Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia's Northern Neck Counties

Walter Bruce

Male Abt 1631 - 1690  (~ 57 years)


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  • Name Walter Bruce  [1
    Born Abt 1631  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died Between 1688 and 1690  Nansemond County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I62486  Tree1
    Last Modified 18 Jan 2022 

    Father Virginia Bruce 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F18643  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth MNU Sayer,   d. Aft 1666, Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Between 1650 and 1666  Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Abraham Bruce,   b. Bef 1666, Nansemond County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1695, Nansemond County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 31 years)  [natural]
     2. John Bruce,   b. Bef 1667, Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     3. Nicholas Bruce,   b. Bef 1668, Nansemond County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
    Last Modified 18 Jan 2022 
    Family ID F33604  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • ===
      Walter Bruce was living in 1668 (Norfolk Recs., 1666-75, p, 111), but died some time previous to 1690. In a deed of that year, by Abraham Bruce, he states that " he is the eldest son of Walter Bruce, then deceased," and also that his father's will " had been lost by those who had the keeping of it and no record thereof to be found," By law he thus became entitled to his father's lands, but in this deed he confirms to his brother, John,' the 600 acres on Bowman's creek, in Lower Norfolk county, which had been bequeathed John in his father's will. (Lower Norfolk Rec., 1685-95, p. 123.)

      What was the connection between Walter Bruce and William and George Bruce, of old Rappahannock county; afterwards, when Rappahannock county was divided, of Richmond county? As early as 1652, when this part of the Northern Neck bore the name of Lancaster county, we find Walter making an assignment of land which he owned there (Lancaster Recs., Order Book, 1652, p. 39). Among other records of interest relating to him, is an assignment witnessed by his stepson, Francis Sayer (Rappah. Rec., Orders March 24, 1663, Va. St. Lib.)

      A deposition, recorded in either Lancaster or Westmoreland county, September, 1670 (exact reference mislaid), shows that George was thirty years of age in that year. In 1652, when we find Walter Bruce selling land in Lancaster (later Rappahannock, later Richmond county), George Bruce was only twelve years of age. He was, therefore, much younger than Walter, and might have been his nephew.

      Northern Neck records ; at least that they lived not far apart. We find in the old Rappahannock (Richmond county) records (vol. 1671-76, pp. 324-26, Va. St. Lib.), a deed of sale from Henry Reynolds to Mathew Kelly, witnessed by William' Bruce and Barnaby Wells also a power of attorney from same to same, witnessed by George Bruce and Barnaby Wells also a power of attorney from Reynolds to Wells, witnessed by George' Bruce. These three papers were apparently drawn together, as they bear the same date, November 1, 1675, and were all recorded together. The two Bruces were evidently friends and near neighbors of Reynolds.

      At this time, George Bruce was thirty-five years of age, as we know from the deposition already quoted. William was older. In 1654, when George was only fourteen, William was of age, for we find him giving a-bond to Sir Henry Chicheley (afterwards Deputy-Governor) for 1,031 pounds of tobacco, " to be paid at his (Bruce's) plantation in upper Wyencock." This bond is witnessed by Cuthbert Potter, one of the leading men in the Northern Neck (Rap. Rec., 1668-72, p. 19, Va. St. Lib.) A deed from Richard Bennett (Governor of Virginia in time of Cromwell), dated May 20, 1658, to John Carter, the father o the famous " King" Carter, for 300 acres at Naemcock (Wyencock ?), mentions that it " was now or lately in the tenure, &c., of William Bruce." Bennett speaks of himself as of "Nansemond county," in this deed. John Carter was also from Nansemond. The fact that William' Bruce was a tenant of Bennett's would seem to indicate that he, like Walter' Bruce, was also from Nansemond (Rap. Rec., May 20, 1658). Bennett must have known William Bruce in that county, as there is no evidence of Bennett's visiting the Northern Neck.

      William' Bruce appears in the old Rappahannock records both as a seller and a purchaser of land. A deed from Henry Creighton, November 3, 1668, mentions that the land conveyed to William adjoined a tract already in William's possession (Rap. Rec., 1668-72, p. 19, Va. St. Lib. Ste also same, November 2, 1663, September 5, 1660; also Va. Land Pats., 1666-79, p. 292).

      William Bruce died previous to December 14, 1683 (see deed from Henry Flint, Rap. Rec., vol. 1680-1688, Va. St. Lib.), nearly forty years before George' Bruce. Both describe themselves in the early deeds as of " Sittingbourne parish." The only son of William' known positively, is Henry,' who, in his will, speaks of himself as residing where his father had lived before him. In the Northern Neck patents (Register's Office), will be found a patent (vol. 1710-1712, p. 19), in which Henry' Bruce, who describes himself as the "son of_William," obtains a renewal in one patent of land acquired by his father by patent, October 30, 1669, and lying next to that of Henry Creighton. Henry speaks of himself as of Richmond county, the county in which George Bruce was now residing at an extreme old age. Henry Bruce married Mary, daughter of Andrew Morton, of Northumberland, and in January, 1689-90, sues the executors of Morton's estate for 8,485 pounds of tobacco (Northumberland Rec., 1678-98). A surviving register of North Farnham parish confirms the fact that his wife was named Mary. His will is recorded in Richmond county, June 7, 1727. He makes bequests to sons Andrew, John, Joseph, and Benjamin, and daughters Mary and Elizabeth.
      ===
      MATHEW WHITFEILD, 240 acs., Nansemond Co., in Chuckeytucke Par., 9 Apr. 1693, p. 307. Beg, at the Hole r., by Mount Lawson's Bay; to Little Tare Poynt; by an old Cart Roade, to John Copeland; down Carter's Neck; to the Up. Wadeing Place Poynt, c. Part of 700 acs. purchased by Mr. Walter Bruce of Ephaphroditus Lawson, 18 Nov. 1651, out of Lawson's patent of 1400 acs., dated 15 Feb. 1640; which 700 acs. descended to Abram, son of Walter Bruce, from whom sd. whitfield purchased 15 Dec. 1686.
      ===
      JOHN FRISSALL, 327 acs., Nansemond Co., in the Terrascoe Necks; on a cr. of Mount Lawson's Bay parting this & land of Daniel Sanborne; near house of Christopher Best: adj. Robert Laurance; John Copeland; & Mathew Whitfield; by an old Cart Road; to Little Ware Point; 20 .Apr. 1694, p. 347. Part of 700 acs. purchased by Mr. Walter Bruce of Epaphroditus Lawson, 18 Nov. 1651, out of Lawson's patent' for 1400 acs. granted 15 Feb. 1640; which descended to his son Abraham Bruce, from whom sd. Frissall purchased, 12 Oct. 1691; 50 acs. now added. Imp, of: Robert Brock.
      ===
      MALACHY THRUSTON, 69acs Low. Norf. Co; on the Fresh Point 20 Sept. 1683, p. 313. Granted Hugh Forgison 26 Sept. 1674, deserted condemned 27 Sept. 1679 in the Gen Court, & granted to John Fereby, Sept. 1679; deserted, & now due Thruston for trans. of 2 pers: Mattocks, Walter Bruce.

  • Sources 
    1. [S30] Cavaliers and Pioneers Vol II.
      PATENT BOOK No. 8385
      PATENT BOOK No. 8390
      PATENT BOOK No. 8266

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