole windows right down at the ground. I think they were just big enough to hand a visitor a cup of coffee or point a weapon through.


Armament Keyhole

I could see the winding stairs through one, rather crumbling now. They lead to what I think was once a turret, now gone.


Crumbling Stairs

There seem to have been 3 chimneys, for fire at the various levels. I did a Smudging of the castle, the keyhole window provided excellent draw. I thought Smudging was in order since there is a legend of a curse on the castle. You will see the river down below, where there used to be a mermaid who sang on the rocks (the rocks are there still). The lady in the castle complained that the singing kept her baby awake so the mermaid put the curse of no male descendants on the family line.


A view of the chimneys and river

The castle is only about 3 miles from the sea and it is a most beautiful coast. It is about level with the top of northern Ireland and Belfast. The estate was lovely and the area is beautiful. Lots of trees, and sparsely populated. There were a lot of ringneck pheasants and the males were making displays to attract the females and also fighting each other, oblivious to the very few cars on the road. It was quiet, absolutely silent.

We spent some time there and before I left Sam said “touch it”. I did and that was an experience as much as seeing it. That was their home, amazing. It is very well built, the stones are well placed. One corner was crumbling with age and you could see how consciously placed each  stone was.”


Jude at the doorway

McCubbin Gravesite on Old Homestead in South Africa, Family #06, DNA Group 1


“Hi to all you CUB readers from a sunny South Africa! My name is Jub Dorning – Jub, coming from the Zulu word “Jubulani” which means happy. A name given to me when I was born, by the staff who live and work on our family farm.

Our farm is situated in East Griqualand, in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Nestled in the foothills of the Southern Drakensberg, “Blaauwfontein”, has been in our family for four generations. We think that in 1916 it was bought by my great grandfather from Hugh James McCubbin [1861-1934].


The wattle plantation and original McCubbin homestead

In the 1800’s East Griqualand was commonly known as “no man’s land” – and this it really was. To the east, Shaka – Zulu feared the area because of the heavy losses he sustained after sending some of his impies (ground troops) into the area and none returning after being caught in a heavy snowstorm (all of them dying of hypothermia). The Xhosa tribe to the west didn’t dare cross the Kei River (which runs down towards Port Elizabeth) for fear of meeting up with Shaka – Zulu’s warriors. In the north lies the huge Drakensberg mountain range which was inhabited by Basotho’s and Bushmen. Living in harsh conditions, they would often descend from the mountains and raid and plunder whatever they could.

Our Dorning family originated from Manchester, England. Jonathan Mellor Dorning left Manchester in the 1870s. He first headed for America where he lost most of his money gambling! He then travelled to South Africa where he became a toll-gate keeper (near Toise River, Cathcart) on the main route for wagons travelling from the Cape to the Kimberley diamond fields in the north. He said, for protection, as many as 40 wagons at a time would travel together and arrive at his gate and overnight there.

In 1875 he and his wife (and, at that stage, 3 sons) along with two other families trekked to East Griqualand. He said if his sons were to have a chance of owning land and farming he needed to move to East Griqualand where land was going relatively cheaply. After many years of hard work, hardship and trials, he and some of his sons (he had 7 sons in the end!!) eventually were able to buy some land of their own.


Copse and homestead of the Dorning family

John McCubbin, son of Hugh McCubbin (1833 – 1911) and brother of Hugh James, is buried here on the farm. I remember at a young age going off with my granddad  to see the remnants of the old homestead and being intrigued by the grave site. John died suddenly in August, 1891, age 28. My grandmother said John was a remittance man who had a drinking problem, and that it was the booze that killed him. Anyway, this can’t really be verified as my gran has passed on and there aren’t too many people left who can remember that far back!


Jub’s Family Homestead

After looking as John’s grave site one afternoon, I thought it would be a good idea to Google his name and see what came up. That is how I ended up writing this!!  I read the 2012 Cub report and contacted Kathy via e-mail.


Monumental Inscription of John McCubbin


There is not much to see at John’s grave site – the area around the old homestead is now covered by wattle trees (thanks to the Aussies!) but if anyone is ever in this neck of the woods, they are most welcome to come give it, and us, a visit.

Kathy McCubbing comments, “It’s hard to imagine how the family must have felt coming from the huge, and very crowded, city of Liverpool to the vast expanse of the South African veldt.”


Gravestone surrounded by metal fence (likely made in Liverpool)

Lost McCubbins – The Mystery of James McCubbin and Elizabeth Lowery in Tasmania (VDL – Van Diemen’s Land) Family #07


The following is an example of how we search for ‘lost McCubbins’. Every source we have is used and all references are entered into our database. The search for James and Elizabeth began 12 years ago.

