Coubrough/Cowbrough Project Update 24 September 2000

Greetings, All:

It has been a while since I told everyone what is happening on the great family tree project so here goes....

It has been a busy year here in Kingston, and I have found some interesting new connections. As usual, though, much of the information I found has led to more questions than it provided answers. I finally found that my great_great grandmother was not really a space alien_but her parents were! I found that she actually had parents, several brothers, and possibly a sister. But all I have found about her parents so far is that their names were Neil and Flora MacDonald, and that they had both been born in Scotland, which really seems to have narrowed the search field.

Ellis Wood Coubrough was the great_great_grandson of John Coubrough and Jonet Buchanan. John and Jonet were married about 1703, probably in Campsie. John seems to have been born in about 1660 and died in 1740, according to information found in the transcriptions of Stirlingshire Monumental Inscriptions. They had eight children, of whom the three youngest were boys:

John, James and William. John, born 1717, seems to have been married three times: Agnes Edmonston in 1742 (two children); Agnes Lapslie (no date, no children), and Jean Livingston in 1760, by whom he had six children. There were two sons of this third marriage: John b. 1761 married Euphemia Stewart Park in 1806, in Renfrew parish and was the grandfather of Ellis Wood Coubrough; James, b. 1766, married Jean McIndoe in 1796, in Strathblane parish.

James Coubrough and Janet Brown were both born about 1800. Unfortunately, that is as far back as I have been able to track this line. They seem to have had only one child, a son named James, who was born in 1825. I suspect that the elder James was the son of yet another of that name, but based on such scanty details, it is hard to say which James.

Various searches have turned up several other interesting tidbits. I found this bit about A. T. Coubrough on a site somewhere in Australia. A. T. Coubrough (late A.I.F.) is probably the one who I found in the ANZAC record, and who gave his next of kin as R.E. Coubrough. He was wounded badly enough at Gallipoli to be sent home to Australia in December 1915, instead of to Egypt for repairs. Because home was so far from anywhere Australians were fighting, usually only those missing large body parts or so shell_shocked that they didn't know their own names were sent home. Everyone else pretty much went to a hospital in Egypt or Britain to recover enough to be sent back to the front. Fitzroy, now part of Melbourne, is in the state of Victoria, and so, perhaps, not too terribly far from Richmond. (My Australian geography is rather shaky, but I do know that they consider distance much the same way as we do here in Canada. Especially if you live in the country, a distance of 20_40 miles is considered to be almost next door.)

November 8 Excerpt taken from The Richmond Guardian, 1919 (Victoria, Australia)

Prohibition and Liberty

On Tuesday, November 11, the Liberty League of Victoria will hold an anti_prohibition rally in the Richmond Town Hall. The leading feature of the evening will be a lecture entitled "Prohibition and Liberty", by Mr. Thomas C. Brennan, LL.B. As an interlude, Mssrs. Ambrose McMahon and Edward Leahy will entertain the audience with songs and recitations. In addition, speeches relative to the object of the rally will be given by Mr. A.T. Coubrough (Late A.I.F.) and Captain George A. Burkett. Admission will be free, and there will be no collection. Citizens of Richmond are cordially invited to attend.

In "A Directory of Scots in Australasia, 1788_1900", I found this family: CONBROUGH, JAMES, his wife and four children, Glasgow, emigrated from Dundee on the clipper ship DUNTRUNE, master, John Rollo, 1.9.1883, landed at Moreton Bay, Brisbane, Queensland,

12.1883. [DPL.MS.405]

Possibly this is the James who was the forebearer of the Coubroughs who now live in the Brisbane area? He would have been the right name in the right place at the right time. More digging is obviously necessary, but if you know the answer, please don't hesitate to share it with the rest of us.

I have spent a few evenings searching microfilms of the Strathblane, Campsie, and Falkirk parish records. At best, most christening records give only the names of the child, the parents, and any witnesses there might have been. Often the mother's name is missing, and sometimes even that of the child! A few of the records give the name of the town where the family lived, but many of the films are so hard to read that I couldn't make out most of them. There were quite a few where I could read part of the name, but my knowledge of 17th and 18th century Scots towns is rather meagre at best so I was unable to guess most of the ones I saw. Having said that, the conclusions here are purely my own. I make no guarantees and would be happy to hear anyone else's opinions.

On 14 Feb 1602, a John Colbroch seems to have witnessed the baptism of a girl named Barbara Young in Falkirk Parish. If this was a John Coubrough, he may have been the grandfather of Matt m. J. Sheier, Malc m. M. Smyth, John m. Agnes McCoull, Ewpham m. J. Broun, James m. A. Lapsly, Margt m. J. Broune, and Jonat m. James Kessane, etc. Or he may have been the (grand) father of John of Ellrig. Or he may not have been a Coubrough at all.

January 16, 1606: One David Cooburgh seems to have witnessed the baptism of James Waddell, s/o George Waddell, in Falkirk. If David was actually one of ours, he may not have married as there doesn't seem to be any record of any other Davids in the family until the 19th century.

The Mary Coubrough who married William Jack, December 24, 1824, is probably the daughter of James Coubrough and Jean McIndoe. She would have been the right age at the right time, and the names of Mrs. Jack's oldest daughter and of her second son match the names of this Mary McIndoe's parents. The name of Mrs. Jack's third daughter was Bethia, which is the same as Jean McIndoe's oldest daughter (Mary's oldest sister), and would be in the correct order of names if Mrs. Jack and her mother_in_law had the same name, as was frequently the case with the limited number of names in use at the time. The identity of the Isabella Coubrough who married James Jack in 1834 is still a mystery to me. She seems to have had only one child, another Mary, so it is hard to guess who her parents might have been. This young Mary married a Robert Lindsay in Glasgow in 1866 and had several children. Unfortunately, we know only that "Isabella was from the Stirlingshire area."

