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PEDIGREE OF THE PEARSALL FAMILY

A perfect or nearly perfect genealogy of a family is a matter of years of search plus a lot of criticism. There is therfore only one way by which even an approximately correct family chart can be made; that is to collect and arrange all the availabel information into as complete a pedigree as possible. Then to publish this pedigree, thus inviting the criticism of all who are in any way interested therein.

In England, Dugdale, Damden, Mackenzie, Douglas, Collins, Chetwynd, Eyton, Erdeswicke, and many other learned men communicated the best information they possessed concerning the noble families of England and in their publications they gave many charts of ancestry. Since then there has been an almost unbroken chain of criticism tending to the correction of the errors into which these master genealogists had fallen in consequence of other sources of knowledge being opened which they did not possess or had not time to examine. While no one has thereby presumed to detract from the high standing and accepted credibility of these older genealogists, yet the result has been to bring the pedigree of certain families nearer and nearer to perfection of detail. It can therfore be safely asserted that no family can hope to have anything like a generally accepted chart until at least a century after the first publication of the generations of their ancestry. The Pearsall family is fortunate in this particular in that as early as 1530 Sampson Erdeswicke, a very able genealogist, was employed by the family to collate their pedigree, which was used as the basis of the reports severally made by the Master of Arms at the visitations which followed shortly therafter, and hence was spread upon the public records. And Rev. Sir John Peshall published such a complete chart of the family in the year 1771, in England, and for certain patent reasons, no pedigree has ever had to undergo such a fusillade of criticism nor to stand such searching examination. Mr. Robert Pearsall of Teddington, Middlesex, England, has kindly sent the writer a copy of the original notes of Rev. Sir John which contains reference to the proff and records upon which he relied for his statement. All the visitiations to Staffordshire passed upon the right of the family to bear arms. The earliest of these was in 1558 and they continued at intervals until 1664. At each of these visitations the marshals made charts of ancestry running back in the case of the Peshall family to before the middle of the thirteenth century. The Willsbridge Chart, which appears in Burke's Founders and Royal Descendants, was made and approved by the College of Heraldry about 1809 and later published by Burke. There have been other publications relating to the English ancestry.


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