#09-DNA-3 Alexander McCubbin & Agnes Jackson, Kirkcolm, Leswalt

The Homeplace – Kirkcolm and Leswalt, Wigtownshire

Kirkcolm – a village in a parish of the same name at the northern end of the Rhins of Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway, Kirkcolm looks down on the west shore of Loch Ryan, 6 miles (10 km) northwest of Stranraer. Established as a burgh of barony in 1613, it takes its name from the church dedication to St Columba, although it was also formerly known as Stewarton. The village was rebuilt in a more regular layout in the 1780s. In the churchyard of the Ervie and Kirkcolm Parish Church (1824) stands the Kilmorie (or Kilmore) Cross, a 9th-10th Century Celtic stone.

Leswalt – a village of the Rhins of Galloway in Dumfries and Galloway, Leswalt lies 3 miles (5 km) northwest of Stranraer. To the west of this village of largely modern housing is Lochnaw Castle, the seat of the Agnews of Lochnaw whose burial vault and loft can be found in the remains of the old parish church at Leswalt. To the northwest of the village, on top of the Tor of Craigoch, stands a four-storey tower built in memory of Sir Andrew Agnew.

Early Families

I. Alexander MCCUBBIN was a Farm Servant. He was born circa 1787 in Kirkcolm, Wigtownshire, He married Agnes Jackson on 11 Jun 1808 in Leswalt, Wigtown. He appeared on the census of 1841 in Balgown Farme House, Kirkcolm, Wigtown; living with wife & two children, Helen, his daughter & William (who may be a grandchild). Born in county. He died between 1841 and 1851.

Alexander and Agnes have many descendants in Australia today. Four of their children, Mary, William, Agnes and Alexander, emigrated to Australia. Grandson, Alexander, born 1841 also went to Australia with his wife.  Many others, likely in search of better working conditions, moved on to Ayr – Dundonald, Kilmarnock, New Cumnock, Kilwinning, Dalry, Ballantrae and Auchinleck. Another branch emigrated to New York.

A.  John MCCUBBIN. born 1809, Leswalt.  He was a Ploughman. He married Helen Arthur, 1827 in Dalmellington, Ayr. He appeared on the census of 1851 in Auchans Lodge, Dundonald, Ayr; an Agricultural Labourer, age 41, living with wife, Helen, age 45, & 3 children, Mennie, 15, Alexander, 10, and Jane, 8, all Scholars. Listed as a Cartwright in later documents. Of his children, we know that David, born 1828, became a Police Constable in Tarbolton, Ayr. Second son, Alexander, born 1941, emigrated to Australia.

B.  David MCCUBBIN 1811-1893, born Kirkcolm. He married Helen Gardner 1844 in Dunlop. An Agricultural Labourer then a Dairyman. He died Appleby, Glasserton, age 82 at death. Most of his family moved on to Ayrshire. His son Robert, born 1845, likely learned dairying alongside his father, then learned the cheese-making craft. He emigrated to America where he continued on with cheese-making.

David and Helen’s other children, Mary, b. 1849,  David, b. 1853, Helen, b. 1855, a Dairymaid,  John, b. 1857, (also a dairyman), and Elizabeth, b. 1859. They resided in various locations, of Wigtownshire, Kirkcudbright and Ayr. Elizabeth, a Dairymaid,  married a an unrelated McCubbin (David, son of William McCubbin and Mary Neill) thus joining the two families, one her own, and her husband’s (chart #42 William McCubbin and Janet Stewart). Their son, Robert, born 1899, died in the Battle of Somme.

C.  Mary MCCUBBIN was born on 30 Nov 1814 in Kirkcolm. She married Robert Sloan Logan, 1845 in Colmonell, Ayr. She immigrated on 26 Apr 1864 to Melbourne, Australia. The Logan family arrived on the”Royal Family’ and consisted of Robert, his wife Mary and their children Agnes, Alexander, Mary, Gilbert & Robert.

She died on 30 Jun 1900 in Yea, Victoria, at age 85..

