#61-43-DNA-2 James McCubbin & Jannet Millar

The Home Place

Brunston Castle can be found in the Parish of Dailly in that part of Ayrshire known as Carrick District. The Castle and it’s associated land lie entirely in the valley of the River Girvan and occupy both banks of the river. The castle, now a ruin, is on the right bank of the river. Brunston has various spellings, i.e., Brunstoun, Brounstoun, Brownstown, Brunstane.

The McCubbins appear to have had a close association with the Laird of Brunston Castle, being in service as Tailors and/or working in the small Brunston community. Close by was Tradunnock ‘Tradonag’ and it’s ‘forticle’ previously owned by the McCubbins. The McCubbin tailors of Brunston were likely descended from the earlier McCubbins there.

On the map you will also see ‘Drumochreen’, another Laird’s estate. John McCubbin was living there at the time of his marriage and John and wife, Janet Gamle’s youngest son Richard was born there in 1748. Drummochreen ‘house’ is now in ruins.

Dailly, a village and a parish in Carrick district, Ayrshire. The village of New Dailly stands on the left bank of Girvan Water, Baronial fortalices stood at Old Kilkerran, Dalquharran, Brunston, and Penkill; a chapel of St Macarins stood at Machrykill, another of Our Lady in Ladyglen, and a third at Altichapel; whilst on the western shoulder of Hadyard Hill, which commands a magnificent view, is a doubly-entrenched camp, possibly formed in the days of Robert Bruce.

Early Families

I. James McCubbin was born circa 1692 in Brunston, (Brunstown), Dailly, Ayr. He married Jannet Millar in 1717 in New Dailly, Ayrshire. From the Old Parish Register:

“James McCubbine in this paroch to Jannet Miller in Kirkoswald paroch gave in their names in order to marriage the 4th of November and was proclaimed according to order and was married the 5th of December.” Marriage recorded both in Dailly and Kirkoswald. James’ residence was Dailly.

A. John McCubbin was born 1709 in Dailly, Ayr. He married Janet Gamle in 1734 in Dailly, Ayr. In 1780 his death was recorded in the Old Parish Register at New Dailly, Ayr. He was a Tailor. He was recorded on an MI at New Dailly Cemetery: (on two sides)

JAS McCUBBIN 11.2.1822. 77.

JOHN McCUBBIN 2. 1780 71, w JANE GEMMILL 1.1776 63, by chn.

OPR register also states ‘formerly residing in at Drummochreen.’ John and Janet had, Thomas, 1735, Margaret, 1738, John, 1740, David, 1743, James, 1745, and Richard, 1748. All born in Brunston, Dailly, except for Richard, born Drummochreen.

John, son of John and Janet, born 1740. He married Jean McWhirter. He was a Tailor. Children were Agnass, 1763, Thomas, 1767, George (1), 1770, Jean, 1771, and George (2), 1774. All born in Barr, Ayr.

Thomas born 1767, son of Tailor John, became a Fisherman. He married Grizale Henderson, 1796 in Barr by Girvan, Ayr.

(1) John McCubbin was born between 1809 and 1811 in Stoneykirk, Wigtown He married Ann McCulloch in 1837 in New Luce, Wigtown. In 1841 he was listed as a Tailor in New Luce Village, New Luce; Head of Household, living with wife & children, A Tailor. By 1851 he had seven children and living in Old Village of New Luce.

He died 1860 in New Luce. His large family of eight children, Grace, Gilbert, Thomas, Alexander, Isabella, Helen, David and Jane lived to raise their own children. A few moved on to Glasgow, however, most were apt to live in Colmonell, Ayr and surroundings – Girvan, Barrhill, and Kilmarnock.

All appeared to be hard working people. Gilbert became a Tailor Apprentice and a Ploughman. He died of Typhoid Fever age 32.

