Person Sheet

Name Magdalen ???, 9G Grandmother
1 Thomas BRUCE, 9G Grandfather
Birth abt 1630-1640
Children: Roger (1670-1733)
Notes for Thomas (Spouse 1)
Thomas (1) BRUCE was born between 1630 and 1640 in Scotland, England?. (458) No current records identify where Thomas was born, or whether an immigrant from Scotland or England. He died prob. bet. 1714 and 1721 in Marlborough, MA (Prob).(459) (460) NEHGR, Fahey et all: There is no record of administration of his estate, and no record yet found of his death. Fahey et all think possibly between 1714 and 1721. See also Great Land Records of Marlborough of acts within 1729 . He was Committee Meeting in Marlboro, Ma.(461) Earliest known origins of the John Bruce Family of Colonial New England:

It was not until fairly recently that Thomas was identified as the fau., certainly of Roger and David, probably of Thomas, and possibly John. Neither Thomas (Jr.) or John are mentioned in his papers, as are both David and Roger. Further, neither Hudson's genealogy of Marlborough, nor Savage, nor numerous other genealogies even mention Thomas Sr. The only Thomas Jr. earlier alluded to is as son of Roger (true), son of John. They, like Savage, attributed both to John of Sudbury. New and re-evaluated evidence has surfaced by way of town records, deeds and wills that proved his (Thomas Sr.'s) existence and definitive proof for at least two of his children, Roger and David.

Roger, during the interim, had been prior assigned as a child of John, who was mentioned in other historical records, including Savage, as being of Sudbury, MA 1672. While Thomas's and Roger's identity and parentage have now been seemingly established, John the son, herein listed, and identified as the Bruce ancestor of this genealogy, is still less than clearly linked to paternal ancestors, though the Fahey article tentatively places him as son of Thomas, as does the Michael J. Roman Genealogy, and thusly, he is so placed here. (See sources).

Thomas is certainly the earliest Bruce discovered in Marlborough to date (1676), with John not mentioned until 1688 in the Andros Tax List at which time he had to be at least 21. As further evidence of a family relationship, both John and Roger go to Framingham, with several of Rogers children being born there, namely Elisha, Rebekah, and Sarah, the last to be born there in 1700. The balance of his children are born in Marlborough. Roger then returns to Marlborough where more children are born, with John staying at Framingham.

Known Events:

NEHGR 35:218-219: The earliest record of Thomas is when in 1676, Thomas Bruce is among those petitioners sustaining losses in the Sudbury Indian Fight (King Phillip's War) of 1676 He is also among those petitioning the general court as a distressed inhabitant of Sudbury.

MJR--Middlesex County Deeds, p. 296: The Selectmen of Marlboro agreed with Thomas Bruce that he would build and operate for the town's use a mill to be located near the confluence of Angle Brook and Stoney Brook to be in operation by January 1680. In return, Thomas was granted 40 acres of land and ten acres of meadow. The agreement was sign by Abraham Williams for the town and "Thomas Breuis" for himself. By original agreement the land was to revert to the town if Thomas were to cease operations of the mill. By 1702, however, the mill was at least partially destroyed, and at his request, and it was so voted that the land be granted to him free and clear.

NEHGR 36:51: In 1688, Thomas Bruse Jr. and John Bruse and Thomas Bruse are among those listed in Marlborough for Taxes under Andros.

NEHGR: 43:372: Thomas Bruse, Sr. is among those settled at the garrison at Marlborough, Middlesex Co. 1691/2

NEHGR40:400: Thomas Brewes is mentioned several times as those of Sudbury involved in King Phillip's war and having sustained loss.


MJR--Middlesex County Deeds, p. 296: On January 29, 1699, Thomas and Magdalen, "my wife," disposed of his land and part interest in his saw mill to sons David and Roger.

MJR--Worcester County Deeds 16:60, 20:584: Samuel Ward of Marlborough exchange land in which Thomas Bruce describes himself as "Thomas Bruce Senr, Miller."

MJR--Worcester County Deeds, 15:149: On April 13, 1706, Thomas Bruce Senr, in fatherly love, gives Roger halft part of his house lot granted by the town, with all the housing and Corn Mill and half of Sawmills standing thereon, and also, "my whole Estate . . ."

Research by Katherine Fahey and Winnifred Pelley indicate that no will has been found, and that he likely disposed of his property through deeds such as the above.


MJR--Worcester County Deeds 15:148: Thomas was still alive at this date, for he disposes of land to his grandson, David, including "one half of all my right" in the land which was gven to him for building and maintaining a mill. He mentions with the document that he makes this grant for "Divers good causes and other weighty considerations moving me thereto . . ." It is obvious that Thomas is uncomfortable for some reason with events in his life. Magdalen did not sign this will, and it could be conjectured that as she signed earlier documents, she was by now deceased.

MJR-Middlesex County Deeds, p. 299: An attorney was hired in 1710 by Samuel Bigelow, guardian and maternal grandfather of Thomas' grandson David, to represent his interest against the town which wished to nullify earlier land agreements with early residents--David, through Thomas, was among those so affected. A settlement was reached and David was granted twenty acres, in exchange for extinguishment of his half of the rights. In October, 1714, Thomas was granted twenty acres in a similar action. Finally in a meeting of May 8, 1721, a committee was appointed to agree on the bound of one acre of the twenty granted to Thomas and to settle with his heirs. Therefore, Thomas died between 1714 and 1721.

NEHGR 63:224: Colonial Records of Marlborough: Referencing the reserved land at Fort Meadow, A "commeetty" is to call John Shearman to show the bounds of an acre of meadow Granted to Thomas Bruce. Thomas Bruce is also those among those shown to have been issued a "primitive" grant.
Children were: John (2) BRUCE, Thomas (2) BRUCE, Roger(1) BRUCE, David BRUCE.

April 21, 1676, list of inhabitants of Sudbury, Mass
Last Modified 22 Jul 2001 Created 26 Nov 2004 by Michael Rupert

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