JOHN AYLESWORTH (5) OF PORTER
The Family Reunion
(Held on the first Sunday in August annually)
The Aylesworth family reunion had its origin Saturday, October 11, 1902, at a
gathering of relatives at the home of Joe Ludington to celebrate the birthday of
Rilla Jones; Aurilla or Orrilla (7). Those present, having expressed their
enjoyment in renewing old acquaintances, unanimously decided to hold a similar
gathering a year later.
On Saturday, September 5, 1903, approximately 150 descendants of Arthur
Aylworth met to spend the day in a social way. After dinner a meeting was called
for the purpose of the election of officers. The first officers elected were
William Sawyer, President; Charles F. Leeka, Secretary; Porter Aylesworth,
A constitution and by-laws were then presented for approval. It was decided
that the Aylesworth family reunion should become an annual affair. The reunions
were held at the homes of various members until 1931. At that time it was voted
that the reunion should be held at the Aylesworth community house at which place
it has been held up to the present time.
The constitution sets forth as one of the purposes of the Aylesworth reunion
the assembling of information regarding the genealogy of the branches of the
Aylesworth family who have at some time lived in Porter County, Indiana. To
compile this information Ruth and Carrol Aylesworth were elected Historians at
the 1935 reunion. The publication of this book in a large measure is the result
of their efforts.
A committee was appointed at the 1944 reunion to gather data to complete the
history and to carry on the business necessary to the printing of this book. The
committee appointed included Howard Aylesworth, Chairman; Ruth and Carrol
Aylesworth, Historians; Florence Leeka, Sadie Aylesworth, Ray Aylesworth and
The book by Homer Elhanan Aylsworth, "Arthur Aylsworth and His Descendants in
America," referred to in our bibliography has been the most valuable source of
information concerning the earlier generations. His book attempts to include all
the descendants of Arthur Aylworth, not just one small group. All the branches
could be traced throughout the first seven generations, but it was impossible to
include every one through the generations that followed without going into
several volumes. It is for that reason that our book refers to none but those
branches of the family who have at some time resided in Porter County, Indiana.
The committee has been fortunate in purchasing a copy of the original book
which is now out of print and upon the publication of our new book the two will
be placed in the Hebron Public Library for reference purposes.
The committee gratefully acknowledges its indebtedness to Mr. Edward Lewis of
the Lewis and Lewis Publishing Company of New York, for much of the information
set forth in the earlier chapters of this book.
Those members of the committee who have given so unselfishly of their time
will have felt that their efforts have been appreciated only if future
generations complete the information that is missing in this book and carry on
the genealogy thus started.
J. N. ARNOLD -- "Vital Records of Rhode Island, 1636-1850" Vol. 1 (East
Greenwich) page 96, (West Greenwich) pages 4 and 61, (Coventry) page 61.
Vol. V (North Kingstown) page 7.
JOHN OSBORNE AUSTIN -- "The Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island" page 6.
HOMER ELHANAN AYLSWORTH AND JAMES N. ARNOLD _ "Arthur Aylsworth and His
Descendants in America" pages 13, 16, 17, 23, 26, 28, 31, 33, 36 to 46, 50 to
57, 67, 70 to 73, 112 to 116, 228 to 231, 369 to 372, 374, 375, 432 and 433.
GERTRUDE A. BARBER -- "Deaths from January, 1841, to September 5, 1862, taken
from the Otsego Herald and Western Advertiser and Freeman's Journal" Vol. II,
page 91. "Index of Wills of Otsego County, New York, 1850 to 1875" page 3.
J. R. BARTLETT -- "Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations in New England" Vol. III, page 60.
J. H. BEERS -- "Commemorative Biographical Record of the Counties of Wayne
and Holmes, Ohio" page 156.
"COLLECTIONS OF THE NEW YORK GENEALOGICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY" Vol. II,
CONNECTICUT HISTORICAL SOCIETY -- "Some Early Records and Documents of and
Relating to the Town of Windsor, Connecticut, 1639Ä1703" Pages 16 and 35.
A. W. DELLQUEST --"These Names of Ours" page 18.
BEN DOUGLAS -- "History of Wayne County, Ohio" pages 789 to 791.
BERTHOLD FERNOW -- "The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653 to 1674" Vol. III,
JOHN W. JORDAN -- "Franklin as a Genealogist" Chart "Memo of the Family"
facing page 4.
RECORDS IN THE POSSESSION OF THE FAMILY.INTRODUCTION
In a twelve page pamphlet issued in 1840 by Sylvester Aylsworth, of Utica,
New York, the author "concludes" that "three brothers" came to America:
(1) The eldest, believed to have been Theophilus, fled to Holland in 1664,
later emigrated to New York, and spelled his name Elswort, the name later
(2) The second brother fled about 1670, and settled in Connecticut, and his
descendants were called Ellsworth.
(3) The third brother, Arthur Aylsworth, remained in Wales. Born about 1656,
he emigrated to America in 1681, settling at North Kingston, Rhode Island.
"These three brothers were Welshmen."
Regarding the foregoing, no proof is found as to any relationship between
these various immigrants. The name of the first was not Theophilus, but
Christoffel Elswaert, and he was in New York as early as 1653. However, one of
his grandsons was named Theophilus, born in 1681. The second of the "three
brothers," was Josia Elesworth, who married, in 1654, and lived in Windsor,
Corroboration of the foregoing is found in works other than the Aylsworth
book: New York Dutch Reformed Church records show the baptism of a child of
"Stoffel Elswaerts," January 10, 1654Ä5. Court minutes of New Amsterdam show
"Stoffel Elswaart" as plaintiff, September 17, 1658, in an action demanding
"receipt for the payment of the land."
The "Old Church Record" of Windsor shows: "Josia elesworth and elizabeth
Holcom ware married noumr 16, 1654." "Josia eleswort baptised mar. 7, 57."
The third traditional "brother" was Arthur Aylworth, concerning whose
brothers, ancestry, or European residence, nothing is definitely known.
However, inasmuch as surnames often originate in local names, it is possible
that this may be the case with the Aylworth name.
An English gazetteer, printed in London in 1775, mentions two localities of that
name -- Aylworth, in Gloucestershire, and Aylworth, in Sussex.
In Atkyn's History of Gloucestershire there is a description of the parish of
Naunton. It speaks of the handsome church, beautiful tower adorned with
battlements and pinnacles and says that the church "hath an aile on the north
side belonging to the family of Aleworths." It also says, "There are several
hamlets in the parish, one being Ayleworth, a mile from the church, where is the
seat of the family of that name, who have a good estate in the place, and are of
a very ancient descent. They have continued here ever since the Norman Conquest