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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015
Origins Available: English, Scottish
Where did the English Bruce family come from? What is the English Bruce family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bruce family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bruce family history?Today's generation of the Bruce family bears a name that was brought to England by the migration wave that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bruce family lived in Normandy. The exact location of the place from which the family name is derived is under dispute, as one may perhaps expect of such a prominent name. The traditional interpretation is that the name is derived from the place-name Brix, in La Manche. It is argued, however, that there is no real evidence in support of this, and that the name is actually derived from the place-name Le Brus, in Calvados. A surname based upon an already existing place-name is called a habitation name.
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Bruce include Bruce, Brus (Gaelic), Bruys, Bruse and others.
First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bruce research. Another 289 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1274, and 1329 are included under the topic Early Bruce History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 60 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bruce Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Bruce family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 120 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Bruces to arrive on North American shores:
Bruce Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Richd Bruce, who arrived in Virginia in 1638
- Sarah Bruce, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1643
- Richard Bruce who landed in Virginia in 1650
- Richard Bruce settled in Virginia in 1650
- Phill Bruce, who landed in Virginia in 1664
Bruce Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Alexander Bruce who settled in Virginia in 1716
- James Bruce settled in South Carolina in 1716
- Alexander Bruce who landed in Virginia in 1716
- James Bruce who landed in South Carolina in 1716
- Alexander Bruce, who landed in New York in 1746
Bruce Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Dinah Bruce, aged 30, arrived in Alexandria, Va in 1801
- Eliz Bruce, aged 26, landed in New York, NY in 1803
- Thomas Bruce, who landed in America in 1803
- Barwick Bruce, who arrived in Hartford, Conn in 1806
- Robert Bruce, who landed in America in 1806
Bruce Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. Bruce, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
- Mr. Alnanwer Bruce U.E who settled in Cornwall, Ontario c. 1783
- Mr. David Bruce U.E who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783
- Mr. David Bruce U.E who settled in Parr Town [Saint John], New Brunswick c. 1783
- Mr. John Bruce U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783
Bruce Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Catherine Bruce, aged 33, landed in Canada in 1815
- John Bruce, who arrived in Canada in 1817
Bruce Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- James Bruce, a blacksmith, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
- James Bruce landed in Sydney, Australia in 1836
- Douglas Bruce arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Nicol" in 1840
- Mary Ann Bruce arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Nicol" in 1840
- Charlotte Mary Morgan Bruce arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Nicol" in 1840
Bruce Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Charles Bruce landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
- Peter Bruce landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Lady Nugent
- Peter Bruce, aged 23, a sawyer, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
- Helen Bruce, aged 22, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
- Thomas Bruce, aged 33, a sawyer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "New Zealand" in 1842
- Lieutenant-General Andrew Davis Bruce (1894-1969), American Commandant Armed Forces Staff College (1951-1954)
- David Kirkpatrick Este Bruce (1898-1977), American diplomat who served as Ambassador to France, the Republic of Germany and the United Kingdom, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
- F Iona Bruce (b. 1964), Singapore-born, English television presenter in the United Kingdom
- Christopher Bruce (b. 1945), English dancer and choreographer
- David Hendrikius Bruce, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815
- Mr. James Joseph Bruce, British Petty Officer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
- Mr. James Bruce, British Canteen Assistant, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
- Mr. William Bruce, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
- John Symon Asher "Jack" Bruce (1943-2014), Scottish musician and composer, bassist for the British rock trio Cream
- Sir William Bruce of Kinross (1630-1710), 1st Baronet, Scottish gentleman-architect, "the effective founder of classical architecture in Scotland"
- Alexander Bruce of Southside Virginia and Some of His Descendants by June A. Bruce Stubbs.
- The Ancestry and Descendants of Robert Bruce and Catherine Cearley by Lawrence Little.
- Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
- Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
- Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
- Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
- Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
- Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
- Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
- Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
The Bruce Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bruce Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 12 July 2015 at 15:05.
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