John Robert Bruce, I

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John Robert Bruce, I

Nicknames: "Bruice/brewes/"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Portsoy, Fordyce, Aberdenshire, Scotland
Death: Died in Bruceville, Frederick County, Virginia
Place of Burial: Frederick, VA, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas John Bruce and Mary Bruce
Husband of Mary Griffith; Margaret Bruce and Sarah Caroline Bruce
Father of George C. Bruce; Mary Albin; James M Bruce, Sr.; John Bruce, II; George Bruce and 2 others
Brother of Margaret Bruce; Helen Bruce; Elizabeth Bruce; Christian Young; Christian Bruce and 3 others
Half brother of John Bruce

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Robert Bruce, I

Was his death connected with the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden and subsequent flight? -------------------- In "JB of the Shenandoah"; there is the following: "Among the 70 grantees receiving patents on 12 Nov 1735, there were many Irish: the Albins from County Meath, the Neills of County Lurgan; the Calverts from County Dromgora."

"The earliest available record of John Bruce of the Shenandoah is 18 Aug 1740 when he, along with Hugh Parrel and Robert Calvert, were appointed to appraise the estate of Micah Shepherd. Mention of William McMechan and John Littler as buyers of several articles at the estate sale as well as the names Parrel and Calvert confirm that this John Bruce lived in the Winchester area."

"At the time John Bruce wrote his will (Will Book 1, page 205), his youngest son and daughter were probably unmarried. Mention in the will of a partially completed house and barn on George's 140 acres could be an indication that George was contemplating marriage at that time. John Bruce died 23 Sept 1748 apparently in an epidemic that was rampant in the Winchester area. His will of 4 Nov 1747 was entered 1 Nov 1748 records of Frederick Co, VA."

It goes on to state that his two eldest daughters later married into families remaining in Chester and Bucks counties, Pennsylvania. Those would be Mary Bruce m William Albin c 1737; William probably being from Chester Co, PA. And Margaret Bruce m Richard Carter before 4 Nov 1747; Richard being from Bucks Co, PA. It also states that George Bruce who married Rachel Littler died 1800 Frederick Co, VA. and that Anne Bruce b c 1724 Scotland or Ireland m James McCoy c1747 and that she died 1808 probably Uniontown, PA.

John Bruce (son of Thomas Bruce/Bruice) was christened in the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) on 7 Sep 1690. In Aberdeen Scotland, three of John's children were also christened: James on 20 May 1720, George or 27 Apr 1722 and Margaret on 5 Mar 1727. [Source: LDS Microfilm of Parish Records of Church of Scotland.]

John Bruce brought his family to America probably by way of Ireland after 1724. It is considered that John may have lived for some time in southeastern PA before settling his family in the Winchester, Frederick County, VA area between 1731 and 1735, under guidance of Joist Hite's son. [Source: Frederick Morton, The Story of Winchester in Virginia, p. 43]. For John to have established credibility among his peers by 1740, he would have had to live in the Winchester area for at least a few years, or to have been their neighbor in a former place of residence. Yet another reason would be that John's two oldest daughters later married into families remaining in Chester and Bucks counties in PA.

During the 1730's, the offer of patented land to settlers in the lower Shenandoah Valley, near the Opequon, attracted many Scot-Irish. Patents were issued under the seal of the Colony of Virginia and were grants from the Crown, free of any obligation of feudal services to the Fairfax family, who claimed the land as lords/proprietors of the Northern Neck of Virginia. [Source: George W. Vale, Genealogy of the Walker & Littler Families, p. 281)

Among the 70 grantees receiving patents on 12 Nov 1735 were many Irish families (the Albins of County Meath, the Calverts from County Dromgora) as well as John Bruce -- his land adjoining the land owned by the Calverts, Hugh Parrell, William Albin, James Carter and George Hollingsworth. [Source: T.K.Cartmell, Shenandoah Valley Pioneers, p.18)

John Bruce was in Orange County, VA by 1735, when the following

judgements were recorded:

1/ John Bruce vs Francis Williams. For debt 3 pounds, 10 shillings, 8 pence, in tobacco at 12 shillings per ct wt to 588 lbs of tobacco. Summons to Francis Williams, July 17, 1735, returned July 17, 1735 by Wm Henderson, Deputy Sheriff.

