Picton Surname


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Surname creation has often been very fluid. When surnames first started depends on location and class. Upper classes in England standardized surnames soon after the Norman conquest. Celtic, Roman, "Anglo-Saxon" and Norman migrations all precede the origin of surnames. If we look at what constitutes a typical Welsh surname, they're a complete mix of first names becoming used as last names, places, origin places, Gaelic, Norse (or Norn), English, French and Germanic origin. They don't indicate people's origin 1500 years ago.

The Picton male family from Wales has Y-DNA with haplogroup R-U106 which means that before 2000 or more years ago our male ancestors (before surnames) possibly lived in either a German or Norse/Swedish location for a period of time (before that the Western Steppes of Russia). Surname origin or history is a poor way of determining people's origins more than 800 years ago in England. A similar fact is true for Wales. Most importantly, similar or identical surnames can show a common ancestor who lived since surnames were fixed. Surnames usage runs out after 800 years ago. After that we have to rely on the DNA of the people who match them.

Also note the conqueror does not take the name of the vanquished. So at least our Picton surname did not get there surname from someone who was conquered.

There was plenty of cross-border migration before the English and the Normans, such as from the Romans and from Ireland creating place names and last names. There was cross-border migration after the English and Normans too: "they brought many people from Flanders and sent many people from this part of Wales to invade Ireland and establish power in Ireland".

The Vikings and Normandy invasions both offer opportunities to get Scandinavian DNA across to Europe along with surnames. Remember that the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Danes were very close to each other culturally and geographically. There is clearly an opportunity to go from Saxon to Dane to Viking to Welsh. Just the same as there is the opportunity to go from Saxon to Frank to Flemish to Welsh, or perhaps from Saxon to Frank to Norman to Welsh. Making one's ancestry (for example) Welsh doesn't prevent them from being someplace else before becoming Welsh. They did not keep there original ethnic origin, but instead possibly bring there surname and becoming Welshman such as our Picton ancestors.

Our Picton family can trace the Picton surname back a little over 800 years, but this is the exception rather than the rule. The Picton name in Wales originated very early and it was considerably later that other names were taken by the rest of the people.

Ancestors before Picton name assigned

(Based on Big Y matches and Big Y block tree) at: my.familytreedna.com

All the Picton's tested have a clade that test to L47>L44>L163>L46>L45>L493>FGC10248>FGC10249 >M8341>FGC10247>FGC10245>FGC10252 which includes FGC10249

Where did the first male Picton come from? Could they have been Flemish? Could they have been Viking?

The Picton's in Pembrokeshire could as likely have been some of the Flemish that came into Pembrokeshire, Wales with Wizo, the Flemish warlord from Flanders.



Raymond Wing has created a new map at: Ancient/Medieval U106 map (easymapmaker.com)

Go to item 69 and I think grave VK384 that shows an individual that has L47>L44>L163>L46>L45>L493>FGC10248>FGC10249 and

Death date: 850-900

Age: 35-55

Culture: Danish Viking

Paper: Margaryan 2020

Another file [R1b-U106] Ancient DNA database lists the same Viking grave VK384 and also shows the same male clade FGC10249 plus adds an additional SNP called FGC54229. Being only one grave would represent a small number of people. One must scroll down the file until you come to the grave VK384. This grave is in the Hesselbjerg Cemetery, Randlev, Odder, Jutland, Denmark.

This shows that in 850 to 900 AD a man died in Denmark who had a male clade having FGC10249 which is the same as all Male Picton's have. The VK384 Viking could not be an ancester because he has SNP FGC54229 which the Picton's do not have but we would have common ancestors.

Picton Castle is on the banks of Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire, Wales overlooking the spot where Milford Haven's two bodies of waters merge into a single body of water flowing to the sea.

