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Family history


Family History

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     We have traced this lineage back to our 5th great-grandfather Johannes Arnold.  Johannes, was born about 1735 in the town of Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany.   Erlangen is located in the area of Bavaria known as Middle Franconia.  This locale was composed of independent principalities within the Holy Roman Empire, known at that time as the Electorate of Bavaria.  As a young man of about 18 years of age  Johannes migrated from Erlangen to the “New World” aboard the  He ship "Two Brothers".  He eventually arrived a Philadelphia, in the Province of Pennsylvania, on September 28, 1753.  After his arrival in the Johannes moved west into Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Here he married Elizabeth Ulrich on January 26, 1761 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster. He and Elizabeth began a family while living here and produced at least three known children between 1761 and 1770.   In 1771 Johannes Arnold, along with Nicholas and John Olerick, purchased a tract of 158 acres in Chanceford Township, York County, Pennsylvania called "Stoney Bottom."  Soon after their arrival in Chanceford Township the family began to attend church at Stahle’s (St. Luke’s) Church located near the town of New Bridgeville.  Records of this church show that on April 26, 1801 Johannes and Elizabeth took communion here.   Many records their descendant’s baptisms have been found in the records of this church.

     This Arnold family line continues through John Arnold a son of the aforementioned Johannes and Elizabeth and his son Adam Arnold.  Adam was born on the family farm in 1799.  He lived most of his life here in the household of his father.  A review of census documents between 1820 and 1840 do not show Adam as the head of any household.  As such it is most probable that he continued to live in the household of his father John Sr. as did his brother Jacob Arnold.  It appears that Adam remained a bachelor until 1841 when he married Catherine Ellis.  Three known children were produced of this union between 1842 and 1847.   Adam died prior to the 1860 census and was probably about 55 years old at the time. 

     This Arnold lineage ends with our great-great grandmother Mary Arnold born in 1847.  She married Jonathan Dellinger in 1866 when she was about 19 years old.  Mary tragically lost her first three children early in their lives.  Sons John and George passed away on the same day in 1870.  Her daughter Katherine died in 1872 just short of her 2nd birthday.  Mary went on to have five more children between 1872 and 1883.   Prior to her own death in 1932 she was residing in the borough of Red Lion, in York County.  Mary is buried in St. Luke's Cemetery, Chanceford Twp., Pennsylvania.   


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Direct ancestors

Ancestral Lineage

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Generation 1

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JOHANNES1 ARNOLD I was born about 1735 in Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany. He died between 1802-1810 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married Elizabeth Ulrich on 26 Jan 1761 in Trinity Lutheran Church, Lancaster, Lancaster Co., PA. She was born about 1739 in Pennsylvania, USA. She died after 1801 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.


Johannes Arnold I and Elizabeth Ulrich had the following children:


i. JOHN2 ARNOLD I was born about 1767 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA. He died in 1845 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married Elizabeth Hauer, daughter of Anthony Hauer and Maria Barbara Kuffer about 1791 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She was born in 1769 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She died about 1815 in Upper Chanceford Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.


ii. MICHAEL ARNOLD was born about 1766 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA. He died about 1838 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married (2) ELISABETH ARNOLD (NEE?) in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She was born on 18 Mar 1757.


iii. CATHARINE ARNOLD was born about 1770 in Pennsylvania, USA.

Generation 2

JOHN2 ARNOLD I (Johannes1 I) was born about 1767 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA. He died in 1845 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married Elizabeth Hauer, daughter of Anthony Hauer and Maria Barbara Kuffer about 1791 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She was born in 1769 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She died about 1815 in Upper Chanceford Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.


John Arnold I and Elizabeth Hauer had the following children:


3.              i. JOHN3 ARNOLD II was born on 04 Sep 1792 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died in 1861 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married CATHARINE ARNOLD. She was born about 1802 in Pennsylvania, USA.


i.        MARIA CATHERINA ARNOLD was born about 1795 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married HENRY FRY.


ii.      MARGARET REBECCA ARNOLD. She died in 1855. She married NICHOLAS DULL. He was born in 1795 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.


4.              iv. MICHAEL S. ARNOLD SR. was born on 18 Mar 1797 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 03 Oct 1871 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married ANNA MARY ECKERT. She was born on 12 Jun 1807 in Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 18 Mar 1880 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.


5.              v. ADAM ARNOLD was born on 03 Mar 1799 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died in 1851 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married CATHERINE ELLIS. She was born on 25 Aug 1807 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 29 Apr 1895 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.


          ELIZABETH ARNOLD was born on 23 May 1801 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married ADAM KUPP.


EVA ARNOLD was born on 12 Mar 1803 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married FREDERICK SHOFF.


viii.  ANNA MARIA ARNOLD was born on 28 Jul 1806 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married DANIEL DECKMAN.


ix.      JACOB ARNOLD was born on 17 Jun 1809 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

Generation 3

ADAM3 ARNOLD (John2 I, Johannes1 I) was born on 03 Mar 1799 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died in 1851 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married CATHERINE ELLIS. She was born on 25 Aug 1807 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 29 Apr 1895 in Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA.


