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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Pickering family come from? What is the English Pickering family crest and coat of arms? When did the Pickering family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Pickering family history?

The lineage of the name Pickering begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived in the parish of Pickering found in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Pickering is a habitation name that was originally derived from the pre-existing name for a parish. It was originally derived from the Old English word Picora which referred to those individuals who lived at the edge of a hill.


Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Pickering has undergone many spelling variations, including Puckering, Pickering, Pykering, Pikering and others.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pickering research. Another 259 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1544, 1596, 1592, 1611, 1668, 1668, 1654, 1618, 1701, 1654, 1592 and 1637 are included under the topic Early Pickering History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 299 words(21 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pickering Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Pickering were among those contributors:

Pickering Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Edward Pickering, who arrived in America in 1620
  • George Pickering who settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630
  • John Pickering, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1638
  • John Pickering settled in Virginia in 1653
  • Joan Pickering, who landed in Virginia in 1653

Pickering Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Pickering, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Mary Pickering, aged 18, arrived in New York in 1864
  • William H Pickering, aged 22, landed in New York in 1864
  • Thomas Pickering, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1868


  • Edward Charles Pickering (1846-1919), American astronomer and physicist
  • Thomas Reeve Pickering (b. 1931), American Ambassador to the United Nations from 1989 to 1992
  • Brigadier-General James Arthur Pickering (1891-1983), American Commanding Officer Artillery, 8th Division (1942-1945)
  • Sir Adrienne Pickering (b. 1981), Australian actress
  • Karen Pickering MBE (b. 1971), British former freestyle swimmer and 4-time World Champion
  • Percival Spencer Umfreville Pickering (1858-1920), British chemist and horticulturist
  • William Hayward Pickering (1910-2004), New Zealand born rocket scientist and former director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory


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  1. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Pickering Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pickering Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 25 September 2014 at 12:10.

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