A few years ago, I was advised that the first Roberts in my line, William Rookhurste Roberts, was actually a Bruce who moved from Anandale, Scotland to Kent, England in 1107. Reportedly, he changed his name to “Rookhurste”, translated as “hill of Rooks”, in honor of Robert “The Rook” Bruce, the first to bear that name. Later, he settled on “Roberts” and his line carried on that surname. Since I couldn’t confirm this outside of family tradition, I felt a little uncomfortable claiming Bruce heritage.
Recently, Ancestry.com advised me that I had a genetic connection to a Mary Bruce(1752-1788), daughter of George Bruce(1722-1800). They were Quakers residing in Maryland. I was excited to explore this connection to the Bruce clan. They are descended from the same lineage as Robert the Bruce and are connected to me through the Hurd line. Mary’s son was Elijah Hurd, great grandfather to Mary Pollyann Hurd, wife of Davey Wallen. They lived in Kyle’s Ford, Tennessee on the property established by Revolutionary War veteran James Carr Wallen. Davey and Polly are my great grandparents. This means that both my Roberts and Wallen lines are descended from different people in the Bruce lineage. This is interesting since the Roberts and Wallens traveled together and intermarried.