Adam Arnold and Catherine Ellis had the following children:


15.           i. DAVID4 ARNOLD was born about 1842 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He married SALLIE ARNOLD (NEE?). She was born about 1839 in Pennsylvania, USA.


ii.      CATHARINE ARNOLD was born about 1846 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died between 1850-1860 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.


16.            iii. MARY ARNOLD was born on 27 Mar 1847 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 04 Dec 1932 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married Jonathan Dellinger, son of Johan George Dellinger and Lydia Lieberknecht on 23 Aug 1866 in Hellam, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He was born on 21 Dec 1846 in Hellam, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 09 Nov 1921 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.

Generation 4

MARY4 ARNOLD (Adam3, John2 I, Johannes1 I) was born on 27 Mar 1847 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 04 Dec 1932 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married Jonathan Dellinger, son of Johan George Dellinger and Lydia Lieberknecht on 23 Aug 1866 in Hellam, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He was born on 21 Dec 1846 in Hellam, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 09 Nov 1921 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.


Jonathan Dellinger and Mary Arnold had the following children:


i.        JOHN F.5 DELLINGER was born on 08 Dec 1866 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 01 Oct 1870 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.


ii.       GEORGE S. DELLINGER was born on 22 Nov 1868 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 01 Oct 1870 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.


iii.     KATHARINE A. DELLINGER was born on 12 Sep 1870 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 11 Apr 1872 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.


iv.     IDA MATILDA DELLINGER was born on 10 Dec 1872 in Lower Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 24 Feb 1942 in Mt. Pisgah, Lower Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania. She married George J. Silar, son of William Henry Silar and Sarah Hayes on 07 Feb 1892 in Yorkana, York Co., Pennsylvania. He was born in Oct 1868 in Lower Windsor, York, Pennsylvania, USA (Long Level,). He died on 01 Sep 1943 in Mt. Pisgah, Lower Windsor Twp., York Co., Pennsylvania.


Ida Matilda Dellinger was born in Dec 1873 in Pennsylvania, USA.


v.      LYDIA ANN DELLINGER was born on 13 Jan 1875 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married JACOB KINARD??.


vi.     MARY J. DELLINGER was born on 20 May 1877 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA.


vii.    NAOMI DELLINGER was born in May 1877 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. She married (1) HARRY MINNICH on 02 Dec 1900 in Craley, York Co., Pennsylvania. He was born about 1877 in Pennsylvania, USA. She married UNK.1ST NM. PRICE.


viii.    CHAUNCEY "CHARLES" DELLINGER was born on 03 Jan 1883 in Chanceford, York, Pennsylvania, USA. He died in Jun 1963. He married Agnes C. Dellinger (Nee ?) in 1919 in Pennsylvania ?. She was born about 1894 in Pennsylvania, USA.

Source Citations

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The WorldConnect Project continues to grow, as it now contains several hundred million records thus it offers researchers the single largest collection of family trees on the Internet.

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Source documents



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The documents contained within this “Source Documents Archives” have been located during our research of this family, and used as evidence to prove many of the facts contained within the database of this family’s record.   We have source documents related to the following persons within our database with this surname.


·        Adam Arnold

·        Andrew Arnold

·        Anna Mary Arnold

·        Catherine Arnold

·        David Arnold

·        Elizabeth Arnold

·        Gabriel Arnold

·        George Arnold

·        Henry Arnold

·        Henry E. Arnold

·        Jacob Arnold

·        Johan Nichlaus Arnholt

·        Johannes Arnold

·        John Arnold

·        Mary Arnold

·        Mary Ann Arnold

·        Michael Arnold

·        Peter Arnold


This Link will take you to our

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archive of source documents.  

You are welcome to download any of the documents contained within this archive that does not cite a copyright.  Should you encounter a problem obtaining a copy you may get in touch with us via the contact information found at the end of this web-page.

     Most of these documents can be considered as primary or secondary evidence.  Primary evidence is usually defined as the best available to prove the fact in question, usually in an original document or record.  Secondary evidence is in essence all that evidence which is inferior in its origin to primary evidence. That does not mean secondary evidence is always in error, but there is a greater chance of error.  Examples of this type of evidence would be a copy of an original record, or oral testimony of a record’s contents.  Published genealogies and family histories are also secondary evidence.

     Classifying evidence as either primary or secondary does not tell anything about its accuracy or ultimate value.  This is especially true of secondary evidence.  Thus it is always a good idea to ask the following questions: (1) How far removed from the original is it, (when it is a copy)?; (2) What was the reason for the creation of the source which contains this evidence?; and (3) Who was responsible for creating this secondary evidence and what interest did they have in its accuracy?

SOURCE: Greenwood, Val D., The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 2nd edition, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD 21202, 1990, pgs. 62-63

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Migration routes

Migrations of the
American Family

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       Tracing our own family’s paths of migration can prove crucial in identifying previous generations and eventually, figuring out where and how they arrived in the “New World” as well as where they eventually settled.  Knowing the network of trails American pioneers traveled can help you guess where to start looking.  The trail map(s) provided below may assist you in understanding the routes that our direct ancestors of this family may have taken to find new homes and opportunities in the vast area now encompassed by the United States.