The Tailoring business did not continue on in this family. Some went into the textile industry, as weavers, both men and women. Others worked on farms – some as Ploughmen. David became a Joiner. Their children spanned out to be, an Engine Fitter – Journeyman, a Railway Surfaceman, a Van Driver. The women found work as Domestic Servants, Dairymaids.

Although Thomas, (born 1767) became a Fisherman, his brother George born 1774 in Barr continued on with the Tailor’s skill. At age 77 he was listed as a Tailor in Barr. He died Single, age 87.

Another large family descended from John McCubbin and Janet Gamle of Dailly began with their fifth son James, born 1745, who married Janet McBlain in Dailly. James was a Tailor. He died age 76 and is interred with his parents at New Dailly Cemetery. James and Janet had one son that we know of; Thomas, b.1792, a Weaver, in Coral Glen, Maybole, who married Janet Hunter, 1822, Maybole, and died at the ripe old age of 88, still a Weaver. Thomas and his wife Janet Hunter had children, James, 1824, Andrew, 1825 (an Iron Planer), John, 1831, Thomas, 1833, George Hunter, 1838, and Janet, 1842. Thomas and Janet’s first son James, born 1824, married Margaret Mills, 1849. At the time of his marriage he was an Ostler. Soon he was a Coachman. His skill with horses carried on in the family. His second marriage to Janet McEwan, 1855 at Woodhead, Colmonell, brought him a son, John, born 1856 in Bardrochwood, Girvan. The census of 1871 finds young John, age 15, at the home of his uncle David McEwan, who had a 122 acre farm. John was recorded as a Farm Servant. At the age of 18, John left for Canada.

Descendant Lorne McCubbin provided the following article featured in Daily Times, Oshawa, Ontario.


Mr. John McCubbin was brought up by his uncle, the late Mr. David McEwen, farmer, Bardrochwood (now Burnfoot), and who was educated at Colmonell School under the late Mr James B Farish:

“Fifty years ago John McCubbin, of Percy Township, came to Canada from Scotland, a sturdy immigrant lad. Today he is a prosperous farmer, with a host of friends, a leader in church work, and one of the shining lights in the life of his community. Application and hard work is the recipe which John McCubbin gives for his success, and surely in everything which he has done he has filled his motto to the letter. His career has been one marked with numerous noteworthy and brilliant works which have won him much distinction. Born at Girvan, Scotland, Mr McCubbin received his education at the Parish School of Colmonell. In his school work he displayed great brilliance and derived the greatest possible benefit from the scanty facilities for learning which were afforded him. As an 18 year old boy he came to Canada in 1874, and began his apprenticeship as a farm hand with a farmer residing near Warkworth. Displaying his usual aptitude and ability, he soon became an excellent farmer, and within three years had saved sufficient money to purchase a small farm of his own. In later years fortune smiled upon him, and he was able to secure a larger and more productive farm. Today Mr McCubbin owns several large and fertile properties. While actively engaged in farming, Mr McCubbin’s hobby was the breeding of Ayrshire cattle and Clydesdale horses and many trophies of live stock exhibitions were won by his animals. In 1880 he married, and today has two (actually three) daughters and four sons, one residing in Saskatchewan. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church and independent in politics, taking no definite side in federal or provincial elections.

First entering the municipal field in 1914 as a member of Percy Township Council, he was returned to the same office for a second term. In 1920 he again entered municipal affairs as a Reeve of the township, and served in that office in 1921 and 1924. in 1926 he became Warden of the united counties of Durham and Northumberland. Mr McCubbin became known during his career in public life as a shrewd but strictly honestbusiness man. He was an authority on municipal law, and his interpretation of various legal points saved many hundreds of dollars for the municipalities he served.”

The above article provided by Doreen McCubbin. He died circa 1946 in Ontario.

John married Mary Campbell, in Ontario. They had seven children, Jean, George S,1876, James D,1880, John M, 1882, Agnes,1888, Mary E, 1892, and Thomas N, 1896. All born Percy Township, Ontario, Canada.

