It is on this account that it is all the more to be deeply regretted that we must charge THE HISTORY AND GENEALOGY OF THE PEARSALL fAMILY with containing, in our opinion, some of the most erroneous and incompetent statements, some of the grossest misconstructions of family connections which have ever appeared in print. As this is an expression of our personal judgment, it is necessary to detail evidences which support our case against this work; in this our purpose is not to reflect discredit upon the motives of the editor or his associates, but to cite the circumstances which we believe definitely require better justification. Failing rebuttal, the inference is that we are correct.
In The History and Genealogy of the Pearsall Family,* vol. II, at p. 856 it is stated thatEdmond Pearsall is the genearch of all the members of the family who came to America in the seventeenth century and they all without exception spelled the family name as Pearsall when they reached the New World....
On p. 897 the will of this Edmond Pearsall is given. It mentions sons Robert, Edmond, and Thomas; the latter is referred to in the text as his "well-beloved on "Thomas Peshall" Ithe italics are ours). At p. 966 it is stated that Thomas (Pearsall) son of Edmund Perseall (sic) was born in England and died in Virginia in 1642/3. The Genealogy goes on:
As early as 1613 Thomas Pearsall assumed the management of his father's tobacco business in England, Holland and Virginia. In 1615 he acquired this business as his own at the time of his father's retirement from active participation in the concerns of his father's retirement from active participation in the concerns of his trading as a member of the Grocers Guild of London.......Before this he traveled back and forth between the three places and was to be found wherever the conditions of the trade demanded his personal attention, The most of his time after 1621 was nevertheless spent in Virgina...........
......It was.....inevitable that Kent Island (Maryland) should become the seat of the free tobacco trade......
And apparently on the basis of mere historical association. The Genealogy places Thomas Pearsall at Kent Island in the course of this business. It is further postulated that in the quarrel between William Claiborne of Kent Iesland and Governor Calvert, Thomas Pearsall supported Claiborne. Continuing on p. 972:
Thomas Pearsall was a leader among these merchants, so much so that the old records speak of him as Mr. Pearsall (sic), which at this time would mean Master, that is a man of authority, a man who exercises the chief control over something or someone.
*Hereafter referred to as The Genealogy