Piken History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Piken came to England with the ancestors of the Piken family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Piken 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 Piken family

The surname Piken 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 Piken family

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

Piken Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Piken are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Piken include Pinkney, Pinckney, Pinkley, Pinkly, Pinkie and others.

Early Notables of the Piken family (pre 1700)

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


United States Piken migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Piken, or a variant listed above:

Piken Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • H Piken, who arrived in North America in 1832-1849 [6]


  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)
  6. ^ 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)


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