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Bruce, Parrell

Mary Bruce, wife of William Albin


Compiled by Judy & Gary Griffin, 2007 - email address




Bruce Family History

This information is from seven different researchers. Some of these have provided conflicting information, some of which is included. Most of the information is probably from “John Bruce of the Shenandoah,” Violet Laverne Bruce, Decorah, Iowa: Anundsen Publishing Co., 1987.

James or John Bruice/Bruce was born circa 1634 at Longside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. His children are said to be William, John, Thomas and Janet. Undocumented information states that the father of James Bruce was a Patrick Bruce, born between 1595, died circa 1670, married Janet Jackson (1606 - ).

Thomas Bruice, son of James/John, was born in Scotland. His birth date is said to have been circa 1658, November 6, 1664, June 11, 1664, circa 1660-65. Based on the christening date of his probable first child, he was likely born in the 1660s, probably in Aberdeen, Scotland. His wife may have been Mary Christian. (1) He resided in Portsoy, Fordyce Parish, Banffshire, Scotland. All of his children were christened in Portsoy, Fordyce Parish, Scotland. The children of Thomas were Margaret, Helen, Elizabeth, Christian, Grisell (Grace), Peter & John:



John Bruce

John Bruce (Thomas2, James1) was christened on September 7, 1690, at Fordyce, Banffshire, Scotland, (2) said to be at a Church of Scotland (Presbyterian). John married Sarah (believed to be Sarah Parrell, his first or second wife). His will was proven on September 23, 1748 in Frederick County, Virginia. John was buried on September 26, 1748 in Brucetown.

Sarah Parrell, born circa 1690, was probably the daughter or sister of Hugh Parrell and Ann (said to be Ann Calvert, see Calvert history), who was born about 1690. This is based on Hugh Parrell’s will in which he left land to John Bruce, kinsman. He did not mention a daughter Sarah, but he did leave 300 acres to “my loving kinsman John Bruce,” Sarah’s husband. It is likely that Sarah was his daughter and her inheritance was directed to her husband, which would not have been unusual at the time. Sarah died after 1748 in Brucetown.

Among the 70 grantees receiving patents on November 12, 1735 were many Irish families (the Albins of County Meath, the Calverts from County Dromgora) as well as John Bruce – his land adjoining the land owned by the Calverts, Hugh Parrell, William Albin, James Carter and George Hollingsworth. (3) John Bruce was in Orange County, Virginia by 1735, when the following judgments were recorded (was Spotsylvania County before 1734):

John Bruce vs Francis Williams. For debt 3 pounds, 10 shillings, 8 pence, in tobacco at 12 shillings per ct wt to 588 lbs of tobacco. Summons to Francis Williams, July 17, 1735, returned July 17, 1735 by Wm Henderson, Deputy Sheriff.

Henry Willis, Esq vs John Bruce, account with John Bruce, peddler, 1735, for 12 lbs, 12 shillings, 5 3/4 pence. Willis asks damages to 15 lbs.

Summons to John Bruce, peddlar, May 18, 1736 by Gideon Marr. Judgement.

George Stuart vs John Bruce in 1736. For divers cattle – John Bruce detained and for the other animals etc. (4)

On July 24, 1740 John Bruce was appointed to make an inventory of the estate of Michael Sheppard, deceased. Hugh Parrell, Robert Calvert and William Glover were delegated also and any three of them were required to form the audit commission. (5)

