Show ContentsPickles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Pickles has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived in Pickhall (Pickhill), a parish, in the union of Thirsk, partly in the wapentake of Allertonshire, but chiefly in that of Hallikeld, in the North Riding of Yorkshire. 1 2 3

The place name dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was known as Picala and literally meant "nook of land by the pointed hills," from the Old English "pic" + "halh." 4

However, another source has a slightly different point of origin, having the name mean: 'dweller at the small enclosure’, from the Middle English pightel, pighel. 5

Early Origins of the Pickles family

The surname Pickles was first found in Yorkshire where early English rolls provide us a glimpse of the spelling variations used through Medieval times. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Ricardus de Pighkeleys; and Stephanus de Pykedleghes. Bot resided "in the village of Haworth, in which district the two names are now so familiar. The Directory for Wilsden, West Riding of Yorks, contains the two following names, seemingly related: Nathan Pickles, beer-retailer; and Nathan Pighills, farmer." 6

Later in Lancashire, Henry Pickles was listed there in 1571 and later again, Arthur Pickles was found in Yorkshire in 1672. 5

Early History of the Pickles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pickles research. Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pickles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pickles Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Pickles have been found, including Pickles, Pickel, Pickle, Pykelworthe, Pickleworth and others.

Early Notables of the Pickles family

Notables of this surname at this time include:

  • Pickles of Pickhill

Pickles Ranking

In the United States, the name Pickles is the 13,188th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 7

United States Pickles migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Pickles, or a variant listed above:

Pickles Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jonas Pickles, who arrived in New England in 1657 8
Pickles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Matthew Pickles, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1846 8
  • Thomas Pickles, who settled in Philadelphia in 1866

Canada Pickles migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pickles Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John C Pickles, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862
  • Mary Ann Pickles, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862

Australia Pickles migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Pickles Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Peter Pickles, British convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 1st October 1829, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 9
  • Mr. James Pickles, British Convict who was convicted in York, Yorkshire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 25th June 1838, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 10
  • John Pickles, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 11
  • Mr. John Pickles, English convict who was convicted in Lancashire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "David Clarke" on 3rd June 1841, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 12
  • Mr. Matthew Pickles, English convict who was convicted in York, Yorkshire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Earl Grey" on 4th October 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 13
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Pickles (post 1700) +

  • Samuel Pickles, American Republican politician, Mayor of Jackson, Michigan, 1902-04 14
  • Judge James Pickles (1925-2010), English Circuit judge from Halifax, West Yorkshire who was associated with many controversial decisions
  • Vivian Pickles (b. 1931), English actress who has appeared with the such notable actors as Roger Moore and Peter O'Toole
  • Carolyn Pickles (b. 1952), English actress from Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire, best known for her role as Shelly Williams in the ITV series Emmerdale
  • Wilfred Pickles OBE (1904-1978), English actor and radio presenter
  • Eric Pickles (b. 1952), British Conservative politician
  • Sir William Pickles Hartley (1846-1922), English jam manufacturer and philanthropist from Colne, Lancashire, founder the Hartley's jam company; he built Hartley's Village, Aintree, Liverpool, a village of 49 houses for his workers at this factory site

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Arthur Pickles, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and died in the sinking 15

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  4. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th November 2020). Retrieved from
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th March 2021). Retrieved from
  11. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOHN from London 1840. Retrieved from
  12. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd June 2021). Retrieved from
  13. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th August 2021). Retrieved from
  14. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 20) . Retrieved from
  15. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook