The following account illustrates how the Horatio Gates Somerby fraudulent genealogy of the Arnold family found its way into user-submitted material in genealogical collections of the previous century!
“The family of Arnold is of great antiquity, having its origin among the ancient princes of Wales. According to a pedigree recorded in the College of Arms, they trace from Ynir, King of Gwentland, who flourished about the middle of the twelfth century, and who was descended from Ynir, the second son of Cadwaladr, king of the Britons. This Calwaladr built Abergavenny in county Monmouth, and its castle, afterwards rebuilt by Hamlet ap Hamlet ap Sir Druce of Balladon, in France, and portions of the walls still remain. The coat of arms of the family is” Gules a chevron, ermine between three pheons or. Crest: A Lion rampant gules holding in his paws a lozenge or. Motto: Mibi Gloria Cessum.
(1) Ynir, King of Gwentland, married Nesta, daughter of Jestin ap gurgan, king of Glamorgan.
(2) Meiric succeeded his father and married Eleanor, daughter of Ednived ap Jereworth of the house of Trevor.
(3) Ynir Vichan was also king of Gwent and married Gladice, daughter of Rhys Goch ap Maenerch, Lord of Ystradyw in Brecknockshire
(4) Carador ap Ynir Vichan, Lord of Gwent, married Nesta, daughter and heir of Sir Rydereck le Gros, Knight.
(5) Dyfnwall ap Carador, Lord of Gwent, married Joyce, daughter of Hamlet ap Sir Druce, Duke of Balladon, in France. Her brother Hamlet rebuilt the castle of Abergavenny, above mentioned.
(6) Systyl ap Dyinwall, Lord of Upper Gwent, married Annest, daughter and heir of Sir Peter Russell, Knight, Lord of kentchurch, county Hereford.
(7) Arthur ap Sysylth married Jane, daughter of Lein ap Moreidhec, Lord of Cantrsblyn
(8) Meric ap Arthur married Annest, daughter of Cradock ap Einon ap Golhroyn
(9) Qwillim ap Meiric, Esq. married Jane, daughter and co-heir of Ivor ap Syssylth, Lord of Lyhs Taly-bont
(10) Arnhold ap Qwillim, of Meriric, Esq, married Janet, daughter of Philip Fleming, Esq.
(11) Arnhold ap Arnhold Vychan, Esq, married Sybil, daughter of Madoc ap Einon ap Thomas
(12) Roger Arnold, of Llanthony in Monmouthshire, was the first of the family to adopt a surname. He married Joan, daughter of Sir Thomas Gamage, Knight, Lord of Coytey.
(13) Thomas Arnold, Esq, succeeded to llanthony and other estates in Monmouthshire. He married Agnes, daughter of Sir Richard Warnestead, Knight. Children: 1. John, of Hingham and Over; died September 15, 1545. 2. Richard.
page 106. Arnold
- Ynir, King of Gwentland, married Neseta, daughtger of Jestin ap Gurgan, king of Glamorgan
- Meiric suceeded his father and married Eleanor, daughter of Ednived ap Jerworth of the house of Trevor.
- Ynir Vichan was also king of Went and marrieed Gladice, daughter of Rhys Goch ap Naenewrch, Lord of Ystradyw, in Brecknockshire
- Carador ap Ynir Vichan, Lord of Gwent, married Neta, daugfhter and heir of Sir Rydereck lew Gros, Knight
- Dyfnwall ap Carador, Lord of Gwent, married Joyce, daughter of Hamlet ap Sir Druce, Duke of Balladon, in France. Her brother Hamlewt reubilt the castle of Abergavenny, above mewntioned.
- Systyl ap dyfnwall, Lord of upper Gwent, married Annest, daughtger and heir of Sir Peter Russell, Knight, Lord of Kentchurch, county Hereford
- Arthur apy Syssylth married Jane, dsaughter of Lein ap Moreidhec, Lord of Cantrsblyn
- Meiric ap Arthur married Annest, daughter of Cradock ap Einon ap golhroyn
- Qwillim ap Meiric, Esq, married Jane, daughter and co-heir of Ivor ap Syssylth, Lrd of Lyhs Taly-bont
- Arnholt ap Qwillim, of Meiric, Esq, married Janewt, daughter of Philip
- Arnhold ap Arnhold Vychan, Esq, married Sybil, daughter of Madoc ap Einon ap Thomas
- Roger Arnold,, of Llanthony in Monmouthshire, was the first of the family to adopt a surname. He married Joan, daughter of Sir Thomas Gamage, Knight, Lord of Coytey.