From John Bruce of the Shenandoah : (6) “The earliest available record of John Bruce of the Shenandoah is August 18, 1740 when he, along with Hugh Parrel and Robert Calvert, were appointed to appraise the estate of Micah Sheperd. Mention of William McMechan and John Littler as buyers of several articles at the estate sale as well as the names Parel and Calvert confirm that this John Bruce lived in the Winchester area. Deeds and will books compiled by John Frederick Dorman include several Orange County court actions between 1734 and 1742 involving a John Bruce, sometimes mentioned in connection with St. Marks Parish. A comparison of signatures on several old documents and the presence or absence of familiar names usually associated with early settlers of the Winchester area, indicate that the John Bruce of St. Marks Parish did not live near Winchester, but resided elsewhere in the then enormous area know as Orange County of the 1730’s. John Bruce of the Shenandoah was probably born in Scotland during the 1690s. Since no record of his marriage to Sarah has been found, it is as yet unknown whether she was mother of the five children. John Bruce brought his family to America probably by way of Ireland after 1724. It is considered that John may have lived for some time in southeast Pennsylvania before settling his family in the Winchester (called Frederick Town until 1750) area between 1731 and 1737 under the guidance of Joist Hite’s son. John was a farmer, operating a grist and sawmill on Turkey Run six miles northeast of Winchester. With other families building their homes, along with carding and fulling mills nearby on Litlers Run, the community became a flourishing little village know as Brucetown. At the time John Bruce wrote his will, his youngest son and daughter were probably unmarried. Mention in the will of a partially completed house (24x16') and barn (25x18') on George’s 150 acres could be an indication that George was contemplating marriage at the time. John Bruce died September 23, 1748 apparently in an epidemic that was rampant in the Winchester area. His will of November 4, 1747 was entered November 1, 1748 (records of Frederick County).”

According to the Genealogy of the Walker & Littler Families: (7) “During the 1730’s, the offer of patented land to settlers in the lower Shenandoah Valley, near the Opequon, attracted many Scot-Irish. Patents were issued under the seal of the Colony of Virginia and were grants from the Crown, free of any obligation of feudal services to the Fairfax family, who claimed the land as lords/proprietors of the Northern Neck of Virginia.”

Between 1737 and 1740, he settled on Opecuon Creek near Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia. By 1740, John Bruce and Mary Littler (George Bruce’s mother-in-law) were operating grist mills, sawmills and carding/fulling fills (probably wool-carding, cloth-fulling mills). A fulling mill was where cloth was cleansed and thickened to become compacted. This 255-acre tract is located on Turkey Run, a branch of Opequon Creek (headwaters Evan Thomas/Branson Spring). The southeast corner of the 255 acres is present-day Brucetown. Frederick County Highway 667 (Braddocks Road/Great Road from Winchester, Virginia to Shepardstown, West Virginia) and Highway 672 cross the south and east section of this tract.

According to the Virginia Albins, “He was living on land on the south side of Red Bud about two miles east of Winchester. In his will of 1747, he mentions his son-in-law, William Albin. John was closely allied, if not related, to other families living along Red Bud, several of whom were related by blood or marriage to the Calvert/Colbert family, who came from County Armagh, Ireland. Among these families were George Hollingsworth, William McMahon/McMachen, Hugh Parrell, Joseph, James & Richard Carter, Lewis Neill and William Albin. John was a carpenter by trade and made the stocks and pillory in the town of Winchester in 1744. . . . There must have been some devastating epidemic during the years 1747-48, as a number of the earliest settlers and their wives died during that period, John Bruce included.”

With other families settling in the area, the community became a flourishing little village known as Brucetown (in northeast corner of Frederick County, 8 miles northeast of Winchester, near border of Berkley County, West Virginia).

In 1748, Hugh Parrell willed 300 acres of land to John Bruce; Parrell engaged James Wood to survey this land (recorded at the time as 402 acres) on March 10, 1735/36. James and George Bruce, sons of John Bruce, commissioned another survey on April 26, 1753. (8) Out of this survey, George received 315 acres and James received 310 acres from Lord Fairfax on April 12 and 14, 1760. (9) John was deceased by November 1, 1748 when his will was proved in Frederick County Court, Virginia. John’s will named his wife and living children (probated November 1, 1748): (10)