We know more about George’s family because, fortunately his son Norman had saved clippings and letters. Norman’s second wife Doreen of Warkworth, Ontario, graciously offered the pictures now in our ‘Gallery’ when a query letter from the McCubbin Assocation was sent to her. George’s grandson Lorne was an enormous help with further information.

George had five children, Norma, Stewart, Gordon, Annie and William. Sadly, Annie died young. Recalls Lorne,

“When she was a little girl she developed polio. She was in an iron lung for years in the Toronto General Hospital. I don’t have the date of her death but I believe it was in the early 50’s as I saw her through the window (they wouldn’t let kids in at that time) when I was about 12 years old. She died soon after. I remember stories about taking her out of the iron lung and trying her in a “rocking bed”. Apparently it didn’t work as they had to put her back in the lung.”

Lorne recounts:  Most of the McCubbin’s in my recent family lived in the Warkworth/Norham/Castleton area (about 100 miles east of Toronto).

Continuing the story of Thomas McCubbin, the Weaver, born 1792, who married Janet Hunter – besides their first son James (above) they had four more boys in succession, Andrew, 1825, John, 1831, Thomas, 1833 and George Hunter. The last child was a girl, Janet, born 1842.

Andrew McCubbin, the second son of Thomas and Janet, was born 1825, Maybole. He married Margaret Gordon in 1851 in Colmonell, Ayr. By 1861 he, and wife and children were living in Glasgow Central. Andrew was an Iron Planer. One of his sons, Thomas also became an Iron Planer.

John McCubbin, the third son of Thomas and Janet was born 1831 in Maybole. He married Margaret Wilson on 22 1861 in Maybole. He was recorded as an Ostler and Coach Driver on various records.

Their living children were 1) John, b1863, an Ostler. He was living at Kings Arms, Maybole when he married Elizabeth Neil McGarva 2) William, b1864, a Ship Fitter (Journeyman). He married Catherine Woodrow on 3 Jul 1888 in Port Ellen, Kildalton. 3) James b1866, a Chemist Labourer, married Mary Jane Miller, 1896 in Fullerton Manse, Irvine, Ayr; 4) Thomas McCubbin b1869 in Girvan, Ayr, married Lizzie Csmeron, 1895 in Glasgow, 5) Janet b 1872 in Grivan, Ayr; married John Jackson, a Baker, in 1893 in Girvan, Ayr.

Thomas McCubbin, the fourth son of Thomas and Janet, was born 1833 in Maybole. He married Mary McClymont, 1854 in Girvan, Ayr. He was an Innkeeper/Hotel Keeper of the Eglinton Hotel, Dalmellington and later the Kings Arms Hotel. He appeared on the census of 1881 in 12 Main St, Dalmellington, Ayrshire; age 46, living with wife Mary 46, children, Thomas, 21, John, 10, and three servants. One is John, age 18, likely Thomas’ nephew, his brother’s son. He died on 1887 in Kings Arm Hotel, Maybole, at age 54, leaving a will and an amount 1152 Pounds.

The Eglinton Hotel: The hotel is in Low Main Street, formerly Main Street, and was erected in the early 1860s opposite Dalmellington Station. It appears in Slater’s Directory for 1867 as the ‘Railway Hotel’, i By 1871 it had been renamed the ‘Eglinton Hotel’, and the innkeeper was Thomas McCubbin, aged 37. Wife, Mary was also actively involved. He resided with his wife Mary and four children: Robert, Jessie, William and John. In 1881, when Mr and Mrs Thomas McCubbin took over the King’s Arms, Maybole. It was a small country inn. They added an upper storey, built a hall and stables, and bought adjoining property to give excess to the railwaystation, which had been built 16 years before.

