About (NOT RICHARD) unknown Arnold
The genealogy of the early Arnold family has been pieced together from a number of historical documents, but two such documents were of enough significance to be published as entire articles in an early genealogical journal. The first of these was a family record created by William Arnold and brought to New England by him in 1635. The second of these was a fabricated pedigree of Arnold's lineage, showing descent from some early kings in Wales dating back to the 12th century. Both of these documents were published side-by-side in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register in October 1879.  The Arnold family record
While events concerning the immediate families of many colonial immigrants to America were recorded in family Bibles, some of which exist to this day, what William Arnold did was highly unusual among those immigrating to the New World in the 17th century. As the warden of St. Mary's Church in Ilchester, Arnold had access to the records of baptisms, marriages and burials that were kept in the parish register. As he contemplated immigrating with his family to New England, he recorded all the baptismal entries in the Ilchester parish register pertaining to his children and siblings. He then took the process a step further, crossing the River Ivel to the parish of Northover, where his parents had lived and where his oldest sister was baptized, recording pertinent information from that register as well, thus creating a personal family record.
This family document sailed with Arnold from England to the New World in 1635, but the record did not end then. In later years Arnold's son, Benedict, added his own notes and family events to the document, and then Benedict's son Josiah Arnold added his family. The latest entries in the family record were made by the son of Josiah, Josiah Arnold Jr. This exceptional historical document, spanning a total of 223 years and six generations, began with the baptism of William Arnold's mother Alice Gully in 1553 and ended with the death of Josiah Arnold III in 1776.
What became of the document between 1776 and the mid-19th century is uncertain, but it eventually came into the possession of Mr. Patrick Anderson McEwen (a descendant of Governor Benedict Arnold) of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, from whom it passed to Isaac N. Arnold, president of the Chicago Historical Society. A copy was then made by Edwin Hubbard in 1878, and ultimately published under his name the following year. (It turns out that Isaac N. Arnold was descended from Thomas Arnold of Watertown, and thus not from William Arnold of Pawtuxet.) As with any historical document, genealogists and historians wanted to know how reliable it was. Once the original parish registers were discovered by a researcher in 1902, it was demonstrated that every entry in Arnold's original document that could be corroborated with these parish records in England was correct and precise to the minutest detail.  The false pedigree of the Arnold family
Published in the same issue of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register with the Arnold family record was another article giving a lineage for William Arnold going back 16 generations. In 1870 the genealogist Horatio G. Somerby compiled this pedigree of the Arnold family for a client in New York based on his research in England. In this pedigree, William Arnold was shown to be a son of a Thomas Arnold and to descend from a 12th-century King of Gwentland (in modern day Wales) whose name was Ynir. Mr. Somerby's manuscript was "compiled from Herald's Visitations, Inquisitions Post Mortem, Subsidy rolls, Wills, Parish registers, and other original documents." A few years after this pedigree was published, John O. Austin incorporated some of it into his Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island.
In 1902, Edson S. Jones, a descendant of Thomas Arnold of Watertown and Providence mentioned earlier, visited England in search of records pertaining to his family. Thinking that Thomas Arnold was connected with William Arnold (which, it turned out, he was not), he visited Northover and Ilchester, finding the original parish registers, as well as other important source documents. He discovered that every entry in the Arnold record that could be compared with entries in the parish registers matched perfectly.  He also discovered that the Somerby pedigree of the Arnold family had serious discrepancies with original documents. As he checked the source documents from which Somerby supposedly compiled the pedigree, he found that some of the generations in the Somerby pedigree had been shuffled from the original documents, some members of the lineage came from unrelated families, and some place names seemed to have been totally made up. It had earlier been believed that a Thomas Arnold was the father of William Arnold, and Somerby stated that this Thomas Arnold came from a place called Northover near Cheselbourne in County Dorset. No such place exists. The Somerby pedigree of the Arnold family published in 1879 was riddled with misinformation, and it had been accepted as fact for over three decades by even prominent genealogists such as John O. Austin. Fred Arnold wrote in 1921, "The most regrettable feature in Somerby's work is, that in the absence of any English record, known here to disprove it, so reliable a genealogist as Mr. John O. Austin was led to accept and use it in his dictionary, although neither give any record evidence. Very rarely has Mr. Austin accepted another's statement, unless he has himself seen evidence to support it."  This fabricated research was not an isolated incident; Mr. Somerby had also been implicated in other fraudulent research and was out to please his clients regardless of the veracity of his work.[e] The correct ancestry and English home of William Arnold Church of St. Andrew in Northover, England where William Arnold's mother and oldest sister were baptized.
