Nicholas Thomas Arnold

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Nicholas Thomas Arnold

Birthplace: Northover, Somersetshire, England
Death: Died in Ilchester, Somerset, UK
Place of Burial: Yeovil, Somerset, England, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of (NOT RICHARD) unknown Arnold and (unknown mother of Nicholas) Arnold
Husband of alice arnold; Alice Arnold and Grace Peak
Father of William Arnold; Thomasine Hacker; Joanna Hopkins; Margery Barnard (Arnold); Joanna Dudley and 12 others
Brother of Thomas Arnold and Richard Arnold, III

Occupation: Imagrant, Tailor, live in Ilchester about half mile from Northover, onthe banks of the River Ivel - member of the Guild of Tailors
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Nicholas Thomas Arnold

Nicholas Arnold is not the son of Richard. There is no proven parentage for him

No Arnold Royal Line Editor's Note: The 10 September Ancestry Daily News, contained an article by Karen Frisch regarding a castle in Wales. In it, she referenced a previously published connection between an ancestor of hers and the historical residents of Abergavenny Castle. ( <> ). As Kory explains below, that connection turned out to be inaccurate and his message serves as a reminder to us all of the need to be wary when using compiled lineages. Thanks much to Kory for sharing this! For most genealogists, the possibility of royal or noble ancestry is attractive. After all, if our interest is to trace a family as far back as possible, royal ancestry allows us to do that better and easier than most of our lines. Besides, it helps give us a solid connection to history. Hence, I can understand and share the interests of Karen Frisch in learning "about ancestors so ancient they exist more in the realm of imagination-before photographs or even surnames" (Ancestry Daily News, 10 September 2002). Unfortunately, in her comments about our mutual ancestor, William Arnold of Rhode Island, and his descent from a Twelfth Century Welsh princess, she has fallen into a trap common to many American genealogists. That trap is ready acceptance of a long-disproved connection to royalty. A royal line was apparently first suggested for William Arnold by Horatio G. Somerby in 1870. It was published in the October 1879 issue of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Unfortunately, Somerby was a very accommodating genealogist who was remarkable for providing his patrons what they wanted, even if documents had to be re-written or falsely cited to provide the links to royal lines. His work is routinely shunned by experienced genealogists today. Without passing judgment on the earlier generations of this ancestry, the alleged lineage eventually descends to a Thomas Arnold, second son of Richard Arnold. Thomas is named as the father of William, who is what we often call the "gateway" ancestor, the immigrant who left Great Britain and settled in the colonies. Here, with the gateway ancestor, is where the lineage breaks down, as is the case with a large number of so-called royal lines. The Rhode Island Arnold family kept a remarkable family record (begun by the immigrant William), which documents William (born 1587), his siblings, and his mother. It does not document his father. That record identified a younger half-brother of William as Thomas Arnold (born 1599) whom many early researchers wrongly believed to be the New England immigrant of that name who settled first at Watertown, Massachusetts, and 20 years later moved to Rhode Island. A 1796 obituary of a descendant of this Thomas Arnold identified the immigrant Thomas as the son of a "Thomas Arnold, a native of England." Hence the faulty connection was made (and published as early as 1819) that William was the son of a Thomas. Armed with this information, Somerby found an early Arnold pedigree, adjusted generations 13 through 16 to fit in Thomas and his alleged father Richard. He then plugged in the immigrant "brothers" Thomas and William as sons of this Thomas Sr. and presto, a royal lineage was pasted onto another worthy American family's lineage. The problem is, it just was not so! The January 1915 issue of the "New England Historical and Genealogical Register" has an article by Edson S. Jones, which explains this all quite clearly. It also shows that the immigrant Arnolds (Thomas and William) were not brothers, and that neither of them is connected to the royal line published earlier. It further reports accurate research in English parish registers regarding the parentage of William Arnold. In 1902, the author, Jones, had visited Northover parish in Somerset where he found two church register entries, which matched William Arnold's family record exactly. In a neighboring parish he found additional records, which matched information about the Rhode Island immigrant. In 1921, Fred A. Arnold elaborated in-depth on these and other findings about the Arnold origins in the Rhode Island Historical Society Collections. His 24-page article explains exactly and clearly that William was the son of Nicholas Arnold, born about 1550 and who was buried 26 January 1622/23. His half-brother Thomas married and remained in England, as did all of his siblings. William is not related to the immigrant Thomas Arnold, and the ancestry of his father, Nicholas Arnold is unknown. His mother's parents are known, but no further. There is no known (or even suggested) royal ancestry for this Arnold family. This same article was transcribed and included in the 1921 Arnold Memorial by Elisha S. Arnold and the original 1921 article was reprinted in 1983 in a collection by Genealogical Publishing Company, Genealogies of Rhode Island Families from Rhode Island Periodicals. The true ancestry of William Arnold has been known now for a hundred years. It has been in print for 87 years, in at least four different publications. It is time to leave mythical royal ancestries behind us, not only for the Arnolds, but for the hundreds of other gateway ancestors who have been plugged into faulty, sometimes fraudulent, lineages. -----For more information about myths to which many family historians fall prey, see Kory Meyerink's article on "Genealogical Myths" in the forthcoming issue of Ancestry Magazine. You can contact Kory through his company's website at: <>

Ancestry Daily News 9/19/2002

Photo is of Northover Inn in Northover, England. Bob & Claudia visited approx. May 2002. Ilchester is just across the river.

Nicholas was born in Northover, Somersetshire, England.

Christening: 29 Sep 1563

 , Bagbere, Dorsetshire, England 

Served a 7 year apprenticeship to a tailor as a young man.

About 1575, he moved to Ilchester, about a half a mile from Northover, across the River Ivel.

Member of the Guild of Tailors for nearly 50 years. Buried at the churchyard at St. Andrew, Northover, England.

1st wife Alice Fulley Arnold, died 1596 and Nicholas remarried to Grace ?.

Historical Event: Founding of 13 American Colonies:

His goods after death were valued at £7, 16 s. and 5 d. (WellsRegistry, Liber 43, folio 5). He mentions his second wife Grace and two daughters, unnamed. Son William and friend Ambrose Chappell were named as overseers.

Of Melcombe Horsey and Cheselbourne Manors, Dorsetshire

The Will of Nicholas Arnold of Ilchester in the Countie of Somersett Tayler, 18 Jan. 1622 [1622/3]. To Grace Arnold my wief all my goods movable and unmovable w'thin and wth thout Dores to thintent she shall guid & bringe up my two youngest Daughters her Children and when it shall please god to take her out of this mortall lief to Dispose the said goods at her pleasure unto theis two Children. Grace my wief to be sole executrix. My sonne Wm Arnold & Ambrose Chappell my frend to be over seers. Witnesses: John Raven, Thomas Arnold. Proved at Wells 28 July 1623. Inventory, L7. 16d 5d (Wells Registry, lib. 43, fo. 5.)

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Nicholas Thomas Arnold's Timeline

January 11, 1549
Northover, Somersetshire, England
September 29, 1563
Age 14
Bagbere, Dorsetshire, Engl
September 29, 1563
Age 14
Bagbere, Dorsetshire, England
Age 20
Ilchester, Somerset, England
January 4, 1571
Age 22
Northover, Ilchester, Somersetshire, England
Age 26
Ilchester, Somersetshire, England
Age 28
Ilchester, Somersetshire, England
August 30, 1581
Age 32
Ilchester, Somerset, England
Age 33
Dorking, Surrey, England
June 24, 1587
Age 38
Ilchester, Somerset, England