Our Pickerings in the 16th and 17th Century

Family tree

Our family tree begins with the speculation that Peter Pickering, born about 1556 of Whitley, Great Budworth [LDS] is our first recorded ancestor. This Peter needs further investigation, but he was born in the right geographical area at about the right year to be the father of the next generation.

There are many years before another possible connection can be considered ...

A document held at Cheshire and Chester Archives and Local Studies Service reads ...

1682, 20. May : LEASE, (unexecuted) for 3 lives, by Rt. Hon. Thomas Earl Rivers to William Barker of Norley, husbandman -- a messuage or tenement in NORLEY late in the tenure of John Foster deceased and now of the said William Barker, with appurts. in NORLEY, CROWTON and CUDDINGTON; for lives of the said William Barker, Jonathan Pickering and Thomas Pickering, sons of Richard Pickering late of Crowton, decd., at annual rent of 18/4. Cons. £140.
Unsealed. Parchment.

There is a record of Jonathan, son of Richard, who had died before 1682:

Jonathan Pickering of Crowton, yeoman – Will dated 10 Aug 1730
“ .... that betwixt Eight or nine of the Clock, or thereabouts, one Evening .... in four Days he is sure after ye last Frodsham Fair ...... was on the tenth of August last, this deponent went to the House of William Barker the younger, in Norley, to be a witness ..... Will of Jonathan Pickering”.

I researched by using the dates from the handwritten family tree as a guide to our earliest Pickerings. I found that in 1693, in Weaverham Parish there were two John Pickerings baptised.

Below illustrates births and deaths from Weaverham Parish Records that require further investigation:
Weaverham, Crowton


John Pickering — 25 Jul 1693, father: John.
John Pickering — 27 Nov 1693, father: Peter

11 Nov 1719 — Peter son of Peter Pickering of Crowton, buried: Weaverham

John born of Peter

I chose (above) the father Peter as our most probable ancestor because I had a birth date of 14 Nov 1693 from our handwritten family tree (see above). Since you cannot (generally) be baptised until you are born, this John appeared to be the most likely candidate as our ancestor.

However, if we are to believe that same handwritten family tree, then John's father's name should be Thomas. I could not find any John Pickering baptised in 1693 from the right parish with that father's name. Next, I looked at 1694 and 1695. There was a father from Mobberley named Ralph Pickering, and in Grappenhall was a father of a son named John and his name was Jo. Pickering. There were no records of John Pickering baptised in 1692.

Since the family tree is has a very specific date of 14 Nov 1693 then we might be lead to believe that date is exactly accurate for a John Pickering. But is it OUR John Pickeirng? And could the date be wrong or belong to another John?

Thomas Pickering and Mary Broadhurst
Bishop's Transcripts, Frodsham Marriages.
Thomas Pickering and Mary Broadhurst, Frodsham

I continued to look for a Thomas to match the names on the family tree.

There was a Thomas born of Richard of Crowton and baptized on 10 Oct 1674 in Weaverham and he fits the possible age and location to be the father of John [1693].

I can also find Thomas Pickering marring Mary Broadhurst in Frodsham on 23 Sep 1695, which would mean that if they were the parents of John [1693] they would have married after he was born. Which is certainly possible. In Feb 2014, I discovered a family tree posted on geni.com indicates that Thomas Pickering and Mary Broadhurst Pickering had three children: Anne [b. 1696], Maria [b. 1698], and John [b. 1693]. It also indicates that John had a son, John [b. 1744] whose wife was Mary [1741-1807]. So we should keep an open mind about this Thomas Pickering.

A document showing Johnem Pickering of Crowton Parish in Weaverham, yeoman intending to mary Mary Adshead of Runcorn on 14 May 1690 also seems like a good candidate for the parents of John [1693]. In the research of a cousin, Mr. Andreas Schulz, who is also studying this Pickering family, he reports that this set of parents is the right one. This theory, of course, flies in the face of the record of Thomas on the family tree.

We have been able to verify the next generation of our ancestors by "backward engineering" names, places, and dates through the wonderful record-keeping of the Cheshire Parish and English census records, along with other sources such as the famous Doomsday Book.

So, in conclusion, the John Pickering and Mary Manwaring (link below) have been positively identified as our direct ancestors and what follows here can be considered as accurate as one can be using 350 year-old records. Enjoy!

» Click here to explore our ancestors: John Pickering and Mary Manwaring