top of page

In memory of William Arnold, my Maternal 14th Great-Grandfather on the DECKER branch.


  • Benedict Arnold (governor) article on Wikipedia

  • “The Arnold Memorial: William Arnold of Providence and Pawtuxet, 1587–1675, and a genealogy of his descendants”, by Elisha Stephen Arnold, 1935.

  • “William Arnold, Stukeley Westcott and William Carpenter”, by Frederick A. Arnold, 1921, p. 9-39.

  • "An Account of the English Homes of three early Proprietors", by Frederick A. Arnold, 1918, in the “Rhode Island Historical Society Collections”, XIV (3), p. 75-76.

  • “The Hazard Family of Rhode Island, 1635-1894”, by C.E. Robinson, 1895, p. 11.

  • "The English Ancestry of the Family of Arnold", by Horatio Gates Somerby, 1920.

  • "History and genealogy of the ancestors and some descendants of Stukely Westcott : one of the thirteen original proprietors of Providence Plantation and the colony of Rhode Island", by R Whitman, 1932. [FamilySearch].

  • New England Historical and Genealogical Record, Vol. 33, p. 427-438. [Link]. Note: Somersby's account given on p. 432-438 contains errors, which were corrected in Vol. 69, p. 64-69 [Link].

8 Branches of my tree framed.jpg



Genealogy is my hobby and the information provided here is a work in progress. I have loads of information to add and new finds are continually being discovered. If you have any corrections, additions, or comments to contribute, please use the comment box below. Visit the Latest Updates page to see when this Ancestor Profile page is updated. 

William Arnold

First Governor of Rhode Island

Maps & Research Links:



1587 June 24

Lemington (or possibly Ilchester), Somerset, England


1610 (est.)




1676 (est.)

Pawtucket (Pawtuxet?), Rhode Island

Pawtuxet, Rhode Island (possibly)


William Arnold was the son of Nicholas Arnold - not of Thomas Arnold of Cheselbourne, as previously reported. His mother was Nicholas' first wife, Alice Gully (1553-1596). William was born on the June 24, 1587.


He married Christian Peak abt. 1610. He was appointed as administrator to the estate of his brother, John, also of Cheselbourne, in November of 1616. They left Dorsetshire for America on May 1, 1635 and arrived in Massachusetts one month later, on William’s 48th birthday. The family originally settled in Hingham in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but on April 20, 1636, he and his family left Massachusetts with Roger Williams. He was one of the first settlers and founders of the Colony of Rhode Island and one of the first 13 pioneers to settle at Providence Plantations where he was one of the twelve founding members of the first Baptist church to be established in America. His family was among the wealthiest in the colony. He owned large parcels of land in Providence, Pawtuxet and Warwick, Rhode Island. “He was held in much esteem, and filled various important offices of trust”. Colonial records dated March 9, 1658-9 states that he was robbed of property at Pawtuxet by the Indians. William died abt. 1676, and was most likely buried on his homestead in Pawtuxet.


William Arnold & Christian Peak were the parents of my ancestor,

  1. Elizabeth Arnold, born 1611, who married Thomas Hopkins. (Findagrave says she married Carpenter?)
  2. Benedict Arnold, born 1615, Governor of Rhode Island.
  3. Joanna Arnold (1617-1691).
  4. Stephen Arnold (1622-1699).
Records, photos, and memorabilia pertaining to the life of William Arnold:

DNA Notes:

I chose AncestryDNA for my DNA test. You can get yours on Amazon and have it in your hands in a couple days! Click here!



Your tributes, comments, corrections and additions are welcome!


Please login to leave a comment. Then reload this page!


Before implementing the site's latest in-site comments platform, two different 3rd-party apps were used to allow users to comment. Click View to view comments posted (if any), on this page. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT COMMENTS OR REPLY TO COMMENTS USING THESE AS THEY WILL SOON BE REMOVED FROM THE SITE. Use the new comments section above instead! Thank you!


Sign up or log in to save this page to your Site Favorites.

bottom of page