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Blaisdell Families

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Tombstone of Olive Blaisdell

Photo courtesy of Sam Fuller
Leech Cemetery, Sec 1, Eliza Twp
Leech Cemetery - Map 3 on Cemeteries Page

For photo of Sam and tombstone of John Drew Blaisdell in Stubbs Mill Cemetery, Jay, Maine {Click}

Alternate Spellings - Blasdell, Blaisdel, Blaisdell

Links on this Site - Beeson, Culick, Fuller, Thornton, Maine Families, Pomeroy, Pratt, Jackson, Culick, Albee, Hillman, Epperly, Also Web Sites below.

Contacts - Ann Rothery is researching the Nehemiah Blaisdell family; Sam Fuller is descended from Olive Blaisdell through the Fullers and has done much research in Maine. There is a link to his Web Site on the Fuller page. We are grateful to both Ann and Sam for furnishing information on these families. Darlene White is descended from Ralph and Mary Moody Blaisdell. David C. Young, Danville, Maine, is a descendant of Rhoda Blaisdell Whitney. He gives a second marriage to Sanders Macomber on May 9, 1869 at Auburn Maine. There is a Blaisdell National Family Association Web Site.

Caution - There is a fraudulent "Blaisdell Family Manuscript," compiled by H. Anjou, 1910 and reprinted by the Blaisdell Family Association in 1973. They have since repudiated it and removed all references from Anjou in their genealogy databases. For more information, see the Fraudulent Genealogies Web Site.

Descendants of Ralph and Elizabeth Hurd Blasdell of Maine came to Mercer County before 1840 and are found in Township 14N Range 5W (future New Boston Township). Son Ralph Blaisdell and wife Dorcas Ricker Blaisdell are found in the 1840 census in Township 14N Range 5W: Ralph Blaisdell, age 60-70, female (Dorcas), age 50-60, and one male 20-30. We are not sure of the identity of the male and it could be a non-related worker. They are engaged in farming and trade. Next to Ralph, is his (probable) son Nehemiah Blaisdell, age 30-40, wife, age 20-30, two females, one 5-10 and one under 5. Two households from Ralph is his sister-in-law Olive Blaisdell (widow of John Drew Blaisdell, Ralph's brother), female, age 60-70, alone. Next to Olive is her son-in-law John Strickland, husband of daughter Rachel Blaisdell: John, age 20-30, 1 female 20-30, 1 female and 2 males under 5.

Ann Rothery tells us that the obituary of her gggrandparents says that "Nehemiah and Louisa Blaisdell made the entire trip by wagon." When one considers the lack of roads and trails in this early time period and the enormous distance involved, this is a mighty feat. And as was usual in the early days, several families no doubt banded together for the trip.

Descendants of John Drew and Olive Hersom Blaisdell

John Drew Blaisdell was born in 1774 and died 9/9/1834 in Jay, Maine. He is buried in Stubbs Mill Cemetery (photo courtesy Sam Fuller}. The tombstone reads "In Memory of John D. Blaisdell, Departed this life Sept 9, 1834, aged 60 yrs. 5 mos. John Drew Blaisdell married Olive Horsum 5/2/1796 in Shapleigh, York County, Maine. She was born 1775 in Maine and died 10/29/1865 in Mercer County. She is buried in Leech Cemetery in Eliza Township.

Olive Blaisdell wrote her will in Mercer County 4/24/1856. She mentions that her estate consists principally of funds intrusted to son-in-law Barlett Thornton . She bequeathed her estate equally to the following daughters: Dorcas Fuller; Lovina Fuller; Rebecca Stubbs; Rhoda Whitney; Mary Thornton; Rachel Strickland; and Sophronia Lowell; and granddaughter Permelia Culick. Witnesses to her will were Tyler McWhorter, W. S. Rowe, and Jesse Bogart. She does not mention her sons, or their children, in the will.