The following is a quote from the above History of Milford Haven. "From the 790s until the Norman Invasion in 1066, the waterway was used occasionally by Vikings looking for shelter. During one visit in 854, the Viking chieftain Hubba wintered in the Haven with 23 ships. Evidence of metal working in the area was recently excavated, suggesting a level of industrialization in the period 750 - 1100." Could this be how my Picton ancestors got to Pembrokeshire, Wales? Could all this mean the ancestors of the Picton male line in 850 to 900 AD were Danish Vikings and then traveled to and used Milford Haven for winter shelter? Alternately, considering Wizo, the Flemish warlord, my Picton ancestors could as likely have been Flemings and came into Pembrokeshire, Wales with Wizo, the Flemish warlord.

The following information was displayed at Picton Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales and is the earliest known reference of my name Picton:

"Year 1108

Henry I (of England) settled a large force of Flemings, who had been displaced from Flanders by inundations of the sea. In the centref of Rhos and the western half of Daugleddau.

Wizo, the Flemish warlord seized the latter area, built a motte and bailey castle at Wiston (Wizo’s ton or settlement) about 3 miles NNE of Picton, and this became his base for the subjection of the area. At first his knights would have lived in his household at Wiston, but after the pacification of the district they were planted on estates for FEES, one of which was Picton. The original earth work castle of Picton stands a few hundred yards East of the present castle entrance."

Could Wizo the Fleming or some of those with him be of the Y-DNA Haplogroup R1b-U106/S21+ called R-L477? Could the ancestor of Philip de Picton be with this group coming from Flanders?

An Old Picton pedigree chart (drawn in about the 1600's) refers to the Picton family as The "Advenae" meaning foreigner. This would indicate that the ancestor of Philip de Picton was a foreigner to Wales who lived maybe in the late 1200's and early 1300's. Where did the first Picton in Pembrokeshire, Wales come from? Did he come from Denmark, England, Flanders, Normandy, or France? It is hoped that with additional DNA testing of individuals from these locations that a match can be found.

Researching Start of last name Picton

It is surprising that a close match with anyone including anyone in Wales has not been found except those with the last name of Picton.

Where did the surname Picton come from? How do you decide? The following are some possible origins:

The Picton Coat of Arms is "gules three pikes naiant argent" which means three fish swimming vertically.

The Ichthys Symbol (also called the Jesus Fish in Christianity) may be another interpretation of the vertical fish in the Picton coat of arms. A vertical fish (Ichthys Symbol) shown as three in Christianity represents the Trinity which is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This idea of Trinity may be supported by there being three vertical fish in the Picton coat of arms.

Could the Picton coat of arms hint at the origin of the name Picton? The Picton coat of arms has 3 fish that are called pike but mean a type of fish. Is it possible that the Latin word for fish evolved into the Pic in the name Picton? The word fish in English is translated to piscis or pisces (plural) in Latin. The original Indoeuropean root for the common word for fish, *pei(k)sk. The English "pike" originally referred specifically to adult fish. Could "Pike" as a type of fish have been used because it is an aggressive ferocious vicious type of fish that would fight. Back 700 to 900 years ago, the letter "I" is interchangeable with "Y" and the letter "C" is interchangeable with "K". The ending letters "ton" in a name means town.

Canting Coat of Arms example as explained by Anne (Rees) & Phil Butcher using a Perrot descendant document from Pembrokeshire RO in the next two paragraphs:

"It is the surviving membrane of a parchment pedigree of unknown origin dated 1633 and contains a finely drawn Perrot impaled Picton coat of arms. According to Rootsweb “Sir Thomas Perrot (cal 1382 - 10 April 1460 in Bristol) of Eastington and Haroldston married Alice (b ~1400; d 31 April 1441), daughter of Sir John ap William ap Thomas ap Sir William Picton (aka John Picton, d 1440) ca 1440, by whom diverse descents of inheritance came to the Perrot family.”

"The Picton ‘pike’ fish device, like the Perrot pear/parrot ones seem like an excellent example of canting arms. We found the following Rootsweb explanation most helpful: “As arms came into common use, one of the predominant ways designs were chosen was to pick objects that phonetically resembled the name of the bearer. In this case, a golden pear (pear or) sounds like the French pronunciation of Perrot, the 't' of which is silent. The practice was known as canting arms, and the Perrot arms are one of the best examples. This practice was particularly useful in the days when illiteracy ran high.”