If anyone has any information about this James McCubbin (file #07) or his wife, we would love to hear from you.

It is unknown why or when James McCubbin went to Tasmania. Research in Scotland by Lorna has been unsuccessful. The couple first appear in the Tasmanian birth records in 1848 with the birth of a son, shown as a male child, in Campbell Town, Ref entry 843 dated 21 Oct 1848.

A son, Thomas, was born in c.1844 in Hobart, Tas. and died Broken Hill 5th Feb 1915, aged 71. Ref: Thomas death cert NSW BDM’s 1915/003145

Stated on Thomas’s death certificate is that he was born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Lived 5 years in Victoria; 22 years in South Australia: and 28 Years in New South Wales (Broken Hill mostly). There is a 4 year discrepancy in the Campbell Town record and the death certificate of Thomas, but it could be assumed that he was born in 1844 but the birth wasn’t registered until 1848.

Also shown on the death certificate that his father, James McCubbin was a bookmaker by trade.

Neither James, nor his wife, Elizabeth were on the convicts index and they should be considered as free settlers. Based on his death date and age at the time he was born in 1844.

This McCubbin family did not appear on any other Tasmanian indexes that I searched at the time.

Another child was born 13 Sept 1848 in Campbell Town (unknown name) Ref entry 843.

A daughter Mary was born 15 Oct 1850 in River Forth District, Port Sorrell, Tas. Birth registered 5 Dec. 1850 in Port Sorrell Tas. Ref entry 697. Mary’s life has been well researched and documented by her descendants.

A descendant writes:-

“On Mary’s marriage cert. it states that her mother is dead and father’s whereabouts unknown. Her guardian gave consent for her to marry. So the mystery I am chasing is, did James and Elizabeth separate and (did) he take the boys on to S A.”

Mary was about two years old when she came to Melbourne, she was born in Tasmania in 1849 therefore the family could have arrived in c.1851/52

Another son John was born c.1855 Hobart, Tas. Died 2 January 1920 in Broken Hill, NSW. Ref Death cert. 19920/003660 NSW BDM’s. This birth date is puzzling as it has been assumed that the family were in Melbourne by this time, but John’s death certificate clearly states he was born in Hobart.

Thomas and John worked in the Broken Hill mines. There are many descendants from Thomas. John was unmarried.

There are 2 Lowrie/Lowry/ Lowery families that appear on the Digger – Tasmanian Colonial Collection 1803 – 1923. They were settlers into Tasmania.   Details as follows:-

Thomas Lowrie/Lowry/ Lowery and Mrs Lowrie arrived in Hobart aboard the Cleopatra on 4th May 1832 as Immigrant/Passengers. They came from Dublin, Ireland. Ref: Reel 15-4 Sctn. CUS 30/1 P(age) 97 SLTX/AO/EP/447 and Ref: Reel 14-11 Sctn. CB 7/8  P(age) 17  SLTX/AO/EP/265.

Descendancy Narrative James McCubbin & Elizabeth Lowery #07 by Lorna McCubbin:

I. James W MCCUBBIN #A07 presumably married Elizabeth LOWERY c. 1848.

Note from Lorna McCubbin: “Searched records in Scotland for James, using Scotland’s People on-line and the 1841 census and There were no apparent matches.”

Writes Penny McColm in an email to Lorna McCubbin, July 4, 2002:

“The search for James McC and Elizabeth Lowry – parents of Thomas McCubbin of Broken Hill.

# 1. I can’t find a marriage in the registers for Campbell Town Tas, but that’s not a worry. There are many a marriage relationship that just evolved in Tas in those days. The source I have is the Tas Family Link that is the archives in Hobart.

#2. I have found a convict, I’m not sure what his status is at the moment whose name is Thomas Lowry, he arrived on the Atlas in 1842 his category is stated as prisoner rations??? James McCubbin was not a convict, neither was Elizabeth; I can confirm that. Maybe Elizabeth is a daughter of this Thomas Lowry.

I did find a birth record in the Tasmania Pioneers Index Ref 843, a son unnamed (I think this is Thomas of Burra and Broken Hill ) born to James and Elizabeth 13th Sept 1848 in Campbell Town, and Ref 696, an unnamed female child born to J and E 16th Oct 1850 in Port Sorrell Tasmania.

Campbell Town is in the middle of the Island and was and is a wealthy and very old farming community. Port Sorrell is on the North coast and was a shipping port. I will go back to the Sth Aust records and dig some more. I think they would have left Tas and maybe James and Eliz. stayed in Burra when Thomas moved on to Broken Hill.”

