#14-DNA-2 James McCubbin & Elizabeth Bowman

The Homeplace – Maybole, Ayrshire

Maybole, a town and a coast parish of Carrick, Ayrshire. it commands a pleasant and somewhat extensive view over one-half of the points of the compass into the interior of Carrick. An old rhyme, using one of several obsolete variations of the town’s ancient name, says-

‘ Minniboie ‘s a dirty hole,
It sits aboon a mire.’

The notion conveyed by these words, of the town being situated on miry ground, is now, and probably was always, incorrect. A broad belt of deep green meadow, nearly as flat as a bowling-green, stretches along the base of the hill, and anciently seems to have been a marsh; but it could not have been a marsh of a miry kind, or otherwise than green and meadowy; nor does it, even at present, form the site of more than a very small and entirely modern part of the town.

Title: Caricta Borealis. Mapmaker:Blaeu, Joan. Date: 1654

The ancient site is everywhere declivitous, abounding with copious springs of pure water; and not improbably was clothed in its natural state with heath. Two sets of names, both very various in their orthography, but represented by the forms Maiboil and Minnybole, were anciently given to the town. They have greatly perplexed etymologists; but, according to Col. Robertson, are derived from the Gaelic magh-baile, town of the plain or field.’ The lower streets of the town, called Kirklands, Newyards, and Ballony, are not within the limits of the burgh of barony, and consist almost wholly of artisans’ houses and workshops, tidier and better than similar buildings in many other towns. (Excerpted from Gazetteer Entries for Maybole, Scotland, pub 1853. Website – A Vision of Britain Through time)

The principal business carried on here is weaving for the Glasgow houses, in which branch there are many local agents employed, and many families indefatigably occupied.

Early Families

James McCubbin was born between 1760 – 1765; an estimated birth date. He married Elizabeth Bowman. James was a Tailor. The couple had four sons, Thomas, Andrew, a Draper, John and James. Daughters were Jean and Jannet. More records for Andrew and his sister remain than the others.

Jannet McCubbin, daughter of James and Elizabeth, was born 1784 in Maybole, Ayrshire. She married Andrew Barrie. She died in 1855 at 8 Dyers Lane, St Andrew’s Square, Glasgow, Parish of Ochiltree, age 70. She is buried at Sighthill Cemetery. The couple had six children, Elizabeth, Janet, Andrew, James, Euphemia and William.

Andrew McCubbin, son of James and Elizabeth, was born 1786 in Maybole, Ayr. A Draper. He married Helen Dunn in 1839 in Maybole, Ayr. In 1841 he and his wife and were living at Kirklands, Maybole. He was included in Pigot & Co Directory of 1837, as a Tailor at Kirkland. He wrote a will in 1857 in Maybole, Ayr Sheriff Court Inventories & Disposition. He died on 24 Mar 1861 in Newyards, Maybole, at age 74; Paralysis 10 days.

Andrew and Janet’s brother, John, was born 1788 in Kirkland, Maybole. Also a Draper, he died 1866, age 78, a single person, in 1866, in Newton Stewart, Penninghame.

Andrew McCubbin and Helen Dunn had two sons that we know of: (1) James and (2) Hugh.

James McCubbin was born circa 1840. He appeared on the census of 1841 in Kirklands, Maybole; with parents, age 18 months. In 1871 he was at Newyards living at home of mother, Helen, age 60. James, unmarried, age 30, a Cloth Merchant, born Maybole. He married Minnie Rankine on 8 Jun 1880 in Kirklands Street, Maybole. He died of Pneumonia, in 1898 at 33 Casillis Rd, Maybole, age 56. He was a Master Draper.

Hugh McCubbin was born 1841 in Maybole. Hugh and his descendants were determined to see some of the world. As a single man, he moved to London and appeared on the census of 1871 in 338 Oxford St, St James’, Westminster; age 29, a Hosier & Outfitter. In 1872, he married Mary Elizabeth Hodgson in 1872 in Woolwich. In 1891 he was living at 227 Oxford St, St James, Westminster; Head of Household, a Hosier, living with wife & children, 2 servants – William Foreman, a Hosier’s Assistant, age 19 & Elizabeth Ford, a Domestic Servant, born Scotland. He died in 1912 in Willesden.

Hugh and Mary had four children, all born Westminster; Andrew, born 1872, was a Tea Brokers Assistant at age 18, Isabel Mary, was born 1876, Helen Maud was born 1877, and Hugh James, born 1881.

At age 10, in 1891, we find Hugh James, a Scholar in St James, Westminster. By 1913 he had been living in Kelowna, British Columbia with his family and moved from there to Los Angeles, California, with his wife Eva (Chambers), age 24 and Hugh G, age 2. By this time they had seen some of the world. Hugh G was recorded in the immigration records at a border crossing via the C.P Pacific Line, as being born in Shanghai. Hugh, Sr., was age 29 and listed as a Clerk.

Hugh Guy, born circa 1911, Shanghai, married Elizabeth Long. His brother, Ian Lesley married Jocelyn Claire Haycock. Some of the areas these people lived were San Diego, California and New Zealand.


Tailor, Draper, Master Draper, Cloth Merchant, Hosier and Outfitter, Hosier’s Assistant, Clerk.

From “A Dictionary of Occupational Terms”

“A Draper was either a wholesale dealer or retail shopkeeper who sold silk, linen and cotton piece goods, and other draper. A Tailor’s Draper was a retail draper specialising in the sale of cloth, linings, trimmings, buttons, thread and tailors’ workshop requisites to tailors, dresssmakers, and the general public.”

From the Oxford English Dictionary

“One who made (woolen) cloth. Subsequently, a dealer in cloth, and now by extension, in other articles of textile manufacture: often qualified as a woollen drape, linen draper.”

A Master Draper owned his own business.

Leaving Scotland

To Shanghai, Canada, California, New Zealand

Hugh James McCubbin, born 1881, was the world traveller in this family. He has living descendants today in New Zealand.

Facts of Interest

DNA results have shown that this family matches in with several McCubbins of America, who claim descendancy from the Knockdolian McCubbins. They may go back earlier to Tradunnock, the earliest known settlement of the later Knockdolian McCubbins. It is very likely, as our collected data is now showing that each DNA group was mainly in a specific geographic location. The above family of James McCubbin and Elizabeth Bowman was in Maybole, Ayrshire, not far from Tradunnock and somewhat north of Knockdolian. The other 3 DNA groups are generally further south and southeast in Wigtownshire and Dumfriesshire.

5 Generation Descendancy Chart

Contributors: LG Brown, England, Alistair McCubbin, New Zealand, Penny McColm, co-ordinator Aus, NZ, Lorna McCubbin – research

Next #61-DNA-2 James McCubbin & Janet Miller, Dailly