Maybe the ancestors of the Picton family were from Flanders or Normandy and the Picton surname represents the origin where they came from.

Is it possible that the surname Picton means "Fish Town"? If so, where would the location of "Fish Town" be? It could be in Flanders, it could be in England or it could be at or near Picton Castle. The East and West Cleddau run together at Picton Point with Picton Castle siting above and forming what we now call the River Daugleddau. Picton Point with Picton Castle siting above would make an excellent location for a small fishing village that everyone would call "Fish Town". Three fish in the Picton coat of arms could indicate three bodies of water coming together at Picton Castle (or "Fish Town") and since the East and West Cleddau flow in opposite directions, the fish are vertical in the Picton coat of arms. Additionally, look at my Brief Early History of the People and Area. Could the Picton coat of arms be proof that the surname Picton comes from "Fish Town"?

Some people think that Picton may have come from someone who had a name similar to Pica, for example the town of Wiston (3 miles from Picton) is named after Wizo the Fleming. So maybe Picton was created the same way.

Some have speculated that the Picton surname came from a tribe of people. The Romans referred to a tribe of people in France called Pictones. There was a tribe called the Picts in parts of Scotland, Ireland and Northern Britton maybe 500 years before the Picton surname existed. So, the following is a historical consideration concerning the mythical King Arthur and the Picts: The Picts were in Scotland but there is evidence that the southern part of Pictland was the land of Dal Riata ruled by a King Aedan Mac Gabrain. The Welsh say his Mother was Welsh. It is also said that his ancestors and family had intermarried into the Pictish royal line. In a battle with other Picts he was considered a Picts. Aedan appears in a variety of Welsh sources, making him one of the few non-Britons to figure in Welsh tradition. It has been said that one of his wives was Brittonic, and another wife may have been a Pictish. Many consider him the father of King Arthur. Could this be another possibility source that in some way, the surname Picton developed from the Picts? Those with the surname of Picton have a male Y-DNA with a SNP containing U106. The Gaels of Dal Riata may have been P312, but were the Picts U106 or P312? I've read some articles on the Picts, but ended up feeling not much wiser and the evidence is sparse. These comments do not prove anything, but could there be any link? Could the name Picton have come from one of these two tribe names? I think the odds are very low.

So far , no one knows where the surname Picton came from, but I have listed some possible origins.

Could this fish in the Picton coat of arms indicate a family connection to another nearby Pembrokeshire family? There is another family called the de la Roche family that has a coat of arms with 3 fish. The Roche family having 3 fish in there coat of arms is interesting. Several different spellings exist for this name such as Roach, Roch Roche and de la Roche. There is a Roch, Pembrokeshire, Wales about 5 miles West of Harverfordwest (maybe 10 or 12 miles from Picton Castle). This is what I have read. Roch Castle at Roch was built by a Norman called Adam de Rupe (de Rupe in latin means "of the rock"), he also went by de la Roche and his coat of arms had 3 fish. The de la Roche family were of Flemish descent. Some of the Roche family went to Ireland with the Norman invasion from Pembrokeshire and have 3 fish in there coat of arms. The Roches settled in Munster and also in Wexford. The de Roche in Scotland also came from this same Pembrokeshire family. So the de la Roche in Ireland and Scotland all had there origin from the Flemish descendants from Pembrokeshire. Other people having the name Roche in Ireland and Scotland unrelated to this family have a different coat of arms. While in Wales, I once stayed at a bed and breakfast in the town of Roch, Pembrokeshire for a couple of days.


Flemish Origin

The Flemish coming to Wales had a big influence in the family origin of the Picton family. The following is some Flemish information.

The wife of William the Conquer was Matilda the Fleming and they had a son Henry I, who would became King of England. The Flemish are believed to have played a role in the Conquest of England by William the Conquer because the Domesday book lists 21 men from Flanders. More Flemish came when a tremendous storm on the coast of Flanders caused the sea to submerge a large tract of the country. This caused a large number of Flemish to seek asylum in England.

