The Homeplace – Knockaldie, Leswalt, Wigtownshire
KNOCKALDIE is farm (fermtoun) in the parish of Leswalt. “Leswalt is a small parish. Its eight square miles lie in the Rhinns between Portpatrick and Stranraer to the south and Kirkcolm to the north. Within its hilly terrain it has fine meadows and, especially in the south, pastures which traditionally grazed black Galloway cattle and also sheep of Cheviot, black-faced and mixed breeds. Once famed for goat whey and for fine Loch Ryan oysters, over on the Black Shore, the wild and rocky west coast facing the Irish Sea, Uchtred Agnew’s pans produced salt in Leswalt for some 300 years from 1637. On the moor above Salt Pans Bay is an Iron Age fort, while Sir Andrew Agnew’s monument on the Tor of Craigoch above Leswalt village tops a prehistoric hill fort. Leswalt itself is built around its large parish church. This dates back to 1828, though a longer history is suggested by the remains of a medieval church nearby. In the 1700s the village was known as Kirk of Leswalt, placing the earlier church very much at its focus.”
John McCubbin was born between 1799 and 1803, in Leswalt. His father was also John, born c1770. He married Elizabeth BEGGS, 1822 in Leswalt. Andrew MacCubbin was the Minister. He was an Agricultural Labourer as recorded on census in 1841. He appeared on the census of 1841 in Knockaldie Leswalt, living with wife Elizabeth Beggs & children, (Elizabeth died shortly after this census). John married Margaret WALLACE on 3 Dec 1843 in Leswalt. The census of 1851 finds him at Knockaldie, Leswalt, age 48, a Farm Servant, living with second wife Margaret, age 33, and children of his first and second marriage; Andrew, age 14, son of Elizabeth Beggs. Margaret Wallace’s children, James, 6, a Scholar, Hugh, 3, and Jean (Jane).
He was a Farm Servant as noted on census in 1851. He appeared on the census of 1861 in Cottars House, Leswalt, living with wife Margaret, 40, Jane, 11, Annie,9, Neven, 7, David, 4. He appeared on the census of 1871 in Cottars House, age 70, living with wife Margaret, 52, son Hugh, 22, daughter, Annie, David, 14. He died, age 90, on 26 Jul 1889 in Knockaldie, of old age & disability. Son William McCubbin, was the informant.
Occupations & Accomplishments
Of the area, an early Gazeteer for Scotland relates; “On the whole the climate of Galloway is favourable to health and longevity and to the agricultural pursuits upon which the province depends. Thanks to the south-west winds from the warm southern regions of the Atlantic, the winters are as a rule mild. Vegetation commences earlier in the spring and continues later in the fall than on the eastern coast of Scotland.”
A healthy climate for John McCubbin and his family, John lived to age 90 working on the fermtoun of Knockaldie. His descendants enjoyed a life of longevity as well. In the 1800’s many remained in the Leswalt area and in agricultural occupations from Ag Lab, Byreman, Ploughman, to Farm Manager. Most children were educated, (recorded as Scholars in the census records). Females of this family worked on the farm as dairywomen and servants. They appeared to be energetic and healthy. Some males left the farm for Glasgow and became seamen and joiners. One left for Canada.
An accomplishment that John and Elizabeth would have been proud of was when one of their gggrandsons, George Marshall McCubbin was presented with a Canadian Environment Award in 2007.
MONTREAL, June 4 /CNW/ – The Canadian Environment Awards tonight hosted a gala evening at the MontrÃ©al Science Centre to recognize the 2007 winners of its annual celebration of environmental achievement. One of Canadian Environment Week’s major events, the Canadian Environment Awards celebrates the commitment of Canadians who are helping to protect, preserve and restore the country’s environment.
Going to Canada
The twelfth child of John McCubbin, David, whose mother was Margaret Wallace, raised his children at Garrochtrie Dairyman’s House, Kirkmaiden. All were listed as Scholars in most censuses. David’s son John, born 1889 in Kirkcudbright, was one of the few to leave the fold. He married Caroline Marshall in Glasgow, was an Electrical Wireman at the time. The couple chose to move to Montreal, Canada in 1920. Their descendants live in Canada today.
Facts of interest
Garrochtrie – a farmstead in Kirkmaiden Parish, GallowayKnockaldie – is from the Gaelic Cnoc-aldan or Ain, the hill burn. (from The History of the Lands and their Owners in Galloway)Several family members belonged to the Free Church of Scotland.The DNA of this family links in with the McCubbins of Keir. The early John, born 1770 was actually far from home in Leswalt, which in those days would have been very far indeed. Several other McCubbin families lived nearby, but were of an entirely different DNA.
Contributors: GM McCubbin- Canada, Lorna McCubbin – research.