In the last edition of this edifying monologue (12 Dec 1999), I said that I thought John Couburgh (of Ellrig) and Helen Stevenson had probably been married in Falkirk. After careful study of the Falkirk parish marriage records film for the years 1675_1685, I can find no indication of marriage (or banns, even) for John and Helen. I based this guesstimate on the fact that their first child in Falkirk, John, was christened in February, 1683. Either they were married much earlier or they were married somewhere else or they didn't trouble themselves with a church marriage. Or all three! The fact that Helen's youngest child was christened in 1689 leads me to believe that she was born not earlier than about 1640, since not that many women have babies after age 50, though she could likely have been born as late as about 1667. I could find no baptism record for her or for John in the Falkirk records of 1574_1734, so it would seem likely that they moved there as adults. Also possible, they may have had other children before John, but if they were born somewhere else, of course, they wouldn't be in the Falkirk records. After all that, we still only know that they had at least 4 children, the first of whom (John) likely died very young, since his younger brother was given the same name less than 4 years after the elder one was born. They had only one daughter, about whom I know nothing beyond her name (Margaret) and christening date (25 Aug 1689).

In either April 1711 or August 1712 (the film is very hard to read), in the parish of Campsie, one Matthow Coubrough witnessed the baptism of a girl named Jean Coubrough, daughter of John Coubrough and Jonet Buchanan. Malcom and Mathew were also the witnesses for John and Jonet's sons John (1717) and James (1719), but only Malcom was the witness for the baptism of Jonet's son William in 1723. There are several possibilities as to Matthow's identity here:

1. He may have been the one who was married to Jonet Sheirer, and was probably either John's uncle or his cousin. The problem here is that Matt and Jonet Sheirer were baptising their own

children between 1658 & 1666. This seems to indicate that Matt was likely born abt 1610_1630, and would make him 80 _ 100 years old in 1712. Not an impossible age, but surely not common either.

2. There is a slight chance that Matthow the witness is the son (born 1700) of John C. & Isobel Lyle, though this one would seem a bit young to be witnessing anything in 1711.

3. The third possibilty, and maybe the most probable, is that Matt the witness was yet another Matthow for whom I have as yet found no other record. As with the Ellrigs, I seem to be chasing my tail on this one, but I keep looking anyway.

Another Internet search netted this man from the US WWI Draft Registration database:

COWBROUGH, Peter McIntyre born 7 Sep 1887 in Kincardine_on_Forth, Scotland, registered in Santa Rosa, FL. I have records of a Peter Cobrough who married Mary McIntyre in Doune, Stirling in 1852, but they don't seem to have had any sons. I also found an ancestral file on the the LDS (Mormons) Internet site which lists a boy named Peter McIntyre Coubrough who was born about 1893, in Santa Rosa County, Florida. Possibly he is a cousin? Or even the same lad?

Does Peter M. look familiar to anyone? There seems to have been quite a few Cowbroughs in Ireland in the 19th century, and the Peter m. Mary McIntyre was born there. Possibly they went looking for work?

I have managed also to connect a couple of generations of a family for which I know of no living descendants at this time.

William Coubrough married Euphame Alison in November 1742, in Wemyss parish, Fife, Scotland. They had four children:

Janet, b. 1743; Thomas, b. 1745; Euphaim, b. 1747; and Isabel, b. 1749.

Janet married James Thomson in 1763, and they had nine children. Thomas married Margaret Thomson in 1773. They seem to have only one daughter, Margaret. Euphaim married Thomas Wilkie in 1770, and they also had nine children. I have not found any record of Isabel either marrying or having children. It would seem that Thomas was the last to bear the Coubrough name from this line, unless he had sons of whom I have found no record, so any descendants of this line would have a different name. I would guess that William was born sometime between 1685 and 1725, but I have no idea which line he belonged to. There is the possibility that he was the youngest son of John Coubrough and Jonet Buchanan. He would have been the right name at

the right time though Wemyss seems a long way to travel from Campsie for the time. Another John Coubrough in Kirkintilloch, in Dunbarton, seems to have had a son named William born in 1690, but that is all I know about them. There was no indication of the mother's name, or when she married the father. Or, since William and Euphaim named their only son Thomas, William may have been the son of an as yet undiscovered Thomas. There are very few men named Thomas in the tribe, so they should be easy to track down, but have as yet not found any in Scotland born before about 1750. (There was a Thomas Cobrah in Berkshire in England who was born about 1670_1700 that would have been the right age, but I am not sure this spelling was really a variation on Coubrough, though I have seen people spell MY name that way. And Berkshire is even further from Fife that Campsie is.)

I have made a couple of additions to the lists of people on the web site (, but there is still a long ways to go. I hope to be able to get all the names indexed sometime this winter, but until then, you can find people by opening a tree and using your browser's "Find" function to look for an individual. Also, if you find mistakes or omissions in my information, please let me know.

One last thing: We are still planning it for early August 2001, but it will probably move to the middle of the week, rather than the long weekend. While it is still too early for any hotel to commit to a firm price for next summer, I discovered that the mid_week rates were as little as half what they want for the weekend. In some cases the difference was more than $100 per night, which seemed sufficient reason to have our party Tuesday _ Thursday. I hope to have more solid information available before the end of this year. All invitations will be made by "snail_mail," so if you would like to hear more, please be so kind as to send me your postal address. And if you have any ideas of things you would like to see as part of the reunion festivities, feel free to send them along.

Now for the news you've all been waiting for: I have at last run out of stuff to babble on about, so I shall quit this until next time. I look forward to hearing from you all.


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