Writes Jan Bryant, descendant in emails to Lorna McCubbin, Feb 2007:

“I’m trying to trace anything on a James McCubbin, shoemaker, who appears in Tasmania 1850 married to Elizabeth Lowry. I have found no trace on any ship, nor was he a convict.

They have two children in Tasmania, then travel to Victoria, I believe they had another child there, then left for S.A. (South Australia) leaving their two year old daughter in Victoria (according to the daughter’s marriage cert). The extended family then travel up to Broken Hill.

The date of their first born is 13/9/1848 unnamed male, in Tasmania, and unnamed female 16/11/1850. The unnamed female is Mary McCubbin, she married Herrmann Schneider 06/04/1867, these are my gg grandparents. On her marriage certificate it states she had been in Victoria since she was two, after being born in Tas.

But her family traveled on to S.A. and then to Broken Hill, so why would they leave her behind? It’s a great mystery to me.

There is also another brother but don’t know where he was born. I believe the two boys are John and Thomas.

Thomas married Susan Stark in Burra S. A. 12/07/1870. Mary McCubbin died at 26 in 1875.

Her only living child was my great grandmother Amy Schneider born 1870, died 1948. She married William Leamon 1889.”


The group comprises Mrs Susan McCubbin (Great grandmother), late of Burra,
Mr J.H (Joseph) McCubbin (grandfather), Mr (Alexander) Len McCubbin (father) and son  Alec. This photo appeared in the Chronicle (Adelaide SA 21 July 1923) page 34
Site:  National Library of Australia TROVE.

A Canadian Query – Grace McCubbin

In July this year Kathy McCubbing received a query from Jennetta Foley in Canada:

“I have a “Grace McCubbin” in my tree. She was born in the early 1820’s. She married Walter Barrie (born 1818 in Selkirkshire), and they moved to Canada by the mid 1840’s.”

Jennetta originally thought that Grace may be the daughter of John McCubbin and Elizabeth Craig (a branch we know very little about), but research showed categorically that their daughter, Grace (b.1824), died a single woman in Dumfries Poor House in 1901.

Jennetta went on to tell us:

“She (may have)  married Walter Barrie in 1841, according to the 1861 Canadian census [from the Township of North Dumfries in the County of Waterloo, Ontario] – which is the first one I can find them listed in. I cannot find a marriage record in Scotland (Scotland’s People website) or in Canada for Grace and Walter.  I can’t find a marriage record for a Walter Barrie at all for the years in question – or for Grace.

I can also not find a birth record for a Grace McCubbin in Scotland’s People website between the years of 1818 and 1830 – other than the birth record for the Grace McCubbin whose parents were John McCubbin and Elizabeth Craig.

They were in Canada sometime prior to 1844 – as their son, George, was born in 1844 in Ontario, Canada.  They had at least 8 children, born between 1844 and 1859 – George, Jane/Jeannie, Walter, Margaret, Robert, Ellen/Helen, and Elizabeth/Bessie.

I am at a bit of a brick wall with Grace – where she came from, who her family was, and when she came to Canada, etc.  All I know is that her husband was born in Yarrow, Selkirk.”

It’s interesting that they lived in the North Dumfries area of Waterloo, presumably it was so named because most of the immigrants came from that area of Scotland.

Looking at the map of Ontario and particularly the relationship between Waterloo and the places inhabited by members of McCubbin family #33 (for whom we do have extensive information) – they don’t seem that far away, and given the early time period, it seems likely that Grace is somehow related to this family.  More about family #33, who lived in the Ontario areas of Burford, Chatham, etc. can be found here:

#33-DNA-1 Robert McCubbin & Margaret McKnight

It may be that there was another daughter (Grace) born to Robert McCubbin and Mary Carson between Elizabeth (1817, Scotland) and Mary Ann (1820, New Brunswick)… perhaps in transit!?”

If anyone can help us to find the family to which Grace belongs, please get in touch and we’ll make sure the information is passed on to Jennetta too.

Mike Clark’s visit to Dumfries Homeland – #31 DNA Group 1

In an email to Kathy, Mike Clark wrote:

“Thank you so much for once again sending me the annual Cub Report.  As always I found it fascinating reading.  I was particularly delighted to read about the ‘homecoming’ visit by members of family #31, DNA Group 1 which is the group to which I belong.  It is amazing to think that I have relatives on two continents who are interested enough to make such a long journey to find out about their backgrounds and it was nice of them to share how they felt.

