So I am following up on various pieces of advice I got at the NEHGS Research Weekend. I am keeping track of my progress on several problems and posting them from time to time.
One of my standing problems is Lucy Arnold, who married Richard Ballou in 1777.
She is related to me in this way:
- my g-grandfather, Russell Earl Darling, who was
- –>son of Addison Parmenter Darling, who was
- –>son of Ellis Aldrich Darling, who was
- –>son of Nancy Ann (Aldrich) Darling, who was
- –>daughter of Mercy (Ballou) Aldrich, who was
- –>daughter of Lucy (Arnold) Ballou
I know that Lucy Arnold of Smithfield married Richard Ballou around 1777. They lived in Cumberland, R.I. and raised nine children. Anyone from Rhode Island will recognize that there were many Arnolds in Smithfield at that time.
There is one possibility to be found in The Arnold Family of Smithfield, Rhode Island [by Richard H. Benson, Boston: Newbury Street Press, 2009] which is that she is the daughter of Thomas and Rachel (Smith) Arnold. While I am pursuing that I was also advised to find all of the Smithfield Arnolds and gradually narrow the possibilities down depending on age, matching names, etc to find the most likely choices.
Looking at names
Looking at the Census of the Inhabitants of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 1774 [arr. by John R. Bartlett, (orig pub. Providence, 1858) Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1990] there are 18 Arnold families in Smithfield that have 2 or more females over age 16. I’m making a generalization here that there would be a mother, plus Lucy, and that Lucy would be over age 19 when she married 3 years later; those are big guesses. We’ll see how we do.
Here are the possible Arnold households, followed by: males 16+, males <16, females 16+, females <16
- Abraham 4 0 2 1
- Benjamin 3 1 3 2
- Elisha 2 0 3 1
- Jacob 2 6 2 1
- Job 2 1 3 1
- Jonathan 4 2 4 0
- Joshua 2 1 3 2
- Nathaniel 2 2 2 2
- Patience 2 0 3 1 (note – Patience is the widow of Thomas; mother of Thomas, below)
- Peleg 2 1 3 1
- Rufus 1 4 3 1
- Samuel 1 3 2 2
- Stephen 2 0 2 3
- Stephen Jr 3 2 3 2
- Thomas 1 2 2 1
- Uriah 2 1 3 0
- William 3 1 2 1
- William Jr. 3 1 2 1
So the first thing I wonder is, how do these names match up with names that Lucy used when she named her own children. Thanks to the wonderful example of this provided by Marian Pierre-Louis [Cracking the Case of Nathan Brown's Parents, Legacy Family Tree Webinar, November 2, 2011] I can at least give this a try.
Names of Lucy’s children, and possible connections to the OTHER side (husband Richard’s):
- Richard (name of Lucy’s husband)
- Mary “Polly” Arnold
hmm … noticeably absent from this list are John and Elizabeth, the names of Richard’s parents. Likewise the names of Richard’s siblings. So apparently, Lucy had a big say in the naming. For once, circumstances are on my side. We need only discount one name due to the husband’s side — Richard.
So, we know where “Arnold” comes from and we know where “Richard” and “Lucy” come from. This leaves:
- Mary “Polly” Arnold
So, interestingly, the only name that matches the 1774 heads of families list is Thomas — which was my first guess, from The Arnold Family … book. But the trail gets a little cold … Thomas and Rachel had six children and none of the names were re-used by Lucy. Thomas was the son of Thomas and Susannah (Comstock) Arnold. He has three siblings and 9 half-siblings from his father’s second and third marriages. Two have names on Lucy’s list, Lydia and Mary. I have been unable to learn anything about Rachel Smith’s family.
This is far from over. Especially since I’m nowhere on the possible mother, Rachel. You can imagine how many Smiths there are in a town named Smithfield.
Time to hit the road
I may be approaching this the wrong way. I know a lot about the Aldriches and they are well documented. What if Lucy’s daughter (my ggg-grandmother) Mercy Ballou, who married Nathan Aldrich (this is accurately noted in the Ballou Genealogy “An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous in America” by Adin Ballou, 1888, and I have other evidence) was actually marrying some sort of cousin through the Arnold line. I need to find more connections between the Aldriches, Ballous and Arnolds.
I also need to see some cemeteries, wills and probate records and maybe land records for Smithfield and Cumberland. With Lucy born in Smithfield and Richard Ballou born in Cumberland, it’s unlikely that Lucy’s family lived very nearby to the couple, but I can always scour Richard’s census records for nearby Arnolds just in case. Onward!!
Next, read Part 2.