The Bruce Family

This page is dedicated to my Bruce ancestors beginning with John and Mary Smith Bruce, born in Scotland in the 1740s. I'm not sure when they emmigrated to America but I have traced nine generations through Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Illinois. This page will highlight my direct Bruce ancestors and some of the peripheral families. I will be adding to this database on a regular basis so please keep coming back to see how my family grows.


Motto: Fuimus - "We Have Been"

Badge: Depicts a lion

Tartan: The Bruce tartan has a red background with green checks and yellow and white stripes.


History of the Bruce Surname:

The Bruce surname, possibly the most celebrated in the history of Scotland, is of Norman territorial origin, from the Chateau d'Adam at Brix situated between Cherbourg and Valognes. The ruins of this 11th century fortress built by, and named after, Adam de Brus, can still be seen. The first Robert de Brus recorded in Britain accompanied the army of William the Conqueror in 1066; he died circa 1094. This Robert de Brus is claimd as the progenitor of the clan although it was his son, also called Robert de Brus, but known asRobert le Meschin, or "the Cadet," who was the first of the family connected with Scotland. When the most powerful baron in England, and youngest son of Queen Margaret, went to Scotland to become King David I in 1124, he was accompanied by, amongst others, Robert the Cadet. David I granted him the lands of Annandale which he renounced to his second son, yet again named Robert, before the Battle of the Standard in 1138. Robert, fourth Lord Annandale, married a niece of William the Lion, which formed the basis of subsequent claims of the Bruces to the throne of Scotland. This was realized in Robert, the seventh Lord Annandale, second Earl of Carrick, who was born in 1274 and crowned King as Scone in 1306. His celebrated history against the English at Bannockburn in 1314 gained the independence of Scotland which was ratified by the Treaty of Northampton in 1328. He died in 1329 and was buried at Dunfermline although although his heart, having first been carried to the Crusades, was brought back to Scotland and buried at Melrose Abbey. David II, King Robert's only son, died childless and the Royal Line was taken up by the Stewart descendants of Lady Marjory Bruce. In 1334, Thomas Bruce, whose relationship with David II is uncertain, organized a rising against the English supporters of Balliol who had plaqued the reign of David II. For this service he was awarded the crown lands in Clackmannan and from this branch are descended the Earls of Elgin. The present Earl is Chief of the Bruces, who are not, strictly speaking, a clan--rather they are a powerful lowland family.

-Information taken from the Electric Scotland web site, which features web clans and Scottish history.


First Generation

1. John BRUCE, b. abt 1742 in Scotland, mar. abt 1760 Mary Smith, b. abt 1742 in Scotland, d. b 1820 in NC. John died Jul 1816 in Wilkes Co., NC.


2. i John BRUCE, b. abt 1761

3. ii William BRUCE, b. abt 1762, d. aft 1840 in IL?

4. iii Robert BRUCE, b. abt 1764

5. iv James BRUCE, b. abt 1766

6. v Benjamin BRUCE, b. abt 1768

7. vi Elizabeth BRUCE, b. abt 1770, mar. 09 Nov 1789, Surry Co., NC, Fielding Forrester, b. abt 1770. Elizabeth died aft 1850 in IL?

8. vii Margaret BRUCE, b. abt 1772, Culpepper Co., VA, mar. abt 1790, ? Ginton, b. abt 1770

9. viii Mary BRUCE, b. abt 1774, Culpepper Co., VA, mar. 05 Mar 1790, Jeremiah Crysel, b. abt 1757, Culpepper, VA. Mary died 13 Apr 1865, Wilkes Co., NC


Second Generation

4. Robert BRUCE, b. abt 1764, Wilkes Co., NC, mar. Sallie Bantam, b. ?, d. bef 1814. Robert mar. (2) 22 May 1813, Margaret Parlier, b. ?, d. ?, White Co., IL. Robert d. ?, White Co., IL; both are buried in Ebeneezer Cemetery, Norris City, White Co., IL.

