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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
- John Bruce (1832-1901), American politician, U.S. District Judge for Alabama, 1875-1901
- 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
- Thaddeus C. Bruce, American politician, Member of Connecticut State Senate 21st District, 1842
- William Bruce, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Maine, 1960
- William Cabell Bruce (1860-1946), American Democrat politician, Member of Maryland State Senate, 1894-96; U.S. Senator from Maryland, 1923-29
- William G. Bruce, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Wisconsin, 1924
- William W. Bruce, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Illinois, 1908
- Charles Bruce, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 1900
- Charles Bruce, American politician, Postmaster at Darlington Court House, South Carolina, 1809-10
- 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.
- Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
- Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
- Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
- Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
- Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
- Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. 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).
- Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. 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 23 October 2015 at 19:58.
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