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Diana, Goddess of the Hunt for Ancestors!
 
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Joseph BRUCE
Rebecca HOUGHTON
Husband:  Joseph BRUCE
Birth:  1795/6, Bolton, Worcester Co., MA
Death:  26 Aug 1862, Jay, Essex Co., NY
Occupation:  farmer
Migration:  1804, parents settled in Jay, Essex Co., NY
Father:  Benjamin BRUCE
Mother:  Philadelphia WHEELER
Marriage:  ca. 1815
Wife:  Rebecca HOUGHTON
Birth:  1796/7, VT
Occupation:  homemaker
Sister of the Sarah HOUGHTON who married Joseph's brother, Jonah BRUCE.
Children born in Jay, Essex Co., NY:
1.  Joshua Franklin BRUCE, b. 1816/7
2.  (Daughter A) BRUCE, b. 1815-20
3.  (Daughter B) BRUCE, b. 1815-20
Keywords for search engines:  genealogy; USA, US, United States, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont

Sources:

1.  Marriage Record:

2.  1820 Census Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com, Image #1 of 7 indexed "Bown"; list was roughly alphabetized; extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):
1820 NY Essex Co. Jay Roll M33_69 p. 419 Ln. 31 Bruse Joseph 100100-20100-0-100
These data indicate:
No. & Sex Age Class Therefore Born Individuals Inferred
1 male 9 or under 1810-1820 = Joshua Franklin (b. 1816/7)
1 male 19-25* 1794-1801 = Joseph (b. 1795/6)
2 females 9 or under 1810-1820 = Daughter B
= Daughter A
1 female 16-25 1794-1804 = Rebecca (b. 1796/7)
1 person engaged in agriculture
*In the 1820 Census, the third column is age class 16-18 and the fourth column is age class 16-25, which means any individual in column three is duplicated in column four.  So, for an accurate representation of the household, the number in column three should be subtracted from the number in column four. If, after the subtraction, any individuals remain in column four, then they have to be age 19-25, thus creating a "new," more precise age class.
Also listed:  Joseph's brother, Jonah BRUCE (indexed "Bruer").  (The page image at Genealogy.com is sharper than the one at Ancestry.com, though Joseph and Jonah are mis-indexed there, too.)

3.  1830 Census Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com, Image #3 of 20; extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):
1830 NY Essex Co. Jay Roll 114 p. 290 Ln. 25 Joseph Bruse 001 001 - 002 001
These data indicate:
No. & Sex Age Class Therefore Born Individuals Inferred
1 male 10-14 1815-1820 = Joshua Franlin (b. 1816/7)
1 male 30-39 1790-1800 = Joseph (b. 1795/6)
2 females 10-14 1815-1820 = Daughter B
= Daughter A
1 female 30-39 1790-1800 = Rebecca (b. 1796/7)

4.  1840 Census Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com, Image #11-2 of 26; extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):
1840 NY Essex Co. Jay Roll 282 pp. 100-101 Ln. 22 Joseph Bruce 000 120 100 - 000 010 100 0400000
These data indicate:
No. & Sex Age Class Therefore Born Individuals Inferred
1 male 15-19 1820-1825 = ?
2 males 20-29 1810-1820 = Joshua Franklin (b. 1816/7)
= ?
1 male 40-49 1790-1800 = Joseph (b. 1795/6)
1 female 20-29 1810-1820 = Daughter A or B
1 female 40-49 1790-1800 = Rebecca (b. 1796/7)
4 persons employed in agriculture
It's hard to say who the extra males are, but they are not with our subjects in 1830, so are not their sons.  Listed next to Joseph's older brother, Jonah BRUCE (æ 50-60), who is next to Jonah's son, Benjamin BRUCE (æ 20-30).

5.  1850 Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com, Image #51 of 66):  Jay, Essex Co., NY, Roll M432_504, p. 213A, 3025/3099, enumerated 13 Sep 1850, official enumeration date 1 Jun 1850 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):
Joseph Bruce 54 M   Farmer 4000  
Rebecca 33 F        
Franklin 33 M   "    
Lorrain 32 F        
Louisa  8 F        
Robert  3 M        
Daniel Hopper 15 M        
Hannah Felt 33 F        
The blanks in the birthplace column are presumably intended to mean "NY," but if Joseph's parents didn't move to Jay until 1804, then Joseph was born in MA.  Rebecca's age has to be wrong if she's Franklin's mother (as it says in Joshua Franklin's bio, see below).  Earlier censuses say she was born by 1800, so she is most likely 53, not 33.  Listed next to Joseph's nephew, Nymphas BRUCE, son of his brother, Jonah BRUCE.

6.  1860 Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com):  can't find, and I even did a page-by-page search of Jay.  Also didn't find their son, Joshua Franklin, who should also be in Jay.  Were they missed by the enumerator?  Or did they slip off to Canada for a few years?

7.  H.P. Smith.  1885.  History of Essex County [New York].  D. Mason & Co., Publ., Syracuse, NY (online at Ancestry.com).  On p. 717:
Bruce.  The Bruce family is among the first families of Jay.  Their ancestor, Benjamin Bruce, first settled in Jay in 1804.  He was a shoemaker by trade and a soldier of the Revolution.  He died September 11th, 1839, leaving six children:  Joseph, Jonah, Anna, Polie, Phila, and Hannah.  Joseph was married to Rebecca Houghton, a native of Vermont, and the venerable Joshua F. Bruce, of Jay, is her only son...

8.  Messages posted to the BRUCE Surname Board (online at RootsWeb.com/Ancestry.com).

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