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from Yorkshire to Cheshire and Beyond

Pickering Castle, Yorkshire belonged to a succession of kings and nobility, notably Henry III and Edward II, none of which were named Pickering. The place-name of Pickering was most probably more ancient, and the castle took its name from the surrounding area. Most likely the first person to take the name of Pickering was a person who came from the immediate area of the castle and was endowed with land for some good deed he performed for nobility. From very early on the Pickering family not only probably held lands and estates in Yorkshire but were also actively allied with other influential families.


This long-established surname recorded in the spellings of Pickering, Pickerin, and the dialectal spellings of Pickring, Pickin, and even Puckrin(g), is of Anglo-Saxon origins. The town name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century tribal name “Piceringas“, or possibly from “Picoringas

It is interesting to note that when new bearers of the name arrived in a parish, the spelling in the church registers tended to reflect the variant already established there, the Pickerings of Holderness being known as Puckering during their stay in Rise, but reverting back to Pickering once they moved on. Pickering is by far the most common variant, though pockets of Puckerings still resist in the East and North Ridings of Yorkshire.

A Coat of Arms granted to a Pickering family is silver and red chequy, a black bend.

 Pre-Seventh Century: The town name derives from the Olde English pre seventh Century tribal name “Piceringas”, or possibly from “Picoringaspic


Timeline of Pickering Migrations


1069-1070: Yorkshire – Pickering Castle was founded by William The Bastard [William the Conquerer] during his ‘Harrying of the North’ campaign in order to control the remains of the local population as well as defend his territory from both the Scots and the Danes, who had landed at both Scarborough and York in the last five years. Pickering Castle began life as a simple wooden motte-and-bailey castle.

1086: Yorkshire – The place name was recorded as “Picheringa” in the Doomesday Book. Pickering was a settlement in the hundred of Dic and the county of Yorkshire. It had a recorded population of 1.4 households (approx. 42 villagers) in 1086, putting it in the smallest 20% of settlements recorded in Domesday (NB; 1.4 households is an estimate, since multiple places are mentioned in the same entry.) Households = 30 villagers.


1108: Yorkshire – Pickering was a royal castle, and Henry I, William The Bastard’s second son, stayed at Pickering Castle.

1135-1154: Yorkshire – Much of the castle’s early history is unknown. There is evidence that the castle was under siege during King Stephen’s reign (1135 – 1154).

1157: Pickering, Yorkshire  – Stephanus Pikaringa, son of Gamel, swore on oath in a charter regarding the king’s waste in Pickering Marishes

1165: Yorkshire – The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald de Pichering, in the “Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire”, during the reign of King Henry II, known as “The Builder of Churches”, (1154 – 1189).

1166: Yorkshire  – From the Yorkshire Assize Rolls for the reigns of King John and King Henry III:
“On the other hand, William son of Roger is allowed, for the consideration of one mark, to have an inquisition in the first instance. And at a later date Walter son of Robert de Pickering, accused of the death of Ralph the Mercer, who was killed in Scarborough, puts himself on a jury of the vill for good and ill; and the jurors say that he is guilty.”

1180s: Yorkshire  – The castle’s inner ward and shell keep were probably converted to stone under Henry II.



1204: Pickering, Yorkshire   – The place name was recorded in the Close Rolls of Yorkshire as “Pikering” which contained copies of royal grants of land or money.

1207-1210: Pickering, Yorkshire – There are records of work on the drawbridge taking place during the reign of King John.

1230: Killington, Westmorland – William of PICKERING steward of estate of Killington, born c1230 probably Pickering, North Riding of Yorkshire, died before 1279 Killington, Westmorland, married. Son: Sir Thomas Pickering

1246: Oxfordshire (Oxford) – Henry de Pikeringes, in the Feet of Fines of Oxfordshire
Pickerings were already to be found outside Yorkshire as early as 1246. Henry de Pakering appeared in the Somersetshire Pleas in 1257. They turn up in such disperse counties as Westmorland, Cumberland, Wiltshire and Dorset in the 14th century.

