#55-DNA-3 Shaw McCubbin/McKibbin & Sarah Chapman

The Homeplace – Blaris, Townland of Maze, County Down, Ireland

Blaris, Ireland

Blaris, also called Lisburn, comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 10,697 statute acres, of which 2827 1/4 are in the barony of Upper Massareene, county of Antrim, and 3064 in Upper Castlereagh, and 4805 3/4 in Lower Iveagh, county of Down. The lands are very fertile, and the system of agriculture is highly improved; for the last twenty years, wheat has been the staple crop, and oats, formerly the principal produce, are now grown only for the sake of a due rotation of crops.

Blaris (Lisburn), an unincorporated borough, market-town, and parish, partly in the barony of Upper Massareene, county of Antrim and partly in the barony of Upper Castlereagh, but chiefly in that of Lower Iveagh, county of Down, and province of Ulster, 6 miles (S. W. by S.) from Belfast, and 73 (N.) from Dublin; containing 13,249 inhabitants, of which number, 5218 are in the borough, 5941 in that part of the parish which is in the county of Down, and 2090 in that which is in the county of Antrim.

Early Families

I.  Shaw McCubbin/McKibben (1785-1860) married Sarah Chapman circa 1808, Ireland. On Jan 1st, at the age of 23, 1808 he resided at No 117, Blaris, Townland of Maze, County of Down, Ireland. He had become the lessor of a three acre farm with dwelling and barn, from the Marchioness of Downshire “to Mr Shaw McKibben of the farm and premises within described to hold from the 1st day of Nov 1807, for his own life. At the clear yearly rent of L4.9.11, subject to a Heriot, or L 0.16.3 on the death of every chief Tenant, and to other payment, (if incurred), and such Covenants, Conditions and restrictions as within-mentioned. Handwritten at top of document “Expired 5th July 1860”. That was the day of Shaws death. He was age 75.

Shaw McKibbin of Lower Maze, Parish of Blaris, was registered as a freehold farmer in 1815 and 1824, held from Mary, Marchioness of Downshire. http://wapedia.mobi/en/Mary_Hill,_Marchioness_of_Downshire.

Shaw was a subscriber to giving a charity donation of 1 shilling. (as noted on the Collection for the Poor House.)

Leaving Ireland

A. William McCubbin was born circa 1811 in Ireland; birth calculated from death cert. Shaw McKibbin was noted as his father. By the age of 22 he was living in Girvan, Ayr, Scotland, where he married Martha Hay, 1833. Martha was also born in Ireland. William appeared on the census of 1841 in Dounepark, Girvan, Ayr; a Hand Loom Weaver, age 30, living with wife Martha, age 30.  Also there were their seven children – John 12, Sarah 8, Mary 7, Jean 4, William 3, Martha 1, Samuel, an infant. The 1851 census shows William and Martha at Gas Street, with nine children. Sarah, Mary and Jean are Hand Weavers and Winders. Four of the children were Scholars. Five year old Joseph was an Errand Boy. Shaw continued to be a Weaver as indicated on his childrens marriage and death records. He died 1883 in Drumback, Girvan, Ayr, Scotland; of  “disease of the heart, aortic, several years.”

1. The first son of William McC and Martha Hay was John McCubbin born circa 1829; birth calculated from census of 1841, when he was age 12.

2. The first daughter of William McC and Martha Hay was Sarah McCubbin, born circa 1834; was listed on census of 1851, Girvan as being 17 yrs old, a Cotton Weaver. She married William McCulloch, 1854 in Girvan.  Sarah and William had six known children. The first three, Jane, Mary and William were born in Girvan. William died, an infant, at sea, enroute to Australia. Andrew, James, Margaret and Mary were born in Rockhampton, Australia. Sarahs husband William, died of Cholera c1868 before Margaret was born. Sarah remarried, 1880, to Robert Ferguson. She died 1890.

3. The second daughter of William McC and Martha Hay was Mary McCubbin born circa 1836. She was a Cotton Weaver, in 1851. She married Thomas Crilley 1858 in Girvan. Both of Free Church. They went to Australia.

4. The third daughter of William McC and Martha Hay was Jane McCubbin born circa 1837. She was 14 yrs old at the census of 1851, Girvan, a Cotton Winder,  living with parents & siblings. She married Henry Sergeant 1858 in Girvan. Henry was a Cotton Weaver.


