The surname Bruce appears to be locational in origin, and is believed to be associated with the Scotts, meaning "one who came from Broase, or Brause, of from the castle of Braose". Probable spelling variations of Bruce can be Brouse, Brix, and Brewis. This old Scottish family is derived from Brix, in Normandy, which is located near the old boyhood home of William the Conqueror. However, the Bruces of Brix were originally Scandinavian. In the 9th century, they were among the fierce invaders who ravaged, conquered and settled in that part of Gaul which still owes its name to the wild Northmen - Normandy.
One of William the Conqueror's followers, by the name of Robert de Bruce, or Brix, became associated with David I of Scotland who was living in England at that time. A descendant of Robert Bruce, another Robert, later became the Lord of Annandale. It was the 5th Lord Annandale who married the great-granddaughter of David I and it was this marriage that the Bruce family based their claim to the throne of Scotland in 1290.