The Children of Robert and Esther Pickens
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List
August 10, 1998
Purpose: To collect, preserve, and spread information about the
descendents of Robert (b. 1645 France) and Esther Bonneau Picon (Pickens).
This FAQ is now being split between members' web pages. If you
would like to take ownership of what is left, please email mitch.
Table of Contents
0 General Questions
3 What published resources are available?
5 The BIG gedcom
7 Future Plans
Please email them to mitch(at)fincher.org
From General Andrew Pickens letter to General Lee in 1811, "There
seems to be some support for the claim that one ROBERT PICON, a
Scotchman or Briton at the court of France was a Protestant who fled
from Scotland in 1661 to avoid persecution of Charles II. In France
he is said to have married Madam Jean Bonneau, also a Protestant.
They fled France after the revocation of the Edit of Nantes by Louis
XIV in 1685. Tradition continues that they went to Scotland, later
to North Ireland."
_Pickens Families of the South_ by E. M. Sharp, 1963
From _Dozens of Cousins_:
"Robert Picken/Picon, a Scotsman, went to France during the reign of
King Henry IV of France (1589-1610). There he held an obscure
diplomatic post. Robert evidently returned to Scotland after 1610 and
had a son born about 1624 named Andrew. Andrew left Scotland for
France, possibly as early as 1651 when Charles II was defeated by
Oliver Cromwell and fled to France. If those who say Andrew's son,
Robert was born in 1654 in France are accurate, this action would fit
Robert Picken/Picon born 1654 in France married a young widow, Esther Jeanne
(Benoit) Bonneau of Rochelle, France. They had the following children: sons
Andrew, John, Robert, Israel, William, and Thomas, and at least one daughter,
who married a Davis.
The family fled France in 1685 for refuge in Scotland after the revocation of
the Edict of Nantes, because they had strong protestant convictions. They
lived in Scotland a short time, then moved to Ulster, Northern Ireland, where
they 'found blood kinsman of the Pickens family'. Early researchers think
Robert Picken, the father, died in Limerick, Ireland in 1700...
One thing is certain, the early records on the Pickens family, before they
reached the new world, are still obscure. Descendants of William and Thomas
have established that these two sons of Robert Picken came to America from
Northern Ireland. Thomas, with his wife, Margaret Steele, arrived in
Massachusetts in 1719 and stayed in New England.
This history traces the descendants of the son, William, who went to
Well not much. A gedcom 'piles.ged' exists at emcee.com that states
Robert's father was named Andrew. Does anyone know who submitted this
file to emcee.com? It has some great information on the Pickens
The cousin address list has moved to cousins.html.
This section has moved to Terry McLean's site http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~tmclean/Pickens_Pipeline.html
Terry McLean is compiling a gedcom of all the known descendents of
Robert and Esther Pickens at http://home.earthlink.net/~tmclean/Pickens_Pipeline.html
Use the form located at join.html
If you do not yet have your on web page, I would be happy to host your
information. Please email mitch(at)fincher.org with your info in the message.
(If you have any desire to work on any of these, or suggest new
topics, please email mitch(at)fincher.org).
- General Andrew Pickens - General in Revolutionary War
"the British, harassed by partisan leaders like Francis Marion,
Thomas Sumter, and Andrew Pickens, soon retired to the coast and
remained locked up in Charleston and Savannah." -Encyclopedia Brittanica
- Andrew Pickens (son of Gen. Pickens) , Gov. SC 1816-1818
- Francis Wilkinson Pickens (son of Gov. Andrew Pickens) , Also
a Gov. SC. "Pickens authorized the first
military action of the Civil War when South Carolina troops on Morris
Island fired on the Star of the West as it attempted to relieve the
Federal Army garrison at For Sumter." - Biographical Directory of the
Governors of the United States Vol IV.
- Israel Pickens,
Gov. of Alabama.
- T. Boone Pickens, businessman, future donator of his book to
the Pickens Cousins.
- Champ PICKENS, Sportsman
>From Brown/Owens, TOTING THE LEAD ROW - RUBY PICKENS TARTT, ALABAMA FOLKLORIST
[p. 147] "Champ PICKENS became famous in football annals as the orginator
of the Blue and Gray football game, played each New Year's day in
Montgomery, Alabama. He started his career as a sports promoter when he was
studen manager of the University of Alabama football team in 1896. He was
responsible for the Crimson Tide's first invitation to play in the Rose Bowl
in 1927. PICKENs' autobiography, A REBEL IN SPORTS, was published in 1956 by
A. S. Barnes Company."
- Ruby PICKENS TARTT, Author
[flyleaf]: "As a young woman growing up in Livingston in the Black Belt
region of Alabama, Ruby PICKENS TARTT developed a keen interest in the
stories, songs, and folklore of rural blacks. ....
In her collection work, including service with the WPA Writer's Project,
Ruby PICKENS TARTT worked with and assisted other collectors of folklore,
notably Carl Carmer and John Lomax...
TOTING THE LEAD ROW is divided into two major parts. The first is
biographical, and told in detail of her work during the Depression with the
Federal Writer's Project, collecting folk songs and lif histories and
gathering folklore. The second part contains selected writings of Ruby
PICKENS TARTT; 18 life histories and stories and 12 slave narratives."
[Ruby was a fiery and independent person - her life makes interesting
reading! - tmc]
- What is the status of the copyright on Rev. Sharp's book? Can it
be legally photocopied? Can it be purchased from some source?
We have an answer from Terry:
RE: PICKENS FAMILIES OF THE SOUTH and other works by Rev Eron M. Sharp:
Alma Sharp, widow of Rev. Eron M. Sharp, is still living, and has legal
copyrights of all of his works. At this time, Mrs. Sharp is not willing to
give permission to have PICKENS FAMIIIES OF THE SOUTH reprinted. She isn't
sure there is enough interest!
However, she has given permission to Jim Murphy of Henderson, TN to
reprint and update a smaller work on PICKENS and DOWDLE families. Projected
date of availabilty is fall, 1997. It is the combination of two
publications that he had published in 1961:
- THE PICKENS FAMILY - "An account of the descent from William
Pickens, the first of our American Ancestors, through two of his sons,
Andrew Pickens and John Pickens by the marriage of Capt. Joseph Pickens to
his first cousin, Eleanor Pickens". It runs about 50 pages.
- THE DOWDLE FAMILY - a similar work of about the same length.
It is our hope that when Mrs. Sharp sees the response to this work, she
will be more receptive to republication of PICKENS FAMILIES.
Mrs. Sharp did tell me that all of her husband's materials were donated to
the library in Memphis. I called the library and they told me it is quite a
large collection. I have yet to determine if there is a finding aid for this
material, but when I have the information, I will announce it here on the
PICKENS home page, with more details.
- A list of all the known errors in Rev. Sharps Book.
- A real mailing list, Pickens-L. see
http://catalog.com/vivian/mailing-list-providers.html for possibilities.
For more info on sending or getting gedcom files from emcee,
send a empty message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For more info on GenServ send any message to email@example.com
Back to Pickens Homepage.