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Armbru Mark (#48305447)
 member for 2 years, 9 months, 30 days
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Debra H
RE: James E Bruce II
I do love old letters - they are precious as gold! Thanks so much for letting me find another generation surname for my tree! My youngest son's name is Jacob, by the way! I have one of those precious old letters from the sister (Lillian) of my Gr. Grandfather Arthur Cowan(Cowen) - who was the son of Josephine Bruce. It appears to be an attempt to document his birth for social security - postmarked May 1936. In it she states Arthur was born in the same house as "our mother" Canal Fulton and gives specific locations of where she herself was born and also mentions their half sister Nora as living 3 blocks from the house. As you can imagine I spent many days looking at maps of Canal Fulton. I had to reply today because of the remark you mentioned of Josephine being a wicked girl! ha ha I spent many days past summer trying to solve the mystery of Nora Bruce. She was living with James Bruce and Martha Hardgrove-Bruce and listed as their "daughter" on 1880 census of Canal Fulton. She was not their daughter - see Martha's Obit - Nora Hiser a "distant relative" - and Lillian refers to her as their half-sister. Did a bunch of research on Nora - she had one daughter and two grandsons who had no living children. I kept asking myself why I was so fixated on finding out who she was, but that's the nature of genealogy - we like to solve mysteries! My ancestor Josephine was married first to Ira D Baker in 1863 - Nora BRUCE, not Baker, was born 1865, and then Josephine married my ancestor Civil War veteran John Cowan in 1867. That wicked remark has something to do with what was probably an illegitimate daughter who was raised by James and Martha - left with them when Josephine and John left the state for Kansas where they ran a boarding house for a while by 1880.

I would love to see your letter if you can scan it - my e-mail address is linked on here.
Added by Debra H on Dec 28, 2013 12:22 PM
Debra H
RE: James E Bruce II
Thanks for contacting me - I was thrilled to hear of your documents. I have researched the family of my 3rd Gr. grandfather off and on many years. You caught me off guard - when I am not working on a particular line it's hard to remember details. I had to look back my FTM files and still don't have it all straight in my mind. For one thing I don't know why I listed Wm. H as Wm. M in the bios of James and Elisabeth for example. I'll be able to tell you what that discrepancy is later. I am sure we are talking about the same family - seems he is your 3rd Gr. Grandfather too! I found the info on the family's immigration of 27 May 1834 New York Passenger Lists on Ancestry. My mom's cousin Wilbur Wegener was somewhat professional genealogist and wrote a small book on the Descendants of James Bruce many years ago. He told me he had found the passenger list - that was before there was ever an internet. I think the book included descendants mostly of my line who was Josephine Bruce-Cowan. I updated the bio for William H to include his one known daughter - name Nellie - so it was interesting that you said he had written letters to his little sister Mary NELLIE. I hope you'll be willing to let me have a look at some of your documents sometime, that would be really exciting! I thought I would NEVER know the surname of James' first wife Elisabeth - though that was one of those dead ends never to be solved - I would love to add that to my family tree but with something to use as a source for proof, if you could let me know what that is. I never put my tree on Ancestry public - only private, and I am not on it at all right now. When I message you again I will probably do e-mail from FindAGrave instead of posting so long on here.
Added by Debra H on Dec 26, 2013 5:24 PM

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