Children by Sallie Bantom:

10. i Polly BRUCE, b. Wilkes Co., NC, mar. John Banton, 12 Apr 1810 in Sumner Co., TN

11. ii John BRUCE, b. Wilkes Co., NC

12. iii Robert BRUCE, b. Wilkes Co., NC

13. iv Nancy BRUCE, b. Wilkes Co., NC

Children by Margaret Parlier:

14. v Benjamin Walker BRUCE, 25 Dec 1812?, Sumner Co., TN, mar. Rachel Puckett. Benjamin died 12 Dec 1889, Shelby Co., IL

15. vi William Matison BRUCE, b. 19 Mar 1814, d. 2 Nov 1889, Omaha, Gallatin Co., IL.

16. vii Isaac Jones BRUCE, b. 2 Feb 1815, Sumner Co., TN, di. 30 Nov 1896, Norris City, White Co., IL.

Will of Robert Bruce, "White Co., IL Wills, 1816-1916" & "Obituaries" copied from "Carmi (IL) Democrat Tribune:"

"Henry Trusty to be executor. Sons William Matison Bruce and Isaac Jones Bruce. Their mother, Polly Banton, John ruce, Robert Bruce, Benjamin Bruce and Nancy Martin all to get 25 cents each to be paid by the above mentioned sons. Written 17 Dec 1823. Witnessed J.C. Forrester and John Bruce. Probated 13 March 1833."

5. James BRUCE, b. abt 1766, Culpepper Co., VA, mar. 19 Dec 1786, Lucreatia C Gaines, b. abt 1769, dau. of Henry and ____ (Williams) Gaines, died 09 Oct 1834, Marshall Co., TN. James died 08 Mar 1822, Marshall Co., TN.


17. i Elizabeth BRUCE, b. abt 1791, d. 29 Aug 1842, Marshall Co., TN.

6. Benjamin BRUCE, b. abt 1768, Culpepper Co., VA, mar. abt 1788, Mary Crysel, b. abt 1770, d. aft 1830, White Co., IL. Benjamin died abt 1819.


18. i Elizabeth A BRUCE, b. abt 1792

19. ii John N BRUCE, b. 05 Jul 1795

20. iii Benjamin F BRUCE, b. 1802

21. iv Delia E BRUCE, b. 14 Jan 1809


Third Generation

15. William Matison BRUCE, b. 19 Mar 1814, Sumner Co., TN, mar. 05 Mar 1834, White Co., IL, Sarah Maria Millspaugh, b. 18 Nov 1813, d. 29 Sep 1893. William died 1859; both bur. Adkin Cemetery, Omaha, Gallatin Co., IL.


22. i Robert J BRUCE, b. 25 Jan 1838

23. ii Benjamin Franklin BRUCE, b. 01 Sep 1839

24. iii Margaret J BRUCE, b. abt 1841

25. iv Isaac Thomas BRUCE, b 12 Nov 1843, d. 03 Mar 1879, White Co., IL, Bear Creek pct, Gallatin Co., IL, bur. Adkin Cemetery, Omaha, Gallatin Co., IL.

26. v Solomon Scott BRUCE, b. 1847

27. Sarah J BRUCE, b. abt 1849, mar. abt 1869, Robert McKensie, b. abt 1854, d. 1885.

16. Isaac Jones BRUCE, b. 2 Feb 1815, Sumner Co., TN, mar. 6 Sep 1837, Lucy Walters, b. 1820, TN, d. 1878, Norris City, White Co., IL. Isaac died 30 Nov 1896, Norris City, White Co., IL. Both are bur. at Ebeneezer Cemetery, Norris City, White Co., IL.


28. i Elizabeth BRUCE, b. 1841, White Co., IL.

29. ii William Anderson BRUCE, b. 24 Jul 1843, White Co., IL, d. 4 Nov 1919, White Co., IL

30. iii James Taylor BRUCE, b. 1847, White Co., IL, mar. abt 1867, Martha Hamilton.

31. iv Benjamin Jasper BRUCE, b. 21 Sep 1849, White Co., IL, d. 27 Nov 1929, White Co., IL.