      During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Europeans made the perilous ocean voyage to America.  For many it was an escape from economic hardship and religious persecution.  For most it was an opportunity to start over, own their own land, and make a better future for their descendents.

Immigration records show a number of people bearing the name of ARNOLD, or one of its variants, as arriving in North America between the 17th and 20th centuries.  Some of these immigrants were: Thomas Arnold, who embarked from London on the ship "Plaine Joan", in May 1635, and settled in Virginia Anne Arnold, age 39; who settled in Boston, Mass. in 1635; Carl Arnold, who arrived in Texas in 1854; Frederick Arnold, who came to Philadelphia in 1859.

Use the following links to find more early immigrants with this surname:

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 Johannes Arnold emigrated from the Electorate of Bavaria, located in southern Germany, to the Province of Pennsylvania.  He arrived at Philadelphia on the ship "Two Brothers" on September 28, 1753.   Johannes was among the great wave of German immigrants who came to America between 1727 and 1776.

      After his arrival in Pennsylvania he would eventually move west out of Philadelphia along the route known as the Philadelphia Wagon Road. This route would take him to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Here he would marry and begin a family.  Johannes would remain at the locale until about 1771 whereupon he removed across the Susquehanna River  into York County, Pennsylvania.  Today this route follows U.S. Route 30 in Pennsylvania.  The road passed through the towns of Lancaster and York in southeastern Pennsylvania on its  way  further  west  to Pittsburgh.   Eventually Johannes and his family would settle

Arnold Migration map

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into the township of Chanceford located in the south-eastern part of York County 

The Development of an Historical Migration Route

It is understood that in many if not all cases we do not know exactly what routes our ancestors took as they migrated throughout the United States.   As such certain assumptions have been utilized to re-create the migration path presented above.  With regard to 18th and 19th century land routes we assume that they travelled along few trails and roads that were in existence at the time.  Research shows that a great many of these old paths and trails are today designated as U.S. Highway Routes.  For example, a major east-west route of migration known as the National Road is now U.S. Route 40, and a primary north-south migration route of the 18th century followed the Great Indian War and Trading Path is now U.S. Route 11.  In some situations the re-created migration route may travel along state routes that connect or run through the seat of a county as that populated place is probably the oldest settlement in the area. The use of water as a migration route is also likely.  For example, during the late 18th and early 19th centuries many families travelled west on the Ohio River as they moved on the new lands in Missouri or the Old Northwest Territory.  As such when applicable water routes have been included as the possible migration route.   

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Images gallery

Gallery of
Family Images

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During our research we have collected images and photographs that are of general interest to a particular family.  Some of them are presented on this website because we believe they tend to provide the reader with additional information which may aid in the understanding of our ancestors past lives.  We have images related to the following persons within our database with this surname.




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Researching the locations where our ancestors lived has provided us with valuable evidence needed to fill in the gaps in our family trees.  It has also led us to many interesting facts that enhance the overall picture of each family group.

Locations of

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Locational Distribution

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Locations of Our Direct Ancestors


The names of states and counties on the following list were derived from the known places where the Direct Ancestors in the “Ancestral Lineage” (see above) were born, married, and / or died.









Lancaster County,  York County

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Locational distribution of Surname

Locational Distribution of This Surname

Knowing the geographical areas where the surname you are researching is clustered and distributed is an indispensable tool in deciding where to focus your research.  We believe that the “Public Profiler” website will open up to you a wide range of solutions which implement current research in spatial analysis.  This site provides an array of local spatial information tools useful to the genealogist. 

The information presented herein shows where the ARNOLD surname is distributed within North America as well as in Germany the probable country of origin of this family.      Statistics show that there are approximately 547.98 persons per million of population with this surname, within Germany, and 560.17 persons per million of population within the United States.  Switzerland is found to be the country in the world where this surname is the second most highly clustered having approximately 1,620.56 persons per million of population.  The top region in the World where this surname is the most highly clustered is Zentralschweiz, Switzerland with  10,990.51



Arnold - NA

Arnold - Germany

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persons per million, and Brimingham, West Midlands, England is the top city where this surname is found.

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Resources which enhance our knowledge of the places inhabited by our ancestors are almost as important as their names. The LINK to the right will take you to Maps, Gazetteers,   and  other  helpful   resources 

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that will assist in discovering Ancestral Locations.  These web sites comprise only a small portion of what is available for researchers interested in learning more about where their ancestors lived.

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Origins of the Surname

An Introduction

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An Introduction to the Surname

The practice of inherited family surnames began in England and France during the late part of the 11th century.   Surnames were first utilized in the Germanic region of central Europe during the second half of the 12th century.  The custom of taking on surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northward during the Middle Ages.  It took about three hundred years for this tradition to apply to most families and become a constant part of one’s identity.        With the passing of generations and the movement of families from place to place many of the original identifying names were altered into some of the versions that we are familiar with today.  Over the centuries, most of our European ancestors accepted their surname as an unchangeable part of their lives.  Thus people rarely changed their surname.  Variations of most surnames were usually the result of an involuntary act such as when a government official wrote a name phonetically or made an error in transcription. 


