This ancient and distinguished surname, so celebrated in the history of Scotland, is of Norman-French origin, and is a locational name either from an extensive fortress, built by Adam de Brus at Brix between Cherbourg and Valognes, Normandy, and called "Chateau d'Adam", after him, or from Brieuze, a place two leagues from Falaise in Normandy. The surname was introduced into England by the Normans during the Conquest of 1066, the first recorded namebearer (below) being the leader of the Brus contingent in the Army of William the Conqueror. Other Norman knights granted lands in England were Robert de Brus (Clerkenwell, Middlesex, 1152), and Richard de Brus (Essex, 1274). The first of the family connected with Scotland was a son of Robert de Bru(i)s of Yorkshire, known as Robert le Meschin, who was a companion to King David 1 of Scotland at the English Court. He was granted the lands of Annandale circa 1124 - 1130 in a charter which reads, "Know that I (David by the grace of God King of Scots) have given and granted to Robert Brus, Estrahanent (the valley of the Annan) ... . Robert, The Bruce, (1274 - 1329), was crowned king of Scotland in 1306, and consolidated Scottish independence when he defeated the English forces of Edward 11 at Bannockburn in 1314. His brother, Edward, was crowned King of Ireland in 1315. The Bruce family hold the titles of barons of Kinloss, barons of Aberdare, earls of Elgin, and earls of Kincardine. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Bruis, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Yorkshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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