The Book of Isaiah - Part One

From what has been discovered so far, our story begins in the 18th century in Cadishead, Lancashire, England, a small, mainly rural and very poor town near Manchester, England. Moulsdale appears to be a common name in the Hollins Green area of Cadishead, and the parish register for Hollinfare (St. Helen’s) lists the children of a Betty Moulesdale as follows:

Margaret Molesdale, born 1 March 1784, bapt. 14 March 1784, daug. of Betty of Hollins Green

Ellen Moulesdale, born 28 1787, bapt. 29 May 1787, daug. of Betty of Cadishead

Mary Moulesdale, born 20 August 1792, bapt. 2 September 1792, daug. of Betty (pauper) Cadishead

Ellen Molesdale, buried 26 September 17??, daug. of Betty Molesdale

Peter Moulsdale, buried 1 January 1803, son of Betty
“Now go write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come, for ever and ever.”
Isaiah 30.8

Other baptismal records list a George Moulsdale (bapt. 30 July 1758) and Joseph Moulsdale (bapt. 28 February 1761) as the sons of a John and Ellen (Wright) Moulesdale. From the dates, they could possibly be Betty’s brothers, which would provide another generation back, but further documentation is needed.

Also in the same parish register are the children of Betty’s daughter Mary:

Samuel Moulsden, born 27 April 1811, bapt. 12 May, son of Mary of Cadishead

Eliza Moulsden, bapt. 3 December 1815, son of Mary of Cadishead

Isaiah Moulsdale, bapt. 16 August 1818, son of Mary of Cadishead

Elisabeth Moulsdale, bapt. 18 February 1821

All of Betty and Mary’s children are described as "base" or "illeg", but this was far from uncommon based on other entries in the same register and was apparently a practice not frowned on by the community or church. Since this was a poor area, it could suggest that "living over the brush" could have been common.

The number of children of each woman could imply that they were born into a stable relationship or they could have been the products of several men. One clue, perhaps, to the last name of the father of isaiah (son of Mary) is that on almost every document in the United States, he lists his name as Isaiah Whitfield Molesdale.

Book of Isaiah — Part Two >>>>

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