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Research into the record of this ARNOLD family line indicates that the variations, meanings and history of this surname are most likely linked to that area of Europe where French German English, Scots, and/or Irish linguistic traditions are commonly found. 


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Source(s) & Meaning(s) of the Surname

     Most modern Germanic family names are a means conveying lineage.  For the most part, German surnames were developed from four major sources: (1) Patronymic & Matronymic surnames most common in northern Germany are based on a parent’s first name, such as Niklas Albrecht (Niklas son of Albrecht);  (2) occupational surnames are last names based on the person’s job or trade for example Lukas Fischer (Lukas the Fisherman);  (3) descriptive surnames are based on a unique quality or physical feature of the individual like Karl Braun (Karl with brown hair); (4) geographical surnames are derived from the location of the homestead from which the first bearer and his family lived such as Leon Meer (Leon from by the sea), or derived from the state, region, or   village of the first bearer's origin for example Paul Cullen (Paul from Koeln/Cologne).

ARNOLD is a very old and prominent surname having both Anglo-Saxon and Old German origins.  It is quite probable that this surname came from the very widely used Germanic personal names of Ernault or Arnolt which are both composed of the elements arn ‘eagle’ + wald ‘rule’.  In some cases the surname as Arnold is a locational name from two English villages in Nottinghamshire and in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

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History of the Surname

Most German names have their roots in the Germanic Middle Ages.  The process of forming family names in what is present day Germany began early in the 12th Century and extended th16th century 

ARNOLD is a very early Germanic name and is one of the very first recorded where German linguistic traditions are commonly found.   Due to its popularity and duration this name, and its variant spellings, have traveled widely in many forms throughout Europe


The Arnold surname was first found in Austria.  The name gained a significant reputation for its contributions to the emerging mediaeval societies in Central Europe. Arnold was also greatly involved in the development of the emerging nations of Germany and Austria.  As a result several associated coats of arms for this surname and its close variants are recorded in Rietstap’s Armorial General.      The surname of Arnold is also very prominent within Bavaria a state of Germany, located in the southeast of the country bordering on Austria.   Bavaria is one of the oldest states of Europe, it was established as a duchy in the mid first millennium. Bavaria is a predominantly Catholic state with a distinct culture. Modern Bavaria also includes parts of the historical regions of Franconia and Swabia.   An early example of the surname being documented in Germany is Adler Arnoldt whose name was recorded in 1282 at Messkirch a town that is now located in the German state of Baden-Wurrtemberg.   


    This German surname appeared quite early into the former British colonies of North America, especially William Penn’s Province of Pennsylvania.   One reason for this was that after the prince of the Electorate of Hanover, in Germany also became king of England in 1715, German emigration to America was greatly encouraged.   Thus the German name does tend to be confused with the English versions due to the fact that name from both countries is often in the same spelling, which is perhaps not surprising as they share similar pre 7th century "Anglo-Saxon" roots.   This is true in the case of the Arnold surname after the family came to America when immigration from both countries was at its height in the 18th century, after which it was transformed into Arnholt to Arnold.  Many of these German immigrants, particularly those with easy English equivalents, were encouraged and in some case required to change to an English spelling.   Also many German surnames were re-spelled in America because of the close relationship between the English and German languages.     This was the case with many sea captains or their agents who, when making up the ships passenger lists, found it easier to use a more familiar English spelling.   Also after the start of World War One, Germans in the United States, in great numbers, Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism.


Some of the best known bearers of the ARNOLD name are:  Benedict Arnold (1741–1801), American Revolution general who defected from the American to the British side; Eddy Arnold (1918–2008), American country music singer; Tom Arnold (actor) (born 1959), American actor and comedian; Richard Arnold (general) (1828–1882), American General; Vladimir Arnold (1937–2010), Russian mathematician; and William Arnold (settler) (1587 – c. 1676), founding settler of Rhode Island and father of Governor Benedict Arnold.

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More About Surname Meanings & Origins

German Surnames

Many German names have their roots in the Germanic Middle Ages. The process of forming family names began early in the 12th Century and extended through the 16th century. All social classes and demographic strata aided in the development of names. First Names (Rufnamen) identified specific persons. Over time the first name began to be applied to the bearer's whole family.  At first through verbal usage, family names (Familiennamen) were later fixed through writing.  Until the 17th century, first names played a more important role. The earliest family names derived from the first name of the first bearer (Patronym). Later names derived from the place of dwelling and location of the homestead.  If a person of family migrated from one place to another they were identified by the place they came from.  Of more recent origin are names derived from the vocation of profession of the first bearer. These names comprise the largest group and the most easily recognizable, for they tell what the first bearer did for a living.  Another group are names derived from a physical or other characteristic of the first bearer.  Finally, there are names that tell you the state or region a first bearer and his family came from; the age old division in tribes and regions (Low German, Middle German and Upper German) is often reflected in names.

