In 1660, Charles II was restored to the throne of
Great Britain. Four years after, A.D. 1664, the Episcopalians having
obtained the ascendancy of power in Church and State, commenced a severe
and cruel persecution upon those dissenters who refused compliance to
the "Conformity Act" imposing fines, imprisonment, proscription,
banishment and death.
In 1664, one of three brothers, probably the
eldest, fled to Holland. He there became incorporated with the Dutch,
and spelt his name after the Dutch pronunciation ELSWORT. After a few
years residence there, he with his family immigrated to America, and
settled in the city of New York. Where many of his decedents still
remain. His name is believed to be THEOPHILUS.
He and his decedents professed their attachment to
the Dutch Reformed Church. They spell their name Elsworth.
In 1670, six years later, the persecution was
again renewed with increased severity by the same power. It appears the
second brother fled at this time. He came to America and settled in
Connecticut. From him descended the families of that state who spell
their names ELLSWORTH.
The third brother, who remained in Great Britain
and is our ancestor, was several years younger than the other two. At
the time of persecution, he was too young to excite suspicion. He came
to America in the late 1670's and settled in Rhode Island. His name was