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Introducing Mary and John

An introduction to the characters we'll meet in the course.
Image of man and woman looking at laptop
© University of Strathclyde

The storyline which will run throughout the Course, features Mary Bruce as she follows up a developing interest in her family history. As well as Mary, you will meet her brother John, and, as the story progresses, you will also hear about several relatives they discover along the way.


Photo of Mary Bruce

Mary was born in 1975 and grew up in Helensburgh a small town 30 miles from Glasgow with her two siblings, John and Ella. She is single and curious about her family background.


Photo of John Bruce

John was born in 1977 and until now has no interest in family history, though is proud of his heritage.

Their parents who are both deceased were Bobby BRUCE and Elizabeth BROWN.

Helensburgh – where the family grew up – is a small town 30 miles from Glasgow, Mary BRUCE still lives there.

Map showing Helensburgh

Their father Bobby, was brought up by his mother Grace BRUCE who died in 1970 before Mary was born. Bobby was born in 1944 during World War 2 and was registered as illegitimate on his birth certificate. However, Bobby’s mother Grace once told him that she had a fling with an American serviceman at a dance hall in Glasgow. His name was thought to be Roberto who had been stationed at Rosneath Naval Base on the Clyde at the time.

Bobby died in 2022 however it is only now that Mary has decided to begin to research her family history.

© University of Strathclyde
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