How the Picton Branches are connected

as discussed and defined by

Brian Picton Swann


Picton of Newport, Nevern, Whitechurch, Bridell, Llanboidy, Trelech, Penrith, Llanvihangel a\rquote r Arth, Llanelly and the USA This is the oldest and most senior Picton line, which can be traced back to around 1300. Probably all the other Picton lines in Pembrokeshire have their ancestral home here, but it will prove very challenging to establish. Later members of this family migrated into Carmarthenshire and to Llanelly. One branch, headed by Stephen Picton (1819-1896), emigrated to Kansas in 1870. Another branch was headed by Thomas Picton (1776-1861) who emigrated to New Jersey and became ordained. He also received an MA degree from Princeton University and taught at West Point Military Academy from about 1811 to 1820.


Picton of Martletwy, Rudbaxton, Ewenny and the USA

This is the second most senior branch, and can be followed back to about 1550 at Martletwy. At Martletwy the farm they occupied was known as Pescaverne but also known as The Bush [B. G. Charles, The Place-Names of Pembrokeshire, National Library of Wales, 1992]. This Picton branch moved from Martletwy to Rudbaxton around 1650, and continued there until the nineteenth century. Sir Thomas Picton (1758-1815) comes from this family. Although his father, also called Thomas Picton (1723-1790), High Sheriff of Pembrokeshire in 1749, had 14 children all the direct male lines became extinct by 1861, the last male descendant being Gervas Powell Turbervill of Ewenny. The Picton surname was then adopted by the heirs and descendants through various female lines, as they took over the ownership and management of the Iscoed estate at Ferryside, Carmarthenshire, from 1867 onwards. This estate had been acquired by Sir Thomas Picton around 1812 from the Mansell family.

One sister of Sir Thomas Picton, Charlotte Picton (1759-1853) married a John Beete and they emigrated to New York. After his death, she remarried to a James Gardner. She had two children - and one her grandsons took the surname of Picton in lieu of Gardner, and became known as Colonel Thomas Picton of New York. He died in 1891 - when this branch of the name in America became extinct. An account of his life and career appears in the Dictionary of American Biography. However the one son of John and Charlotte Beete, John Picton Beete, eventually succeeded to the Iscoed Estate in 1883. He was followed by his sons and daughter, Caroline Beete, who married James Brogden. The Iscoed Estate was in her hands when it was eventually sold off in 1921, and this branch of the family became extinct with the death of their daughter, Lucy Eleanor Brogden, in 1954. After her death the Picton papers found their way into the Archive Collection of the National Library of Wales.

A cadet branch of this family remained at Martletwy, occupying the same property where they had lived in the 16th and 17th century, known as "The Bush" and in earlier times as Pescaverne, or spelling variations thereof. This Picton branch at Martletwy is represented by William Picton, gent. (d. 1764) and his son, John Picton (d. 1809). Upon his death this branch became extinct. It is mentioned here to ensure that it does not get confused with other, more humble Picton families, who lived at Martletwy at various times in the late 18th and 19th centuries.

The other fairly numerous Picton families, located in southern Pembrokeshire, all tend to come to a halt in the mid to late 18th century. There are scattered references to the surname in a number of parishes in southern Pembrokeshire before 1770, but nothing that can be linked together to any significance. Examples include Alban Picton (1677) and Philip Picton (1694) of Dale, who both left wills proved in St. Davids Archdeaconary Court. A Philip Picton had children baptised at Haverfordwest St. Mary in the early 1700s and a Thomas Picton, militiaman, married at Haverfordwest in 1761. There was also a John Picton who married Ann Key at Steynton in 1745. More research need to be done in the various Manorial documents and Court Rolls to see if anything further can be gleaned on these and other Picton families of the 18th century. A compilation of these miscellaneous, unplaced Picton entries is provided as an Appendix to this account.