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Variations of the surname

Variations of
the Surname


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Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to unfold and expand often leading to an overwhelming number of variants.  As such one can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames because in early times, spelling in general and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized.  Later on spellings would change with the branching and movement of families. The complexity of researching records is compounded by the fact that in many cases an ancestors surname may have been misspelled.  This is especially true when searching census documents.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Spelling variations of this family name include: Arnhold, Arnout, Arnatt, Erni, Arnolds, Harnett, Arnould, Arnaud, Ahrend, Arnaudi, Arlett, Arnaudin, Arnaiz, Arents, Arnoldt, Arnol, Arnoll, Arnolle, Arnholdt (often in Saxony), Aroldt (Franconia), Arlt (Silesia)   and many more.   

Click on the button to find the variants of this or any other surname by utilizing The Name Thesaurus a ground-breaking technology for finding Surname and Forename variants. 

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This useful genealogy research tool has identified 385 million variants for 5,929,000 Surnames and 26 million variants for 1,246,000 Forenames, as well as gender identification for more than 220,000 Forenames.

NameX matched 197 spelling variations of this family name. The top 20 are:


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The Soundex System was developed in an effort to assist with identifying spelling variations for a given surname. Soundex is a method of indexing names in the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 US Census, and can aid genealogists in their research.   The Soundex Code for Arnold = A654.  Other surnames sharing this Soundex Code:  ARNOLD .

If The Name Thesaurus doesn’t adequately address the name you are looking for check out the following link:

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Armorial bearings, symbols and mottoes

Armorial Bearings, Mottoes & Symbols


Heraldry in

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Armorial Bearings

Heraldry in western europe

An Introduction to Heraldry in Europe

     The seeds of heraldic structure in personal identification can be detected in the account in a contemporary chronicle of Henry I of England, on the occasion of his knighting his son-in-law Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, in 1127. He placed to hang around his neck a shield painted with golden lions. The funerary enamel of Geoffrey (died 1151), dressed in blue and gold and bearing his blue shield emblazoned with gold lions, is the first recorded depiction of a coat of arms.

       By the middle of the 12th century,  coats of arms were being inherited by the children of armigers (persons entitled to use a coat of arms) across Europe. Between 1135 and 1155, seals representing the generalized figure of the owner attest to the general adoption of heraldic devices in England, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.  By the end of the century, heraldry appears as the sole device on seals.  In England, the practice of using marks of cadency arose to distinguish one son from another: the conventions became standardized in about 1500, and are traditionally supposed to have been devised by John Writhe.

     In the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, heraldry became a highly developed discipline, regulated by professional officers of arms. As its use in jousting became obsolete, coats of arms remained popular for visually identifying a person in other ways – impressed in sealing wax on documents, carved on family tombs, and flown as a banner on country homes. The first work of heraldic jurisprudence, De Insigniis et Armis, was written in the 1350s by Bartolus de Saxoferrato, a professor of law at the University of Padua.

    In the Germanic areas of Central Europe heraldry spread to the German burgher class in the 13th century, and even some peasants used arms in the 14th century.  A German coat of arms is usually referred to by any of the following terms; Wappen, Familienwappen, Blasonierung, Heraldik, or Wappenschablonen.

     In the British Isles the College of Arms, (founded in 1483), is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.  In Scottish heraldry, the Lord Lyon King of Arms in the Act of 1672 is empowered to grant arms to "vertuous [virtuous] and well deserving persons."

     Although heraldry in France and the lowlands of Belguim and Holland had a considerable history, like England, existing from the eleventh century, such formality has largely died out in these locations. The role of the herald (héraut) in France declined in the seventeenth century.  Many of the terms in international heraldry come from French

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Image gallery

Gallery of Images

Arnold - Nordlingen copy

Figure 1

Arnold-de Dobroslau (Austria)

Figure 2

Arnold - Nittenau, Regensberg (2)

Figure 3

Arnold - Prussia

Figure 4

Arnold - Germany 3

Figure 5

Arnold - Franconia

Figure 6

Arnold- Toblach, Tyrol

Figure 7

Arnold- Basel, Switzerland

Figure 8

Arnold of Lewenau, Styrie, Carinthia

Figure 9

Arnold - Gloucestshire (2)

Figure 10

Arnold - Germany 2 (2) copy

Figure 11

Arnold -Devonshire

Figure 12

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Descriptions of the Armorial Bearings

The associated armorial bearings for this surname and close variant spellings are recorded in Burke’s General Armoire and Rietstap’s Armorial General.  The additional information, presented below, is offered with regard to the armorial bearings depicted above:



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FIGURE 1: ARNOLD of Nördlingen

These arms were bestowed upon an Arnold, aka. Arnoldt, of Nördlingen, a town in Bavaria, Germany. The shield is black and gold per fesse.  It is charged with a griffon of alternating color holding a wingless caduceus* surmounted by a gold star.  The crest features a lion issuant.  Another coat-of-arms of an Arnold of Nördlingen is the same except the crest shows a griffin issuant.  These arms probably belong to descendants of the same Arnold ancestor.  * A wingless caduceus is a symbol of the messenger of the gods. In the symbol, two snakes are wrapped four times around a staff.  

