Pinknay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

The surname Pinknay 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 Pinknay family

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

Pinknay Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Pinkney, Pinckney, Pinkley, Pinkly, Pinkie and others.

Early Notables of the Pinknay family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Pinknay family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Pinknay or a variant listed above: 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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