Picton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Picton family lived in Flintshire, now part the county of Clwyd, Wales, at Picton. Their name is derived from the Old English words pic, meaning a hill with a sharp point, and tun, meaning enclosure or settlement.

Early Origins of the Picton family

The surname Picton was first found in Flintshire where they held a family seat from ancient times as Lords of the manor of Picton. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086, a census initiated by Duke William of Normandy after his conquest of England in 1066, Picton was held by Robert of Rhuddlan, a Norman noble, and was a small hamlet. Conjecturally this distinguished family are descended from Robert. Alternatively, the name could have been derived from Pickton, a township, in the parish of KirkLeavington, union of Stockton, W. division of the liberty of Langbaurgh in Yorkshire. "This place, sometimes written Pyketon (Peak-town), belonged in the reign of Edward I. to a family of the same name. " [1]

Early History of the Picton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Picton research. Another 128 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1755 and 1836 are included under the topic Early Picton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Picton Spelling Variations

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 Pichetone, Pichtone, Pickton, Picton and others.

Early Notables of the Picton family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John of Picton Castle; and Cesar Picton (c.1755-1836), who went from slave to successful businessman in England. As a slave, he was presented as a...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Picton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Picton migration to the United States +

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 Picton or a variant listed above:

Picton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Margaret Picton, a bonded passenger, who arrived in America in 1735

New Zealand Picton migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Picton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles J. Picton, aged 33, a railway signalman, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Hogue" in 1874
  • Charlotte Picton, aged 23, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Hogue" in 1874
  • Alice Picton, aged 4 months, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Hogue" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Picton (post 1700) +

  • Jacob Glyndwr Glyn Picton, American Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry concerning Industrial and Staff Canteens Wages Council, and Senior Lecturer, Industrial Economics, University of Birmingham
  • Sir James Allanson Picton (1805-1889), English antiquary and architect
  • Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Picton GCB (1758-1815), Welsh military leader, younger son of Thomas Picton, esq., of Poyston, Pembrokeshire
  • James Allanson Picton (1832-1910), British independent minister, author and Liberal politician from Liverpoool
  • Edith Picton (1872-1960), Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom
  • Muriel Picton (b. 1930), captained the Australia national women's cricket team on four occasions
  • Sir John Picton Bagge CMG (1877-1967), 5th Baronet of Stradsett Hall, Norfolk
  • Sergeant Alexander Picton Brereton (1892-1976), Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces [2]


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Alexander Brereton. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Alexander Brereton. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Brereton


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