Pikens History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Pikens arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Pikens 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 Pikens family

The surname Pikens 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 Pikens family

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

Pikens Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Pinkney, Pinckney, Pinkley, Pinkly, Pinkie and others.

Early Notables of the Pikens family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Pikens family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Pikens or a variant listed above were: 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. ^ Lowe, 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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