Finding “The Bruce”: The Qwest for Robert the Bruce (1274-1329)

Robert I, popularly known as Robert the Bruce (b. 1274), was King of Scots from 1306 until his death in 1329. Robert was one of the most famous warriors of his generation, eventually leading Scotland during the Wars of Scottish Independence against England.


This article is a sequel to my earlier article concerning Brian Boru.  After finishing that article and concluding that there was no direct connection to Robert the Bruce on my mother-in-law’s Polk/Pollock line, I found myself thinking about it and wondering, “What if there is?”  The connection would not have been on the Polk/Pollok line. I discussed that in my last article, concluding that at most, the Polks swore loyalty to Robert the Bruce.

End of story?

Not quite!

The following is a brief synopsis of his life from the Wikipedia site:

Robert I (11 July 1274 – 7 June 1329), often known as Robert the Bruce (Medieval Gaelic: Roibert a Briuis; modern Scottish Gaelic: Raibeart Bruis; Norman French: Robert de Brus or Robert de Bruys), was King of Scots from March 25, 1306, until his death in 1329.

His paternal ancestors were of Scoto-Norman heritage (originating in Brix, Manche, Normandy), and his maternal of Franco-Gaelic.[3] He became one of Scotland’s greatest kings, as well as one of the most famous warriors of his generation, eventually leading Scotland during the Wars of Scottish Independence against the Kingdom of England. He claimed the Scottish throne as a fourth great-grandson of David I of Scotland, and saw the recognition of Scotland as an independent nation during his reign. Today in Scotland, Bruce is remembered as a national hero.

His body is buried in Dunfermline Abbey, while his heart is buried in Melrose Abbey. His embalmed heart was to be taken on crusade by his lieutenant and friend Sir James Douglas to the Holy Land, but only reached Moorish Granada, where it acted as a talisman for the Scottish contingent at the Battle of Teba. (1)

The following is a summary of his two marriages and acknowledged illegitimate offspring presented in chart form from Wikipedia:

Child by Isabella of Mar
Name Birth Death Notes
Marjory 1296 2 March 1316 Married in 1315 Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland, by whom she had one child (Robert II of Scotland)
Children by Elizabeth de Burgh
Name Birth Death Notes
Margaret unknown 1346/47 Married in 1345 William de Moravia, 5th Earl of Sutherland; had son, John (1346–1361).
Matilda (Maud) unknown 1353 Married Thomas Isaac;[94] had two daughters. Buried at Dunfermline Abbey
David 5 March 1324 22 February 1371 Succeeded his father as King of Scots. Married (1) in 1328 Joan of England; no issue; married (2) in 1364 Margaret Drummond; no issue.
John 5 March 1324 Before 1327 Younger twin brother of David II. Died in infancy.
Acknowledged illegitimate children by unknown mothers
Name Birth Death Notes
Sir Robert Bruce 1332 Killed at the Battle of Dupplin Moor.
Walter of Odistoun Predeceased his father.
Margaret Bruce Married Robert Glen; alive in 1364.
Elizabeth Bruce Married Sir Walter Oliphant of Aberdalgie and Dupplin.
Christina of Carrick Alive in 1329.
Sir Neil of Carrick 1346 Killed at the Battle of Neville’s Cross

Bruce’s descendants include all later Scottish monarchs and all British monarchs since the Union of the Crowns in 1603. A large number of families definitely are descended from him. (2)

It didn’t take me any time at all to focus on the Stewart line since I had seen it before in family records. My mother-in-law’s ancestor Stewarts not only connect directly with Robert the Bruce, but they also intermarried with my mother-in-law’s Polks/Pollocks/De Polloks. What is so funny is that I started working on the Bruce line over ten years ago and was able to take it back to Rognvald Wolfs Orkney (1011-1046)–Brian’s 30th great-grandfather, Howard’s 29th great-grandfather, and Mildred’s 28th great grandfather. Robert the Bruce is Brian’s 22nd great-grandfather, Howard’s 21st great grandfather, and Mildred’s 20th great grandfather! Ten years ago, I had taken Robert the Bruce’s lines back to the first known ancestor, and Mildred’s lines through the Polks without discovering the connection.

In my previous article, I mentioned a connection between Howard’s father’s Magruders and Robert the Bruce all the way back to Charlemagne. That will be my next endeavor, and it will take me some time to complete it.

For now, we have a Scottish King and an Irish King in the Family.

I hope I can keep them from fighting!






(1) “Robert the Bruce” From the Wikipedia Encyclopedia site. Last modified 24 March 2017. Available online at:

(2) “Robert the Bruce” From the Wikipedia Encyclopedia site. Last modified 24 March 2017. Available online at: