What's New

8 January 2011

A reunion is planned for July 2011, probably in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Details to follow.

I must confess to a really big oops. A large branch has been connected to the wrong line, and Margaret Gourley's husband William was probably not an Ellrig.

In the early days of my family history search, I received a copy of a family tree prepared in about 1880 by one Henry Manuel, showing descendants of William, son of John Coubrough and Helen Stevenson of Ellrig, and his wife, Mary Moir. Now known as the Ellrig papers, the tree showed the children of William and Mary, along with spouses for all except William. Having entered the tree people into my family tree program, I happily went looking to fill in the gaps in Mr. Manuel's work. In a short time, I had found a William, son of William, who was married to Margaret Gourley in 1781. The younger William would have been of an age to be Mary Moir's grandson, so I hooked him on as the son of Mary's son William, and there he was.

Now,  more than 15 years later, after reviewing old notes and new information, I have realized that William and Margaret Gourley were married in Campsie parish, where all their children were baptised. Mary Moir's family was all in Falkirk (later Slamannan) parish, 10 or 15 miles away from Campsie, and no Ellrigs were known to have been in Campsie. And Mr. Manuel shows no wife for Mary's William. It seems that in those heady early days I made a grave error which caused many people to think they belonged to an ancestral line which may not be theirs at all. 

After much study, I realized that Margaret Gourley's husband may have been the son of John Coubrough and Jonet Buchanan, whose children were all born and baptised in Campsie parish. This has two problems: first, all of John & Jonet's family seems to have moved to Strathblane parish and stayed there, and second, we aren't certain Jonet actually had a son called William. She had a child born in 1723 (same year as Mary Moir's son William). I believe the parish register says the kid's name was William, but the International Genealogical Index gives the child's name as Katherine, so one of us is wrong. 

Also, James Coubrough and Jonet Broun had a son called William, born 1735, who would have been old enough to have a son married in 1781, when Margaret Gourley was wed. And it is still not impossible that Margaret's William was the grandson of Mary Moir, but it does seem less likely now than it once did.

In the end, I have left William and Margaret as their own separate line, not now connected to anyone else. I offer my sincere apologies for any confusion I may have caused. This link will take you to the new William Coubrough and Margaret Gourley page, where you can use your browser's search to see if your family is affected.


30 October 2010

It's been a while since we had any news to report, but here we are. Everyone will have noticed by now that there was no reunion this past summer. No one was available to organize it, so it has been post-poned yet again. We hope to have one in August 2011, probably in Regina or Ogema. 

After nearly twenty years of searching, there is still no sign of the "one original" Coubrough. And while we are a bit further along, every answer seems to ask more questions. For example, we are now almost certain that John of Ellrig was the youngest son of John Coubrough and Margaret Steinson. But who where did John and Margaret come from? And was John the second husband of Margaret Steinson? Was she the one who was married to William Din?


The Scots tradition of naming the first daughter after her maternal grandmother and the first son after his paternal grandfather is quite old. It was, however, preceded by an earlier tradition that named the first daughter and son after their father's parents and the second after their mother's parents. And, making things easier for genealogists, the two traditions often overlapped. 

Last time, we said that Malcolm Coubrough who married Jean Buchanan is most likely the son of Malcolm Coubrough and Marrion Reid. We now believe that Malcolm, Sr., was the son of John Coubrough who was married to Jonet Buchanan. It is less certain whether Malcolm was also the son of Jonet Buchanan, or whether he was  John's son by another woman. Since John was 13 - 28 years older than Jonet, and he was well past 40 when his and Jonet's first daughter was born in 1704, it could be that Jonet was not his first wife. 

However, Malcolm seems to fit exactly in the middle of the five-year space between Jonet's daughter Jean in 1712, and her son John in 1717. Malcolm's wife Marrion was born about 1717, so a birth date between 1712 and 1717 would fit her husband perfectly. Moreover, Malcolm and Marrion's first two children were called John and Janet. Marrion's parents were called Michael and Marrion, so these children must have been called after their father's parents, lending weight to the theory that Malcolm was John and Janet's son. 

