McCubbins of Knockdolian Castle

In ancient records of sasine a prominent McCubbin family line begins to appear; firstly, John Makcubyn who held the lands of Tradunnock in 1404. Tradunnock or Trudonag, is originally Welsh Gaelic, the language spoken in the Dark and Middle ages in the South of Scotland, and is supposed to mean Betony-Homestead. Betony is a plant of the mint family said to have medicinal powers against poisons, demons and witches). Apparently, the descendants of this family, Fergus M’Cubbin and his spouse, Margaret Kennedy occupied Knockdolian Castle at Colmonell about the middle of the seventeenth century. It had been built on the foundation of a much more ancient structure of the knightly family of the Grahams. The McCubbins were known to have greatly improved the lands. This family’s course in history would greatly change during the Covenanting times. Some would be leaving their homeland never to return.

In times of crisis, famine or war it was sometimes safer to move family and flocks to another safer or more economically attractive residence. Such escapes were often followed within a generation by a return to the original homeland once conditions there had returned to normal. It is understandable that the family histories of many of the surnames represented in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the England are quite confused.

In the early 1600’s Ireland was the primary destination for migrating Scots because it provided opportunities that Scotland couldn’t offer– and Scots were not welcome in English colonies. An unknown number of Scots fled back to Scotland in the 1630’s to avoid religious persecution.

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