“In the name of God, Amen. The 4 day of November 1747. I John Bruce of Frederick County in the Colony of Virginia being sick and weak of body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be to God calling to remembrance it is appointed for all men once to die, do make, Constitute and ordain this my last will and testament as follows viz. Item - I give and bequeath to my son James Bruce the plantation I now live on with all the improvements thereunto belonging being 150 acres. Item - I give and bequeath unto my son George Bruce 150 acres of the remaining tract of land lying on the south side of the aforesaid plantation and on the Licks with the clear land that is now and also that his brother, James Bruce, be one half in building 1 house 24 foot X 16 foot with a shingle roof and also a barn of 25 foot X 18 foot etc. Item - I give and bequeath to my son George Bruce and Ann Bruce all my movable estate to be equally divided between them and the desertation of William McMachin and Hugh Parrel after debts and funeral charges are paid, except my carpenter tools which I give to my son James Bruce and one yearling heifer to Richard Colbart [Colvert?] and out of the above perquists I do oblige my sons James Bruce and George Bruce to maintain my loving wife Sarah Bruce as long as she lives or remains a widow.

Item - It is my will and desire that my son George Bruce also out of the above perquists give to my daughter Margaret Carter and Mary Albin ten shillings of currency each to be paid in grain, etc. Item - I give and bequeath to my son James Bruce my new great coat and beaver hat and to Richard Carter, my son-in-law, my suit of woolen clothes and to my son-in-law William Albin my suit of linen clothes. Item - I do constitute and ordain my sons James Bruce and George Bruce Executors of this my last will and testament. I do utterly disavow all other wills and testaments etc., no other. In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this 4 day of November 1747. Signed and Sealed and delivered in the presence of Edward Parrel [son of Hugh Parrell], James McCoy [husband of daughter Ann], Elizabeth King [probably indentured servant, see below under son James], John Cusee.

John and his family are said to have been with the Joist Hite party that settled in Virginia. John is said to have been the founder of Brucetown, Virginia. Information on Joist Hite: (11) “ . . . In 1701, large bodies of land, from ten to thirty thousand acres with exemption from taxes for twenty years, to companies settling on the frontiers, -- on conditions, that there should be, in two years, on the land, one able bodied well armed man ready for defence, for every five hundred acres; and that these should live in a village of two hundred acres area, in the form of a square or parallelogram, laid off in lots near the centre of the town. In 1705 it was enacted that every person, male or female, coming into the colony, for the purpose of making settlement, be entitled to fifty acres of land: families to have fifty acres for each member; no persons possessing less than five tithable servants or slaves, were permitted to take more than five hundred acres; and no persons whatever were to take up more than four thousand acres in one patent. These laws did not produce the effect designed. Villages did not spring up along the frontier as had been expected. The settlements in the Valley of Virginia were not made in consequence of these laws, whose provisions were offensive. They were effected principally by the labours of three individuals to whom Governor Gooch made grants of extensive tracts of land, on condition that within a given time a certain number of permanent settlers should be located on the grants; Burden in Rockbridge County, Beverly in Augusta, and the Vanmeters on Opeckon in Frederick. Great efforts were made by these gentlemen to persuade emigrants from Europe and also Pennsylvania and New Jersey, to take their residence in the Valley of the Shenandoah. Advertisements, describing in glowing terms the beauty and fertility of the valley, and offering a home to the poor emigrant on easy terms, were sent abroad in every direction, and attracted the attention of the hard working tenants in England, Ireland, and Germany, to whom the offer of a farm in fee simple was the offer of wealth. Joist Hite having obtained the grant of the Vanmeters came in the year 1732, with sixteen families from Pennsylvania, and fixed his residence on the Opeckon, a few miles south of the present town of Winchester, on the Great Valley route, at a place now [1850] in possession of the Barton family. . . . This was the first regular settlement west of the Blue Ridge in Virginia. From this time the emigration to the Valley of the Shenandoah, and to the region at the eastern base of the Blue Ridge, was rapid. . . .”

The children of John and Sarah Bruce were:

Another researcher has these children in this birth order: Mary Bruce, Margaret Bruce, James Bruce, George Bruce, Ann Bruce.



