Pighan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Pighan is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The Pighan family lived in "Pinkeny, Pinkenay, or Pinquigny, now Picuigny, a town in Picardy, in the neighbourhood of Amiens, that in later times was erected into a Duchy for the honour of Chaulnes. A castle that had existed there as early as the eighth century became the head of a barony that gave its name to one of the greatest houses in the North of France, maternally derived from Charlemagne (Bouquet, Ord. Vit.). Many of the nobles of Picardy followed the Conqueror, and among them were several of the De Picquignys. William Fitz Ansculph is one of the great landowners of Domesday, holding eleven baronies in different counties, comprising one hundred manors ; many of them inherited from his father Ansculph, Viscount of Surrey, who had died before 1086 : and from two other passages in the same record, it is ascertained that their name was ' Pinchingi.' " [1]

Another source claims the family is from Picquigny, in Somme, Normandy. [2]

Early Origins of the Pighan family

The surname Pighan was first found in Northampton where the family claim descent from Gilo de Pincheni, who lived in the reign of Henry I. He was granted by the monks of St. Lucien in France lands at Wedon. [3]

Wulfhere, the first Christian king of Mercia, had a palace here, which, after his death, was converted by his daughter Werburgh into a nunnery, of which she became abbess, and which was destroyed by the Danes in the ninth century. [4]

Ansculfus de Pinchengi was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as holding lands in Berkshire. [5]

"' Gilo frater Ansculfi,' is also entered in Domesday as holding in capite in four counties ; in Northamptonshire his barony of Wedon was called from him Wedon-Pinkney, and in the time of his grandson Gilbert was certified to consist of fourteen and a half knights' fees. He founded a cell to the French monastery of St. Lucien at his caput honoris of Wedon. His descendant Robert de Pinkeney incurred forfeiture by taking part in the rebellion against King John, who bestowed his barony on Waleran Tyes ; but, like most of the other malcontents, was restored to favour and fortune on the accession of Henry III. Henry de Pinkeney and his son Robert were both engaged in the Welsh wars ; the former had a writ of military summons to serve against Llewellyn in 1264 ; and the latter, " being in the King's service in Wales 10 Edward I., had scutage of all his tenants by military service in the counties of Northampton, Bucks, Bedford, Essex, Hens, Warwick, Oxford, Berks, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Somerset :"-implying a wide range of possessions. He afterwards followed the King on his expedition to Gascony. We next come upon a blot on the family 'Sir John de Pinkeney was hanged in 1292 for certain thefts and depredations, and his lands seized by the King, and delivered to Sir Robert de Pinkeney, against whom Hugh de Odingsells claimed them, together with half the manor of Long Itchingham in Warwickshire, by gift of Sir John. This Sir Robert has been generally considered the son of Sir John, but there is abundant evidence to prove that he was Sir Robert Pinkeney of Wedon, the Lord of the Fee.' " [1]

Early History of the Pighan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pighan research. Another 166 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1303, 1599 and 1674 are included under the topic Early Pighan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pighan Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Pinkney, Pinckney, Pinkley, Pinkly, Pinkie and others.

Early Notables of the Pighan family (pre 1700)

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pighan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Pighan family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Pighan name or one of its variants: Henry Pinkie settled in Virginia in 1619.



  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)


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