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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, French

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

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.


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.

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. However, the Cheshire branch continued for many centuries.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Picot research. Another 207 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1333, 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


  • François-Edouard Picot (1786-1868), French historic painter
  • Georges Picot (1838-1909), French historian and lawyer
  • Hajnalka Kiraly Picot (b. 1971), French gold and bronze medalist fencer
  • François Marie Denis Picot (1870-1951), son of historian Georges Picot
  • Auguste Marie Henri Picot (1756-1793), Marquis de Dampierre, a general of the French Revolution
  • 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)
  • Philippe-Isidore Picot (1744-1818), French naturalist
  • Patrick Picot (1951-1980), French gold medalist fencer at the 1980 Summer Olympics
  • 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


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. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  2. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  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 17 February 2015 at 05:24.

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