As nearly as we can determine John and Olive Horsum Blaisdell had children: Dorcas, born about 1796, Maine, married Joseph Fuller, 1814, Maine; Lovina, born about 1801, Maine, married Ezra Fuller, 11/14/1820, Maine; Rebecca, born Maine, married William Stubbs 3/11/1842; Rhodolphia (Rhoda), born 12/15/1806, Maine, married Asa Whitney 11/24/1825; Mary, born 6/16/1809, Maine, married (1)Zadoc Bachelder 5/13/1829, and (2) Bartlett Thornton; Rachel, born 5/24/1815, Maine, married John Strickland 5/15/1834; Sophronia, born Maine, married Josiah B. Lowell, 9/13/1843. John and Olive also had sons: John, born 12/10/1812, Maine; and Ralph, married Lydia Fuller in Jay, Maine. Son John purchased land in Mercer County (see below). A John Blaisdell married Elizabeth Jackson, 1/31/1852, in Mercer County, but we do not know if it was the same John, and we do not have enough information to know which Elizabeth Jackson.

Ralph Blaisdell

Darlene White is a descendant of Ralph Blaisdell, son of John Drew and Olive Horsum Blaisdell. Ralph and family remained in Maine. She tells us that Ralph married second to Mary Phipps Blackstone Moody on September 21, 1839, in Portland, Maine, and that they had a son, Samuel Moody Blaisdell (Darlene's ancestor).

Mary Blaisdell Bachelder Thornton

Daughter Mary Blaisdell married first to Zadock Bachelder 5/13/1829 in Jay, Maine. Zadock died before 1844. She married next, as Mrs. Polly Batchelor, to Bartlet Thornton on 5/26/1844 in Mercer County. Mary Blaisdell Batchelor had children: Llama (Clara?) Batchelor, born about 1833, Maine; Parmelia Batchelor, born about 1835, Maine; Octave Batchelor, born about 1838, Maine; and Zadoc Batchelor, born about 1840 in Maine. They are living with Bartlett and Mary Thornton in 1850 in Millersburg Township. With them is James Culick, age 21, probably brother of Robert Culick who married daughter Parmelia. There were probably two additional daughters: Mahitable Bachelder who married Edward Beeson 4/11/1850; and Matilda Ann Bachelor who married Lewis Blake 12/2/1847 in Mercer County. Neither of these couples are in Mercer County in 1860. See Blake under Miscellaneous Families for more information.

Bartlett and Mary Blaisdell Batchelor Thornton are living in New Boston Township in 1860. Mary's son Zadoc Batchelor is living with them as is Mary's mother, Olive Blaisdell. Daughter Octavia Batchelder married James Johnston on 12/28/1859. James and Octava Johnson are found in the 1860 census in Millersburg Township: James, age 30, farmer, born New York, Octava, 27, born Maine, and Amelia, age 4, born Iowa. They are not found in the 1870 census in Mercer County.

Daughter Parmelia Stickney Bachelder married Robert J. Culick on 3/14/1850 in Mercer County. In 1850, Olive Blaisdell was living with Robert and Parmelia Culick in Eliza Township: Robert Culick, age 28, farmer, born Massachusetts; Parmelia, age 16, born Maine; Olive Blasedale, age 73, born Maine. Parmelia was Olive's granddaughter and was also censused at home with her mother Mary Blaisdell Bachelder Thornton (more on Robert and Parmelia Culick below and on the Culick Page). They were two doors from Olive's daughter and son-in-law John and Rachel Blaisdell Strickland.

Robert and Parmelia Bachelor Culick are found in the 1860 census in Millersburg Township close to James and Octava Batchelder Johnson: Robert, age 39, farmer, born Connecticut; Parmelia, 25, born Maine; Bartlett, 9; Caroline, 8; John, 6; Luella, 4; and Mary, 2. Note that Parmelia chose to honor her stepfather by naming her first born son after him. Parmelia Batchelder Culick is the granddaughter named in Olive Blaidell's will, apparently so honored because Olive lived with them in her last days. Parmelia died 10/15/1867 and is buried in Leech Cemetery. Additional children are mentioned on the Culick page.

Bartlett and Mary Blaisdell Bachelor Thornton apparently had no children of their own. In 1881 when Bartlett wrote his will, Mary was deceased, and no children are mentioned. Bartlett, however mentions Charles Edward Johnson, son of James Johnson, whom he raised. This would have been a son of Mary's daughter, Octava Bachelor Johnson.

Rachel Blaisdell Strickland Bunting

John and Rachel Blaisdell Strickland came to Mercer County with Rachel's mother, Olive Horsum Blaisdell. They are found in the 1850 census: John Stricklin, age 37, born Maine, farmer; Rachel, 35, born Maine; Louisa, 15, born Maine; Ezra, 13, born Maine; Eli, 11, born Il; Sophrona, 8, born Maine; Mary J., 4, born Il, Olive R., 2, born Il. John and son Ezra purchased public land in 1854 in Eliza Township as mentioned below.