1255: Killington, Westmorland – Sir Thomas Pickering (1256-1336) knight, born c 1255 Killington, Westmorland, died c1340.
Married: Elizabeth of GREYSTOCK, born c1265, died after 1328
Father: William of Pickering
Children: Robert of Pickering, Alice of Pickering



1308: York –  “. . . to the orderm award, arbitrament, sentence, and decree of these venerable men, Mr. William de Pikeryng, and Robert de Pikeryng, his brother-german (A full brother: a brother born to the same mother and father), Canons of York, and John, Prior of Bolton in Craven . . .” also, “Hugh, priest of Pickering;”

1310: Killington, Westmoreland – Thomas Pickering

1327: Somerset – John, William Pykeryng, recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset (It was primarily confined to prosperous householders)

1381: St. Giles Hospital, London – John Pikinge or Pickering, Domesday Book

1383: Killington, Westmoreland (since 1260)Sir James Pickering of Killington, son of Sir John Pickeirng (in 1383 he is referred to as ‘Monsr. Jacobus de Pikeryng Chivaler. One of the most influential members of the northern gentry in the late 14th century, Sir James came from a family of Westmorland property owners, whose land lay, for the most part, in and around the manor of Killington and the town of Kendal. (See complete biography (1) below)

1396: Oswaldkirk , Killington, YorkshireSir James Pickering Knight of Winderwath m. Mary Lowther
Son: James Pickering, 1419



1405: Ellerton, YorkshireAlice Pickering m: Thomas Palmes
Father: John Pickering

1419:   Killington, Westmoreland – James Pickering Knight of Winderwath, (northern England) b: 29 Aug 1419, Oswaldkirk, York, Yorkshire; d: 23 May 1497 (age 77), Killington, Westmoreland.
Parents: James Pickering of Winderwath and Mary
Married: Margaret Lascelles.
Children: Margaret Stapleton, Katherine, John Pickering of Gretton, Thomas Pickering of Barrowall in Kendal and Sir James III Pickering of Winderwath.

1450:   York, YorkshireJohn Pickering of Gretton, b: 1450, York, Yorkshire.
Parents: Sir James II Pickering of Winderwath and Margaret Lascelles
Married: Mary
Children: Gilbert Pickering of Techmersh, William Pickering of Gretton, Henry Pickering, Joan Purcell, and Elizabeth Maye.
Brother of: Margaret Stapleton, Katherine Pickering, Thomas Pickering of Barrowhall in Kendal, and Sir James III Pickering of Winderwath.

1454:   Ellerton, YorkshireSir James III Pickering of Winderwath, b: 15 Mar 1454, Ellerton, Yorkshire, d: 1519, Norfolk
Parents: Sir James Pickering of Winderwath and Margaret Lascelles
Married: Anna Pickering
Children: Anne Assheton, Lady Bellingham, Sir Christopher Pickering, Knight; Sir William Pickering and James Pickering
Brother of: Margaret Stapleton, Katherine Pickering, Sir John Pickering of Gretton, and Thomas Pickering, of Barrowhall in Kendal.

1462: Pickering & Whitby Abbey (on the North Sea)Thomas Pickering, genealogist, a monk born at Pickering who was elected and installed Abbot on the 16 March 1462. He died 1475.

1475: Coventry, WarwickshireAlice Pickering m. William Herring

1482: Killington, WestmorelandAnne Pickering m. Sir Knight Robert Bellingham


1551: Aberford, YorkshireChristening of Anne Pickeirng
Father: William Pikering

1562: St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, LondonMarriage of Richard Pickering and Anne Swynerton, 1562 Feb 10

1564: Titchmarsh Kettering – John Pickering Knight of Titchmarsh [1564-1647] & Susannah Dryden [1564-1661]

1556: Cumberland (northern England)Sir Christopher Pickering, Knight (c. 1556 – 15 January 1621) of Threlkeld, Cumberland; later of Ormside, alias Prinshead, Westmid. was an English politician. He was knighted in 1607. (he was the only son). He was a Justice of the Peace for Cumberland from c. 1590 and was appointed to serve as High Sheriff of Cumberland for 1590–91, 1605–06, 1607–08 and 1611–12. He was deputy warden of the west march in 1601 and a commissioner for the borders in 1608. He was elected a Member (MP) of the Parliament of England for Cumberland in 1597. He died unmarried
Father: William Pickering, who he succeeded in 1587.
The senior line of the Pickering family died with Sir Christopher Pickering in 1516