In 1886, on Mr McCubbin’s death, his son, John, came home to help his mother. He 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 theKing’s Arms soon acquired a great reputation among the West of Scotland hostelries, running regular four-inhand sightseeing excursions to such beauty spots as Loch Doon, Tairlaw Linn and Maidens. It was also a favourite place for lunch for tourists from Ayr, who came the country road and returned by the shore road. It was a common sight to see forty Ayr horses, being attended to by the seven or eight ostlers during the luncheon halt. Good accommodation was also provided. Wordsworth, Keats, Dante, Gabriel, Rossetti and Robert Louis Stevenson all stayed in this hotel while exploring the neighbouring country. Source: www.maybole.org/history/.

Children of Thomas McCubbin and Mary McClymont

(a) Robert James ‘James’ McCubbin was born 1855 in Burgh of Wigtown, Parish of Wigtown. He was a Merchant Seaman in 1878 when he married Ellen Lees in Cathcart, Renfrew, Scotland. By 1891, he had completely changed his profession and was A Manufacturer’s Manager – Dress Goods, living at Lewisham Park Crescent, ‘St Germains’, Lewisham, London; with his wife, Ellen and sons. In 1901, he was a Dress Manufacturer – Own Account.

Robert James and Ellen had 5 surviving children; Thomas, 1880-1931, James Lees, 1882-1960, Robert M, 1884-1947, William, 1889-1951. (William, born Lewisham, London, married Katy Morson, and they had a son, Alan Robert) and John b1892.

(b) Isabella McCubbin 1857-1868

(c) Thomas McCubbin was born on 20 Apr 1859 in Straiton, Ayr, Scotland; IGI C116171. Became a Veterinary Student (Sally Walker’s notes).

(d) Jessie McCubbin born1861 in Straiton, Ayr. She married William Edward Crawford 1889 in Saint Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London. She married Robert Harper on 28 Sep 1893 in Kings Arms Hotel, Maybole, Ayr; livingKings Arms Hotel, Maybole, dau of Thomas McCubbin, Hotel Keeper (Dec) & Mary Clymont. They immigrate to Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada in 1893.

(e) William Dalziel McCubbin born 1863 in Straiton, married Frances Andrew Mair in 1910 in Baltersan Mains. Sally Walker relates;

“William couldn’t get on with the hotel trade and turned to farming. His farm “Lochlands” on the outskirts of Maybole was farmed by himself and his son William between about 1890 and 1960.”

He died 1863 in Straiton, Ayr; Source: Sally McCubbin Walker. They had two children, William and Mary.

(f) Mary1866-1869

(g) John Gillespie McCubbin born Mar 1871 in Dalmellington, Ayr, appeared on the census of 1881 in 12 Main St, Dalmellington, Ayrshire; a Scholar, age 10, living with his parents, brother Thomas, and cousin John. He married Mary Campbell in 1925 in the Grand Hotel, Glasgow. He died 1950 in Maybole at age 78; a Hotel Proprietor.

“He ran Kings Arms Hotel after death of parents. The hotel was demolished in 1975. He was a prominent local Councillor & Provost of Maybole.”

Source: Sally Walker


Tailor, Apprentice Tailor, Weaver, Tweed Weaver, Hotel and Inn Keepers, Fisherman, Ploughman, Foreman Carter, Engine Fitter(Journeyman), Wood-cutter, Domestic Servant, Railway Surfaceman, Iron Planer, Ostler, Coach Driver, Ship Fitter(Journeyman), Chemist Labourer, Merchant Seaman, Dress Manufacturer, Councillor and Provost.

Remembering Alan Robert McCubbin (by his daughter Sally Walker)

Alan McCubbin was born on the 2nd January 1919. The First World War had only ceased 7 weeks before and the troops only just starting to come home. He was born in South London, his father William McCubbin had been a Fitter Instructor Sergeant in the Royal Flying Corps (later the RAF) based at Croydon Aerodrome.
In 1941 Alan embarked on a convoy for the Far East. in July 1943 he was in the front line during Operation Husky, the landings on Sicily, and then in Italy at the Battle of Monte Casino where he was mentioned in dispatches for bravery at the crossing of the Garigliano River where a shell landed near him which put him in hospital in Naples with shell shock; on the 18th March 1944 Alan and his camp had to be hurriedly evacuated when Mount Vesuvius erupted.
He moved to the Army claims office in Rome and then to Thessaloniki in Greece, and he wasnt finally demobbed until 1946.
He died well into his 92nd year on 1 August 2011. Like many of his generation he was fiercely independent and was determined to remain in his home despite his increasing frailty.

