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.

Great-Great Uncles and Aunts via Eva Lipsett

Although my great-grandmother Eva (Lipsett) Atwell died before I was born, two of her four siblings’ lives overlapped mine.

The first was Beryl Sophia Lipsett, who was born on January 17, 1896 in Guysborough, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. Beryl never married, but later became a principal of a school in Stewiacke, Nova Scotia. She maintained her ties with her sister Eva and Eva’s family as she seemed to visit Lynn, Massachusetts just about every Christmas in the 1930’s. Although she died on March 11, 1971, I have no specific memories of Beryl. She is buried at Evergreen Cemetery, Aspen, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, alongside her parents, Robert Fenwick Lipsett and Sarah Sophia O’Brien.

Beryl Lipsett + Eugenie (Atwell) Pleau, 1953.  Author's collection.

Beryl Lipsett + Eugenie (Atwell) Pleau, 1953. Author’s collection.

The next two children died so young, there are barely any records of them. Leona Carolyn Lipsett was born in 1898 and died in 1900. I couldn’t find any birth or death records for her online; the only evidence I’ve found of her is her burial with her family at Evergreen Cemetery.

William Croft Lipsett was born on August 29, 1900. Like Leona, I could not find a birth or death record. William was actually recorded on the 1901 Census, but died three years later in 1904. He, too, is buried at Evergreen.

Snippet of William Croft Lipsett in 1921 Canada Census.  Courtesy

Snippet of William Croft Lipsett in 1921 Canada Census. Courtesy

The baby of the family was Claude Stanley Lipsett, born December 18, 1902 in Guysborough, Nova Scotia. According to the 1940 U.S. Census, he completed four years of high school. Not long after he finished school, Claude sought other opportunities where his oldest sister lived. In 1923 he immigrated out of Port of St John New Brunswick and headed to Boston. He later married fellow Nova Scotian Clara MacWhinnie about 1928. Claude and Clara lived in Lynn, and Claude worked as a machinist in a die manufacturing company. For some reason, they had no children, but they were definitely involved in Eva’s descendants’ lives. I remember Claude especially at my grandmother’s (his niece) Christmas parties. What I remember most about Claude that he was very hard of hearing (maybe due to his work?); we always had to shout at him to be heard. His wife Clara passed away in 1976, but Claude lived on for many years until February 27, 1991. Both are buried with her parents in Pine Grove Cemetery in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Claude Lipsett, 1965 (sadly, the best picture I have of him).  Author's collection.

Claude Lipsett, 1965 (sadly, the best picture I have of him). Author’s collection.