We still don't know the parents of Jonet Buchanan who was married to John  Coubrough. We are convinced, however, that he was indeed the son of Malcolm Coubrough and Margaret Smyth. 

In the late 19th century, the sons of the calico factory raised a huge granite monument in the Strathblane churchyard, which had obviously replaced earlier markers. From this stone, Jonet Buchanan's husband is known to have been born in 1660. Margaret Smyth's first known son is the only recorded John Coubrough to fit this date. Therefore, Jonet Buchanan is believed to be Margaret Smyth's daughter-in-law. 


And then there were the people who called their first children after themselves. This could explain why James Coubrough and Jean Muir called their first son James, but it doesn't tell us who his father might have been. James and Jean called their only known daughter Barbara, and we still have no idea if there were any children in the ten-year gap between Robert in 1795 and Matthew in 1805, or what their names might have been. We still think he was the son of Margaret Waters; otherwise, we are no further ahead on this front.


There are still quite a few people in my mystery lists. If you know who they are, please don't be shy! Some were in the census records and are listed here under Mystery People Cenus Strays. Quite a few other mysterious folks were found in the indexes to the Statutory Registers of Births, Marriages, and Deaths. The people from the register indexes were born and married 1875 to 1901, or died 1875-1926. If you recognise anyone in these lists, we'd sure like to hear from you. 


4 January 2009

We have at last discovered the parents of Malcom Coubrough who married Jean Buchanan (August 1796, Killiearn parish, Stirling, Scotland). His parents were Malcom Coubrough and Marrion Reid. We have also found what happened to their other five children. 

The two girls, Janet and Jean, don't seem to have ever married. Janet left a will in which her sister was given all Janet's property for her life use. When Jean passed on, any property that  was left was to be mostly divided among the children of their brothers Malcom and James, but with a small annuity to be paid to the youngest brother, Robert. Malcolm, as we have seen, married Jean Buchanan. The second brother, James, married Helen Thomas, also in Killearn, in 1795. Robert married a Jane/Janet Muir in 1800 and had five or six kids of his own. (There are records for two girls name Elizabeth who may or may not be the same person.)

Since we now know them to all be one family, the pages and trees of Malcolm C & Marrion Reid, Malcom C & Jean Buchanan, Jamec C & Helen Thomas, and Robert C & Jane Muir have been combined, and the main index page updated.


We believe we have also found the parents of John Cowbrough of Ellrig who married Helen Stevenson. John Coubrough and Margaret Steinson had five children, of whom the youngest, John, was christened in St. Ninians, Stirling, on December 5, 1661. He would have been about 21 when his first son, John, was born in 1683. We also think that John of Ellrig's wife was probably a relation of his through his mother (Steinson and Stevenson are the same name). However, since we have no direct proof of either of these connnections, neither the trees nor the web pages have yet been changed.


There are two new probable updates to the tree of John Coubrough and Jonet Buchanan, at the head of the "calico factory" line. First, John was almost certainly the son of Malcom Coubrough and Margaret Smyth. Jonet Buchanan's husband was born in 1660. Margaret Smyth's son, christened in February, is the only John Coubrough known to have been born or christened that year. Second, it seems likely that the Malcom Coubrough who married Marrion Reid, above, was the oldest son of John C & Jonet Buchanan. Again, though, we haven't completely proven either of these, so the pages have not yet been combined.


There is a strong probability that Malcolm Coubrough and Margaret Waters were the parents of the James Coubrough who married Jean Muir in Campsie, in about 1784. Margaret Waters had a son James, eighth of her eight children, who was born in 1752. He would have been about 32 or so in 1784. This would fit with a man who seems to have been a fairly well experienced wright by the time his first known son was born. 

