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EARLY TRADITIONS

As a preliminary, it is worthy to record certain traditions regarding the Arnold family that have been handed down by word of mouth over the past couple of centuries, and which are subject to just about as much likelihood of inaccuracy as form of transmittal usually promises.

It was fairly well established by the earlier investigators that the Arnold fore-bears landed in North Carolina about 1725. The story goes that they came from Nottinghamshire and, if that be true, it takes but a moderate stretch of the imagination to picture our more remote ancestors as among those present when Robin Hood was carrying on high jinks in Sherwood Forest. Whence they came does not actually appear in the record but, from the name plus the fact that the early Arnolds were quakers, they probably did come from England. The tradition has it that they came to the colonies at a somewhat earlier date than 1725, settled in Pennsylvania, where the William Penn colony had preceded them, but finding the winters too severe for their liking, moved south, arriving as stated in North Carolina about 1725.1

While not a part of the established record, these early Arnolds are said to have been loyalists - or more colloquially tories - during the revolution, which, combined with the fact that they were quakers and therefore probably opposed to human slavery, makes it somewhat understandable why they left the south early in the nineteenth century and migrated to the military lands of Ohio. The wonder is that they stood it as long as they did, the northerly migration taking place about 1808, a full quarter of a century after the Revolutionary War was over.

The early Arnold men are reported to have been notably handsome. I leave it to your own imagination and vanity to decide to what extent that characteristic has been bred out.

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1P.S. The family later moved to South Carolina, somewhere around Newberry.

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