5.  The second son of William McC and Martha Hay was William McCubbin born circa 1839. He was 13 years in 1851, a Scholar. He was a Cotton Weaver when he married Margaret Galloway, also a Cotton Weaver, in 1860 in Dounepark, Girvan. An opportunity arose for William to leave the weaving industry and between 1860 and 1870 he and his family moved 35 miles north to  Irvine where he worked on the railway. He appeared on the census of 1891 in Fullarton, Irvine, a Railway Man, living with wife Margaret, 57, and six of their children, all gainfully employed or studying. He was a Waggon Inspector (retired) as listed on death reg in 1916.

Fullerton Irvine

a) Martha McCubbin was born 1860 in Girvan. She was a Shopkeeper in Irvine. She died 1942, age 81 years. Her obit recalled; She will be remembered by generations of Irvineites as the dear old lady who kept a tuck shop in Montgomery Street for the long period of 40+ Years. She was beloved by the children for whom she always had a warm affection. In this obit it states that she was the aunt of film star Wilfred Lawson.

b)  Joseph McCubbin born 1862 in Girvan, married Catherine Sinclair, 1888 in Irvine, (Free Church of Scotland). Joseph was a Fireman. In 1891 Joseph was  listed as an Engine driver on the Railway. He was living with his wife Catherine, daughter Mary and son William in Fullarton, Irvine. He died 1942, age 79; Coronary Embolism, listed as a retired Engine Driver. The couple had seven known children, Mary, William, John, Joseph, a Shipyard Worker, Catherine, Elizabeth, and Thomas.

c)  John McCubbin was born 1865 in Girvan, Ayr. He appeared on the census of 1891 in Fullerton, Irvine, Ayr, as a Painter. He married Maggie McKinnon 1897 at The Coffee House, Irvine. Groom, age 31, a House Painter, living at Montgomery Street, Irvine, Bride, age 30, living at Brae Cottage, Irvine. Married by the Free Church of Scotland.

d)  Isabella McCubbin was born 1868 in Girvan, Ayr. She moved to Yorkshire England where she was a Housekeeper for John M D Worsnop in 1881. Lynne McCubbin writes,

By 1891 she had become his wife and had Wilfred Worsnop, who became a film screen actor, Wilfred Lawson, (you can see how the name Worsnop would never really have worked in the movies!). Apparently he was pals with Richard Burton and starred with Michael Caine, John Wayne and various other big names. Anyway, a little bit of trivia for those directly connected to this line.   Here is a link to him

In the 1938 movie, Pygmalion, Wilfred Lawson played Alfred Doolittle, a dustman, and father of Eliza Doolittle.

He has one of the all-time great monologues in English literature, at least if you enjoy villainy. It’s not quite “smile, and murder whiles I smile”, but it’s twice as charming. Here’s how Lawson delivers it: I’m one of the undeserving poor….Think of what that means to a man. It means he’s up against middle class morality, all the time! If there’s anything going, and I puts in for a bit of it, it’s always the same story: “You’re undeserving; so you can’t have any.” And yet my needs is as great as the most deserving widow’s that ever got money out of six different charities in one week for the death of the same husband. I don’t need less than a deserving man: I need more. I don’t eat less hearty than he does; and I drink a lot more… I’m playing straight with you. I ain’t pretending to be deserving. I’m undeserving; and I mean to go on being undeserving. I likes it.

e)  Mary McCubbin born 1870 was a Shopkeeper in Girvan. She married Archibald Dale,1894, an Iron Forger in Irvine.

f)  William McCubbin was born 1872 in Girvan. In 1891 he was a Painter’s apprentice in Fullerton, Irvine. He married Christina Law,1896, Irvine. By this time William was a House Painter. They had a son, James Singleton McCubbin, born 1900 in Saltcoats, Stevenston, Ayr.

g)  Thomas McCubbin was born 1875 in Girvan. In 1891 he was  a Plumber’s Apprentice in Fullerton, Irvine. He was listed as a Plumber on his marriage cert in 1901 to Jessie Cook, in Kildonan, Isle of Arran, by the Free Church of Scotland. In 1947 he was listed as an Electric Cable Joiner on his death cert in Bothwell, Lanark. He was 72. They had 5 children, Jessie, William, Archie, Thomas and John.

h)  ‘Lizzie’ McCubbin was born in 1879 in Irvine (calculated from census of 1891). She appeared on the census of 1891 in Fullerton, Irvine, Ayr, as a Scholar.

