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Our Pearsall Ancestors
Our earliest proven Pearsall ancestor is 8G grandfather Nicholas Pearsall (1619-1689). Some sources say his wife was Mary Van Damn, but his will names wife Sarah -- anybody have further info on this? We are descended from daughter Mary Pearsall (c1645- ? ) and John Thorne (1643-1709); son John Thorne Jr. (1665-1737) and Catherine (some sources say Catherine Oakley, others Catherine King -- further info anyone?); daughter Hannah Thorn (1717- ? ) and Caleb Shreve (1717-1810).

Hannah and Caleb were married 16 Jan 1737 in Chesterfield, Burlington Co, NJ. In addition to our direct lineage (see contents), we have data on many other descendants. Caleb died in Bedford Co, PA and it's likely that Hannah died there as well (for further info, see Shreve Genealogy and Thorne Genealogy). Some of these family members belonged to the Society of Friends, or Quakers.

Nicholas Pearsall's Ancestry
There seems to be some question as to the parents of Nicholas Pearsall. In History and Genealogy of The Pearsall Family in England and America, Clarence E. Pearsall and Hettie May Pearsall state that Nicholas Pearsall was the son of Thomas Pearsall and Mary Brent, and that Thomas was the son of Edmund Pearsall (or Pershall) and Maria Bathurst. Thomas Pearsall was called, "Genearch of the American Family of Pearsall."

The claims concerning Thomas Pearsall were brought into question by Herbert F. Silversmith and Arthur S. Wardwell in their article, "The Fabulous Pearsalls," which was published in The American Genealogist in two parts beginning in Vol. XVIII, p. 78.

The period in question is the early 1600's and the criticism focused on Thomas Pearsall's immigration, residence and links to his published children. The identity of the immigrant is important because it links Pearsall families in America to those in Britain. Fortunately for us, research is currently afoot to document this crucial generation and, hopefully, updates will be forthcoming.

Concerning our ancestor Nicholas Pearsall, or Parcell, Silversmith and Wardwell state, "The next alleged son of Thomas and Mary (Brent) Pearsall to be considered is Nicholas Parcell of Flushing, New York. The criticisms which have been made of the connections of his supposed brother Thomas hold true in that nothing definite has been established as to the whereabouts of Nicholas Parcell before his appearance in Flushing."

Nicholas Pearsall's Will
They also state, "Nicholas Parcell made his will 10 May 1689/90; it was proved 21 May 1691 by the executor, William Fowler, and recorded at p. 327, vol. 65 of New York Wills. He left a life estate in land and personal effects to his wife Sarah, with remainder to John Thorne, son of his daughter Mary Thorne, and to Robert Embree, son of his daughter Sarah. Records in...Albany, New York show that John Thorne took out a license to marry Mary "Passill," 9 March 1664. Nicholas Parcell's will was also recorded in Book A of Newtown Town Records, p. 54. He may have been a brother of the senior John Parsell of Newtown."

Terry Bodkin
Editor & Webmaster
Marsh-Bodkin Family Assn.
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