Parrell/Parrill Family

Hugh Parrell married Ann (said to be Ann Calvert, see Calvert family history). Hugh died about 1748. In Hugh’s will, he did not mention a daughter Sarah, but he did leave 300 acres to “my loving kinsman John Bruce,” Sarah’s husband. It is likely that Sarah was his daughter and her inheritance was directed to her husband. Hugh’s children were: Edward (witness to John Bruce’s will), John, Joseph, Sarah (born circa 1690), and Christian (born after 1727). Hugh Parrell received a patent from the Colony of Virginia for 466 acres on 12 November 12, 1735; this tract was surveyed for him by Robert Brooke on October 28, 1734. (28) This land is located in what is now close proximity to the north side of Redbud Run (a branch of Opequon Creek). Frederick County Highway 661 and 662 join on the west section at the head of Lick Run. Sources state that Hugh came from Scotland in late 1690’s or early 1700’s. He may have been born in Portsoy, Fordyce, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Hugh served on the first Grand Jury in Frederick County. Hugh and his kinsman John Bruce were listed as appraisers for property. He was also shown as a witness on wills. The name Parrell was recorded “Parrell and Parrill,” in legal documents pertaining to Hugh. It seems from the legal documents of his son John, that “Parrill” became the spelling that he used, and from that point on, the others followed him in using the ‘i’ instead of ‘e’ in Parrell. Hugh’s will: (29)

“In the Name of God Amen. The XIV day of September in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty Eight, I Hugh Parrel of the County of Frederick being sick of body, but good and perfect memory (Thanks be to Almighty God) do make, constitute, ordain and declare This my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following revoaking and annulling by these presents all and every Testament and Testaments Will and Wills heretofore by me made and declared either by word or writing, ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my Last Will and Testament. And as touching my _______ estate wherewith it as pleased God to bless me within this life I give devise and dispose in the following manner.

“Imprimis. I give and bequeath to my son Edward Parrel two hundred acres of land joining to Doctor Daniel Hart and John Milbourn to him and his heirs forever, one hundred being patented and the other being that which is surveyed and the plot returned to the Secretary’s Office and also ten acres of my marsh for the term of fifteen years to be laid off of the loan or end of the same by a line of crops. Item. I give and bequeath to my sons Joseph and John Parrel the remain part of my Patented Land to be equally divided between them in the following manner the East and thereof to be my son Joseph and the other to be my son John which is to include the plantation to them and their heirs forever. Item. I give and bequeath to my loving kinsman John Bruce and his heirs forever three hundred acres of land be the same more or less lying on the southwest side of Redbud Creek and joining on my afores Patented Land which said three hundred acres of land is not yet Patented but surveyed and returned to the Secretary’s Office. Item. I give and bequeath to my loving wife, Ann Parrel a bed and bedclothes, the Bay Mare I had to William Gaddis and her Yearling Colt which belonged to her old mare. Item. My Will is that my loving wife shall have the sole use of my Plantation so long as she remains my widow.

Item. I give and bequeath to my son Edward the Roan horse, the Bay Mare and Black mare which I had formerly given him before. Item. I give and bequeath to my son Joseph the black mare and colt which I formerly gave him before. Item. My will is that after my just debts are paid that the residue of my personal estate shall be equally divided between my wife and my three sons and my daughter Christian. Item. I give and bequeath to my Daughter Christian Ten pounds to be paid to her when she comes of age by my sons Edward, Joseph and John in equal proportion and if any of my sons should die before she comes of age that then the survivors of them shall pay her the sum aforesaid. Item. My will is that if either of my sons Joseph and John should die before they come of Age that his land shall descend to the survivor of them to be equally divided between him and my son Edward and if my sons Joseph and John should die before they come of age that then my will is that the lands willed them shall descent to my son Edward. Item. I do hereby appoint my well beloved wife, Ann Parrel Executrix, my son Edward Parrel and my cousin Robert Calvert, Executors of this my Last Will and Testament In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written. Signed Sealed Published and Declared by the Testator to be his Last Will and Testament in the presence of Tho. Wood, James Bruce, Isaiah Calvert, Rich. Calvert at a Court committed and held for Frederick County on Wednesday the 5th Day of October 1748. (signed) Hugh H. Parrel. This Will of Hugh Parrel deed was proved in open Court by the Oaths of Thomas Wood and Richard Calvert who also made Oath that they saw Isaiah Calvert and James Bruce subscribe the same as witnesses and Richard Calvert the Executor thereon named having made Oath to the same according to Law, it now admitted to record. (signed) Teste J. Wood, C.C.”