6.  Martha, the fourth daughter of William McCubbin and Martha Hay was born circa 1840. She was a Scholar in 1851. She married Alexander Birch, 1861 in Girvan. Bride a Cotton Weaver, 21, Groom a Seaman, 21.

7.  Samuel, the third son of William McCubbin and Martha Hay was born circa 1841. At ten years old, he was a Scholar. He married Elizabeth Paterson 1862, Doune, Girvan, Ayr; Samuel and Elizabeth were both Cotton Weavers. They had seven children, Joseph, Mary, Elizabeth, a Weaver, Sarah, a Domestic Servant, Samuel, died of Pulmonary Phthisis, age 14, William, a Weaver, and Alexander.

8.  Margaret, the fifth daughter of William McCubbin and Martha Hay was born circa 1844 in Girvan, Ayr. In 1851 she was a Scholar.

9.  Joseph, the fourth son of William McCubbin and Martha Hay was born circa 1846. In 1851 he was an Errand Boy, 5 years old. He died age 10, buried Girvan Churchyard.

10. Elizabeth McCubbin, the sixth daughter of William McCubbin and Martha Hay was born circa 1847. She was a Weaver when she married Thomas McCubbin, son of Thomas McCubbin and Elizabeth Hamilton,1868 in Girvan. Thomas was recorded as a Fisherman and a Sailor. Elizabeth, died 1881 in Girvan, age 34, of ‘Disease of brain’.

The couple had three known children, Thomas, William and Fergus. Fergus was a Housepainter, Journeyman. He married Christina Strange, 1904, and had a son Thomas born 1907, Glasgow.

Note: The male descendants of Elizabeth and Thomas will carry the Y chromosome of their father Thomas…thus their DNA would match with McCubbin males of family #06, DNA Group 1, descendants of Daniel McCubbin and Margaret McGhie of Girvan.


Ireland – Farmers. Scotland – Weavers, a Railway Worker, Fireman, Engine Driver, Waggon Inspector, Errand Boy, Plumber’s Apprentice, Plumber, Electric Cable Joiner, Painter’s Apprentice, Painter, House Painter, Shopkeeper, Housekeeper, They provided for their families and enabled them to go to school – most of the younger ones were often listed as Scholars on the census.
Neil McCubbin writes about Joseph McCubbin born 1862 in Girvan –
My Dad (Archie, b1906, son of Tom 1875) mentioned “Uncle Joe” frequently.  He took Dad and his brothers out fishing and sailing a lot.  Joe’s dad was also a fisherman.  Joe taught Dad a fair bit about sailing, emphasizing that seamanship was necessary for survival.  Dad frequently quoted Joe as saying “A lot more men drown boats than boats drown men”

Dad told me that his uncle John went to sea, and ultimately ran a seaman’s hostel in Australia (Sydney as best I can recall).

Thomas McCubbin born 1875 in Girvan was my grandfather. Tom did indeed serve his apprenticeship as a plumber, then worked as one for years.  Latterly he specialized in joining the lead covered cables that were used to much of the underground wiring in Britain   in the first half of  the 20th century.  Essentially plumber’s skills were used to solder the copper core and then seal the join between the two pieces of lead sheathing by melting it and making it flow together.

Leaving Scotland

Going to Australia

Sarah McCubbin, daughter of William McC and Martha Hay, faced terrible tragedy, unaware that leaving Scotland for Australia would cause her great heartache. In 1862, she and her husband William McCulloch left for Australia, on board the ship Rockhampton. Three of their children were with them, Jane, age 3, Mary, age one, and William, 6 months. William died at sea. They settled in Rockhampton and had three more children, Andrew, James and Margaret. Daughter Mary died soon after arrival. Then, son James, born Rockhampton died. Sarahs husband William, age 32, died of Cholera,1868 before Margaret was born. Sarah remarried, 1880, to Robert Ferguson. She died in 1890 age 56. Sarahs sister Mary had gone to Australia too. But, her husband also died soon after arrival. The sisters likely were, no doubt,  great comfort to each other.

