Issues – Samuel Arnold (1st) Ancestry

Issues – Samuel Arnold (1st) Ancestry

Samuel Arnold (1st) Ancestors

Samuel Arnold (1738-1805) is the great-grandfather of Daniel Webster Arnold, who is the grandfather of Laban Arnold and his brothers.

Jonathan Arnold (1708-1796) is the great-grandson of Thomas Arnold the immigrant.

This “open issue” concerns the parentage of our Samuel Arnold (1738-1805) of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Is he the son of Jonathan Arnold (1708-1796), and thus a descendant of Thomas Arnold the immigrant? If not, then who are his parents?

In the book Arnold Luckey Family Ties, the author says that Jonathan had a son named Samuel:

The immigrant, Thomas Arnold, settled in Watertown, Massachusetts, about the year 1640 … by his second wife, Phebe Parkhurst, Thomas had: … Richard, born March 22, 1642 … Richard was the father of Thomas Arnold, and he, Thomas, had a son Jonathan, born November 18, 1708, who in turn had Samuel born in 1738.

Arnold Luckey Family Ties, 1931, p.18.

This connection is discounted, however, by Benson in another book:

Leonard Wilson Arnold and Ethel Zwick Luckey, in Arnold Luckey Family Ties (New York, 1931), 18 and 43, claimed that there was a son Samuel Arnold, born 1738, who married an Elizabeth and lived at Somerset County, Pennsylvania. No documentation is given for this claim, and it seems unlikely. Perhaps there was confusion since Jonathan’s will names his son-in-law Samuel Arnold, husband of daughter Elizabeth.

The Arnold Family of Smithfield Rhode Island, Richard H. Benson, 2009, p. 134.

Benson does not exactly prove his claim either, not that he needs to. We admit that the connection between Samuel Arnold (1738-1805) and Jonathan Arnold (1708-1796), is not particularly well documented, but “The Rev. Leonard W. A. Luckey Ph.D., D.D” , was rather sure of his information. For example:

It has been well and authoritatively established that Samuel Arnold of Somerset County, Pa., was a member of the family of Arnolds of Rhode Island.

Arnold Luckey Family Ties, 1931, p. 39.

Another genealogist, H. Minot Pitman, strongly disputes Samuel being the son of Jonathan:

That Samuel Arnold of Somerset Co. was not the son of Jonathan Arnold of R. I. is easily demonstrable since the children of Jonathan are recorded in the Providence, R. I. Friends’ Records in 7 R.I.V.R. 245. He had no son Samuel. He did have a daughter Elizabeth, b. 22 April 1740 who ca. 1756 m. Samuel Arnold (b. Smithfield, R. I., 12 July 1736), son of Joseph and Mary Arnold of Smithfield. While these dates fit in very well with Samuel Arnold of Somerset Co., Pa., whose wife was named Elizabeth, this couple lived and died in Smithfield, R. I. and had ten children born there l758-1777, none of them bearing the names of the proven children of Samuel of Somerset Co. except a Samuel and an Elizabeth, obviously in both cases named for the parents.

H. Minot Pitman, from [Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine] Vol. XIX:2 (Sept. 1953), 125-126.

Pitman goes on to present his “answer to the parentage of Samuel Arnold”. Read here about Samuel Arnold and John George Arnold, for another possible father for our Samuel.

Perhaps, one day, the case for John George will be proved, or we will have access to the notes and materials that made Luckey so certain. At this point, however we are uncertain. Therefore, we very tentatively accept the father-son link between Jonathan Arnold (1708-1796) and Samuel Arnold (1738-1805) with the caveat that we are open to further evidence regarding the issue – and the promise that we continue our research.

If you have information on this issue, please feel free to comment below.

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