Guardians were appointed for his minor children Joseph, John and Christian; Edward was the only child of legal age. Robert Calvert, who was executor for the estate of Hugh Parrell, probated October 5, 1748, was the brother of Ann Calvert, provides further support that Hugh was married to Ann Calvert (see Calvert family history).

Hugh was listed as one of the “Fathers of the Colony” (see information on Hopewell Meeting). The Hopewell Friends History: (30) “Hugh Parral, 466 acres joining John Calvert, near Kernstown, Frederick County, Va. Hugh Parral had other tracts in Frederick County by patents from Lord Fairfax, and at the time of his death had surveyed and filed claims for additional lands which had not yet been patented to him. His will, probated October 5, 1748, leaves 200 acres to his son Daniel [sic Edward], adjoining Dr. Daniel Hart and John Millbourne. He makes bequests to his sons Joseph and John; leaves 300 acres on the southwest side of Red Bud Creek ‘to my loving kinsman, John Bruce’ mentions his son Edward, ‘my daughter Christian ’not yet of age, and ‘my Cousin Robert Calvert.’ His wife Ann was to have possession of certain property during her life or widowhood. Witnesses, Thomas Wood, James Bruce, Isaiah Calvert, and Richard Calvert. Robert Calvert qualified as executor, with William McMachen and Richard Calvert as sureties.”

Sons Joseph and his wife Anne Parrell and John and his wife Elizabeth Parrell sold 24 acres (of the 466-acre tract) to Robert Rutherford for 65 pounds on September 13, 1765; Edward was deceased by then. On October 2 and 5, 1765, Joseph and John divided the remaining 442 acres between them. Joseph received 219 acres and John received 222 acres. (31) Children of Hugh and Ann:



Endnotes

1 Posted by DM Austring on January 09, 1999 on GenForum In Reply to: James Bruce, Scotland > Maryland posted by William S. Remington on January 08, 1999: “The parents of James Bruce were John Bruce (b c Sep1690, Portsoy, Aberdeenshire, son of Thomas Bruce and Mary Christian and Sarah Parrell (dtr of Hugh Parrell and Ann Calvert). They had six chn: Mary (1715), James (1720), George (1722), John (1722?), Ann (1725) and Margaret (1728). Ann Bruce married James McCoy and is my 5gt-grandmother.

2 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, microfilm of Parrish Records of the Church of Scotland.

3 T. K. Cartmell, Shenandoah Valley Pioneers, p.18.

4 Orange County, Virginia Court Book 2, p. 210.

5 Orange County, Virginia Court Book 2, p. 210.

6 Violet Laverne Bruce, John Bruce of the Shenandoah, 1987.

7 George W. Vale, Genealogy of the Walker & Littler Families, p. 281

8 Cognetes, English Duplicates of Lost Virginia Records, p. 118; Joyner, Northern Neck Warrants and Surveys, Frederick County, Virginia, Volume II, p. 21.

9 Gray, Northern Neck Grants K-103, K-104.

10 John Bruce Last Will and Testament Frederick County, Virginia - Will Book 1, Page 205 - (1748). Posted VA genweb by Dave Dollard, www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/va/frederic.htm, Accessed: 21 Nov 1998.

