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BRUCE OF SYMBISTER in the parish of Whalsay

  1. LAURENCE BRUCE, second son of Robert Bruce, second of Sumburgh, received the lands and estate of Symbister from his father, and had charter from Alexander Douglas of Spynie, commissioner for the Earldom of 16 merks land in Symbister, and others, 12th August 1664. He died in the year 1683, having married in 1643, Margaret, daughter of John Stewart of Bigtoun, and had issue
    1. John, his heir.
    2. Robert, of Chalester, born 1648, died on 29th September 1744, leaving his estate to his nephew and son-in-law , Robert Bruce of Symbister. He married 1696, Grizel, daughter of Mr James Nicolson, minister of Tingwall, and had issue:
      1. Anna, married 1718, Thomas Mouat of Garth
      2. Margaret, married 1720, Robert Bruce of Symbister
      3. Helen, died 1st July 1761, married Mr John Hay, minister of Unst, 1720, till his death, 2nd February 1734.
      4. Grizel, married William Leask of Lee.
      5. Ursilla, married 1731, Robert Hunter of Lunna
      6. Elizabeth, married Laurence Smith of Marrester, and had issue:
        1. James Smith of Marrester, who married Janet, daughter of William Hay, and had 16 children, of whom Laurence Smith of Marrester, died 7th October 1802, aged 27.
    3. William.
    4. Laurence.
    5. Grizel.
    6. Catherine, married 1692, Arthur Sinclair of Scalloway.
  2. JOHN BRUCE of Symbister [2nd of Symbister], born 1646, died 9th February 1724. He married 28th May 1688, his cousin, Grizel, daughter of Laurence Stewart of Bigtoun, and had issue:
    1. Laurence, died young.
    2. John, died s.p.
    3. Robert, his heir.
    4. Margaret, married 1718, Charles Neven of Windhouse.
  3. ROBERT BRUCE of Symbister [3rd of Symbister], born 1690, has disposition of the estate of Symbister from his father, 1722, died 14th July 1742, having married in 1720, his cousin, Margaret, daughter of Robert Bruce of Chalester. He had issue:
    1. John, his heir.
    2. William of Burravoe, who succeeded his brother.
    3. Laurence
    4. Robert
    5. Grizel, married 16th January 1755, Rev. John Barclay, minister of Delting, and died 23rd October 1767, and had issue:
      1. Margaret, born 3rd July 1756, died 5th May 1760.
      2. Patrick, born 6th January 1758, minister of Sandsting, 1781-1812, died 12th June 1844, married 26th April 1783, Isabel, daughter of James Barclay in Knockleith, Aberdeenshire, his cousin, and had issue:
        1. Elizabeth Bruce, born 19th February 1791, died 1885, married Dr. Theodore Gordon, Deputy Inspector-General of Hospital
        2. Barbara, born 3rd February 1794.
      3. Sir Robert, born 17th January 1759, K.C.B., and Lieutenant Colonel, died 1827.
      4. John, M.D., London
    6. Margaret, died 10th October 1812, married 8th February 1767, Rev. William Jack, minister of Northmaven, 1765, to his death, 28th November 1808, aged 79
    7. Ursilla.
    8. Helen.
  4. JOHN BRUCE of Symbister [4th of Symbister], afterwards John Bruce Stewart, was born 1722, In recognition of his services in rescuing part of the Crew of the Russian frigate Isstaffa, wrecked upon his property in 1750, the Empress Catherine of Russia, it is said, commanded that a beautiful set of china should be made for presentation to him, but it was seized on its arrival at Levenwick by the Custom-house authorities and impounded for the duty payable. He died 9th November 1796, having married on 8th June 1744, Clementina, daughter and heiress of John Laurence Stewart of Bigtoun, with whom he acquired that property situated near St. Ninian's Isle, in the Parish of Dunrossness, and assumed the name of Stewart. By his marriage he had issue:-
    1. John Laurence, who died young.
    2. Margaret, baptised 29th May 1745.
    Mrs Bruce Stewart having died in 1748, he married secondly, on 20th October 1750, Christina, daughter of Thomas Gifford of Busta, and had a daughter Elizabeth, who married on 28th January 1771, Sir John Mitchell, third baronet of Westshore, and died 14th February 1791, aged 39.

    John Bruce leaving no male issue: was succeeded in the estates by his brother.

  5. WILLAM BRUCE of Burravoe and Symbister [5th of Symbister], born 1726, died 15th September 1801. He married 1762, Grizel, daughter of Robert Hunter of Lunna, and had issue
    1. John, died s.p.
    2. Robert, his heir.
    3. Ursilla Margaret, married 1797, Robert Jack.
  6. ROBERT BRUCE of Symbister [6th of Symbister], was born 13th May 1766. About the year 1830, he built the present mansion house of Symbister, probably the finest in the County, at a cost of £30,000. He died 27th February 1844, married (first) 18th December 1794, Ursilla Catherine, daughter of John Bruce of Sumburgh, and had issue. He married (second) 15th November 1813, Helen, daughter of Robert Wallace. By his first marriage he had issue:
    1. John Stewart, died s.p.
    2. William his heir.
    3. Robert of Burravoe, aftermentioned.
    4. Laurence, died s.p.
    5. Helen Johanna, born 1804, died 6th May 1881, married (first) 11th August 1824, Robert Hunter of Lunna; and (second) 1845, Thomas Richmond of Craigielea, M.D.
    6. Margaret.
  7. WILLIAM ARTHUR BRUCE of Symbister [7th of Symbister], born 5th January 1799, was admitted an advocate at the Scottish Bar in 1823, and died 15th March 1865. He married on 25th October 1825, Agnes, second daughter of William Gordon Macrae, of Westbrook, Midlothian, and had issue:
    1. Robert, his heir.
    2. William Gordon Macrae of Tow, who married, 1855, Helen, daughter of John Sullivan.
    3. Laurence, died at Colgan River, New South Wales, 14th April 1862, aged 28, s.p.
    4. Alexander Macrae, died s.p.
    5. Alexander Macrae of Jackville
    6. Andrew Murison Macrae, Lieutenant Colonel, 4th Punjab Infantry, married 6th July 1889, Margaret, daughter of Charles Hay, Southsea, and has issue:
      1. William Arthur Macrae, born 15th June 1890,
      2. Janet Catherine Hay, born 21st June 1892.
    7. Farquhar Macrae, Captain in 66th Foot.
    8. George Ward Cole, Captain in 4th Punjab Infantry
    9. John, died s.p.
    10. Ursilla Katherine, born 1831, married (first) 1st March 1854, James Linning Woodman, W.S., who died 1st February 1856; and (second), 3rd June 1859, George Husband Baird Hay of Hayfield.
    11. Margaret, died young.
    12. Margaret Macrae.
    13. Thomas Ann, died young.
    14. Thomas Ann, married, 1st May 1877, William Fearnley, M.D.
    15. Amelia Grant Morison.
    16. Agnes, married 1869, Robert Bell of Lunna
  8. ROBERT BRUCE of Symbister [8th of Symbister], born 21st April 1827, died 2nd April 1873, married 12th November 1862, Anne, eldest daughter of Archibald Simson of Comedpore, Bengal, and had issue:
    1. William, now of Symbister.
    2. Archibald Simson, died young
    3. Robert Stuart, born 14th May 1873
    4. Maria Sarah, died young
  9. WILLIAM ARTHUR BRUCE, now of Symbister [9th of Symbister], born 23rd September 1863
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