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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Lipsetts Beyond Robert Fenwick

Robert Fenwick Lipsett’s father was Robert Bruce Lipsett, born October 25, 1819. I have not been able to determine whether he was born in Ireland or Nova Scotia (censuses give conflicting information). He was definitely in Manchester, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia by 1838. He married Christina McMaster on January 8, 1859. They seem to have lived and farmed in Clam Harbour, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia (which is southeast of Manchester) between July 1859 to March 1864, but lived in Manchester for the remainder of their lives (although Robert’s probate package states he farmed in Clam Harbour, so perhaps he moved back there after his wife’s death). They had eight children, whom I’ve blogged about previously. Their religion was listed in censuses as Church of England. Christina died June 15, 1891 and Robert died February 26, 1894. Both are buried in Manchester Cemetery. (Much more on Christina in a later post!)

Robert Bruce Lipsett was the second child of eight and second son of Edward Lipsett and Mary Irving, my 4x great-grandparents. I believe they are from Kesh, County Fermanagh, Ireland (which is currently in Northern Ireland). Because of the conflicting information of their children’s birthplaces, I am not sure when exactly they immigrated to Nova Scotia, but they were definitely living in Manchester by 1838, as Edward is enumerated there on the census as a farmer at that time.

Kesh, County Fermangh, Ireland. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Kesh, County Fermangh, Ireland. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Edward and Mary’s eight children were:

  • John, born 1818; married Mary Ann Torrey, September 18, 1855
  • Robert Bruce, born 1819
  • Ann Jane, born 1821; married William Frederick Porper Scranton on June 23, 1870; died January 26, 1907
  • Edward, born 1822; married Mary Jane MacKay, April 6, 1859; died between 1881 and 1891
  • George Irving, born April 28, 1826; I’m not sure how long he lived, but I believe he may have been alive in 1838, as represented by one of the tick-marks of males 14 and over in his father’s home.
  • Margaret Elizabeth, born September 27, 1827; married James Richard Bruce, March 24, 1857; died October 22, 1917
  • William Daniel, born October 13, 1832; died April 15, 1837
  • Richard Christopher (who went by his middle name), born Feb 13, 1836; married Sarah Ann Campbell, October 10, 1872; died June 15, 1891 (it was his daughters Margery, Iola and Jennie with whom his niece Edith lived in Gloucester)

Edward died in Manchester on May 1, 1857. Mary died much later on March 10, 1868. I assume they are buried somewhere in the Manchester area, but I have no record of where.

As a side note, Edward had a brother Jared who also immigrated to Nova Scotia, though I don’t know when. He was not in Manchester as of 1838, but was definitely in Guysborough County by 1861 with his wife Ann and daughter Eliza. He passed away on May 24, 1885.

Third Great Aunt Edith B. (Lipsett) Grimes

Edith B. Lipsett was the eighth and last child of Robert Bruce Lipsett and Christina McMaster. She was born June 1879, most likely in Manchester, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia.

Once her mother died in 1891, Edith immigrated to the United States in 1892. The 1900 Census finds her living (listed as “Edette”) with her second cousins Margery, Iola and Jennie Lipsett at 12 Centennial Ave, Gloucester, Essex County, Massachusetts. She worked as a seamstress.

On September 15, 1902 she married William F. Grimes in Gloucester, where it appears they lived for the rest of their lives. Their only child George G. was born between 1903 and 1905. I believe George died on October 12, 1976 in Gloucester.

In the 1940 Census, William seemed to be unemployed, like so many during the Depression, so Edith took in laundry at home. Later city directories show William working as a gardener. From what I can tell, the last city directory Edith is in is 1957, where she is shown as a widow. I have not yet been able to locate either of their death or burial information.

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.

Third Great Aunt Mary Magdelina (Lipsett) Barnd

Mary Magdelina Lipsett was born on July 7, 1862 in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. She was the third child of Robert Bruce Lipsett and Christina McMaster. Like the rest of her family, she grew up in Manchester.

Mary was a young unmarried woman when her first son, Charles N., was born in Manchester sometime between 1882 and 1884. Whatever the year, it seems that his date of birth was August 15.

For some reason, Mary immigrated to US in 1894, leaving her son Charles with her parents. Perhaps she was looking for better opportunities for herself and Charles. However, she soon became pregnant again and had another son: Wilfred J. Barnd (born July 12, 1895) in Gloucester, Essex County, MA. About a month later, she married Wilfred’s father, George Barnd, in Boston, Suffolk County, MA on August 13, 1895. A widower, George had two other children: Gorde and Anna.

Son Albert Theodore joined the family on October 7, 1899. His time was short, though, as he died December 14, 1899 of pneumonia.

By the 1900 Census, the entire Barnd family lived on Rowe Street in Gloucester. This is the last record I can find of George. In 1901 Mary (as “Mrs. Geo Barnd”) and Wilfred, listed as residents of Boston, were on a ship heading back to Boston. I suspect that George may have died between 1900 and 1901. So far, the last record I have of Mary is living with Wilfred in the 1920 Census, as listed as widowed.

I don’t know when Mary died, nor do I know where she or George are buried.