11 Excerpts from Sketches of Virginia, Historical and Biographical, by the Rev. William Henry Foote, D.D. Pastor of the Presbyterian Church, Romney, Virginia, published in Philadelphia by William S. Martien in 1850.

12 Posted on Bruce Genforum by Martha McMahon on October 20, 1998.

13 Frederick County, Virginia Court Order Book No. 1, 1743-45, p. 175; Book No. 2, 1745-48, p. 115; Book No. 3, 1748-51, p. 491; Book No. 4, p. 223.

14 Memoirs of the Bruce Family by William Bruce, August 6, 1851, Written by William Bruce, Age 75. www.famhist.us/getperson.php?personID=I1299778&tree=allfam, accessed 2007.

15 William Harrison Polk, Polk Family and Kinsmen, (Louisville, Kentucky: Bradley & Gilbert Company. 1912), pages 390-392.

16 Arthur Hamilton, Genealogy of the Littler Family, Vol.1, pg 95. Rachel Littler is the daughter of John Littler (1708-1748) & Mary Ross (1706-1781).

17 Frederick County, Virginia Deed Book 6, pp. 220. 365.

18 Gray, Northern Neck Grants, 11-126 (3 April 1756).

19 See the Scott manuscript; Ayer's manuscript Journal, 1788-89; Bennett: Memorials of Methodism in Virginia, 139.

20 Frederick County, Virginia Will Book 6, p. 508.

21 Hopewell Friends History, 1734-1934, Frederick County, Virginia: Records of Hopewell Monthly, by Joint Committee of Hopewell Friends, Hopewell Friends, John Walter Wayland, published 1975, Genealogical Publishing Com, pp. 31-33. Reprint of the 1936 ed. printed by Shenandoah Pub. House, Strasburg, Va.

22 Hopewell Friends History, 1734-1934, Frederick County, Virginia: Records of Hopewell Monthly, by Joint Committee of Hopewell Friends, Hopewell Friends, John Walter Wayland, published 1975, Genealogical Publishing Com, p. 501. Reprint of the 1936 ed. printed by Shenandoah Pub. House, Strasburg, Va.

23 Hopewell Friends History, 1734-1934, Frederick County, Virginia: Records of Hopewell Monthly, by Joint Committee of Hopewell Friends, Hopewell Friends, John Walter Wayland, published 1975, Genealogical Publishing Com, p. 501. Reprint of the 1936 ed. printed by Shenandoah Pub. House, Strasburg, Va.

24 Cope, The Sharpless Family, p.408.

25 Elizabeth Hayword, John M’Coy, His Life & His Diaries, New York: American Historical Co., Inc.

26 The History of the Albin Family Out of Old Frederick County Virginia, Ethel Albin, 1990, p. 4.

27 Violet Laverne Bruce, John Bruce of the Shenandoah, 1987.

28 Virginia Land Patent Book 16, p.400; Brooke, Robert, Book of Surveys, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia.

29 Last Will and Testament of Hugh Parrel Frederick County, Virginia Will Book 1, Pages 195 and 196. VA Genweb, Frederick County posted by Dave Dollard, www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/va/frederic.htm, accessed: 21 Nov 1998. Frederick County, Virginia Will Book 1, pp. 195, 200, 208, 209.

30 Hopewell Friends History, 1734-1934, Frederick County, Virginia: Records of Hopewell Monthly, by Joint Committee of Hopewell Friends, Hopewell Friends, John Walter Wayland, published 1975, Genealogical Publishing Com, p. 34. Reprint of the 1936 ed. printed by Shenandoah Pub. House, Strasburg, Va.

31 Frederick County, Virginia Deed Book 11, pp. 4, 36, 41.

32 Sage & Jones, Early Records of Hampshire County, Virginia (West Virginia), pp. 19, 128.

33 Official Parrill Webpage, www.parrill.com/main.html, accessed 2007.

34 Frederick County, Virginia Will Book 9, p. 340.