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James Bruce

James Bruce

Male 1720 - 1795  (~ 74 years)

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  • Name James Bruce  [1, 2
    Born Y  [3, 4, 5
    Christened 20 May 1720  Leochel-Cushine, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Tax List 1792  , Nelson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  [6

    • James Bruce, Nelson County, Kentucky - Tax List
    Died 1795  , Nelson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Tax List 1800  , Nelson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  [6

    • James Bruce, Nelson County, Kentucky - Tax List
    Buried , Nelson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Bruce Fam. His. F.1412126, It.6; IGI; Marr. R. Frederick Co. Va.

      Christing records, Cruden, Aberdeen, Scotland. Albin Family Book.

      Albin Book, pg. 4: James and Margaret moved to the northern branch of the Potomac River in Alleghany Co. MD about 1763/4. From there they moved to western PA, near Elizabethown, and finally after the Revolutionary War to Nelson Co. KY. Inherited his father's carpenter tools.

      Deed of land sale 21 March 1763 Frederick Co. Va.

      DAR records of Maryland troops in America Rev. War; vol.18, MD.archives.

      From the Bruce's of Virginia:
      During the 1780's, James Bruce Sr. his three sons and at least two daughters moved from Alleghey County, Pennsylvania to Nelson County, Kentucky. They settled around Coxes Creek which was named for David Cox and his brothers. James Bruce Sr. died in 1795.

      From John Bruce of the Shenandoah:
      "Among the 70 grantees recieving 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 WV) 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, WV.

      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)


      Title: Memoirs of the Bruce Family by William Bruce
      Author: William Bruce
      Text: MEMOIRS OF THE BRUCE FAMILY
      August 6, 1851
      Written by William Bruce, Age 75

      My first recollection that I have of my ancestors was hearing my grandfather, James Bruce, telling that himself and a younger brother, George Bruce, came from Scotland about the year 1740. My grandfather located in Winchester, Virginia. He was a house carpenter by trade, and I have heard him say that he built the first frame house that was ever built in that town. About the year 1744 he married a Margaret McMahon and moved to the north branch of the Potomac in Maryland. He continued there, following his trade and farming until he raised a large family of children. My father, William Bruce, was the eldest. He was born the 14th day of February, 1745. He had two sons younger than my father and six daughters, viz., Elizabeth, who married a man by the name of Thomas Anderson; Margaret, who married David Cox; Jane was married to a William Marshall; Nancy, that married Samuel Percifull; Ann, who married Samuel Glass; and James, who married one Polly Runyan, and George, that married the widow Biggs.

      My father married a widow Percifull, and the youngest daughter, Sally, married a Joshua Carmen, a Baptist preacher, a man of excellent character and a considerable speaker. He moved to the state of Ohio about fifty years ago, raised a large family and died at a good old age-about eighty-five. From the above enumerated uncles and aunts there has sprung an almost innumerable multitude. They mostly moved to Kentucky at an early day and settled in Nelson County.

      My father, soon after marrying my mother, moved to Monoghahela and settled about fourteen miles above Pittsburgh, between the mouths of Peteso Creek and Newels Store, now Elizabethtown. It was then the haunt of Indians and forts were the only place of safety for the families of those hardy pioneers. I had two sisters older than myself, that were born in the fort, and myself, the third child, soon after they ventured to their farms. I was born the Sixth of August, 1776, one month and two days after Independence was declared. I can, with the Apostle Paul, say that I was free born, while our forefathers had to obtain their freedom by their blood and treasure. During the Revolutionary War, my father was frequently called upon to perform military service. The first that I recollect him talking about was being stationed at a place then called Catfish Camp, called after an old Indian chief, near a place now called Washington, and not far from a place on the Monongahela then called Red Stone. My father served then in the capacity of lieutenant. The next service he performed was under General George Rogers Clark. He commanded a company under the veteran soldier to Louisville; was absent from home some five or six months.

      As to my mother's family, I have a very imperfect knowledge. Her maiden name was Polly Lucas. Her first husband was Richard Percifull. After his death she married my father. My grandfather by my mothers side was William Lucas. Was my grandmother a Lucas? What maiden name was I never learned, as she died about my first recollection. My grandfather Lucas died before I was born. All I know of him is that he was a seafaring man. I recollect an Uncle Robinson Lucas and two aunts. They married two bothers, William and Dennis Murphy; moved to the state of Ohio at an early date.

      Land deed record:
      A warrant for the 318 acre tract was first issued under “Virginia entry” to Richard McMahon (later spelled McMachen) who had the tract surveyed on July 13, 1769, but never had it patented.
      On June 4, 1770 McMachen sold the tract to James Bruce for 100 pounds in Pennsylvania currency. Under the bill of sale the land was described as “a certain tract of land lying on the west side Of the Monongahela cornered, joining Macfarlane on the south and William McMachen on the north, being a half mile on the river and a half mile back.”