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FIGURE 2: ARNOLD of Dobroslau

These arms were bestowed upon an Arnold of Dobroslau, Austria. who obtained knighthood in 1795. At this time Dobroslau was located within the old Austro-Hungarian Empire up to 1918.  Today Dobroslau is most likely the community of Dobroslawice, Poland. These armorial bearings have been described as having a red shield with a blue chief. Within the chief are two golden eight pointed stars and a gold lion in the base.  The crest is of three ostrich feathers* of gold and red. *The ostrich plumes signify a willing obedience and serenity.  

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FIGURE 3: ARNOLD of Nittenau

Rietstap  has attributed these armorial bearings to an Arnold of Nittenau, a community formerly in the Principality of Regensburg, and now in Bavaria, Germany. The gold shield contains a stork standing on a green mound.  The crest displays a stork between a black and a gold proboscides (elephant trunk).  * The heraldic symbolism of the stork is filial duty; or the recognition of a close parental bond.

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FIGURE 4: ARNOLD of Prussia

This coat-of-arms was granted, in 1780, to an Arnold of Prussia.  The simply designed shield is red with a gold bordure.  The  crest features a red star between  proboscides (elephant trunk) of red. * Proboscides are usually represented in pairs; they symbolize the many qualities of an elephant such as longevity, strength, royalty, dignity, patience, wisdom, happiness, and good luck.

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FIGURE 5: ARNOLD of Germany

Rietstap  has attributed these armorial bearings to an Arnold of Germany.  The white or silver shield contains a red cross flory*. The crest has a similar cross surrounded by white wings. * A cross flory is so named because each end has a floriated (flowered) termination. This heraldic symbol recognizes one who has conquered.

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FIGURE 6: ARNOLD of Franconia

These arms an Arnold of Franconia, a region located in the German state of Bavaria.  As such this Arnold is geographically linked to our Arnold ancestor who, in 1753, migrated to Pennsylvania from the city of Erlangen in Middle Franconia.   The arms show a shield divided by a gold bend. The blue sinister* partition contains three gold stars, and the silver dexter* partition three red roses.  *Sinister means the left hand side. As shields are always supposed to be upon the arms of the bearer, it is his left-hand side which is meant; consequently the sinister is on the spectator's right hand. Dexter is the right-hand side of the shield, being that to the left of the spectator.

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FIGURE 7: ARNOLD of Toblach

These arms have been attributed to an Arnold of Tolbach, a community located in South Tyrol in northern Italy. The shield is red with a large white roundle in the center.  The crest is a white roundle surmounted by three ostrich plumes of red and white.  These arms are quite similar to the arms of the Lords of

Herbstenburg who bought the Autumn Castle in 1509 and ruled the village. The Herbstenburg arms were resurrected  in  1967,  and  are  now  the  emblem  of

File:CoA civ ITA Toblach-Dobbiaco.svg

Toblach, (see at right).  *The color of the roundle identifies its meaning. Because a white roundle looks like a dinner plate it signifies generosity.

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This coat-of-arms belonged to an Arnold of Basel, Switzerland. The shield is black and gold per fesse.  It is charged with a red lion* holding a wingless caduceus.  The crest features a red lion issuant.   These arms show a close similarity to those of the Arnolds of Nördlingen, in Bavaria, Germany. As such their may be a family relationship between the two.  *The heraldic lion is a symbol of bravery, strength, ferocity, and valour.

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FIGURE 9: ARNOLD of Lawenau

  These arms belonged to an Arnold of Lewenau.  This Arnold apparently held lands in that area of southwestern Austria now within the states of Styria and  Carinthia.  The shield is divided blue and silver. The blue portion contains a crowned golden lion and the silver portion shows two red bends each containing a white rose*.  *In general a rose is the mark of the seventh son or Hope and joy. A white rose symbolizes love and faith; charm and innocence.

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FIGURE 10: ARNOLD of Gloucestershire

These arms were granted, in 1663, to an Arnold of Gloucestershire, England.  The red shield contains an ermine

chevron between three gold pheons*.  Another Arnold of Gloucestershire has similar arms except that it features three gold scallop shells rather than the aforementioned pheons, see

Arnold - Gloucestershire

image at right.   *A pheon represents the head of a spear,dart or arrow.  It is depicted as barbed, and engrailed on the inner side. It symbolizes dexterity and nimble wit; readiness for battle.

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FIGURE 11: ARNOLD of Germany

Rietstap  has attributed these armorial bearings to an Arnold of Germany. The blue shield contains a golden lion surmounted by a gold crown*.  *A crown or coronet symbolizes royal or seigniorial authority; prestige.

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FIGURE 12: ARNOLD of Devonshire

These armorial bearings were bestowed upon an Arnold of Devonshire, England.   The arms show a black shield with a white chevron between three dolphins.  The crest displays an antelope’s  head emerging  from a  ducal cornet.    These same

arms with a different crest are also attributed to Arnold of Cromer in Norfolkshire, and Ballesford in Suffolkshire.  The crest of this coat-of-arms  is a white dolphin as  is seen  on the shield. 

*The dolphins signify the qualities of swiftness, diligence, salvation, charity, and love.