Charles immigrated to the United States in 1901 and ended up marrying his cousin, Ethel Morton Hiltz, as stated here. He lived until 1950 and is buried in Beech Brook Cemetery (Gloucester). Wilfred married a woman named Clara and died in 1958. He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery (Gloucester).

Third Great Aunt Sarah Ann (Lipsett) Hiltz

Sarah Ann Lipsett, oldest daughter and second oldest child of Robert Bruce Lipsett and Christina McMaster, was born on January 30, 1861 in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia.

Sarah immigrated to Massachusetts between 1881 and 1886 (perhaps she came over with her brother Stanley). It looks like she was never naturalized as a U.S. citizen.

On November 22, 1886, Sarah married Charles Albert Hiltz in Gloucester, Essex County, MA. Judging by their oldest child’s 1900 Census data, it looks like Sarah and Charles returned to Nova Scotia in 1887, but came back to Gloucester in 1889.

Their children:

  • Rita M., born 1887 in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia Naturalized in the 1920s. Never married.
  • Ethel Morton, born on December 13, 1890 in Gloucester. Married Charles N. Lipsett (her 1st cousin) on June 12, 1916. (This is the cousin that my great-grandmother Eva lived with during the early years of her marriage, while her husband Thomas F. Atwell was at sea.)
  • Christina Lipsett, born on January 20, 1893 in Gloucester. Married William R.C. Burke on November 22, 1919.
  • Robert Clifton, born on November 25, 1895 in Gloucester. Married Bessie Christian Larsen on April 4, 1915.
  • Jennie Leona, born on March 13, 1901 in Gloucester. Married Walter Carl Monroe on August 18, 1918.

On August 31, 1907, Charles died of stomach cancer. Sarah was now a single mother of five children aged six to twenty. I’m sure Rita helped support the family, but Sarah turned to what many widowed women did back in those days: take in a boarder. Now it seems that Sarah and Charles had a number of boarders back in 1900 (some of whom seemed to be family), but by the 1910 Census they were all gone.

Enter the mysterious (to me) Frank Dauphinee, a Gloucester fisherman born in Nova Scotia around 1871. Frank not only lived with them at least from the 1910’s to the end of his life in 1940, but he is also buried at Beech Brook Cemetery in Gloucester on the family plot. (A special thanks to Sharon Cohen, the Find-a-Grave contributor who photographed and annotated the layout of the plot.) I’ve found very little information on Frank, except that he was in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Samoa in 1900. In any case, he obviously held a special place in the family’s hearts.

A typical Gloucester fisherman.  Courtesy Library of Congress.

A typical Gloucester fisherman. Courtesy Library of Congress.

Back to Sarah: she lived with Rita until her death on February 9, 1926. Along with her husband, children, and most of their spouses (and Frank, of course), she is buried in Beech Brook Cemetery.

Third Great Uncle Edward Stanley Lipsett

Edward Stanley Lipsett (who went by “Stanley”) was born on July 24, 1859, Clam Harbour, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. He was the firstborn child of Robert Bruce Lipsett and Christina McMaster. Like his younger brother Robert, he started out as a member of the Church of England, then became a Methodist sometime around his marriage.

When Stanley immigrated to Massachusetts between 1881 – 1883, he was a fisherman. Like so many fisherman, he ended up in Gloucester, Essex County, MA. There he married Caroline (“Carrie”) Eliza O’Brien, another native of Guysborough County (who also happens to be my third great-aunt) on December 29, 1883 in Gloucester.

The Lipsetts immigrated back to Manchester, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia most likely during 1884. Stanley’s occupation eventually became a sea captain, but I suspect he was still involved in the fishing industry. By 1911, however, he became a farmer and even had a stint as an undertaker at least in 1926.

Stanley and Carrie had two sons: Robert Bruce, born January 13, 1885 and Ralph Stanley, born March 16, 1892. Ralph’s life was cut short during World War I. On September 19, 1918, he killed in action during the Battle of Cambrai in France. Records show that his body was interred at what looks to be Marcoing Line British Cemetery, now known as Cantimpre Canadian Cemetery (Plot 1, Row F, Grave 12) in Sailly, France. There is also a memorial at Manchester Cemetery, dedicated to Ralph and other Manchester boys who lost their lives in the Great War.

Stanley’s son Robert went on to give him his only descendant. In 1921 Robert married Marion Sidney Worth in Saskatchewan, Canada. They immigrated to Massachusetts and on May 20, 1928, granddaughter Margaret Carolyn Lipsett (known as Carolyn) was born in Salem, Essex County, MA. I want to make note of Marion and Carolyn especially, since I had known them as a girl. Carolyn (having moved back to Salem around 1949) was especially close to my grandmother Eugenie, who was her second cousin.

Eugenie (Atwell) Pleau and Carolyn Lipsett.  Author's collection.

Eugenie (Atwell) Pleau and Carolyn Lipsett. Author’s collection.

n 1931 Robert’s family moved back to Nova Scotia to Dartmouth in Halifax County. I’m sure Robert and Marion were on hand as Stanley and Carrie were aging. In 1934, both Stanley and Carrie passed away. Carrie died on April 20 of coronary thrombosis, and Stanley died just six days later of prostate cancer. Stanley, Carrie, Robert (who died in 1960) and Marion (who died in 1974) are all buried in Manchester Cemetery. Carolyn died in 2008, never having gotten married or had children.