My Bruce Line

I was going to pick up on Sarah Scranton’s Strong ancestry, but a little voice said that I had better do a post on my Bruce line. I try not to ignore that little voice! When I gathered the below information, I realized that this is one line that I did not do a lot of research on, other than a bit on my direct ancestors. Below is all I know.

James (in one roll of land records, called George) Bruce was born circa 1765 in Scotland. According to “Guysborough Sketches and Essays” by A.C. Jost, he was part of The Duke of Cumberland’s Regiment, on the British side of the Revolutionary War. Much of this regiment was formed from Scotsmen in South Carolina, so perhaps James lived there for a while. He never saw action, as the regiment spent much of the war in Jamaica. The regiment spent a short time in New York just after the war ended, then made their way up to Halifax in late 1783, early 1784. Eventually, he was granted either 100 or 150 acres of land (Jost has conflicting information) in the Hallowell Grant in 1795. According to Jost, his lot was in the Southeast division, Block C, Number 1 in the town of Guysborough. (Looking at Jost’s map and comparing that to today’s Guysborough, it appears the town was on the peninsula just north of today’s Mill Cove.)

The portion of Guysborough, Nova Scotia in which James Bruce settled. Courtesy Google Maps/Google Earth.

The portion of Guysborough, Nova Scotia in which James Bruce settled. Courtesy Google Maps/Google Earth.

James married Catherine Cadel on June 30, 1798 in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. Their children were:

  • Christopher, born September 22, 1801, Manchester, Nova Scotia; married Abigail McKeough, January 27, 1827; died April 13, 1867 of consumption; buried in Boylston United Cemetery
  • Richard Samuel, born September 7, 1802, Manchester, Nova Scotia; married Margaret Morgan, February 19, 1828; died December 6, 1884
  • Mary Jane, born November 5, 1804, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia; married William McKeough before 1825
  • John, married Caroline Scott, March 20, 1827.

James was killed by a falling tree on March 28, 1805 in Guysborough County at age 40. Catherine later married a Mr. Kilfyle.

Below are John Bruce & Caroline Scott’s children, all born in Manchester:

  • Sarah Sophia, born December 10, 1828; married James Patrick O’Brien, January 13, 1853; died 1898. Their information is covered here .
  • William Wallace, born November 18, 1831; married Maria Whitman, December 25, 1855 (they emigrated with her family to Queens County, New York by July 1860)
  • Ruth Maria, born October 15, 1833; married Jeremiah Woods Lyle before 1856
  • John Joseph, born October 13, 1835; married Esther Jane Bigsby, March 15, 1877, Guysborough, Nova Scotia
  • James Robert Cooney, born December 9, 1838; married Christina Stewart, November 18, 1869, Gloucester, Essex County, MA (was James Robert Cooney O’Brien, Sarah’s son, named after him? Was she missing her brother who had moved away?)
  • Mary Jane, born March 11, 1842; married John Horton December 27, 1827; married Richard W. Cunningham, February 5, 1868, Manchester, Nova Scotia
  • George Christopher, born April 13, 1844

What else can I say about my Bruce line? Well, my grandmother claimed that we were descended from Robert the Bruce, but I have no evidence to prove or disprove it.

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Third Great Uncle Samuel Alexander Lipsett

Samuel Alexander Lipsett was the sixth child of Robert Bruce Lipsett and Christina McMaster, born on October 15, 1871 in Manchester, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia.

While in Nova Scotia, Samuel was a farmer. Once he immigrated to Massachusetts (between 1891-1900), he became a carpenter. It seems that he boarded with his sister Sarah Ann Hiltz in Gloucester.

According to later records, Samuel was naturalized as a US citizen in 1901, but returned to Nova Scotia by the 1901 Census. Perhaps that was when he met and courted Eliza Blanche Cunningham. On November 19, 1902, they married on Stoney Island, Shelburne County, Nova Scotia.

In 1903, Samuel and Eliza moved to Gloucester. Between 1904-1908, they finally settled in Salem.

Their children:

  • Lester Leland, born September 12, 1903 in Gloucester. Died April 5, 1905 of spinal meningitis.
  • Wallace Wiley Cunningham, born November 1, 1904 in Gloucester. Married Mildred Andrews on January 6, 1938. Died 1957 in Newburyport.
  • Richard Christopher, born January 25, 1908 in Salem. Married Margaret Goldthwait Stevens Gilbert on June 10, 1930 in Portsmouth, NH. Died 1971 in Marblehead.
  • Grace C., born September 17, 1913 in Salem. Married Karl David Kuell on June 25, 1938 in Salem.

Samuel died April 1, 1938 in Salem Hospital, and on October 17, 1976 Eliza died at Mary Alley Hospital in Marblehead. Both are buried at Greenlawn Cemetery in Salem.