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Heraldry as a research tool

Using Heraldry as a Family History  Research Tool

    Wondering whether you are descended of the nobility?  Are you aware of an ancestor who held a prominent political position or had a title such as Sir, or Esquire?  If so you just might be descended from royalty.   If you are of European descent, you are probably a descendant of Charlemagne.  Once you are able to prove your line of descent from him, you will then find thousands of links to other royalty in your list of relatives.  It is rare indeed that the genealogy of a person of European descent, when traceable, doesn’t hit nobility somewhere.  And once it hits one European noble, whether you like it or not, hundreds of new names will become a part of your family.


    If you have elementary knowledge of heraldry you may wish to use this practice to trace your founding forefather.  If you know the geographical place (country, county, city) where the family coat-of-arms was first identified, you may well search its history for the family name in question in order to find your direct ancestor.  During you research you should be aware of the possibility of variant spellings of the surname upon pursing your research.  See Variations of the Surname for more information about variant spellings of this surname.


Many family historians who have not connected with a noble ancestor may just want to know what their family coat-of-arms looks like.  If this is the situation you must known that except for a few cases, there is really no such thing as a standard "coat of arms" for a surname.  A coat of arms is a design usually granted only to a single person not to an entire family or to a particular surname.  Coats of arms are inheritable property, and they generally descend to male lineal descendents of the original arms grantee.  As a result you are advised to seek out a coat-of-arms for the locale where your ancestor resided.

For example: we have an Arnold ancestor who is known to have emigrated to America from the town of Erlangen, in Bavaria, Germany.  Current research shows Erlangen is located in the area of Bavaria known as Middle Franconia.  Upon review of the historic locations for Arnold as noted on one source we find places in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands and others.   One coat-of-arms is listed as belonging to an Arnold of Franconia, Bavaria.  As such we may conclude that this is the coat-of-arms has some relevance to our ancestor.  He may well be a blood relative of the aforementioned noble Arnold.   He or his ancestor may have been employed by or a serf  of the noble Arnold family of that locale.  In some cases the name of the noble family becomes the name of the locale resulting in the ancestor appropriating it a as surname, see Sources and Meanings of the Surname to ascertain whether the surname you are interested in is a locational name.


 In an effort to assist with your research we’ve provided additional information regarding the coats-of-arms for this surname and some of its close variant spellings.  The “historical locations” have been extracted from heraldic sources.  Most of the locations on the continent of Europe such as German, France, Switzerland, etc. have come from Rietstap’s Armorial General.    Those locations in the British Isles and Ireland were primarily found in Burke’s The general armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. As both of these heraldic resources were first published in the 1860’s and revised over the next two decades the information therein would be relevant to that period as well as earlier times.

For example: an “historical location” reference to Germany would most likely refer to the member states of the German Confederation of 1815-1866, and the North German Confederation of 1866-1871 which became the German Empire of 1871-1918. 


Remember that most noble European family pedigrees have been thoroughly researched and published.   By putting together the family surname with the known location you may find a treasure trove of valuable information about yourIf you ancestors.


*The nobility is a class of people who had special political and social status. Nobility is inherited or granted by the Crown as a reward to people who perform a heroic deed, achieve greatness in some endeavor, or hold a prominent government position.







Refers to the German Empire of 1871 to 1918.


Grüenberg, Silesia

Zielona Góra (German: Grünberg in Schlesien) is a city in Lubusz Voivodeship, in western Poland,


Franconia, Bavaria

The Franconia region is nowadays mainly represented by the administrative districts of Lower Franconia, Middle Franconia, and Upper Franconia in Bavaria.



Refers to either Basel (city)

, or Basel (canton), Switzerland.




Solothurn, is the capital of the Canton of Solothurn, in Switzerland



Refers to the Austro-Hungarian Empire of 1867 to 1918.



Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with smaller parts in the Czech Republic, and Germany.



Nördlingen, Bavaria

Nördlingen is a town in the Donau-Ries district, in Bavaria, Germany.



Refers to the Governorate of Estonia from 1721 to 1917


Dobroslau, Silesia

Now Dobrosławice a village in the administrative district of Gmina Żmigród, within Trzebnica County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, in south-western Poland.


Dobroslau, Austria

Now  Dobrosławice a village in the administrative district of Gmina Pawłowiczki, within Kędzierzyn-Koźle County, Opole Voivodeship, in south-western Poland.


Ehrenberg, Prussia

Now either Ehrenberg in Thuringia, or Hesse, Germany.


Lewenau, Styria, Carinthia

The modern location of Lewenau is unknown. Styria is a state, located in the southeast of Austria it borders with Carinthia the southernmost Austrian state.


Nittenau, Regensburg

Refers to Nittenau a municipality in the district of Schwandorf, in Bavaria, Germany. It is situated 24 km northeast of Regensburg.


Toblach, Tyrol

Toblach is a municipality of South Tyrol of northern Italy and on the border with Austria.



Refers to Nassau a German state within the Holy Roman Empire and later in the German Confederation.