Jean Muir's husband is known to have been employed in building the first three calico mills to exist in his home parish of Campsie: Glorat, Kincaid, and New Miln (now Lennoxtown). He is also known to have moved to Thornliebank, Eastwood parish, in Renfrew, at the time that Mr. Crum began building his calico "works" there. James is known to have lived in one of the foremen's cottages, so presumably he was a supervisor of some sort. In 1789-90, when James is believed to have moved to Thornliebank, there was no village there: Besides building the mill buildings themselves, one of his tasks seems to have been the building of homes for workers. 

Margaret Waters' son James would have been the right name at the right place at about the right time to have been Jean Muir's husband. However, we have not found a marriage record, and we don't know if Jean Muir's son James, born 1785, was their first son, or just the first one recorded. We know that Jean Muir's father was called James, so the boy was likely named after him, as well as the lad's own father. This does not fit the general Scots naming pattern, but not everyone followed it, and we have seen instances where the first son was named after his mother's father, rather than his father's father, as was usual. In most of these cases, the wife's father was either of a higher social status than the husband's, or no longer living at the child's birth. One of these could be the case here, or it could be that there was another Malcolm before James, but there are large gaps in the Campsie parish register, and we may never know the right of the story.


The Coubrough/Cowbrough reunion planned for this coming August (2009) may still happen, but it is more likely to be postponed until next year (2010).


14 June 2008

The fourth Coubrough/Cowbrough International Reunion, which took place 3 -5 August 2007,  in the city of Troy, Michigan, USA, was another success. We had just as much fun as at the first three reunions (August 2001, April  2003, and  August 2005). Come on by and have a look.

The family information for William Coubrach and Christian Dinn (or Dunn) has been updated at last. We have found spouses for all of William and Christian's known children, and even grandchildren, with spouses, for some of them. William and Christian's parents, however, remain a mystery.

Thanks to Merle Whipple, Mary Livingston Fyfe's husband, Malcolm Coubrough, is now connected to the correct family at last. I had previously thought him to be the Malcolm Coubrough who had married Jessie Russell and moved to the USA. Mary's husband, Malcolm Cameron Coubrough, was the daughter of Malcolm C & Mary Cameron. Jessie's husband, Malcolm Andrew Coubrough, was the youngest son of John Coubrough and Catherine Andrew. Mary's husband and Jessie's husband were cousins, their paternal grandfathers both being sons of James C & Jean Muir. Can't imagine how they got confused! 

Family information for John Coubrough & Christian Dinn's family has been updated, including three more children, some with spouses, for John and Christian's son William, who married Annie Souter. Also, spouses for two more daughters of George Coubrough & Sarah Gibson: Jane m. Peter Strang and Janet m. Colin Moir. You can find them all on the Ellrig family tree (John C & Helen Stevenson).

There are still quite a few people in my mystery lists. If you know who they are, please don't be shy! Some were in the census records and are listed here under Mystery People Cenus Strays. Quite a few other mysterious folks were found in the indexes to the Statutory Registers of Births, Marriages, and Deaths. The people from the register indexes were born and married 1875 to 1901, or died 1875-1926. If you recognise anyone in these lists, we'd sure like to hear from you. 

Thanks to Kathy Wallace, we have one less person in the Mystery list. The 1901 census listed a Margaret Coubrough, aged 30 years, living at Bowhouse Farm. Kathy says Margaret was the natural daughter of Catherine Campbell, who later married John Coubrough. Catherine
C.R. Coubrough is also listed at the address as a domestic servant. Margaret was born January 6, 1871, at Ramoyle, Dunblane. Her father's name has not yet been confirmed, but he was a gamekeeper at Edgehill House, in Logie. Catherine Campbell worked there as a domestic servant, and sought paternity through the courts, February 18, 1872. Catherine married John Coubrough June 7, 1878, and they had at least five children.


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