Questions of Ancestry – Anthony and Brace

Please do Spotisadog the favor of citing your source : >
I have spent a lot of time in courthouses and on the web to compile the records found here. I would love your comments, additions or corrections. I will be sure to give you credit for your work.

Descendants of Anthony, through his son John, claimed that the family was of  German ancestry and related to a Henry and William Worley who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1669, receiving a grant from Penn. Possible, if the grant was after 1681 when Penn received Pennsylvania from King Charles. This same family claims that John was a spy and a scout during the Revolution. Certainly an avenue that warrants exploration. It is true that there were Dutch and German in the area before Penn arrived with his Quakers.

Other researchers think that Anthony was a child of Brace Worley and his wife, Lurena Christopher/Gustopher who married in October 1720 at Christ Church in Philadelphia. This theory does not exclude the previous story of German ancestry. Brace’s name is seen at times as Bracy, Brosey, Bruce, Brice, etc. which makes tracing him all the more difficult. However, many of these same researchers claim that Brace is the son of Francis Worley who arrived in Pennsylvania with his brother, Henry Worley, and his mother and step-father, Ann and Caleb Pusey in 1682. Francis Worley married Mary Brassey and the conjecture is that he was given his mother’s family name, Brassey. This Francis leaves land to two sons, Caleb and Francis, Jr. but none to a son named any variation of Brace. Possibly Brace had moved out of the area.  We find Bracy Worley listed on the English [not the Palatine] tax assessments of Conestoga township, York Co., Pa in 1721, along with Francis and Caleb, which gives a bit of credence to the claim that he is a son of Francis I. In 1724-1727 he is listed in the tax assessments as Bruce Worley.

Looking at this evidence, I feel compelled to point out that it is so easy for family stories to carry a kernal of truth along with a basket of bull. It is possible that Anthony descends from Brace and his wife was the one of German extraction. Information so quickly gets muddled in the telling and the re-telling and the lapses of memory along the way. My own family lays claim to French, Russian, and Indian blood, all without one shred of evidence.

Finally, the theory that Anthony descends from Henry, son of Henry Worley and Mary Vernon. This Henry was supposed to have been a millwright in Potomack, Virginia in 1736. Certainly puts in Henry in the neighborhood where we find Anthony several decades later, but we have Anthony living back in York County, Pa. in 1752. Again, a possibility, but no proof.

Where does this information leave us? One interesting point  is that at least one of Anthony’s sons used the name Brace [Joseph Brace Worley, son of Anthony’s son, John], but there are no Henry’s among the children of the children of Anthony. Not that that is proof, but I think it is most likely that Anthony is the son of Brace Worley. The question remains, however, whose child is Brace?

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