- Thomas Arnold, Esq, succeeded to Llanthony and other estates in Monmouthshire. He married Agnes, daughter of Sir Richard Warnestad, Knight. Children: 1 John of Hinghan and Over; died September 15, 1545. 2. Richard, mentioned below.
- Richard Arnold removed to Somesetshire in the parish of Street. He married Emmote, daughter and heir of Pearce Young, of Damerham, Wiltshire.
- Richard (2) eldest son and heir of Richard Arnoild, removed to Dorsetshire, and was seated at Bagbere, in the parish of middleton, otherwise Milton Abbas. He was Lord of the Manor of Bagbere and had estates at Alton Paneras, Buckland Newton, heselbourne, Melcombe Horsey, and other places in that county. He was also patron of the churches of Blandford and of Bingham, Lemcombe. His manor house at Bagbere was sstandng until 1870, when it was demolished and a farmhouse rerected on the site. A small part of the ancient bilding is incorporated in the new house. His will was dated May 15, 1`593, proved July 9, 1595. He desires to be buried "in the Paqrishe Churche of Milton in the Ile called Jesus Ile as we goe to the Tower." He married twice.
- Thomas Arnold, second son of Richard Arnold, is mentioned in his father's will....
- William Arnold, son of Thomas Arnold, was born June 24, 1587, and was the i8mmigrant ancestor.
Responses to False Pedigree
In 1870, genealogist Horatio G. Somerby compiled a pedigree of the Arnold family. This pedigree, showed William Arnold as son of a Thomas Arnold and a descendant of a 12th-century King of Gwentland (in modern day Wales) whose name was Ynir. In 1915, Edson S. Jones on checking Somerby's information with his sources, discovered discrepancies in dates and places, mixed up generations and unrelated people. "This fabricated research was not an isolated incident; Mr. Somerby had also been implicated in other fraudulent research and was out to please his clients regardless of the veracity of his work"
From Anderson's Great Migration:
In 1915 Edson Salisbury Jones published a brief account of his research into the ancestry of immigrant William Arnold (NEHGR 69:64-69), which showed the problems of the supposed pedigree done by Somerby, which did not have the correct father or location of William Arnold the immigrant. Anderson states unequivocally, "The pedigree prepared by Somerby is completely erroneous, and William Arnold came from Ilchester, Somerset"
As an example of how errors can result in conflation of pedigrees, the following example is presented: In a querie to the Genealogist, 1870, John Carne illustrates how fact and fiction can become conflated with the following line of descent:
- 1. Ynyr ap Meuric ap Arthrael, Prince of Gwent, married Gwenllian, daugfhter of Jestyn ap Wrgran, last Prince of Glamorgan. His son,
- 2. Meuric ap Ynyr, married Eleanor daughter of Ednyfed ap Jorwrth Trevor. His son
- 3 Ynyr Vychan, married, first Gwladys, daughter of Rhys Goch; issuye, a daughter. Secondly, Joyce, daughterof Drogo de Baladun; issue, two sons. His second son was
- 4 Ithel ap Ynyr Vychan, Prince of Gwent, whose second son founded the family of Carne. 
- ↑ William Richard Cutter. Genealogical and Family History of Northern New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwelath and Founding of a Nation. Arnold New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co. 1910. Volume I, page 106. Accessed August 17, 2018 jhd
- ↑ ”Mr. Somerby’s Genealogy of the Arnold Family. New England Historical and Genealogical Register 33:432 Link at Google Books
- ↑ 'The false pedigree of the Arnold family' in the Wikipedia article "William Arnold (settler)"
- ↑ Jones, Edson Salisbury. "The Parentage of William Arnold and Thomas Arnold of Providence, R. I." New England Historical and Genealogical Register 69:64 Link at Archive.org
- ↑ Great Migration 1634-1635, A-B. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as: The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume 1, A-B, by Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn, Jr., and Melinde Lutz Sanborn. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999. William Arnold article p. 84; comments p.89 American Ancestors (pay site)
- ↑ John Carne, Penzance, 27 December 1867, contributor. Notes and Queries" in John Gough Nichols, editor and publisher, The Herald and Genealogist. Volume 5, Page 96 1870. Rretrieved 2014-06-30, amb
See also with false pedigree:
- John Gough Nichols, editor, The Herald and Genealogist, Volume 5. Publisher Nichols, 1870
- William Richard Cutter, Genealogical and Family History of Northern New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 1 (Google eBook). Lewis historical publishing Company, 1910 - New York
- Chart "Bowen Memorial" p. 578 Nicholas "Annals and Antiquities of Wales II"
- History of Monmouthshire, Monm. 1, v. 1, pt 2, p. 335