Select Arnold Surname Genealogy

Here are some Arnold stories and accounts over the years:

Arnold's Swiss Origins

Arnold is one of the more common names in the German part of Switzerland.  The name was thought to have first surfaced in the early 14th century in the Uri and Luzern cantons where it is still prevalent.   One line traces from Johann Arnold, burger of Stadt Solothum in 1546. 

story goes that the Arnolds were a clan of Germanic warriors who had fled Hungary in early medieval times when the Magyars invaded from the east and settled in the Altdorf valley.  They were then said to have spread across Europe into southern Germany, into France (as Arnauds), and into Italy (as Arnaldos).

Nicholas Arnold and Katherine Hoare

Nicholas Arnold, an English courtier from Highnam in Gloucestershire, purchased the Llanthony priory in Monmouthshire at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries. 

In later life Nicholas became Lord Justice of Ireland.  It was here that he met the notorious and unfortunately-named Katherine Hoare, the wife of one of the English settlers in county Wexford. Nicholas had been warned about Katherine but he was not to be put off.  He brought her back to England as his mistress and installed her at Llanthony.  Eventually he married her, but not in time to legitimize their children. 

Llanthony was to stay with his family until 1720 when the male line died out.

William Arnold, Customs Officer

William Arnold took up the post of Customs inspector on the Isle of Wight in 1777.  He was widely respected for his diligence, his memorial tablet in Whippingham church reading as follows: 

"Sacred to the memory of William Arnold Esq., late Collector of H.M. Customs in the Port of Cowes, Isle of Wight: a man who, by his amiable as well as by his faithful discharge of his duty in his public station and private character justly entitled him to the warmest esteem and affection of all who were permanently or occasionally associated with him in business, society or domestic ties."

Benedict Arnold in Canada

In America, Benedict Arnold is remembered as a mercenary traitor at the time of the Revolutionary War.  In Canada Arnold’s stay was also controversial. 

In 1785 he and his son Richard moved to Saint John, New Brunswick and brought his family over two years later.  However, Arnold then created an uproar with a series of bad business deals and petty lawsuits.  Following the most serious, a slander suit he acrimoniously won against a former business partner, townspeople burned him in effigy in front of his house as his wife Peggy and his children watched.  He had succeeded in making Loyalists as well as Americans detest him.  He and his family left Saint John to return to London in 1791. 

But Arnold was not done with Canada.  His military adventures in the Caribbean earned him and his sons a land grant of 15,000 acres in Upper Canada, near present-day Renfrew in Ontario.  Arnold’s sons Richard and Henry moved there and took up lands in Wolford and Augusta townships.  Later Arnolds ended up establishing deep roots in the country, becoming leading settlers not just in Ontario but later in lands further west in Saskatchewan where Richard M. Arnold had moved in 1900. 

His descendants - including, it is said, those of John Sage, his illegitimate son included in his will who had adopted the Arnold surname - are spread across Canada.  Benedict Arnold’s military jacket continues to be owned by the family. 

“Part of the family legacy was a British military coat, handed down from father to son as having belonged to Benedict.  Henry Arnold who returned to Saskatchewan to farm after World War Two, owned it.  When he died it was passed to his son Tom.  And when Tom died in an automobile accident in 1990, it passed to his son Jayson." 

Christopher Arnold and Tecumseh

Tecumseh, the famous Indian chief, stayed at Christopher Arnold’s house the night preceeding the battle in which he was killed and he ate his last meal at Christopher’s table.  Christopher's son Jacob was there and made the following comment:

"The last thing Tecumseh did was to eat a piece of bread out of my mother’s hand just before the battle of the Thames.  He was riding a white horse and stood with one foot in the stirrup of his saddle and the other on the ground, with one hand resting on the horse’s weathers.  He ate his meal in this attitude and then sprung in his saddle and rode off."

Arnolds in America

Despite the early English Arnold arrivals. most Arnolds in America are likely to be of German origin.

Arnolds in America by Place of Origin
German speaking lands

Arnold Bakers in Michigan

The Arnold name in Ortenburg in Bavaria apparently goes back to 1615.  Frederick Arnold left Ortenburg and immigrated to America with younger brother Gottfried and a group of other Ortenburg residents in 1854. Included in the group was Frederick's future wife Louise Mueller and her family.  They all sailed on the Nurnburg from Hamburg, arriving in New York in July.  They continued on to Detroit, reportedly intending to stay there, but a cholera epidemic forced them to sail on to Bay City. 

These Arnolds were bakers and took their trade to Michigan, opening bakeries first in Bay City and then in Port Huron and Ludington. 
In 1915, Frederick and Louise were honored as the oldest living couple in Bay City, with a silver loving cup being presented to them.  Frederick recalled at that time: 

“On two different occasions my bakery was destroyed by fire and everything was lost.  But friends came to my rescue and with financial backing I finally erected the bakery building where the business is still carried on by John Arnold, my son. 

In the early days of my business career the daily receipts would average about $2.50 and my trade came mainly from the Indians who were numerous in those days.  One of the big helps to me was the fact that my wife could speak the Indian language and this pleased them immensely.  They would come to our store in droves whether they wanted anything in our line or not, and this increased the trade considerably from time to time."

Arnolds from Silesia to South Australia

Johann Gottlob Arnold left his home in Neundorf, Silesia in 1848 and set sail from Hamburg on the Alfred.  He was the first of the five brothers to make the journey to Australia. 

Gottlob’s voyage to Australia however, was not a pleasant one.  After only five days sailing under Captain Decker, a Danish frigate caught sight of the Alfred and set after her at full sail.  But the experienced and capable Captain Decker managed to keep the Alfred safe from attack. There were also storms in the early part of the journey and much seasickness. Approaching the Equator the heat was unbearable and the ship was beset with a period of calm.  By October they had reached Rio de Janiero and it was here that the passengers first saw oranges and bananas – a very welcome sight after what they had on board. 

The ship left Brazil, set sail for the Cape of Good Hope, and arrived at Port Adelaide in December 1848. Gottlob was now ready to start a new life on Australian soil.  Shortly after his arrival he travelled to the Barossa Valley and inspected land there.  He was soon naturalized as a British subject, a prerequisite for him to purchase any land.  In 1853 he bought land at Gnadenfrei, close to the now famous Seppeltsfield winery. 

His four brothers followed him later, Johann Wilhelm and Carl Friedrich in 1854, Johann Ehrenfried in 1855, and the eldest Gottlieb in 1867.

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