The following comes via a family history done by the husband of a woman, Mrs. Glenn Gohr, whose Clarke family connects into the family tree of my twentieth grandfather, Robert D. Bruse or Bruce (changed from Broos). I do not endorse everything said in this history, but from what I have read it is substantially correct and Glenn did a great job. There are books of history in print about this great man that are much more definitive. The differences in this report and theirs are not so much in substance as in detail.
Mr. Gohr does not reveal his sources in this short bio other than an encyclopedia reference. I’m sure they have other family references as well, judging by what was said. In any historical work of an era long ago there are going to be minor differences in written and oral history. The little differences to me are not monumental. The important thing is that we share two loves: love of the man and his family and love for family history.
The one great fact is that Robert was a great leader, a man all of Scotland reveres even today in modern times as their “George Washington.” Though the tough-minded Scots probably refer to George Washington as America’s Robert D. Bruce, and rightly so.
Not many centuries after Bruce, Scotland and England would mend their differences and join together with Wales and part of Ireland to form the Great Britain nation. And that’s as it should be.
According to the CIA website, the following dates are applicable:
England has existed as a unified entity since the 10th century; the union between England and Wales, begun in 1284 with the Statute of Rhuddlan, was not formalized until 1536 with an Act of Union; in another Act of Union in 1707, England and Scotland agreed to permanently join as Great Britain; the legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland was implemented in 1801, with the adoption of the name the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 formalized a partition of Ireland; six northern Irish counties remained part of the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland and the current name of the country, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was adopted in 1927
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all peoples could join hands in bonds of freedom and friendship, irrespective of politics. And I think they do. The problem arises when political leaders try to foist on people their hubris, power struggles, conceit, vain glory, pride and lustful desires for expansion into smaller countries at a cost of life and liberty such as the recent (August 8, 2008) military intervention by Russia when Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded a soverign nation, Georgia, and appear to want to continue to expand their borders for far less than humanitarian reasons because they have missile sites in South Ossetia aimed at Btilisi, Georgia as I write.
We love Scotland and England for preserving the heritage of each country, and the records of families that stretch across the ages. Much of their doings and heritage formed the foundation for a freedom loving people on the Western Continent and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.
Sharing ancestors from Wales, Scotland, England and Ireland as well, it brings me much joy to see that others of us have the spirit of Elijah–that is of sharing family records and history, finding our ancestors. It is a spirit that is contagious, one we must preserve by participating in the free flow of information among families. It is up to us, the succeeding generations to maintain that heritage, that peaceful feeling between races and countries that our forebearers so fortunately and rightly gave us.
England can thank William The Conquerer and others, including Robert’s ancestor who came from France’s Normandy to invade and conquer the various tribes living on English soil. This successful invasion brought these tribes together into a viable and recognizable country. William received an injury in a battle at Hastings where his ships landed, an arrow in the eye. Yet he persevered and established a country, meting out spoils and privileges of large land grants to his knights, of which Robert’s ancestor was one. From this first grant of some 750 acres of territory, a succession of Broos families were able to maintain land in both the area of Scotland and England until Robert came on the scene. In siding with the Scots, he forefeited his English title and large land holdings in England of which the ownership goes clear back to the Norman invasion.
If anyone reading this can supply me and others with names of the Broos family members that preceded this great man, please write me at
Thanks, and good searching.
Donald M. White
I salute Mr. and Mrs. Gohr, my relatives, for their fine website and the good work they are doing. I hope we can exchange some family history and connect the links that each of us may be missing.
Compiled by Glenn Gohr
Family tradition says that while living in England, my wife’s Clarke family intermarried with the noble family of Robert the Bruce.
ROBERT THE BRUCE
Here is a little bit of information on Robert Bruce, the gallant Scottish patriot who led his countrymen against the English. After his great victory at Bannockburn in 1314, Scotland became independent.
