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“Fitting all these various items into the composite picture in which the parts seem to confirm the whole and the whole of the parts, we do get a consistent result, which, while it will always remain without actually positive assurance, nevertheless, does make a reasonable and probable whole. With these qualifications of uncertainty, the result is as follows:
“Ralph Bleasdale was probably born near Bolton, Lancashire, shortly after 1600. [Later Blaisdell Family National Association Genealogists have concluded that he was born in Hawkshead in 1593; perhaps he later moved to the Bolton area.] In that [Bolton] general neighborhood his ancestors had lived for some generations. He was born into, or achieved, a measurable comfort by some form of association with the wool trade, which gave him the name of a ‘tailor.’
“He was brought up amid Puritan influences, which deeply impressed him, and which ultimately shaped his life and sent him to the lands beyond the ocean. He was a man of more than common education.
“In Lancashire he married Elizabeth [Parker]……, who survived him. Before leaving England, they had one son, Henry, who as a lad of three, accompanied his parents on their memorable journey and through whom the whole line of descendants who have deployed the family name throughout the world. “As a trader in wool and woolen goods [‘tailor’] he became aware of the sea travel, and possibly himself had made the trip from near-by Liverpool to Ireland; then to Milford Haven [Wales] where he could take the ship to New England, thus avoiding the difficulties of the hard journey by land to the southern port of Bristol, where ships for America commonly started. This course he took. “To what part he intended exactly to go in New England is uncertain, but his ship was wrecked at Pemaquid Point, Maine. Some of the passengers on board the wrecked vessel re-shipped to Boston, but he located temporarily at York, Maine, where he acquired property and from which place, he moved a few years later  to Amesbury [adjacent Salisbury east of Amesbury], where he spent most of his active life. Records of him in these places are considerable. “In his last years he is said to have lived at Lynn and to have died there. All in all, he must have been a man in whom the family should take abundant pride as, let us hope, he might, in turn, take pride in the family which he founded.”
Blaisdell Papers, Vol. II, No. 8 (Autumn 1944), pp 12-13.
Ralph Bleasdale, 1593 – 1649, a “tailor” was likely a trader in wool. He left from Goosnargh Parish near Bleasdale Village, Lancashire County, England, with his wife, Elizabeth (Parker) Bleasdale, and three-year-old son, Henry, to go to America on the Archangel Gabriel sailing ship. The ship left June 4, 1635, from Bristol, England, stopped at Milford Haven, Wales, and shipwrecked at Pemaquid Point, now in Maine, the evening of August 14, and was destroyed by a hurricane the morning of August 15. The possessions and cattle for the 30 passengers (10 families) were lost.
Richard Mather, a Puritan divine, had been preaching near Bleasdale village and had many converts. Ralph may possibly have been one. Many of the early Bleasdale's were Catholics, but Ralph was a Puritan. He may have gone to Milford Haven, Wales, to board the Archangel Gabriel to avoid detection, as the government at that time was critical of escaping religious refugees.
Richard Mather’s family was on the St. James, sailing close to the Angel Gabriel from June 4 to July 4. He wrote of Gabriel’s passengers, “Among them some loving and godly Christians that were glad to see us.”
Ralph first went to York – then Mt. Agamenticus – where he owned land, which abutted on Meeting House Creek. Ralph sold this land in 1642 to Mr. Robert Knight. Ralph was appointed “Atturnee” by the town of York to plead a grievance case at the Provincial Court in Saco. He was 64th of the 69 founding fathers of Salisbury, MA, who held “in common” the land three miles north and 12 miles up from the sea, up the river Merrimac, hence were called “Commoners.”
In Salisbury records show that Ralph was a “Prudential man,” Constable, Farmer, Tailor, Attorney, Keeper of the Ordinary (Tavern), where town meetings were held. He was referred to as “Goodman Ralph Blasdel” and his wife as “Goody Blasdel.” Ralph was one of the eight (of the 69) to be given the title of Mr., the town’s highest honor.
Henry’s five sons, Ebenezer, Henry, Ralph, John and Jonathan Blaisdell, carried on the family name, which was spelled 38 different ways in England and 14 ways in America. Blaisdell, Blasdel, Blasdell, Bleasdale, Bleasdell, Blasdale and Blazo are the most common in North America. Accuracy and uniformity of spelling were evidently not concerns among our forebears.
The Bleasdale (Blaisdell/Blasdel) family originates from the Bleasdale Village area of Lancashire County, England. Bleasdale is 10 miles north of Preston, the county seat.
Some of our family descend from one of eleven other Bleasdale/Blaisdell/Blasdel patriarchs who immigrated after 1635 from England to America. All are welcome, as well as members of the general public, to the Blaisdell Family National Association.
[Material was drawn from earlier issues of the Blaisdell Papers (published by BFNA), and from Topographical Dictionary of 2,885 English Emigrants to New England, 1620 – 1650 by the Editor.]