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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, French

Picot is one of the names carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is based on the Old English given name Picot or Pigot. The surname Picot was originally derived from the Old English word pic, meaning a hill with a sharp point at its top, and would originally have indicated that its bearer lived near such a landmark.


The surname Picot was first found in Cheshire and Cambridgeshire where Picot of Cambridge (c.1022–1090), born in Saye, Normandy, was a Norman landowner and rose to become Sheriff of Cambridgeshire (c. 1071-1090.) His son Robert, became implicated in a conspiracy against King Henry I, fled the country and the family estates were forfeit. Another reference claims "the family originally came from Cheshire; William Pigott of Butley in the parish of Prestbury in that county, who died in 1376, was grandfather of Richard Pigott of Butley who married the heiress of Peshall." [1]

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Pigott, Piggot, Piggett, Piggott, Piggot, Pigot, Picot and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Picot research. Another 281 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1333, 1630, 1657, 1686, 1719, 1777, 1720, 1796, 1640 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Picot History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 101 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Picot Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Picot family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 51 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Picot or a variant listed above:

Picot Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Elias Picot, who arrived in Boston in 1723
  • Marguerite Picot, an Acadian exile on record in Massachusetts in 1755

Picot Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Marie Joseph Charles Picot, who came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1826
  • Toussaint Picot, who arrived in New Orleans in 1826
  • Manuel Picot, aged 30, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1830
  • A. Picot who settled in San Francisco, California in 1852
  • Carole Picot, aged 20, landed in New York in 1854

Picot Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century

  • Jacques Picot, who settled in Montreal in 1652
  • Robert Picot, who arrived in Quebec in 1653

Picot Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Jean Picot, who settled in Canada in 1731

Picot Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Charles Picot, who came to Quebec in 1809


  • Étienne Guillaume Picot de Bazus, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815
  • Brian Picot, New Zealand businessman, member of the Picot task force set up by the New Zealand government in July 1987 to review the school system
  • Patrick Picot (1951-1980), French gold medalist fencer at the 1980 Summer Olympics
  • Philippe-Isidore Picot (1744-1818), French naturalist
  • Olga Georges Picot (1940-1997), Shanghai-born, French actress who has been featured in movies like The Day of the Jackal (1973), Love and Death (1975) and The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970)
  • Auguste Marie Henri Picot (1756-1793), Marquis de Dampierre, a general of the French Revolution
  • François Marie Denis Picot (1870-1951), son of historian Georges Picot
  • Hajnalka Kiraly Picot (b. 1971), French gold and bronze medalist fencer
  • Georges Picot (1838-1909), French historian and lawyer
  • François-Edouard Picot (1786-1868), French historic painter


The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Tout foys prest
Motto Translation: Always ready.


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  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.

Other References

  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  7. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Picot Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Picot 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 February 2016 at 13:20.

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