D.  Janat MCCUBBIN was christened Apr 1817 in Leswalt, Wigtown.

E.  Mennie MCCUBBIN was christened Feb 1819 in Leswalt, Wigtown.

F.  William MCCUBBIN was christened 1821 in Leswalt, Wigtown.  He married Catherine Menzies, 1846 in Auchinleck, Ayr. He immigrated, as an ‘unassisted passenger’ in 1860 to Victoria, Australia; on board ‘The Lord Raglan’ with wife &  children, Alexander, b. 1850, Janet, b. 1851, Agnes, b. 1853, Mary, 1855, Thomas Menzies, 1857, and William, b. 1860. Their youngest child, Catherine, was born 1864, in Lake Learmonth, Vic. William died, 1912 in Learmonth, Australia, at age 90.

G.  Agnes MCCUBBIN  was born 1824 in Scotland. She married Alexander Rennie 1846 in Stewarton, Ayr. She appeared on the census of 1851 in Rosemount Gales, Symington, Ayrshire; wife of Alexander Rennie, age 26, born Wigtownshire. Husband age 26, born Ireland, an Ag Lab. Son William, born Symington, According to descendants, Agnes and Alexander had 3 children, William b. 1847, and Alexander, b. 1849 (died young), and Agnes Jackson, b. 1851. They emigrated to Australia and arrived on the “OMEGA” into Adelaide on 24th Aug 1852. At some point they settled at Ballan, the Melbourne side of Ballarat where the family stayed.

She died on 12 Mar 1906 in Ballan, Victoria, Australia, at age 81.

H.  Alexander MCCUBBIN was christened on 28 May 1826 in Leswalt, Wigtown. He emigrated to Australia before 1856. He married Elizabeth Simpson 1856 in Ballarat, Vic. The couple had seven children, Agnes, b. 1856, Catherine, b. 1858, William, b. 1860, married Rose Ann McAuley, Elizabeth, b. 1861, married David Medwell, Mary, b. 1864, married Thomas Mason, Alexander, b. 1865, married Louise Wilkins, and James Douglas, b. 1874. Alexander died in 1901 in B’rt, Australia, age 74.

I.  Jane ‘Jean’ MCCUBBIN was born on 14 Sep 1828 in Kirkcolm. She appeared on the census of 1841 in East Kirkbride, Kirkcolm, Wigtown; a female servant at time of census. Listed as 12 yrs old. She was a Domestic Servant at time of marriage in 1855. She married James Levingston, 1855 in Dalry, Ayr. She died on 21 May 1860 in Kersland Mill, Dalry, at age 31; disease of lungs, 2 months. Burial Grounds Dalry. Wife of a Wright.

J.  Ellen ‘Hellen’ MCCUBBIN was born on 3 Jan 1830 in Leswalt.  She was a Farm Servant at time of marriage in 1855. She married David Hastings 1855 in Auchinleck, Ayr.

Leaving Scotland

Going to Australia

The following family members of Alexander McCubbin and Agnes Jackson, emigrated to Australia. All were brothers and sisters
1852 – Agnes McCubbin & Alexander Rennie and family
1856 or earlier – Alexander McCubbin & Elizabeth Simpson and family
1860 – William McCubbin  & Catherine Menzies and family – 1860
1864 – Mary McCubbin & Robert Logan and family
The following Alexander is the nephew of the above.
1861- Alexander McCubbin & Margaret Currie

Alexander MCCUBBIN, grandson of Alexander McCubbin and Agnes Jackson was born circa 1841 in Dundonald, Ayr, to John McCubbin and Helen Arthur. He was a Farm Servant when he married Margaret Currie,1859 in Coylton, Ayr. They emigrated to Australia ,1861. Their first two children, John and Jane were born at sea. In Australia they had five more daughters, Helen, 1862, Margaret, 1865, Mary, 1867, Catherine, 1870 and Isabella, 1873.  Alexander died 1923, Donald, Vic, Australia.