A couple of years ago my wife, Caroline, and I made the same visit ourselves, though far easier for us, going to McCubbinton and exploring the area, including Dumfries Museum, sadly without Leslie as a guide however!  We also drove past Drum and Foreside farms as well as visiting the family grave in Lochrutton Church yard which has my grandfather’s name, William McCubbing, listed on the stone.  As you will know, he is not buried there, but in a British war cemetery at Ligny-St. Flochel in France.  Several years ago Caroline and I had a holiday in northern France and we visited the grave.  It was a lovely and quite emotional visit for me.  My mother, Mary McCubbing, perhaps as she had been orphaned at an early age, had strong feelings about her father, and I know she would have loved to think that I had made this journey, something she often talked of wanting to do herself but never managed.”

Bardstown Chief Rick McCubbin (DNA Group 2) named 2015 Kentucky Police Chief of the Year


Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, 9:30 a.m. — Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin was named the 2015 Kentucky Police Chief of the Year Wednesday night by the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police.

McCubbin received the award Wednesday night at the annual KACP training conference banquet in at the Cincinnati Airport Marriott hotel in Hebron. The award recognizes McCubbin’s accomplishments since he was named chief in 2011.

Among law enforcement circles, the award is often referred to as “Top Cop.” A Bardstown Police Department press release cited McCubbin’s “proactive not reactive style of policing, his dedication to the City of Bardstown, the mission of the Bardstown Police Department, compassion and understanding for our citizens were key to Chief McCubbin being named Chief of the Year.”

The award recognizes not only McCubbin’s accomplishments within the Bardstown Police Department but also his dedication to the community.

McCubbin’s law enforcement career began with the Louisville Police Department, where he served until he was appointed the U.S. Marshall for the Western District of Kentucky by President George W. Bush in 2002. He served in that capacity until 2010. He then joined the Bardstown Police Department and was named chief in 2011.


Richard Rawstron – New Zealand – #02 DNA 3

Penny writes: “Sadly Richard Rawstron aka Dick, who was instrumental in providing me with the most wonderful insight into the McCubbin family who lived in Liverpool in the 19th century. I will be eternally grateful. He died peacefully on 2nd November 2014 at the wonderful age of 98.

Marjory Woodward –  England – #02 DNA 3

Another invaluable contributor to our tree was Marjory Woodward who also opened many doors into my research, and had many colorful stories to tell, died  October 7, 2015.  A charming lady.

My sincere thanks to them both from Penny McColm, Ayrshire McCubbins #02-DNA-3.”

James ‘Jim’ McCubbin – Canada –  #45 DNA 3

Lorna McCubbin writes: “My husband Jim, to whom I was married for 55 years, died May 28, 2015. Jim was the greatest supporter of my love for family history. He spent hours with me as we visited the many people on both our family trees, driving through Scotland, England, Ireland, Canada, trudging through cemeteries, peeking through gates of ancient properties where our ancestors worked and lived, sometimes crawling under a fence or two, photographing the sites.

Jim had so many stories to tell that, in 2001, I asked him to record his life. So, I carried a tape recorder in my hand on our daily walks. The result was that I was able to save his words, and to make a long story short, Jim virtually wrote his own obituary.”

Calgary Herald Obituary

An error in the obit show Jim’s interment is in Calgary, instead of the Canmore Cemetery.

Welcome James H McCubbin and Ryan McCubbin

More from Lorna: “Time slips by and now I am a great grandmother. I’ve begun to think of the future of our McCubbin family project. My son James H McCubbin is pleased to carry on as I gradually hand over my part. James is a retired professional engineer and volunteer Fire Chief, as well as being a keen historian. He has grown up in a household where the McCubbins loved to tell stories of the ‘old days’. His son Ryan, now in his third year of Computer Science will also learn about our McCubbin project. They will assist Kathy, who maintains and backs-up the genealogy program that holds all the names and info that we’ve collected over many years. James will keep a back-up copy. Penny McColm, Rick McCubbin and our other coordinators have their own programs and contacts. We should be covered for a few more years.

McCubbin Family History Association Facebook Group

We’ve added to our presence on social media.  James has added a group to Facebook so that those who search for us on that site will be directed to our main web page, as well as allowing people to ask questions in a public forum and post interesting social media posts relating to McCubbins.

Look for us here – McCubbin Family History Association Facebook Group

All the best for 2016!!

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 – James H McCubbin
  • 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 – Lorna McCubbin & son; James H McCubbin
  • Facebook Administrator – James H McCubbin, Co-Admin – Kathy McCubbing

Click to whom you wish to email;


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.

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