Facts of Interest

A Waggon Inspector – William McCubbin, born 1839, was, at the height of his working life, was a Waggon Inspector. The carriage and wagon inspector is a railway worker who inspects carriages and repairs any defects identified. It involves technical inspection of carriages and repair of identified defects. He checks the functionality of brakes and decides if the train is capable of setting off on its journey and safe to do so. He may also accompany trains during journeys. (Old Scottish spelling was Waggoner, with two gs).

The Scottish Migration to Northern Ireland

Although there had always been some movement of peoples back and forth across the twelve mile North Channel between Scotland and the northeastern Irish coast, the principal movement of people from the Lowlands of Scotland to the Northern Ireland Province of Ulster did not occur until the seventeenth century. This migration, estimated to include well over 100,000 Scottish Protestants, mainly took place during the 90-year period from 1607-1697.

Because of the close proximity of the islands of Britain and Ireland, migrations in both directions had been occurring since Ireland was first settled after the retreat of the ice sheets. Gaels from Ireland colonised current South-West Scotland as part of the Kingdom of Dal Riata eventually replacing the native Pictish culture throughout Scotland. These Gaels had previously been named Scoti by the Romans, and eventually the name was applied to the entire Kingdom of Scotland.

They’ve been called a people without a name.  Their roots go back to Scotland, but don’t think tartans and bagpipes.  They were Lowlanders, mostly coming from the border regions of Galloway, Dumfries, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire, Argyllshire and Lanarkshire in the west and Edinburgh, the Lothians and Berwichshire in the east.  They spoke English and were Protestant, specifically Presbyterian.

They were different from their Highland cousins. They didn’t wear kilts, didn’t belong to clans, or speak Gaelic.  But they weren’t English either. They didn’t support the Anglican Church.  They held onto the memory of bloody massacres that their ancestors suffered at the hands of English conquerors centuries earlier.

Their history in Scotland was not pleasant.  These people were caught, both geographically and politically, between the English to the south and the Highlanders to the north.

In the seventeenth century, when Scottish and English land-grant owners sought tenants to populate the northern region of Ireland and drive out the Catholics, the Lowland Scots fit the bill.  They were not Catholic and they spoke English.  To the English monarchy, the Lowland Scots were preferable to the Irish Catholics.  The downtrodden Lowlanders had suffered endless cattle raids, had themselves resorted to such raids because of their poverty, and had lived on infertile, over-farmed land for centuries.  The prospect of large, bountiful tenant farms in Ireland, a short jaunt across the Irish Sea, was more than appealing.

But as the decades passed, the transplanted Scots became known as dissenters.  They did not vow allegiance to the Church of England, detesting tithing to a church they didn’t support, and were governed by the Penal Laws.  Those laws prevented dissenters from voting, bearing arms or serving in the military.  Dissenters could not be married, baptized or buried with the assistance of any minister who was not ordained by the church of the state.

They began to move on, leaving for America, Australia, or back over to Scotland where the political situation was much quieter than Ireland. They hoped to get better employment and wages. William, born 1811 in Ireland, left his father Shaw McKibbins home in Ireland and made the short trip over to Girvan, Scotland, where other McCubbins would have welcomed him.  He became a Weaver, raised ten children; people he could be truly proud of, and lived in Girvan for the rest of his life.

Some light humor found in the true recollections of old school days in Lisburn, Blaris:

“At the turn of the century there was a wee boy called John McKibben who went into the shop beside the school and sez he, to the shopkeeper, “Abun, abig ‘un, gimme two”, but he did not notice Miss Reid [the teacher] coming in behind him. Well, as the story goes, he spent the next day in school writing those famous words out a hundred times.”

From: Quotes from the past by pupils from the past www.lisburn.com

4 generation Descendancy Chart

David McCormack, Dawn Smith, Neil McCubbin.
Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis published in 1837.
Ros Davies’ Co. Down, Northern Ireland Family History Research Site
Photos: North Ayrshire Council, North Ayrshire Yesterdays

Next #68-DNA-3 Alexander Charles McCubbin & Jean Smith