Daughter Louisa Strickland married John Coggshall on 4/7/1856. John & Rachel Strickland are not found in Mercer County in 1860 or 1870, but daughter Rachel Olive Strickland married Henry France on 12/25/1860 in Mercer County.

Son Ezra is found in Eliza Township in 1860: Ezra F. Strickland, age 23, laborer, born Maine; Rozelia, 22, Maine; Alvin, 3, Il; William W., 2, Il. Ezra Strickland married Rosilla Wing on 4/17/1855 in Mercer County (we will be putting up a Wing page). In the 1870 Census Rosella Wing Strickland is found as Rosella Culick in Eliza Township: Rosella Culick, age 30, female, farmer, born Maine; Alvin Stricklin, age 14, born Il; William Wallace Stricklin, 12, born Il, Finly A. Stricklin, 9, born Il; Eva Louisa Stricklin, age 3, born Il; and Melissa D. Culick, age 1, born Il. On 5/11/1868 Rosella Strickland had married Robert G. Culick in Muscatine, Iowa, apparently widower of Parmelia Bachelder Culick (above). Daughter Eva Louisa Strickland married Darlin Jessie Odell on 2/5/1884; son Alvin Nutan Strickland married Sarah Alice Epperly on 8/31/1878; Wallace Strickland married Harriet H. Wiley on 3/3/1879; all in Mercer County

John Strickland died sometime before 9/26/1889, when Mrs. Rachel Blaisdell Strickland married Parish L. Bunting in Mercer County.

We find no evidence of other children of Olive Blaisdell in Mercer County. We have checked census records through and cannot determine if they remained in Maine or went elsewhere. None appeared to live in Rock Island County, adjacent to Mercer.

Land Purchases in Mercer County

Olive Blaisdell, widow of John Drew Blaisdell, purchased the W2NE Sec 3 Township 14N R5W for $1.25 per acre on 9/27/1839. The land is entered as Oliver Blaisdell, but in Certificate #8921 signed by President John Tyler (by land office recorder) 11/10/1841, it gives her name correctly as Olive Blaisdell. On the 1875 plat map of New Boston Township the land is shown partially under ownership of A. B. Childs, and partially under ownership of Joseph Fuller, Olive's son-in-law, and husband of her daughter Dorcas Blaisdell.

John Blaisdell, son of John and Olive Blaisdell, purchased the NW quarter of Section 13 Township 15N Range 5W on 12/29/1845. His land was approximately four miles northwest of Olive's purchase. The land was under the ownership of William Retherford on the 1875 plat map of Eliza Township.

Olive's son-in-law John Strickland purchased the SWSE Sec 14 T15N R5W on 2/5/1854, and his son Ezra Strickland purchased nearby SENE Sec 23 T15N R5W on 6/24/1854.

Descendants of Ralph and Dorcas Ricker Blaisdell

In 1850, Dorkis Blaisdell, widow of Ralph Blaisdell, 71, was living in Township 14N R4W, next to Barzilla Perkins, 37, laborer, born Maine. Barzilla had wife Mona, or Marra, age 27, born Maine, and two children Mark, 8, and Ellen M., age 5, both born Maine. The Blaisdell Family Association lists Maria Blaisdell as wife of Barzilla Perkins, and daughter of Ralph and Dorcas. The Perkins family is not found in Mercer County in 1860.

Ralph Blaisdell evidently died between 1840 and 1850, but no tombstone was found for him in Mercer County when the DAR prepared the records in the 1960's. Since we have a good record of the children of John Drew and Olive Horsum Blaisdell via her will, we feel that other Blaisdells found in Mercer County must belong to Ralph and Dorcas Ricker Blaisdell. A Mrs. Bridget Blaisdell married Sylvanus Olney in Mercer County on 5/12/1849; she was likely a widow of a son of Ralph and Dorcas (Note: Olive did not name her sons in her will, however). The Olneys are not found in Mercer County in 1860.