2/ Henry Willis, Esq vs John Bruce, account with John Bruce, peddler, 1735, for 12 lbs, 12 shillings, 5 3/4 pence. Willis asks damages to 15 lbs.

3/ Summons to John Bruce, peddlar, May 18, 1736 by Gideon Marr. Judgement.

4/ George Stuart vs John Bruce in 1736. For divers cattle -- John Bruce detained and for the other animals etc. How did the defendant come by the animals?

On 24 July 1740 he was appointed to make an inventory of the estate of Michael Sheppard, deceased; Hugh Parrell, Robert Calvert and William Glover were delegated also and any three of them were required to form the audit commission. (Source, Orange County, Virginia Court Book 2, page 210)

John Bruce was a landowner, farmer and operator of a grist mill. He died in an epidemic that was rampant in the Winchester area. John, Sarah and family came from Scotland after 1724. Between 1737 and 1740, he settled on Opecuon Creek near Winchester, VA. By 1740, John Bruce and Mary Littler (George Bruce's mother-in-law) were operating grist mills, sawmills and carding/fulling fills. This 255-acre tract is located on Turkey Run, a branch of Opequon Creek (headwaters Evan Thomas/Branson Spring). The SE corner of the 255 acres is present-day Brucetown. Frederick County Highway 667 (Braddocks Road/Great Road from Winchester VA to Shepardstown West Virginia) and Highway 672 cross the south and east section of this tract. A landowner and farmer, he operated a grist mill on Turkey Run, NE of Winchester.

With other families settling in the area, the community became a flourishing little village known as Brucetown (in NE corner of Frederick Co, 8 miles NE of Winchester, near border of Berkley Co, West Virginia.

Sources: Per Elden Wilson, 9505 Farragut Drive NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111-1349

1. "John Bruce of the Shenandoah" by Violet Laverne Bruce, 1987.

2. "Genealogy & History", VOL 107, Washington DC, Dec 1952.

3. Letter, 26 Feb 1979 of Willard P. Horseman, 2025 E. Lincoln

Street, Bloomington IL 61701, Letter L-103, Document D-50 4. "Some Early Settlers" by Mary Cousins McCabe (p30 - John's date of death)

In 1748, Hugh Parrell willed 300 acres of land to John Bruce; Parrell engaged James Wood to survey this land (recorded at the time as 402 acres) on 10 Mar 1735/36. James and George Bruce, sons of John Bruce, commissioned another survey on 26 April 1753. (Source: Cognetes, English Duplicates of Lost Virginia Records, p. 118; Joyner, Northern Neck Warrants and Surveys, Frederick County, Virginia, Volume II, p. 21) Out of this survey, George received 315 acres and James received 310 acres from Lord Fairfax on 12 and 14 April 1760. (Source: Gray, Norther Neck Grants K-103, K-104)

John was deceased by 1 Nov 1748 when his will (written 4 Nov 1748) was proved in Frederick County Court, Virginia. He willed 150 acres ("the plantation I now live on") to his wife, Ann and son George. His will mentioned daughters Margaret Carter (wife of Richard) and William (son-in-law) and Mary Albin. (Source: Frederick County Will Book 1, page 205)

- Becky Petteys

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John Robert Bruce, I's Timeline

1690
September 7, 1690
Portsoy, Fordyce, Aberdenshire, Scotland
September 7, 1690
Fordyce Par., Banffshire, Scotland
September 7, 1690
September 7, 1690
The (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland, Portsoy, Fordyce, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
1714
1714
Age 23
Aberdeen, Scotland
1715
June 3, 1715
Age 24
Leochel-Cushnie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
1715
Age 24
VA, USA
1720
May 20, 1720
Age 29
Leochel Cushnie, Aberdeen, Scotland
1722
April 22, 1722
Age 31
Leochel Cushnie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
April 22, 1722
Age 31
Fordyce Parish, Banff, Scotland