Edson Jones eventually published his findings on the Arnold family in 1915, demonstrating the accuracy of the Arnold family record, and then carefully revealing each inconsistency and factual error found in Somerby's pedigree. In 1921, Fred Arnold summarized these findings and synthesized them into a coherent lineage of the Arnold family which is consistent with every known historical document,[f] and presented his findings to the Rhode Island Historical Society. To summarize the work of both Edson Jones and Fred Arnold, William Arnold was the son of Nicholas Arnold of Northover and Ilchester in Somerset based on the Arnold family record and the Northover parish register. Arnold's mother was Alice Gully, and her parents were John and Alice Gully based on the same two documents. These are the only known ancestors of William Arnold based on known historical records,[f] and the parents of Nicholas Arnold have not been identified in any historical document.[g]
The Somerby pedigree of the Arnold family indicated that the family had lived in many counties in both England and Wales.[h] This was not the case; the Arnolds and their associates all lived in a small area within southeastern Somerset. While in England William Arnold and his family lived in Ilchester. His parents had come from the village of Northover, scarcely one half mile (0.8 km) across the River Yeo to the north. When Arnold's son Benedict mentioned his "Lemmington" farm in his will, he was referring to a New England property named after the village of Limington in old England; this village is less than a mile and a half (2.5 km) east of Ilchester. A very short distance north of Limington across the River Yeo is the town of Yeovilton where William Hopkins, the husband of Arnold's sister Joanne, lived. Six miles (10 km) west of Ilchester is the village of Muchelney, the home of Arnold's wife Christian Peak, and five miles (8 km) south of Ilchester is Yeovil, the home of Stukeley Westcott, whose daughter Damaris married Arnold's son Benedict, and who may have accompanied the Arnolds on their voyage to the New World. Thus, Arnold and all of his known kinsmen had lived within six miles (10 km) of each other in southeastern Somerset. Children
William and Christian Arnold had four children, all born in Ilchester, Somerset. The oldest child was Elizabeth (1611 – after 7 September 1685) who married William Carpenter (c. 1610–1685), the son of Richard Carpenter of Amesbury, Wiltshire, England; the couple had eight children. William and Elizabeth Carpenter settled in Providence, and then followed her parents to the settlement of Pawtuxet, where they lived the remainder of their lives, except for a short time during King Phillip's War, when they were forced to flee to Long Island.
The second child and oldest son was Benedict (1615–1678) who married Damaris Westcott (1621[i] – after 1678), the daughter of Stukeley and Juliann (Marchante) Westcott. They had nine children. Stukeley Westcott lived in Yeovil, five miles (eight km) south of Ilchester, where he was married and where Damaris was baptized. The Westcotts may have sailed to New England with the Arnolds; if not they likely sailed at about the same time. Benedict moved with his family from Pawtuxet to Newport in 1651, and in 1657 succeeded Roger Williams as the President of the colony. When the royal charter arrived from England in 1663, Benedict Arnold became the first Governor of the colony, and served as either president or governor for a total of 11 years.
The third child and youngest daughter, Joanna (1617 – after 11 February 1693[j]), married first Zachariah Rhodes (c. 1603–1665), and settled in Pawtuxet near Joanna's brother Stephen. Following Zachariah's death by drowning, Joanna married Samuel Reape. She had eight children, all by her first husband, and became the ancestress of the Rhodes family of Rhode Island.
The fourth and youngest child of William and Christian Arnold was Stephen (1622–1699) who married Sarah Smith (1629–1713), the daughter of Edward Smith of Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Stephen and Sarah had seven children. Stephen was either a Deputy to the General Assembly or colonial Assistant nearly every year for a period of three decades. He and his family settled in Pawtuxet near his father, and had a garrison house along the Pawtuxet River. Stephen was 13 years old when he sailed from England to the New World with his parents and relatives, and he was the last surviving member of that sailing party.