After my previous work on Lucy Arnold I decided to accept, for now, the consensus reached during my consultation at the NEHGS in October, which is that Lucy may be the daughter of Thomas and Rachel (Smith?) Arnold, as found on page 243 of The Arnold Family of Smithfield, Rhode Island by Richard H. Benson. I thought I could look at details of that tree and perhaps get a sense of whether this particular Lucy Arnold’s family seems to fit with the branches that I am already sure about.
Got Some Inspiration
Last Friday I read some articles from Elizabeth Shown Mills’ new “Historic Pathways” website. I found them inspirational. I especially enjoyed In Search of “Mr. Ball”: An Exercise in Finding Fathers. The moral of THAT story was, perhaps you can’t find the records for a family because the family never existed. Also, “missing” information may simply be missing from the index. Do your own record perusal. And analyze your evidence early and often. One factor that stood out in many of her articles was the staggering level of detail she attained while researching these lives. She knew the neighbors, the history, the towns, the relatives, the businesses, and the geography. Do I know all of that on my difficult problems? Heck, no.
Time to look around
So I stepped back to learn a little more. I read an 1881 book from Archives.org called The History of the Town of Smithfield, Rhode Island by Thomas Steere.
I checked a lot of sibling marriages out in these resources:
- Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 volumes
- Austin’s Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island
- Genealogies of Rhode Island Families From Rhode Island Periodicals, 2 volumes, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1983.
- Dennis Darling of Braintree and Mendon and Some of his Descendants, 2006.
- Benson, Richard, The Arnold Family of Smithfield, Rhode Island, 2009.
- Ballou, Adin, Ballous in America, 1888.
I have to admit prior to this “background check” I didn’t realize how many of my ancestors had Smithfield ties. The Arnolds, Aldriches, Browns, Smiths and Comstocks are everywhere.
Some things I learned
- Of the many (14!) siblings and half-siblings of Thomas Arnold (the suspected father of Lucy Arnold), one, Peleg Arnold served in the Continental Congress, became Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and founded the Providence Society for the Abolition of Slavery
- In Austin’s Genealogical Dictionary I gleaned that my Smith connection (Lucy’s mother MAY be Rachel Smith) is either from the Christopher Smith line, or the “John the Miller” Smith line
- Some Darling branches, pretty close to mine, actually lived in Smithfield
- Many of the Arnolds were Quakers and there seem to be Quakers among the Ballous
- Union Village looks like the spot where many of these families lived, and some are buried in the nearby Union Cemetery
- Lucy Arnold and her husband, Richard Ballou, moved from Smithfield to the next town, Cumberland, and remained there
Looking at Last Names
Here are the spouses of LUCY’s father’s (Thomas Arnold’s) siblings (her mother, Rachel (Smith?) is still a mystery):
- Comstock (Brown)
- Aldrich (White)
- Bucklin (Whipple)
- Arnold (Arnold)
- Eddy (Whipple)
- Arnold (Arnold)
- Capron (Scott)
And the spouses of LUCY’s siblings, if known:
- Eddy (Arnold)
Here are the spouses of Lucy’s HUSBAND’S (Richard Ballou’s) aunts and uncles:
- Mowry (Whipple)
And the spouses of Lucy’s HUSBAND’S siblings:
- Leland (Lovett)
So the matches are:
Not much overlap for a relatively small town. But, I’ll want to learn exactly where those Whipples lived.
Along the way, I found a few stray Smiths – to be researched later:
- Richard Ballou’s cousin David (Abraham, John, John, Maturin) married a Mary Smith
- Richard Ballou’s cousin Phebe (Abraham, John, John, Maturin) married a John Smith
John and Mary Smith? oh goodie. can’t wait!
- Check out Union Village in person, and also Union Cemetery
- Research John and Mary Smith
- Learn more about the Whipples mentioned here
- Richard and Lucy Ballou are not in the popular Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries Database Index. But I need to find strategies to try and find their graves since they could possibly be near Lucy’s relatives. Lucy’s possible grandfather Thomas Arnold Sr. is buried in Union Cemetery. I guess I’ll check out who’s there with him and go from there.
- Armed with this additional background, re-examine Richardson’s History of Woonsocket when I am in Boston in early January.
- The Rhode Island Historical Society Library has an extensive Quaker collection. I may try to learn more through that.
My family says it’s Christmas. Gotta go. Wonderful New Year to all!