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


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The surname Pickens was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where the family was found since the early Middle Ages. The name is generally understood to be an occupational name for someone who used a pick or made picks for use in the many agricultural areas of this county and adjacent ones. The name was originally derived from the Middle English work "pik." However, the name could also have been derived from the Norman French personal name "Picon." Further south in England, the name could also have been a local name, derived from locals like Langdale Pikes.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Pick, Picke, Pickin, Picken, Pickins, Pickens, Pickon, Pickons, Pike and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pickens research. Another 198 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1590, 1621, 1624, 1769, and 1816 are included under the topic Early Pickens History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Pickens Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Pickens family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 125 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pickens Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Thomas Pickens, who arrived in New England in 1732
  • John Pickens, who landed in Virginia in 1740

Pickens Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Pickens, aged 55, who landed in America from London, in 1893
  • Mrs. Pickens, aged 31, who settled in America, in 1896
  • Dora Pickens, aged 40, who emigrated to the United States, in 1896

Pickens Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Mrs. J. W. Pickens, aged 26, who emigrated to the United States, in 1905
  • J. W. Pickens, aged 27, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Jessie Pickens, aged 19, who emigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Charles H. Pickens, aged 49, who settled in America, in 1906
  • Elizabeth Pickens, aged 18, who settled in America, in 1908


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  • Slim Pickens (1919-1983), born Louis Burton Lindley, Jr., American actor and cowboy best remembered for his comic roles, notably in Dr. Strangelove and Blazing Saddles
  • Francis Wilkinson Pickens (1805-1869), American politician, 69th Governor of South Carolina
  • Andrew Pickens (1739-1817), American revolutionary soldier and US Congressman, South Carolina, eponym of Fort Pickens, Pensacola, Florida
  • Jean Paul "J.P." Pickens (1937-1973), American musician, poet and artist
  • Carl McNally Pickens (b. 1970), former American football wide receiver in the NFL
  • Andrew Pickens (1779-1838), American military and political leader who served as the 46th Governor of South Carolina
  • T Boone Pickens Jr. (b. 1928), American businessman and philanthropist, ranked by Forbes as the 117th-richest person in America
  • James Pickens Jr. (b. 1954), American actor


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  • The John Pickens Family by Nellie Pickens Anderson.
  • Thomas Boone Pickens, 1928- by Lois K. Nix.
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  1. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  4. 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).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  10. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  11. ...

The Pickens Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pickens 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 24 January 2016 at 12:34.

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