Facts of Interest

Iron Planer – His job was to put flat (plane) surfaces on to, usually, iron casting. This was required for seatings, etc., where the castings fitted on to other parts of the structure.


John Gillespie McCubbin 1871 – 1960

One of the outstanding personalities in the first half of the present century [1900] was undoubtedly the genial host of the Kings Arms Hotel, the redoubtable John G. McCubbin, known to all as “the Provost” and to his intimates as “John G.”. He became owner of the Kings Arms Hotel after the death of his father, Thomas McCubbin, who had taken over the hotel in 1881. It was then a small country inn but Mr. McCubbin added an upper storey, built a hall and stables and opened up an entrance to the “Back Road” to give easy access to the railway station. On a sunny summer afternoon “John G.” was a ken-speckle figure leaning against the highly polished brass rail which used to protect the window at the side of the hotel entrance, with his thumbs in the armholes of his yellow waistcoat, his hat tilted down to shade his eyes and a large cigar tilted at a Churchillian angle and placed dead centre between his lips. He knew everyone, as everyone knew him, and his usual reply when anyone halted to enquire how he was keeping was: “I’m no’ complaining.” His great hobbies were breeding collie dogs and horses and he was often successful in showing both all over the country. In his later years he devoted his energies to training racehorses and his greatest success was when his horse “Craigenelder” won the Adamhill cup at Bogside. He was fond of fox-hunting and had many good hunters which he often raced at point-to-points and in steeplechases at Bogside, Carlisle, Perth, Kelso, etc. He had a ready wit and often scored in an argument with his pawky repartee and delighted in telling stories, many against himself. One of his favourites was about the time he bought a horse from one of the local farmers after a long tussle as to its price. After the bargain was sealed by the usual handshake the farmer remarked the horse had two faults which he thought the purchaser should know. “Two faults,” quoth John G. “I’ll soon cure them, what are they?” “Well,” said the seller, “It’s difficult to catch when it’s running loose in a field.” “I’ll keep a head stall on it,” was the reply. “That’ll make it easier to catch. What’s its other fault?” The farmer looked at him and said: “It’s no’ worth a damn yince it’s caught,” and John G. ruefully concluded his story by admitting the farmer was right about both points.

One day a local remarked on how well he was looking and enquired as to his age when John G. proudly owned up to being over seventy. “Man, but ye’re fresh for your age,” said the enquirer, adding “but of course ye should be. Ye’ve never done any work in your life.” John looked along his cigar at his inquisitor and replied: “Weel you’ve naething tae greet aboot. I never kept you oot o’ a job.” He took a prominent part in the affairs of the town and district and was Provost from 1927 to 1936, during which period he was undoubtedly the “Leader” of the council as Bailie Niven had been a hundred years previously. He was always genial and unruffled, but firm in his convictions and cared not a jot for any man. His ready wit was ever appreciated by even his antagonists (and what Provost ever lived who did not have detractors) and “John G.” will always be remembered with affection by Minniebolers.

The above was excerpted from Maybole website, http://www.maybole.org ‘Personalities’ book Maybole, Carrick’s Capital Facts, Fiction & Folks, by James T Gray

Many thanks for the individuals who spent many hours on the content and the website for http://www.maybole.org. They have built a valuable resource.

7 Generation Descendancy Chart

Lorne McCubbin, Alan Robert McCubbin, Sally Walker
Research: Lorna McCubbin, McCubbin Family History Association

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