IMAGE Bruce01.gif

Violet Mae Bruce was my maternal grandmother. Her grandmother, I'm told, always reminded
her grandchildren that they were direct descendants of the first King of Scotland, Robert the Bruce
(1274 to 1329). They were never to forget that and each was to act accordingly.

I assume great great grandmother Bruce expected her grandchildren to be persons of upright
character. Looking back and around we can learn more:

A significant ancestor of Robert the Bruce was Robert de Bruc who invaded England with
William the Conqueror in 1066. William the Conqueror's own father was himself named Robert — Robert I,
Duke of Normandy (1027-35) as was Robert I, the king of France (865-923).

While the Normans were French, their own ancestors were not actually from France. They were
Northmen from Scandinavia — Vikings who conquered Normandy in the 10th century and captured
parts of Italy in the 11th century, establishing the kingdom of Sicily in 1130. Busy people at the cusp
of the Millennium, Normen settled Iceland and Greenland, explored the coast of Labrador, and even
created the Russian state with its capital in Kiev. Normen were the last people to successfully invade
England. Picts, Celts, Romans, Jutes, Vikings, Angles and Saxons had invaded before.

My grandmother's immediate
family came to Canada in 1852 from
Inniskilen, a town in the west of the
ancient kingdom of Ulster in the north of
Ireland. They had probably settled there
sometime after 1500:after Luther's
Reformation in Germany and possibly
during the reign of England's Henry VIII
who pursued the on-going effort to create
a United Kingdom of England, Scotland,
Wales and Ireland.

Knowing from where the
Normans had come explains why as many
as half the words in the English language
were French and why France — not
Germany — was England's mortal enemy
for nearly a thousand years.

It has been wisely said:

IMAGE Bruce02.gif

© Morley Leonard Evans 2001