Glass Area Lobbans

Glass Area Lobbans & Lobans

Distribution map of main NE Scotland Lobban family branches. Base map from ANESFHS. Data overlay by C.S. Lobban. The numbers are percentages and totals of Lobban births (baptisms) in the parish from parish records, i.e., through 1854. Click images to enlarge.

The Glass Area Lobbans presently comprise a separate group related to the other lines of N.E. Scotland Lobbans at the 1450 most recent common ancestor.  Although this branch is the only one found in the Parish of Glass, the family does not appear to be from there originally, and did not have any baptisms there pre-1755. Nor was it restricted to Glass: baptisms in this family were recorded in several other parishes from Ordiquhill to Cabrach.  The DNA record indicates that the haplogroup originated from the 1450 ancestor before the beginning of written records in 1715, but cannot inform us of a place. See Progress Report.

The people in the tree Syd Lobban called “Tom of Glass” (green on the map above) are the descendants of Thomas Loban (1715–1749, b. in Glass, m. Isobel Riach), through their son Thomas (1747–1791, m. Elspet Clarke). Three of Thomas (1747)’s sons had families and these ended up different places. James Lobban (1791–1879, m. Elizabeth Simpson) stayed in Scotland, along with his brother Charles, who seems not to have married. However, at least two of his grandsons emigrated to Canada (see below). Thomas Loban (1781–1872, m. Mary Minty) emigrated to the USA; their name has been spelled over the generations with one b, whereas the other brothers’ descendants have spelled the name with double b.  Alexander Lobban (1777– , m. Margaret McAdam) stayed in Scotland but their one son, Alexander Lobban (1802–1876, m. Margaret McLennan) became a respected pioneer in Australia after he was found guilty of forging some checks (full story). Thus the majority of Lobbans in this family tree live overseas from Scotland. The family tree is presented below, based on Syd Lobban’s tree, but with substantial additions by Stephanie Falls and myself from Ancestry for the American branch. That branch is the only branch of Lobans in the US that is related to the NE Scotland Lobbans,  as far as we know. Other Loban families are likely to have Russian roots, as noted elsewhere.

The Lobbans and Lobans of Glass: descendants of Thomas Loban in Australia, the U.S., Canada. Chart by C.S. Lobban based on tree by Syd Lobban, C. Lobban and Stephanie Falls.

The branches as seen at the 6th generation are are shown in the chart and described below in the order shown. This style of tree diagram is explained on the Rothiemay Area Lobbans page, which was the first of these analyses. The readable full-size tree image, without annotations, can be accessed here.

1. Alexander Lobban (1802–1876, m. Margaret McLennan). Alexander was exiled to New South Wales and remained there, as have his descendants, so that the chart does not show any isolated subgroups. I refer to this branch as the NSW Lobbans, since there are Lobban families from other branches of NE Scotland Lobbans in other states (see Emigrants to Australia/NZ).

2. U.S. Loban branch, Thomas Loban (1781–1872, m. Mary Minty). Sometime between 1829 and 1846 Thomas and Mary emigrated to Marengo, Illinois with their six children. Tom had been a weaver in Huntly. He had three sons: Alexander (1815-1888), Thomas (1818-1849), and Andrew (1829-1895), each had many descendants. His grandchildren moved around the US, South Dakota, Minnesota, and especially to Iowa, where Abraham Lincoln Loban was born in 1865, later moved to Colorado.

(a)  Alexander Loban (1815–1888), m. Lucy Ann May. Their grandson Joy Maxwell Loban (1887–1936) was a pioneer chiropracter.

(b) Thomas Eliot Loban (1820–1849), m. Saloma Stowell, was lost en route to California; his namesake son Thomas Elliot Loban (1848–1928) joined the Union Army when he was 16 (though the Army thought he was 18) and proudly fought with the Illinois Cavalry for 8 months before the war ended, as testified on his gravestone. He married Annette Manzer in 1870 and they moved through Nebraska to Oregon, where their children settled.

Andrew Loban courtesy T Lebert.

(c) Andrew Loban (1829–1896), m. Sophia Greenslit.    I have identified the five sons on the tree without defining subgroups for each. The first three boys were named for famous Scots: William Wallace, Robert Bruce, and Walter Scott, reflecting Andrew’s birthplace Edinburgh, but when the fourth son was born in 1865 he was named for US President Abraham Lincoln, who had been assassinated earlier that year.

Abraham Lincoln Loban (left) and his nephew Irving Loban at Edgar Loban’s home in Brighton CO, probably in 1953, shortly before both died. Courtesy T Lebert.
Robert and Viola Loban and their children. Back row: Flora, Irving, Eva Front row: Horace, Viola, Harriet, Robert Bruce (father), Robert Bruce (son). Photo courtesy of T. Lebert.


3. James Lobban (1791–1879, m. Elizabeth Simpson).  The common ancestor of this group, together with two of his sons — Charles and William — gained notoriety as the “Lawless Lobbans of Glass” (very detailed series of accounts here).  The sons whose descendants are in the last generation on this tree are as follows:

(a) James Lobban (1817-1856), m. Jane Sim. Their son Alexander Lobban (1851–1890) had nine children with his second wife, Margaret Anderson, before being run over by a train. As the Scotsman 24 July 1890 told it, “Yesterday afternoon a sad accident occurred on the North British Railway at Kinross, by which Mr. A.  Lobban, gas manager, lost his life. While Mr. Lobban was proceeding along the line from Lochlevan Station to Kinross Junction, the 2.25 express from Edinburgh to Perth overtook him, and before he could get out of the way, he was struck by the engine and thrown to the side of the line, and when lifted it was found he had been killed.”  James and Jane’s son John Lobban (1854–1936) emigrated in 1882 to London, Ontario, Canada, where he married Mary Ann Brown in 1891.

(b) Alexander Lobban (1821-1899), m. Ann Murray, with whom he had one daughter, and later Anne Innis, with whom he had three sons and a daughter. Of these,  George Innes Lobban m. Jane Cunningham emigrated to Manitoba, Canada in 1907 with their first three children and settled in Culross; the Winnipeg Free Press noted their 50th anniversary in 1946.  George Lobban (1896–1918), son of Alexander 1851 and Susan Gillies, was killed in action in WW1.

(c) Charles Lobban (1835–1918), had children with Barbara Beattie and Helen Tough. This family has an amazing history of non-paternity events, including William Bertram Mann Lobban (1878–1930), who adopted the name  in order to continue living in a croft owned by Charles’ family. (His descendants do not show in the chart because it cuts out daughters’ descendants.)

(d) John Lobban (1838–1918) had children with Margaret Angus and Jane Stuart. Like his brother Charles, he went to live in Ross-shire.


Accounts on this website:

“The Lawless Lobbans of Glass” – a series of newspaper articles from 1969 about James Lobban (1791–1879) and two of his sons.

Alex & Mgt Lobban in NSW — accounts of Alexander Lobban (1802–1865) and his family, who became esteemed pioneers in Australia after he was transported for forgery.

William Bertram Mann Lobban, NPE — The tale of a man who adopted the Lobban name to continue residence in a cottage in Ross-shire.


External resources on Glass Parish:

Godsman, James. Glass, Aberdeenshire: The story of a parish. (1970). Alex. P. Reid and Son, Aberdeen.

[Old] Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. 19, pp. 385–393 (1797) and the New Statistical Account, vol. 13, pp. 199–203 (1845). (Links are to the index pages for each entire work.)


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C. S. Lobban. Posted 28 Oct. 2018, last updated 2 Mar. 2020.