This is apparently an Anglo-French surname. Recorded in many forms including Pickett, Picknett, Picnett, Picknete, Picnot, Picknutt, Pigne, Pigney, and Piguenitt, it has at least two possible origins. Firstly it may be a diminutive form of the popular suname Pick, itself from the Olde French word "picot" meaning point, with Roger Picot appearing in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 for Cheshire. Secondly it may derive from other French surnames which are associated with the later Huguenots such as Pigne, Pignet and Pignol, all of which appeared in England from about Elizabethan times. These are believed to describe an engineer or sometimes a dealer in iron work. There are many confusing and overlapping recordings, and examples taken from the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London include: Grace Pigney, who married Jonathon Ball at St James, Clerkenwell, on October 22nd 1598, and Brygett Picnett, who married Nicholas Bankes at St Michael Bassishaw, on November 7th 1599. Slightly later examples include Ely Pignet, whose daughter Mary was christened at the French church known as "The Artillery", Spitalfields, on August 2nnd 1726, and Susanna Picknett, the daughter of Moses Picknett, was christened at St Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, on December 28th 1766.
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