“Robert Bruce (1274-1329), a gallant Scottish king, spent most of his life trying to free his country from English rule. A legend it told of Bruce hiding from his enemies. He was lying on a bed in a wretched hut. On the roof above him, Bruce saw a spider swinging by one of its threads. It was trying to swing itself from one beam to another. It tried six times and failed. Bruce realized that he had fought the same number of battles in vain against the English. He decided that if the spider tried a seventh time and succeeded, he also would try again. The spider’s seventh attempt was successful. Bruce took heart, and went forth to victory.
“Early in his career, Bruce, then Earl of Carrick, swore allegiance to Edward I, King of England. He occasionally changed sides and aided the patriot, William Wallace. John de Baliol won the throne of Scotland in a famous lawsuit against Bruce and 12 other claimants. Bruce was friendly with Edward until 1306. That year Bruce was involved in the death of “Red Comyn,” who claimed the Scottish throne. Then Bruce had himself crowned king, but the English defeated him. He dismissed his troops, went to Ireland, and let his enemies think he was dead.
“The next spring he landed in Carrick, and defeated the English. Within two years he had gained control of almost all of Scotland. Then he advanced into England, destroying everything as he went, and defeated the English in a battle at Bannockburn in 1314. Under Edward III, England finally recognized Scotland’s independence and the right of Bruce to the throne, as King Robert I, in 1328. Bruce died about a year later.”
–Source: THE WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA (1962 ed.), p. 538.
In March of 1999 I had the thrill of hearing from a 2nd cousin whom we’d never heard of. He has supplied us with many, many missing links in the Clarke family history and has taken the lineage back into England and beyond. THANK YOU! to Karl Ahlgren, our new-found cousin at Richland Hills, Texas, for all your assistance on the Clarke and Bruce families!!!!–Glenn Gohr.
I know there is a Robert the Bruce Society for all descendants of Robert the Bruce. I used to correspond with a lady who was a member of this group. It would be interesting to know if they have this Bruce-Clarke family connection in their records somewhere and be able to tie up the missing links.
Here is my wife’s BRUCE lineage as far as I’ve found out so far:
1. Mary BRUCE (reported to be a direct descendant of the famed Robert the Bruce of Scotland), d. 1826 Ripon, Yorkshire, England; md. William CLARKE, b. 1762 Ripon, Yorkshire, England, d. 1814 Ripon, Yorkshire, England (age 52)
2. George CLARKE, b. 20 Sept. 1802 Ripon, Yorkshire, England, d. 8 March 1852 Cleveland, OH; md. 2nd, in 1830 at Ripon, Yorkshire, England, Mary BARLOW, b. 17 Jan. 1804 England, d. 22 Nov. 1853 (She came to America in 1853 and died shortly after arriving)
3. Rev. George Henry CLARKE, Sr. (Baptist preacher in the Civil War), b. 7 Nov. 1844 London, England, d. 30 June 1917 Oakland, Shawnee Co., KS; md. 12 Dec. 1866 Ft. Wayne, IN to Eliza Jane CRAWFORD, b. 5 March 1844 Conshohocken, Montgomery Co., PA, d. 11 Feb. 1920 Ellsworth, KS
4. Mary Rosetta CLARKE, b. 17 Feb. 1873 Walnut Grove, IN, d. 1 June 1960 Pasadena, CA; md. 17 Oct. 1892 Fairview, KS to Robert Archie HENRY, Sr., b. 10 July 1872 Sabetha, KS, d. 26 July 1947 San Fernando Valley, CA
5. Robert Archie HENRY, Jr., b. 26 Aug. 1902 Cycles, OK, d. 10 June 1944 Los Angeles, CA; md. 22 Aug. 1928 to Bonnie Ruth CALLICO, b. 5 Aug. 1905 Drake’s Creek, Madison Co., AR, d. 1 Dec. 1968 San Bernardino, CA (both buried at Mountain View Cemetery, San Bernardino, CA) *These are my wife’s grandparents.