Sittard, Limburg

Sittard is a city in the Dutch province of Limburg, which is the southernmost province of the Netherlands.



Limburg is the southernmost of the twelve provinces of the Netherlands.

If you are interested in the armorial bearings of a particular surname we strongly advise that you utilize the resources provided within this area of our web page.  If you have any questions or need any assistance with regard to using heraldry as a means to further or widen your family history research you are welcome to contact us, see About This Webpage.

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Motto(es) of this Surname

     A motto is a word or sentence usually written upon a scroll and generally placed below the shield, but sometimes, especially in Scotland, above the crest.    Many ancient mottoes were war-cries such as the Douglas motto of “Forward.”    Many mottoes refer to the name of the bearer, for example “cole regem” for Coleridge.   In general most mottoes convey a sentiment, hope, or determination, such as the Cotter motto “Dum spiro spero” where the meaning is “While I have breath I hope“.     Mottoes are often used by several successive generations, but may be changed at any time by the grantee. The languages most in use are Latin, French, and English.  Exceptions are seen in Scotland where they are often in the old Lowland dialect, and in Wales, often in the language of the principality.   

The following mottoes are associated with the ARNOLD surname and its close variant spellings. Arnold - Ut vivas vigila = Watch that you may live;  Arnot - Nunc aut nunquam = Now or never;  Arnut - Speratum et completum = Hoped for and fulfilled


 It is unusual to find a motto associated with the coat-of-arms of a noble German family.  This does not necessarily mean that the Germanic culture is devoid of mottos.  For example, the national motto of Germany is “Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit”, meaning Unity and Justice and Freedom.  The German word for motto is “Wahlspruch.”   Some of the more well known German mottoes are as follows: Alte Wunden bluten leicht – Old wounds readily bleed anew;    Blut und Eisen – Blood and iron;  Das beste is gut genug – The best is good enough;  Ein’ feste Burg is unser Gott – Our God is a strong tower of defense;  Ewigkeit – Eternity;  Für Gott und Iht – All for God and her;  Gott is überall – God is over all;  Gott mit uns – God is with us;  Ich dien – I serve;  Krieg – War;  Mehr Licht! – More light!;  Nichts zoviel – Nothing in excess;  Prosit! – Good luck!;    Vaterland – Fatherland;  Vertrau’ auf Gott – Put your trust in God;  Vorwärts! – Forward!;   Zu dienen – At your service.

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Heraldic bearings

More about Heraldic Bearings

The art of designing, displaying, describing, and recording arms is called heraldry. The use of coats of arms by countries, states, provinces, towns and villages is called civic heraldry.   A Coat of Arms is defined as a group of emblems and figures (heraldic bearings) usually arranged on and around a shield and serving as the special insignia of some person, family, or institution.  Except for a few cases, there is really no such thing as a standard "coat of arms" for a surname.  A coat of arms, more properly called an armorial achievement, armorial bearings or often just arms for short, is a design usually granted only to a single person not to an entire family or to a particular surname.  Coats of arms are inheritable property, and they generally descend to male lineal descendents of the original arms grantee.  The rules and traditions regarding Coats of Arms vary from country to country. Therefore a Coat of Arms for an English family would differ from that of a German family even when the surname is the same. 

Some of the more prominent elements incorporated into a  coat of arms are :

Crest - The word crest is often mistakenly applied to a coat of arms.  The crest was a later development arising from the love of pageantry.  Initially the crest consisted of charges painted onto a ridge on top of the helmet.

Wreath or Torse – The torse is a twist of cloth or wreath underneath and part of a crest. Always shown as six twists, the first tincture being the tincture of the field, the second the tincture of the metal, and so on.

Mantling – The mantling is a drapery tied to the helmet above the shield. It forms a backdrop for the shield.

Helm or Helmet - The helmet or helm is situated above the shield and bears the torse and crest. The style of helmet displayed varies according to rank and social status, and these styles developed over time, in step with the development of actual military helmets.

Shield or Arms - The basis of all coats of arms.  At their simplest, arms consist of a shield with a plain field on which appears a geometrical shape or object.  The items appearing on the shield are known as charges.

Motto - The motto was originally a war cry, but later mottoes often expressed some worthy sentiment. It may appear at the top or bottom of a family coat of arms.

COA elements (grey 10)

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·             Our Surname Locator And Resources web page contains the following: (1) links that will take you to an updated listing of all surnames as posted in our three databases at the Rootsweb WorldConnect Project; (2) the Surname List Finder a tool that finds sound-alike matches for a given surname from among RootsWeb's thousands of surname lists; (3) the Soundex Converter that can be used to find the soundex code for a surname, plus other surnames/spellings sharing the same soundex code;  (4) Surname Message Boards the world's largest online genealogy community with over 17 Million posts on more than 161,000 boards; (5) Surname Mailing Lists of all surnames having mailing lists at RootsWeb, as well as topics that include (6) Surname Heraldry, and  (7) Mapping a Surname. 

·              Your genealogy research of this surname can be facilitated by use of Surname Web. This website links to the majority of the surname data on the web, as well as to individual family trees, origin and surname meaning if known, and many other related genealogy resources. 

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