Margaret Blaisdell Hersom

Ann Rothery tells us that Samuel Hersom (see Maine Families page) was married to Margaret Blaisdell who was likely a daughter of Ralph and Dorcas. Judy Stenerson also mentions her and gave us data on their son Augustus Hersom who married Mary Jane Allbee.

Elizabeth Blaisdell Downs Fuller

Elizabeth, daughter of Ralph and Dorcas Ricker Blaisdell, was born 7/31/1815 in Maine and died 8/17/1899 in Mercer County. She was married first to Joshua Downs on 4/7/1836 in Mercer County. Joshua died 4/23/1848. Elizabeth next married Jefferson Fuller on 10/9/1848 in Mercer County. Joshua and Elizabeth Blaisdell Downs had three children: Parethenia Downs, born 1841, Louisa Downs, born about 1842, and Isaac Downs, born about 1844. Parethenia Downs married William W. Mumey on 8/23/1863 in Mercer County. They had children Solomon Mumey, born 1865, and Edward Mumey, born about 1866 (perhaps more). Louisa Downs married James M. Black on 3/21/1867 in Henderson County (next door to Mercer). Isaac Downs married Samantha J. Knox on 9/30/1868 and they had child Eva Maude Downs (b. and d. 1881, buried Mannon Cemetery). There were probably more children.

O. David Blaisdell

Another Blaisdell family found in New Boston Township that we have been unable to place (but suspect it belongs to Ralph and Dorcas) is that of O. David Blaisdell. He is found in the 1870 census: O. David Blaisdel, 28, Blacksmith, born Me; Martha A.,23, In; Sherman A., 2, born Il; Eva Blanche, 1, born Il. O. David Blaisdell married Martha A. Hillman, daughter of Thomas and Mary Hillman, on 9/30/1866 in Mercer County.

Son Sherman A. Blaisdell married Nellie Pratt, daughter of John and Mary Ferguson Pratt, on 3/26/1892 in Mercer County. They are found in the 1900 census in Eliza Township: Sherman A. Blaisdell, born Nov 1867, father born Maine, mother born Illinois, own farm; Nellie, born February 1872, schildren born, 2 living, father born Penn, mother born NC; Ruth M., born May 1895, and Ralph M. born Aug 1897. The naming of a child "Ralph" indicates he is probably of the line of Ralph and Dorcas Blaisdell. Sherman died in 1946 and Nellie in 1936; both are buried in Eliza Creek Cemetery.

Another hint that David belongs to the line of Ralph and Dorcas is a large black marble tombstone in Mannon Cemetery, likely placed in 1908 when Martha Hillman Blaisdell died: Martha Ann Blaisdell, wife of D. O. Blaisdell Jan 31, 1837-Oct 5, 1908. Listed below her are children: Evie B. Feb 12, 1869-Nov 30, 1870; Brett A. Aug 1, 1870-June 21, 1885; Sarah J. Oct 17, 1882-June 25, 1885; Florence E. May 3, 1872-Sept 25, 1885. Then Dorcas, wife of R. Blaisdell, died June 17, 1858 aged 78 yr 8 mo is listed next. It is not clear from the cemetery readings whether Dorcas is actually listed on Martha's tombstone or whether it was simply the next tombstone to hers. Either way, it is a good hint that Dorcas might have been grandmother or other close relative of O. David Blaisdell.

Religious Views

Ann Rothery tells us that the Blaisdells who came to Mercer County were devout Freewill Baptists. Fuller, Hersom, and Knox families were also known to be Freewill Baptists. Apparently they brought this faith with them from northern Maine, bordering on Canada. Ann tells us that in the Freewill Baptist Cyclopedia written in 1889, Burgess and Ward wrote that a Freewill Baptist congregation was begun in New Boston in 1844. Our American Church History Series, Vol II, "A History of the Baptist Churches in the United States," by A. H. Newman, 1894, tells us that from 1839 onward Baptists took a decided stand in opposition to slavery and lost some of their influence in the South. In 1841, in an attempt to broaden their basis of fellowship, they took in a number of open-communion Baptist churches from the Canadian, New York, and Pennsylvania area and welcomed them without change of name (including Free-will Baptists). Most of these small churches had been formed by evangelists and, when the evangelists moved on, there was no stability in the congregation. Perhaps this is what happened in New Boston as the Freewill Baptists did not survive for long. Their chief teaching was open communion as opposed to the Baptists restricting communion to church members.