Going to America

Robert MCCUBBIN, son of David McCubbin and Helen Gardner, was born c. 1845. He was a Dairyman at time of marriage in 1864. He married Marion McAdam, 1864 in Dunsdrennan Village, Rerrick, Kirkcudbright. He immigrated Apr 1870; via Glasgow, to United States of America on the ship Columbia. Listed also were wife Marion, and daughters Helen and Ann. He appeared on the census of Jun 1870 in Java, Wyoming, New York; age 25, living with wife and children. A Cheese-maker. Son James also listed as a Cheese-maker in 1900 in Stockton, Chautauqua, NY. Robert appeared on the census of 1900 in Stockton, Chautauqua, NY; living with wife Marion, 55, & children, James M, Mary A, Anelins , and William.

Robert and Marion’s first three children, Marion Clement, b 1864, Hellen Gardiner, b. 1866, and Annie McAdam, b. 1868, were all born in Kircudbright, Scotland. Their remaining four children, James M, b. 1870, Mary A, b. 1882, Anelins, b. 1883, William M, b. 1884, were all born New York. According to a descendant, they had twelve children, yet to be recorded.

Military Service

ROBERT MCCUBBIN,  was born, Inch, Wigtownshire, in 1899, in Inch, Stranraer. Son of Elizabeth McCubbin and David McCubbin
Enlisted: Stranraer, Wigtownshire
Residence: Leswalt, Wigtownshire
Rank: PRIVATE, Number: 20338, Date died: 14 July 1916
How died: Killed in action
Theatre of war: France & Flanders, Battle of Somme

Facts of Interest


Excerpted from the Basics of Making Cheese http://www.cip.ukcentre.com/

“Cheese-making families worked long and arduous hours. There were usually about 150 cows (Kye) to milk. Then the cheese-making process began. Earlier this would be done by the women on croft and farm, who, until the middle of the 19th century, simply held over a portion of soured milk or whey in a small jug or churn and used it the following day to make cheese. This worked perfectly well as long as the amount of cheese being made was relatively small, but cheese-making was never consistent and results varied greatly. Cheese-making was carried out only in the summer months and at the end of the season starter had somehow to be kept for the next year. This was in fact done in many rural areas in Scotland by filling up a clean bottle with starter, corking it securely and burying it in the back garden. The following Spring it was dug up and, after one or two sub-cultures, used again for cheese-making.”

Mid and late 19th century cheese-making – Prof. John MacQueen, (Scottish Studies) relates:  “The countryside in William McWilliam’s youth was quite rough and was just beginning to be brought into cultivation for corn, wheat and barley. Wigtownshire was a poor area, mainly producing butter. There were still thatched cottages and steadings. Before the landowners, including the Laird of Logan, began to improve the land, the cattle were mostly black [Galloways], sold on for fattening. Cheese-making began first in Laigh [Low] Currochtrie. There began to be more ploughmen and dairymen in the district. A cheese-maker went round the farms to help introduce cheese-making. The farmers joined a company, which paid them for the cheese.   Excerpted from, Agricultural improvement and the introduction of cheese-making in Kirkmaiden parish in the late 19th century. http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk

From Land of the Leal by James Barke, a novel of a family of the Rhins of Galloway. The following paragraph is about the main male character, David Ramsay.

“Not since the death of his father had there been such a definite and dramatic change in David’s life. He was a man now: had served his apprenticeship to life. He could work: anywhere and at any time. He could plough, harrow, reap, thresh, grub, cut peat, milk, sow seed or spread manure.But he could not make cheese – and in the Rhinns cheese-making was all-important. A cheese-maker was the aristocrat of farmworkers. Now he was given the opportunity to learn the art of cheese-making.”

4 Generation Descendancy Chart

Scotland – David Kirkwood
USA – Sue Taylor, Robert MacCubbin Bugbee
Australia – Lesley Sullivan, Peter McCubbin, Sue Richardson, Mary Thomas, Ian Logan, Judy Lee
Penny McColm – Co-ordinator for Australia,  Lorna McCubbin – Co-ordinator SW Scotland

Next #42-DNA-3 William McCubbin & Janet Stewart