1516: London, Byland and Oswaldkirk, Yorkshire – Sir William Pickering, of London. Knighted 22 Feb 1547. b. 1516/17, 1st son of Sir William Pickering of London, Byland and Oswaldkirk by Eleanor Fairfax, da. of William Fairfax
The accession of Elizabeth brought Pickering a last flash of notoriety. Unmarried, reputedly successful with women, and a Protestant, he was for a time spoken of as a candidate for the Queen’s hand. Ambassadors reported his secret visits to the Queen; he had taken up residence at court, entertained lavishly and showed extravagant tastes; he dined alone with music playing, had made his way into the royal chapel reserved for the nobility—to the fury of the 12th Earl of Arundel said to be his rival in the Queen’s favour—and had challenged the 2nd Earl of Bedford to a duel for having spoken ill of him. The truth is probably that Pickering never considered himself a suitor: the Queen, he told ambassadors, ‘would laugh at him and at all the rest of them as he knew she meant to die a maid’.

1518: Techmersh (Titchmarsh)Gilbert Pickering of Techmersh, b: 1518, North Yorkshire
Parents: John Pickering of Gretton and Mary
Married: Elizabeth Stanbanke
Children: John Pickering of Titchmarsh; Boniface Pickering of Thorpe-by-Water, Oakham, James Pickering, Joan Cooke, and Mary Pickering
Brother of: William Pickeirng of Gretton, Henry Pickering, Joan Purcell, and Elizabeth Maye.

1530: Risbridge, SuffolkAnne Pickering m. Sir Francis Weston 1530, and Sir Henry Knyvett, 1537, and John Vaughan 1555

1533: Thorpe-by-Water, OakhamBoniface Pickering, b: 1533, Titchmarsh Northamptonshire; d: 1585 Titchmarsh
Parents: Gilbert Pickering of Titchmarsh and Elizabeth Stanbanke
Married: Katherine Pickeirng
Children: Richard James Pickering, Gilbert Pickering, Michael Pickering, Robert Pickering, and John Pickering
Brother of: John Pickeirng of Titchmarsh, James Pickering, Joan Cooke, and Mary Pickering.

1539: Dewsbury, YorkshireAndrew Pickering

1551: Aberford, YorkshireAnn Pickering daughter of William Pikering

1557: Milton, Bryant, Bedford – Alice Pickeringe m. Thomas Wood

1558: Flamborough, BridlingtonSir John Puckering of Flamborough, the “dour Keeper of the Great Seal” at the court of Elizabeth I

1562: St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, LondonRichard Pickering m. Anne Swynerton Feb 10

1586: Dewsbury, YorkshireAlice Pickering m. William Musgrave

1533-1603:  Walford / Runcorn, Cheshire
“In the reign of Queen Elizabeth they were settled at Walford, in the parish of Runcorn, which had long been the seat of their ancestors, and the names of the members of the family for successive generations will be found in the early registers of Daresbury. The pedigree at the Herald’s College lists “Pickering de Walford” which was the name of the estate within the chapelry of Daresbury.”

1545: Walford, CheshirePickering de Walford, b. Circa 1545; married Alice Mathew, only daughter of William Mathew, gent., and dying in 1602 left issue.

SHIELD: Erm. A lion ramp. Az crowned or within a bordure of the second charged with eight plates
PICKERING, Wallford, co. Chester
CREST: Pickering, [Wallford, Ches.] A lion’s gamb, erect and erased, az. Enfiled with a ducal cornet or.

1553: Titchmarsh, NorthamptonshireThe Pickering family originally came from Westmorland, and acquired Titchmarsh, in eastern Northamptonshire, in 1553.