      On March 17, 1783 Benjamin Bentley purchased the tract from James Bruce and George Bruce (no record of title can be found in George Bruce’s name). The land at that time sold for 40 shillings in gold or silver or its value in good mer­cantile whiskey. It is at this point that the tract is described as being in Notting­ham township. [1, 7, 8, 9, 10]
    Person ID I1299778  7_families
    Last Modified 16 Sep 2006 

    Father John Bruce,   b. Sep 1690, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Sep 1748, Winchester, Frederick, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 58 years) 
    Mother Sarah Caroline Coles,   c. 1694, Fordyce, Banffshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Westchester, Frederick, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt Aug 1714  Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F471393  Group Sheet

    Family Margaret McMahon,   b. Abt 1724, , , Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1796, , Nelson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 72 years) 
    Married 10 Jun 1744  Winchester, Frederick, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [11, 12
    • Marriage also listed as Spotsylvania, Frederick, Virginia
    Children 
    +1. Mary Elizabeth Bruce,   b. 1744, Winchester, Frederick, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +2. William Bruce,   b. 14 Feb 1745, , Frederick, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Aug 1818, Vincennes, Knox, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)
     3. Margaret Bruce,   b. 1751, Montgomery, Frederick, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1807, , Nelson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years)
     4. Jane Bruce,   b. 1752, Montgomery, Frederick, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1813, , Nelson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years)
     5. Nancy Bruce,   b. 1754, Montgomery, Frederick, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. , Hardin, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Ann Bruce,   b. 1756, Montgomery, Frederick, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     7. George Bruce, (Twin),   b. 2 Apr 1760, , Frederick, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1800, , Greene, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 40 years)
     8. James Bruce, (Twin),   b. 2 Apr 1760, , Frederick, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jan 1835, Corydon, Harrison, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
     9. Sarah Bruce,   b. 1 Jun 1762, , Frederick, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Oct 1839, Bellbrook, Greene, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
    Last Modified 16 Sep 2006 
    Family ID F471392  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsChristened - 20 May 1720 - Leochel-Cushine, Aberdeenshire, Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 10 Jun 1744 - Winchester, Frederick, Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsTax List - 1792 - , Nelson, Kentucky Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1795 - , Nelson, Kentucky Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsTax List - 1800 - , Nelson, Kentucky Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - , Nelson, Kentucky Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Documents
    James Bruce Revolutionary War Payment Receipt
    James Bruce Revolutionary War Payment Receipt
    January - February 1779

  • Sources 
    1. [S8196] Bruce, John of the Shenandoah, Violet Laverne Bruce, (Decorah, Iowa : Anundsen Pub. Co., c1987. Book #929.273 B83br), 929.273 B83br..

    2. [S8231] Bruce family of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Indiana, (Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1984. FHL Film #1412126 Item 7 John Bruce and his wife Sarah emigrated from Scotland to Winchester County, Virginia between 1737 and 1740.).

    3. [S8188] Descendants of William Anderson of Anderson's Bottom, W. Va., Olive I. McFarland, (Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973. Film #940943, item 14), 940943, item 14., 1: James Bruce from Scotland (Reliability: 3).

    4. [S8190] Bruce Family, Bruce Family Website, (Online), John Bruce, born in Scotland, died 1748 in Winchester Co., Virginia (Reliability: 3).

    5. [S8200] Albins of Virginia, Ethel Winifred Albin, (Sabetha, Kans. : Ethel W. Albin, c1989 #929.273 AL14ae), 929.273 AL14ae., 3 (Reliability: 3).

    6. [S8131] Kentucky Census, 1810 - 90, Ronald V. Jackson, ([database on-line] Provo, UT: Ancestry.com, 1999-).

    7. [S8200] Albins of Virginia, Ethel Winifred Albin, (Sabetha, Kans. : Ethel W. Albin, c1989 #929.273 AL14ae), 929.273 AL14ae., 4 (Reliability: 3).

    8. [S8231] Bruce family of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Indiana, (Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1984. FHL Film #1412126 Item 7 John Bruce and his wife Sarah emigrated from Scotland to Winchester County, Virginia between 1737 and 1740.), 2 (Reliability: 3).

    9. [S8213] Shenandoah Valley pioneers and their descendants, Thomas Kemp (T. K.) Cartmell, (Tucson, Ariz. : W.C. Cox, 1974 Film #1000634 Item 1), 1000634 Item 1..

    10. [S8215] Bruce Family Memoirs, Norma S. Ruhl, (Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1972. Film #908027 Item 2), 908027 Item 2..

    11. [S8188] Descendants of William Anderson of Anderson's Bottom, W. Va., Olive I. McFarland, (Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973. Film #940943, item 14), 940943, item 14., 1: James Bruce married Margaret McMahon about 1744 in Winchester, Frederick, Virginia (Reliability: 3).

    12. [S8153] U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900, Yates Publishing, (, Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2004).