The BLAISDELL FAMILY NATIONAL ASSOCIATION (BFNA) was organized on August 15, 1935, to represent the descendants of Ralf Bleasdale - who was born in Hawkshead, England, 1593, sailed on The Angel Gabriel, and was shipwrecked at Pemaquid Point, ME. on August 14, 1635. At least 38 spellings of Bleasdale have since evolved, the most prevalent being Blaisdell, Blasdell, and Blasdel. Other variations include Bleasdell and Blasdale.
The Blaisdell Papers, published regularly since 1935, is the fifth oldest family publication in the U.S. It documents the genealogy, vital statistics, current and past activities of the descendants of Ralf Bleasdale. Published biannually in June and December, the Blaisdell Papers accompanies membership in the BFNA. Dues for basic membership are $15 a year, payable in advance. Gift memberships are $12 each. A DVD containing publications of the Blaisdell Papers (1935-2015) may be purchased for $15. (See Blaisdell Store.)
The BFNA has recorded genealogical and historical data on computerized files since 1991. Over 74,000 Blaisdell descendants are documented in the lineage-linked Personal Ancestry File (PAF) accessed by the BFNA Genealogist. Notes are maintained with information relating to biographical sketches, obituaries, vocations, military service (including Revolutionary War service notes), education, affiliations, census data and other sources of information. The Blaisdell Papers is a certified source for DAR/SAR memberships.
BFNA members are encouraged to review, verify, and send current family information to the BFNA Genealogist and Vital Statics Editor to update and maintain accurate records.
Annual or biennial reunions are held regionally in Northern and Southern California, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Oklahoma-Kansas, Texas.
National reunions are held every five years, alternating between regional locations and Pemaquid, Maine (where Ralf Bleasdale landed in 1635). Recent reunions have taken place in Amarillo, TX, in 1990; Portland, ME, in 1995; Greensburg & Guilford, IN, in 2000; South Portland, ME, in 2005; Mt. Vernon, IL, in 2010, York ME in 2015.
The BFNA cooperates with other historical and maritime groups interested in recovering and raising The Angel Gabriel. Periodic updates appear in the Blaisdell Papers. We are also cooperating with the Maine Historical Society to preserve Blaisdell items.