1585-1628: Titchmarsh, NorthantsSir John Pickering, knighted 19 Oct. 1619.  bap. 18 July 1585, d. 29 Jan. 1628
Parents: Sir Gilbert Pickering of Titchmarsh and Elizabeth Hagger, da. of John Hagger of Bourn, Cambs
Married: 1609, Susanna Dryden (bur. 16 Apr. 1661), da. of Sir Erasmus Dryden, 1st, of Canons Ashby, Northants. (see Biography, 2 below)

1587: Threlkeld, KeswickSir Christopher Pickering (c. 1556-1621).The family name of Pickering was preserved in Cumberland by Sir Christopher’s brothers, the youngest of whom, William, married Winifred, coheir of Sir Lancelot Threlkeld, and thereby acquired the manor of Threlkeld, to which Christopher Pickering succeeded in 1587. Some time before his death he acquired the manor of Ormside in Westmorland with extensive adjacent property. He died 15 Jan. 1621 and was succeeded by his two sisters.



1600: Cumberland Co., Maine USA – John Pickering died 1668

1600: Tarvin CheshirePigot’s Directory of Cheshire “A grammar school was founded here, (Tarvin) in1600, by John Pickering, merchant, who endowed it with the sum of £200, which was laid out in lands.”

1606: Daresbury, Halton Parish, CheshireThomas Pickering, b 1606, son of Thomas Pickering

1607: Daresbury, Halton Parish, CheshireJohannes Pickering, b 1607, son of Thome Pickering

1609: Daresbury, Halton Parish, Cheshire John Pickering, b 1609, son of Thoma Pickering

1613: Titchmarsh, NorthamptonshireSir Gilbert Pickering d:1668, son of Sir John Pickering.
Sir Gilbert Pickering, 1st Baronet (1611 – October 1668) was a regicide, a member of the English Council of State during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, and a member of Cromwell’s Upper House. (see Biography 3 below)

1619: Thelwall, CheshireRobert Pickering, Esq. , baptized at Daresbury, 30 May 1619, inheritor of John: purchaser of Thelwall from the Mores. “Being destined for the law” was entered as a student at Gray’s Inn 1637. He married Martha, daughter of Rev. John Ley of Christ Church College, Oxford. “His ancestors were of Walford, in Mobberley, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and in whose family it still continues to be vested.”
….. Robert attained considerable eminence in his profession, and was several times elected as Reader of the Society. In 1651 he purchased, for 5,190l, amongst other premises, all that capital mansion-house called Crowley Lodge in Crowley, within a certain place called Northwood Park (formerly a part owned by the Crown), in the parish of Great Budworth, Cheshire with about 150 acres. In consequence of this purchase, he was removed of his seat at Walford, home of his ancestors, and continued to make Crowley Lodge his home until he bought Thelwall. His name appears on the Roll of Knights and Esquires in Cheshire in 1650.
…… The purchase of all the lands and buildings are listed in detail in the “Typographer and Genealogy”. Robert’s  brothers, Thomas of Chester, and Peter of London, along with Thomas Cheshire of Halton, were also involved in the purchase of Thelwall. The deed was signed in the presence of their brother, John in 1664.
….. In addition to Thelwall, Robert owned the greater part of Hatton in Cheshire, including the manor-house called Quietsy Biches, the ancient seat of the Hattons, which he purchased about 1850. In Sir Peter Leycester’s history of the county in 1666, writes “At this day Robert Pickering of Thelwall, Esq. is lord of the greatest part of Hatton; and in the adjoining township of Moor.”

1640: Titchmarsh – John Pickering Baron of Titchmarsh [1640-1720] & Mary Cooke [1638-]

1645: Thelwall, CheshireJohn, heir of Thelwall, born 1645. He entered Gray’s Inn in 1664 and became a lawyer for only a short time because he came into an “ample fortune”. During the lifetime of his father he resided in Crowley Lodge, then moved to Thelwell. He married Abigail Sherrard. By (second marriage?) to Ann Bennett of Greenwich, he had issue.

1649: Barrow-on-Trent, DerbyshireHannah Pickrin d: 1690, m: Michael Smedley

1655-1705: Whaddon, CambsSir Henry Pickering of Whaddon, Cambs. and St. George’s, Barbados: b. c.1655, 2nd but only surviving son of Sir Henry Pickering, 1st Bt.†, of Whaddon. Pickering’s father, a moderate Puritan, had represented Cambridgeshire under the Protectorate but had been sufficiently flexible in his politics to secure a baronetcy at the Restoration. (see Biography 4 below)

1659 before 1711: Gorstage, Weaverham, CheshireThomas Pickering was mentioned in the Will of his father John of Gorstage (1630-1688) dated March 19, 1687. Thomas Pickering was not mentioned in the Will of his brother, Samuel Pickering of Aston, Cheshire, dated June 13, 1711.  So it is possible that he has died before that date.

