Patriarch Ralph Blaisdell

Ralph Blaisdell, Patriarch

Ralph Bleasdale, 1593 – 1649, as 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 arrived at Pemaquid Point, now in Maine, the evening of August 14.  The ship 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 Bleasdales 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 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.

Ralph 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 Assoc.   

[Material was drawn from earlier issues of Blaisdell Papers and from Topographical Dictionary of 2,885 English Emigrants to New England, 1620 – 1650 by the Editor.]

 "Who Was Ralph Blaisdell?"

"The Journey of the Blaisdells" by Louise Butler

"Ralph Bleasdale, the Family Patriarch" by R. Carter Blaisdell

"Given Names Reflect a Puritan Persuasion"