Henry I, King of England then started having two problems. The people were complaining about all the Flemish aliens coming into England and the Welsh were trying to revolt. Henry I solved it by contracting with the Flemish to resettle from England and go to an area in Wales now called Pembrokeshire (formally Rhos), settle around the estuary of the river Cleddau ( Daugleddau River) and stop the Welsh from revolting. The warlord who did this in both Wales and Scotland was Wizo the Fleming. I do not know if Wizo the Fleming came directly from Flanders or stopped in England first. The act of Wizo the Fleming setting up castles in both Wales and Scotland may mean that he was in England a little while before he was directed to go to Wales and Scotland. One of the castles he built in Wales is called Picton Castle.


Picton Family

Direct Male Physical Origin

It is reported that eventually, Picton Castle was owned by William de Picton and that he had a brother named Philip de Picton. I am descendant from Philip de Picton and I inherited his Y-DNA R-L477 and R-L493.

I was looking at the FTDNA listings that lists STR's and SNP's. It is known that the Picton Family has SNP's R-L45, R-L477 and L493. To view L45 and L493 SNP's in the R-U106 STR Listings, click on STR Listings, then go to the bottom of the page, select page 3 and top of page 4, go down to R-L48, go down to R-L47 and then continue on down to R-L493.

This STR Listing shows about 33 people who are SNP L45 which includes those who are L493. The 33 people all list there ancestor origin as either from England, Scotland, Ireland, unknown or Wales except one person who has a German origin. Could with so many United Kingdom origins listed, be an indication that the L45 and L493 origin be in the United Kingdom back about 2000 years ago? It is estimated that the SNP R-L45 age is 365 BC (1043 BC - 187 AD), the R-L493 age is 110 AD (466 BC - 583 AD) and the R-FGC10247 age is 1454 AD (978 AD - 1762 AD) with a 95% confidence. The SNP R-FGC10247 in our Picton DNA occurred sometime after the Picton surname came into being.

Could the lack of more than one person from main land Europe be an indication that the L45 and L493 ancestor immigration occurred about 2000 years ago from Germany? Maybe they immigrated to the UK as part of the Roman Army or even helped build Hadrian's Wall?



Brian Swann has proved through DNA research that 40 percent of the people in the world with the surname Picton have DNA R-L493 and R-L477 and have there ancestor origin from Pembrokeshire, Wales. The following within quotes are comments made by Brian Swann: "I have an open mind whether the surname could have been Flemish, but equally it could be a locative surname taken from the Chapel at Piketune, which is in a MS dated to 1154-1198. Surnames as such in the 12th century is a complex topic, especially for anyone who is not of the very top of the Anglo-Norman elite.

Also there is a William de Pyketon who appears in a document of about 1289, who could be the mysterious Sir William de Picton at the top of the various Picton pedigree charts. He was involved in a dispute with William de Valence over the Lordship of Haverford. Now William de Valence (d. 1296) was half-brother to King Henry III, so he was someone you did not trifle with. This case is all to do with who had the rights over the Lordship of Haverfordwest, especially after the loss of the Earldom of Pembroke by the death of William Marshall and all five of his sons without any male heirs by 1246.

If this William de Pyketon was representing the interests of the principal burgesses of the town of Haverford, then I would think if he had a daughter called Joan, she would be of sufficient status to marry John Wogan, who became Justiciar of Ireland under King Edward I. I guess it could be possible he was a brother to Philip Picton. This might also explain how Philip Picton became acquainted to the Martin family through his marriage into the Dyer family."

Now my family origin question is still where did the original Picton family come from? He could have come from Flanders or he could have been a Knight or solder in England that was hired by the Flemish to help subdue the Welsh. The Picton family original could be a Knight or solder that Wizo the Fleming picked up in England. The known origin of all the other R-L477 except one is England so does that mean an English origin?

Discussion about the Yamnaya Tribe entering Europe. There was no R1b in the Yamnaya during the Ice Age. R1b derives from Eastern European hunter-gatherers group P. The Eastern European hunter-gatherers group had to mix with the Yamnaya Tribe before they entered Europe so that the Yamnaya Tribe can bring R1b into Europe. R1b is the ancestor to the Y-DNA R-L477 Picton surname.

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