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My 8th great-grandfather was born in 1644 in France. He died in 1700 in
County Limerick, Ireland. He was a Protestant who fled from religious persecution in France.
Robert Andrew Pickens (1644 – 1699)
is my 8th great grandfather
William Henry Pickens (1670 – 1735)
son of Robert Andrew Pickens
Andrew Sr Pickens (1699 – 1756)
son of William Henry Pickens
Jean Pickens (1738 – 1824)
daughter of Andrew Sr Pickens
Margaret Miller (1771 – 1853)
daughter of Jean Pickens
Philip Oscar Hughes (1798 – 1845)
son of Margaret Miller
Sarah E Hughes (1829 – 1911)
daughter of Philip Oscar Hughes
Lucinda Jane Armer (1847 – 1939)
daughter of Sarah E Hughes
George Harvey Taylor (1884 – 1941)
son of Lucinda Jane Armer
Ruby Lee Taylor (1922 – 2008)
daughter of George Harvey Taylor
I am the daughter of Ruby Lee Taylor
The following information was compiled by Mrs. Wendell Pickens, Costa Mesa, California.
The old, old story of Robert Pickens I, handed down to us by tradition, tells us that in the last half of the seventeenth century there was a man in France, probably of Scottish birth, by the name of Robert Pickens, who, it is said, held an official position as Chief Justice of the Court, and who was probably a Protestant of the Presbyterian Church. In this account of the Pickens family, he will be known to us as Robert Pickens I.
The name of his wife has been handed down to us as Esther Jane Bonneau, who, it is said, was a widow, possessing unusual beauty and was of the Huguenot faith.
When the Edict of Nantes was unwisely and unjustly revoked 22 October 1685, the persecution of the Protestants in France became so intense that large numbers of useful, as well as rich inhabitants of France, were forced to leave their native land and seek a place of safety in other countries where their industry, wealth and skill found a hearty reception. Robert Pickens I and his wife, with a large number of other refugees, fled to Scotland leaving France by way of La Rochelle, a fortified city of about eighteen thousand people, on the west coast of France.
We do not know how long Robert Pickens I lived in Scotland; but, after a time, we find his living at Limerick, Ireland, where he was living at the end of the seventeenth century.
We have no record of how many children Robert Pickens I had; but tradition tells us that at least three sons came to America to seek their fortunes in the New World, which at that time was being settled.
The names of the three sons of Robert Pickens I, who, we were told came to America, were: Andrew Pickens, John Pickens, Robert Pickens. We do not know the dates of birth of Andrew and John Pickens, but Robert Pickens was born at Limerick, Ireland, in 1697. It is known that these three brothers came to America; but is believed they did not come at the same time, because they did not settle at the same place in the New World. Robert Pickens I and his wife, it is said, were buried at Limerick, Ireland.
A son of Andrew [aka Andre’ Picon] and Isobell (Matthisone) Picken(s), Robert [aka Rob’ert Andre’ Picon] married widow Lady Ester Jeanne (le Benoit) le Bonneau in 1665 in La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, France.
1) William Henry Picken(s) (1669-1735), m: Margaret Pike.
NOTE: This ancestor is still being researched. Available sources have some conflicting information, but the facts seem to hold up that the Pickens family was originally from Ireland by way of Scotland. At some point, some family members fled to France and records show a French spelling of the name; i.e. Henri’ Picon. Some members were actually born in France during this time period, which most likely caused the confusion of ancestral roots.
Excerpt from General Andrew Pickens (1739-1817) 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 Edict of Nantes by King Louis XIV in 1685. Tradition continues that they went to Scotland, later to North Ireland.”
Miss Eliza Pickens, a gr-granddaughter of General Andrew Pickens, in a paper prepared for D.A.R., said: “General Andrew Pickens’ first home was in Bucks Co PA. The Pickens were French Huguenots and left France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by King Louis XIV in 1685. General Pickens’ gr-grandfather, Robert Pickens held a good position in France and with every inducement to remain, but he refused to live under Roman Catholic rule. He married an accomplished young widow, Madam Bonneau.”