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PETER Pickering 1785-1877 of Sutton

Peter Pickering of Sutton

b: 27 Jul 1785, Aston Sutton
m. 28 Apr 1818 (age 33) Danzig
lived: Sutton Mill, Frodsham
lived 1822: Muggau, near Danzig
d: 12 Jun 1865 (age 80) Wonneberg, Danzig, Germany
o: Merchant, Inventor

+ Emilie H. W. Steffens

b: 13 Feb 1794, Danzig, Prussia
d: 3 Oct 1877 Danzig (age 83)


Carl Gotleib Steffens and Carolina Dorthea Weichbrot were the wealthy parents of Emilie Steffens, Peter’s wife. The ancestral home of the Weichbrodt family was located about a mile from Danzig in Muggau. Peter Pickering and Emilie Steffens bought this estate from Emilie’s grandfather, David Weichbrodt, father of Caroline Weichbrodt on the November 1, 1822. David Weichbrodt owned this estate since 1773. Several children of Peter and Emilie were accomplished artists and many lovely watercolors and sketches still exist.

READ MORE about the Steffens family and genealogy.

Peter Pickering was the youngest son of the very wealthy and famous merchant family of England (OURS!). He traveled to Danzig and learned the trade of his family where he met and married Emilie Steffens. Emilie’s sister, Frederica also married a Pickering – William (of whom I am a descendant).


This remarkable journal is owned by the family of my German-born fifth-cousin, Mr. Alfhard Kowallek (now deceased) as it was handed down through the family to him. He is a direct descendant of Peter and Emilie Pickering. Through Alfhard’s generosity of spirit and time, this totally incredible life story of one our family members in the 1700 and 1800’s unfolds. I have transcribed all the pages including the quaint spelling and strange punctuation. Read entire Journal >>



Peter was just born when his family built the Sutton Mill manufactory and home where he was raised.


Children of Peter Pickeirng and Emilie Steffens

John William Robert Steffens Pickering
… b: 27 May 1819 Sankt Marien Kirche,
……..Danzig Stadt, Westpreussen, Prussen
… d: 01 Jan 1822 [age 2]

Marie Pauline Pickering
… 1820 Danzig – 1902 Berlin, Germany, Unmarried

Carl Edgar Pickering
… 1822 Danzig – 1863
… + Frances Ann Walford

Albert Wilhelm Pickering
… 1823 Muggau – 1895
… + Rose Starke

Eugen Francis Pickering
… 1825 Muggau – 1895 Danzig
… + Margarete Doering

Mathilde Emilie Pickering
… b: 16 Feb 1827, Sankt Marien, Kirche, Danzig, Prussia

Ida Friederike Pickering
… b: 3 Apr 1828, Danzig, Wonneberg, Poland

Johanna Helene Pickering
… b: 24 June 1830, Danzig, Wonneberg, Poland
… d: 18 June 1911, Berlin, Brandenburg, Germany Unmarried (age 81)

Klara Henriette Pickering
… b: 31 Dec 1831, Sankt Marien, Danzig
… d: 18 March 1895, Berlin, Germany Unmarried (age 64)

Hermann Walter Pickering
… b: 08 May 1833, Sankt Marien, Danzig
… d: 26 Dec 1870, Danzig, Westprussia, Germany

Muggau, near Danzig, seat of Peter Pickering and Emilie Steffens.
A lovely watercolor paintings of life at Muggau. Three of Peter’s daughters were accomplished artists.

The Estate at Muggau

Peter Pickering and Emily Steffens bought the estate at Migowie (Muggau) on 1 November 1822 from her grandfather, Paul David Weichbrodt [1740-1808], the father of her mother, Carolina Weichbrodt [1768-1829]. Weichbrodt had owned the land since 1773.

Three daughters of Peter and Emilia had considerable artistic talent and created some lovely watercolor images of life at Muggau, so we can see how the area must have looked in the early nineteenth century.

Muggau documents date back to 1379, when the village was called Emgowo. It was a largely rural area with arable acres of gardens, meadows, pasture and wasteland. In 1868 the village had nine houses, 156 inhabitants, including 120 Catholics and 36 Protestants. On 16 June 1454, King Casimir IV provide the village for the city of Gdansk after the war, the village belonged to the Catholic parish of St. Adalbert.

Throughout its history this area had several names: Müggau (1874), Michau (1807); Mickau (1780); Mugkow (1437); Emngow (1379).

Peter’s Heraldic Rings and Crest

Pickering coat of arms handed down through Peter Pickering’s descendants. These photos are taken of the mold used to create engravings to be used in rings.



1864 – Peter Pickering Handwritten Note about Coat of Arms

“The enclosed Photograph was forwarded to me from England; as formerly being the Seat of our Family’s Ancestors, conferred upon them, by William the Conquerer about eight hundred and fifty years ago [about 1014] as also the annexed Court of Arms with the motto “Virtue is the safest Shield; extracted out of the Book of Heraldry by myself; and which I am sanguine to believe, my Family will in a few years profess.” Muggau 23 August 1864

1829, 28 April – Peter & William’s Engine Invention

The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, and Newton’s London Journal of Arts and Sciences
“To Peter Pickering, a native of Frodsham, county of Cheshire, and now domiciliatcd in Danzig, Prussia, and William Pickering, of Liverpool, in the County of Lancaster, Merchants, for their having invented an engine or machinery, to be worked by means of fluids, gases or air, on shore or on sea, and which they intend to denominate ‘ Pickering’s Engine.’ ”


Unfortunately, this patent can now be found under the title of “Patents for Unworkable Devices” website. The description there reads: “1858 [No. 2142] Peter Pickering of Danzig, Prussia, Landed Proprietor. “An atmospheric engine.” Cylinders 18 feet long and 3 feet diameter driving a common shaft. Had to be primed by forcing the air in chambers to compress”.