1661: Walford, CheshireJohn Pickering (d. 17 Aug 1661), who succeeded his father at Walford, married Margaret Harrison, daughter of Thomas Harrison of Acton Grange, Esq. left issue

 1662: Thelwall, CheshireWalk along Weaste Lane until you see a stile and a footpath sign on the left. It is opposite an attractive white house fronted by a high beech hedge. Follow the tractor track across the field which eventually becomes a single file path and takes you over the Bridgewater Canal. This is Pickering Bridge and is named after a family who came to the area in 1662.
……  “The Pickering family, who were next in the possession of the manor of Thelwall, were of a very ancient descent in the county of Chester, and appear to have been, from time immormial, landed proprietors in the palatinate.

1672: Wootton, by Bedford  – Simon Pickering, baptized 11 Aug 1672
Father: Luke Pickering
Married: Sar Hill

1685: Weaverham, CheshireCheshire Marriage Act Book, there is an entry of interest, Dec. Quinto 1685 Thomas Pickering de Waverham et Elizam Barker de Over vid.

1685: Weaverham, CheshireBishop transcripts of St. Mary church, Weaverham that probably involves this Thomas Pickering, “Elianora uxor Thoma Pickeringe de Gorstich” burial April 12, 1685

1693: Crowton, Cheshire – John Pickering (1693-1749), Yeoman
Married: Elizabeth

1698: Derbyshire, near Derby   – John Pickering, bap: 7 Jan 1698, d: 1735

1690: Overton, Frodsham, CheshireThoma Pickeringe de Over” burial October 15, 1690.




1703: Odell, Bedford Gilbert Pickering

1711: Dunstable, BedfordWilliam Pickering

1741: Newark, Upton, TrentGeorge Pickering, d: Feb 1783 m: Elizabeth Snowdall

1744: Bradley, Cheshire – John Pickering (1744-1814) Corn Merchant of Sutton
Married: Mary Harrison

1758: Wainfleet, Lincolnshire Anne Pickering m. Joshua Rollinson

1760: Barston, Warwickshire  – Ann Pickering m. John Smith

1764: Mackworth, Derbyshire Hannah Pickering, d: 1786, m: John Johnson

1769: Hatton Garden, MiddlesexDanby Pickering

1779: Goldington, BedfordElizabeth Pickering m. John Wagstaffe

1782: Frodsham, Cheshire – William Pickering, 1828 – Consul to Mecklenburgh, Prussia (1782 – 1855)
Married: Caroline Amalie Friederike Steffens

1787: Scalby, Scarborough, York – Francis Pickering, m: Elizabeth Smallwood

1799: Wirksworth, DerbyshireAnn Pickering m: Sampson Kniveton

1799: Runcorn, CheshireJames Pickering s. of John and Hannah Pickering from Runcorn, Christened: 4/20/1799



1815: Liverpool – Charles William Harrison Pickering, Merchant Banker, (1815-1881) m. Catherine Walker of Chester

1843: West Indies / HampshireEllen Pickering, Novelist

1857: Yorkshire George Pickering, died 1857, born in Yorkshire

1881: Migration of Pickering to Canada Early records of Pickering families emigrating to Canada were born in Runcorn and Warrington, Cheshire, England. According to the 1881 Chinguacousy, Peel, Ontario Canadian Census, William Pichering, a farmer was born in 1800 in England. His religion is stated as Methodist and occupation as “Retired Farmer”

 1892 abt.: Whangarei, New ZealandDEATH NOTICE:  “LIVINGSTONE – On the 26th ult. at Sidlaw, Hermitage-gardens, Edinburgh, Eliza Julia Pickering [b. 01 Jun 1819, Liverpool – d: NZ], beloved wife of the Rev. William Livingstone, senior minister of South Free Church, Kirriemuir, widow of Captain Cox, R.N., and daughter of the late William Pickering, merchant, Liverpool.


VISIT GENEALOGY PAGE for entire ancestry for this website’s Pickering line in Cheshire