32. v Mary F. BRUCE, b. abt 1852, d. bef 1948.

33. vi Susan V. BRUCE, b. abt 1854, White Co., IL, d. bef 1951.

34. vii Albert Norton BRUCE, b. abt 1858, White Co., IL.

35. viii Lucy S. BRUCE, b. abt 1861, White Co., IL.

36. ix Josephine BRUCE, b. abt 1862, White Co., IL.

37. x Thomas J. BRUCE, b. abt 1866, White Co., IL.


Fourth Generation

28. Elizabeth BRUCE, b. 1841, White Co., IL, mar. abt 1858, Aaron Shelby McKenzie, b. 05 Jul 1840, d. 16 Jul 1916.


38. i Demetrius McKENZIE, b. 1859

39. ii Dicy Ann McKENZIE, b. abt 1861

40. iii William McKENZIE, b. 1862, d. 1943

41. iv Mark McKENZIE, b. abt 1865

42. v Andy McKENZIE, b. abt 1870

21. Benjamin Jasper BRUCE, b. 21 Sep 1849, White co., IL, mar. Feb 1871, Ella Pauline Johnson, b. 9 Dec 1850, d. Jun 1932. Jasper died 27 Nov 1929,White Co., IL.


43. i Nora Belle BRUCE, b. 2 Jul 1872, d. 1938, Norris City, White Co., IL, mar. Sam Burns.

44. ii Andy Munroe BRUCE

45. iii Jesse Albert BRUCE, b. 4 Jul 1875

46. iv Thomas Leophas BRUCE

47. v Percis Agnes BRUCE, b. 28 Apr 1879, mar. William Augustus Stovall.

48. vi Florence Flaura BRUCE, b. 4 May 1881, mar. Labe Phillips. Flo died 17 Mar 1952, Truman died Feb. 1999.

49. vii Robert BRUCE, b. 7 Sep 1885, White Co., IL.

50. viii Benjamin Franklin BRUCE, b 1 Nov 1885, White Co., IL, d. Jan 1961, Eldorado, IL.

51. ix Minnie Jane BRUCE, b. 15 Mar 1888, White Co., IL, d. 22 Dec 1927, East St. Louis, IL.

52. x John Isaac BRUCE, b. 21 Aug 1890, d. 1 Jul 1956.

35. Benjamin Franklin BRUCE, b. 1 Nov 1885, White Co., IL, mar. Anna Stovall, b. 5 Oct 1886, Norris City, White Co., IL, d. 11 Jan 1963, Eldorado, IL. Frank died Jan 1961, Eldorado, IL.

53. i Benjamin Roy BRUCE, b. 1 May 1916, Eldorado, IL, d. 15 Aug 1965.

54. ii Wilma Fay BRUCE (living*)

55. iii Birtus Franklin BRUCE, b. 21 May 1914, Eldorado, IL, mar. 2 Jan 1935, Raleigh, IL, Miona Melissa Whitlock. Birtus died 14 Sep 1982, Joliet, IL.

38. Benjamin Roy BRUCE, b. 1 May 1916, Eldorado, IL, mar. 25 Jul 1941, Morganfield, KY, Naomi Wilma Friend, b. 17 Aug 1917, d. 20 Mar 1997, Evansville, IN. Roy died 15 Aug 1965, Joliet, IL, both are bur. in Mt. Hazel Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

56. i Judith Ann BRUCE (living)

57. ii Mary Lee BRUCE (living)

* No information will be given about living people.



Other Bruce sites of interest, not necessarily connected to my Bruces.

Becky Ramsey,

Julia Wood,

If you have a web page dedicated to the BRUCE surname, let me know and I'll be glad to add a link from here. Feel free to link my page to yours if you want!

Since many of my BRUCE ancestors spent time in Sumner Co., TN, I am providing a link the the Sumner Co. TN GenWeb site.

All rights reserved 2003. All content on this page, including the photo of Robert the Bruce, is under copyright with the exception of the badge, crest, tartan and history of the Bruce surname. Laurel Crook