The working hypothesis of Brian Picton Swann at this time is that all lines merge into a common ancestor, Jenkin Picton, who lived around 1434 at Newport, Pembs. We know he had four sons. It is believed Owen's branch comes from one of the sons and Dean Picton's line (and probably the rest of us) from another. There is also a third line - which we can pick up in 1552 at a village called Martletwy in Pembrokeshire and can trace forwards in the male line to 1861, when I think the last direct male descendant died. This is the family of Sir Thomas Picton (1758-1815).


Picton of Martletwy I, Picton of Martletwy II, Picton of Martletwy III and of the USA

These families live at Martletwy from 1767 onwards, the earliest entry being the burial of a John Picton, coalier. The Pictons of Martletwy II and III are offshoots of the main branch. Family members spread out into Neath and Swansea and into Glamorganshire during the 19th century. The name Joseph Picton is quite prominent in these families, and for this reason a full account of these various families is provided. Several members of this family emigrated to the USA, where they settled principally in Luzerne County, PA.

Picton of Freystrop I, Picton of Freystrop II, Picton of Freystrop III, Picton of Freystrop IV and Picton of Burton

These families descend from Edward Picton (born about 1755), whose eldest son, John Picton, was baptised at Martletwy in 1780. Further children were baptised at Jeffreyston and finally at Freystrop. An extensive family developed, and one branch settled at Burton, but no members of this family emigrated to the USA in the 19th century. Again the early members were coal miners in the mines at Jeffreyston and Freystrop.

Picton of Cosheston I, Picton of Cosheston II and Picton of Cosheston III

These families descend from a John Picton who married at Lamphey in 1785. His children were born between 1790 and 1805 at the parishes of Nash and Cosheston

Picton of Haroldston West, Lambston, Cosheston, Herbrandston and Llanstadwell

These families descend from a Thomas Picton, a labourer at Williamston in the parish of Haroldston West, who was born about 1772 and died at Lambston in 1849, aged 77. His sons dispersed into several parishes in Pembrokeshire.

Picton of Carew, Llawhaden and Anglesey

These families descend from a Philip Picton of Williamston in the parish of Carew, who died in 1820.

Picton of Haverfordwest I, Picton of Haverfordwest II, Picton of St. Ishmaels I and Picton of St. Ishmaels II

These families all descend from a John Picton, born around 1770 and who died at Haverfordwest in 1837, aged 67.

Picton of Llandissilio, Lampeter and Llandewi Velfry and Kiffig

These families all descend from a David John Picton of Llandissilio, who died in 1670.

Picton of Steynton

This family descends from a William Picton of Hill Moor in the parish of Steynton. He is probably the son of Lewis Picton, married at Haverfordwest in 1761 and whose son, William Picton, was baptised at Martletwy in 1764. They may well connect into the family of Thomas Picton of H Haroldston West.

Picton of Marloes and Dale

There is a fairly disjointed pedigree going back to a William Picton of Dale in 1543. John Picton of Marloes and Philip Picton of Dale were both living at the beginning of the 17th century. Later there were an Alban Picton of Dale (1677) and Philip Picton of Dale (1694), a mariner, who both left testamentary documents. It may be worth noting that there are children of a Philip Picton baptised at Haverfordwest around 1710 and the Christian name Philip does occur in families at Carew and Burton around 1800.

Picton of Camrose and Roch

There are Picton families living in these parishes from about 1780 to 1836, but they do not seem to have survived into civil registration and the 1841 Census. This should be checked in the 1841 Census Index at the Pembrokeshire Record Office.

Picton origin places other than Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire have so far not matched our Picton Family DNA and so are not related.

Picton of Cheshire, Lancashire(Lostwithiel, Cornwall, England)do not match our DNA

Picton of Port Louis, Mauritius Island in the Indian Ocean does not match our DNA

    • PICTON OF FRANCE - 1891 to 1915-Information provided by Brian Picton Swann

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Last Modified June 2009

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