|Current region||New England and Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America
Great Britain, Canada
|Place of origin||England|
|Members||Alfie William Arnold, Barry William Arnold, Benedict Arnold I, Benedict Arnold V, Richard Arnold, Lemuel H. Arnold, Lillie-Rose Arnold, Isaac N. Arnold|
|Name origin and meaning||arnu & walda|
The Arnold family is an American political and military family with ties to New England, Georgia and Ohio. The descendents of American Revolutionary War general Benedict Arnold in Great Britain, while not particularly politically active, also achieved notable success in the 19th century.
William Arnold was one of the founding settlers of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and one of the 13 original settlers of Providence. He was the son of Nicholas Arnold of Northover and Ilchester in County Somerset, England by his first wife Alice Gully. William was born in Ilchester on 24 Jun 1587, and all four of his children were also born there. In 1622 he was the warden of St. Mary's Church in Ilchester, and remained in that town until immigrating to New England in 1635. One remarkable aspect of his emigration from England is that he had copied baptismal records from the parish registers of Northover and Ilchester and brought these with him to the New World, beginning a record that would eventually encompass six generations of his family. In New England William Arnold first settled in Hingham in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but within a year joined Roger Williams in founding the settlement of Providence on the Narraganset Bay. By 1638 William had moved to the Pawtuxet River, five miles south of Providence, and lived there the remainder of his life, dying some time in 1675 or 1676 during the turmoil of King Philip's War. William's son Benedict Arnold was the first Governor of Rhode Island under the royal charter of 1663.
Other members of the Arnold family came to Boston from England in 1687. The. Rev. William George Arnold, a minister, was charged with the task of establishing a parish of the official religion of England, the Church of England in Boston. Upon arrival he found he was disliked in Boston and quickly learned that no one would sell land for the construction of a church that was not Puritan. He established King's Chapel in Boston in 1689 on public land. William was soon followed from England by his brother Edward Arnold, who opened a successful general store in Boston.
Edward Arnold brought two daughters with him from England. The older of the pair, Charlotte, married the Puritan minister Ebenezer Punderson in 1730. He was a Yale graduate and was ordained as a Puritan minister in 1729 and began serving as the minister of the Congregational Church in North Groton (now Ledyard), Connecticut. It seems that her Church of England upbringing and beliefs made an impression on her husband, as he announced his intention to be ordained in the Church of England and left his Congressional Church and was ordained in London in 1734. He erected a parish of the Church of England in Preston, Connecticut in 1735 and at a service attended by William and Edward Arnold the place was consecrated St. James' Church.
Upon the 1737 death of William Arnold, many of his children moved to Connecticut near Preston and St. James' Church where the climate for Church of England members was less harsh. The family prospered in Connecticut and married well. One of Gov. Benedict Arnold's descendants Benedict III married his cousin Mary Arnold (who was descended from the William George side of the family) and gained control of the family estate in Norwich. They named their first son Benedict IV, who died in infancy. Their second son, Benedict Arnold V, became a general and war hero but is now best known as an infamous turn-coat for his treasonous attempt to surrender West Point and subsequent flight to the British side during the war.
During the American Revolution the family became active in politics. The William George Arnold side of the family remained fiercely loyal to English rule while the Benedict side favored independence. Jonathan Arnold (1741–1793) became a member of the Rhode Island Legislature in 1776 and then a delegate to the Continental Congress from Rhode Island from 1782 to 1784.
After the revolution much of the family left New England for Savannah, Georgia, where they opened a number of mills. The Savannah branch of the family remained active in politics until the American Civil War.
Notable family members
Surname Arnold (New England families)
- Benedict Arnold (1615-1678), the first colonial governor of Rhode Island
- Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), American traitor and British general during the American Revolutionary War
- Isaac Newton Arnold (1815-1884), member of U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois and President of the Chicago Historical Society, wrote biographies of Abraham Lincoln and Gen. Benedict Arnold.
- James N. Arnold, compiled and published a massive collection of Rhode Island vital records.
- Jonathan Arnold (1741–1793), member of the Rhode Island Legislature 1776, Delegate to the Continental Congress from Rhode Island 1782-1784, Vermont Governor's Councilman, Vermont State Court Judge.
- Kelley Arnold (1910-2003), Brigadier General, Assistant Division Commander, Adjutant General & Chief of Staff of the 49th Armored Division 1965-1970, Texas Military Forces Hall of Honor, Camp Mabry, TX
- Henry H. Arnold (1886-1950), the only US Air Force General to be given the five-star rank (General of the Air Force); he learned to fly from the Wright Brothers.
- Lemuel H. Arnold (1792-1852), Rhode Island State Representative 1826, Governor of Rhode Island 1831-1833, U.S. Representative from Rhode Island. Son of Jonathan Arnold.
- Richard Arnold (1828-1882), US Army General during the Civil War
- Richard Dennis Arnold, M.D., physician, charter member of the American Medical Society, 5-term mayor and 4-term alderman of Savannah, Georgia, charter member of the Georgia Historical Society, and newspaper editor of The Georgian with partner William H. Bulloch. Arnold was mayor of Savannah during American Civil War (surrendering the City of Savannah to Union General William T. Sherman), and charter member of the first Board of Education.
- Samuel G. Arnold (1821-1880), Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island 1852-1853 1861-1862, U.S. Senator from Rhode Island 1862-1863. Granduncle of Theodore F. Green.
- William Arnold (1587 - 1675/76), one of the founding settlers of Rhode Island, appeared on the initial deed for Providence signed by Roger Williams in 1638; established the settlement of Pawtuxet, becoming the first settler in what is now Cranston, Rhode Island. He was the father of Governor Benedict Arnold.
- Earl W. Bascom (1906-1995), cowboy, artist/sculptor, inventor, rodeo pioneer, hall of fame inductee
- Theodore F. Green (1867-1966), Rhode Island State Representative 1907-1908, candidate for Governor of Rhode Island 1912 1928 1930, Governor of Rhode Island 1933-1937, U.S. Senator from Rhode Island 1938-1961, Democratic National Committeeman 1936. Great-great-grandson of Jonathan Arnold.
- Anderson, Robert C., George F. Sanborn Jr. and Melinde L. Sanborn, The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England 1634-1635, Vol. I, A-B. Boston. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999. ISBN 0-88082-110-8.
- Arnold, Elisha S., Arnold Memorial, Tuttle Publishing Company, Rutland, VT, 1935.
- Arnold, Fred A., "William Arnold, Stukeley Westcott and William Carpenter," 1921, in E. S. Arnold, Arnold Memorial, pp 9–39.
- Austin, John O., Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, Albany, NY, 1887.
- Drowne, Henry T., "Mr. Somerby's Genealogy of the Arnold Family" in New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 33:432-438 (Oct 1879).
- Hubbard, Edwin, "Early Records of the Arnold Family" in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 33:427-432 (Oct 1879).
- Jackson, Ronald V. and Altha Polson, American Patriots, privately published, 1981.
- Jones, Edson S., "The Parentage of William Arnold and Thomas Arnold of Providence, R.I." in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 69:65-69 (Jan 1915).
- Moriarity, G. Andrews, "Additions and Corrections to Austin's Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island," in The American Genealogist, 20:233 (April 1944).