The Pickett Family of Lowville
John Pickett and his wife Margaret arrived in Salem, Massachusetts from England in 1648 along with their four children: John, James, Thomas and Sarah. In 1650 they moved to Stratford, Connecticut. Thomas Pickett married, moved to Danbury, Connecticut. Ebenezer Pickett, son of Dr. Thomas Pickett, married Parnel Bostwick, and one of their younger sons, Daniel, was born July 4, 1771. Daniel married Lavinia Thurston, and along with their two children, they settled in Upper Canada in 1798. After Lavinia’s death in 1799 near Sophiasburg at the Bay of Quinte, Daniel became an Itinerant Methodist Minister (Circuit Rider).
Reverend Pickett’s circuit took him as far as Ottawa, Bay of Quinte, Niagara, and Yonge Street. He was one of five ministers conducting the first Methodist Camp Meeting at Hay Bay in 1805. While traveling the Yonge Street Circuit 1805 and 1806, Reverend Pickett met Elizabeth Ingersoll, sister of Laura Secord, daughter of Major Thomas and Elizabeth (Dewey) Ingersoll. Reverend Daniel Pickett and Elizabeth Franks Ingersoll were married January 15, 1806 at ‘The Credit’ where Thomas Ingersoll ran the Government Inn. Their two children were born in Augusta Township near Prescott, Thomas in 1808 and Elizabeth in 1811, their mother Elizabeth dying after the birth of their daughter.
Reverend Daniel Pickett married for the third time to Anna Corbin, which produced five more children. The family settled near Lowville in 1822 on Lots 5 and 6, Concession IV, Nelson Township. The 1830 census shows eight people in the household, 380 acres of bush 20 acres cleared land. Reverend Daniel and Elizabeth Ingersoll Pickett’s son Thomas Ebenezer married Anna Catherine Smith of Palermo, Trafalgar Township and they settled on Lot 6, concession IV on the hill above Lowville where they raised a large family. Reverend Daniel and Elizabeth Ingersoll Pickett’s daughter, Elizabeth Franks Ingersoll Pickett married Peter McNiven and they settled on the south half of Lot 6, Concession IV. Reverend Daniel and family remained on Lot 5, concession IV. Many of the Pickett family and their descendants are buried in the Lowville United Church Cemetery.
Andrew and Daniel Pickett built the familiar octagonal house in 1850 from lumber sawn at the Pickett Sawmill located midway through their property, powered by the Twelve Mile Creek. Andrew Pickett built the first store in Lowville in 1853. According to the 1851 Census, the Pickett family sawmill was water powered, employed two people, and was cutting 150,000 feet of lumber per year.
Thomas and Anna Catherine Pickett raised nine children on the farm. Youngest son William stayed on the farm and he and his wife Barbara Ann Harvey raised seven children.
The last Picketts born in the octagonal house were the children of Ed and Ethel Pickett, daughters Valera Marshall of Milton and Hazel Denham of Guelph. The Pickett farm was sold in 1950 to Pearl and Arthur Johnson.
There are many descendants of the Pickett family living in the Hamilton, Dundas, Burlington, Milton, Kilbride, and Campbellville areas. Three Picketts of the first family born in Lowville moved to the United States including Andrew Pickett, whose grandson Harry Hopkins became private adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A son, John, moved to Manila in the Philippine Islands. Reverend Daniel Pickett and his third wife Anna moved to Erie, Pennsylvania in 1845 to live with their son, Hiram, and are buried in the town of North East, Pennsylvania. Keitha Pickett, daughter of Reverend Webster Pickett of Lansing near Toronto was married to George S. Henry, Premier of Ontario. My grandmother, Anna Catherine Pickett Prudham lived in Kilbride and was a collector of family and local history, as was her Aunt Maggie (Margaret) Pickett. My mother, Laura Prudham Dixon has followed in their footsteps.
Two reunions of the descendants of the Reverend Daniel Pickett were a help, one at Grimsby, Ontario in 1963, and one in Lowville in 1964. Over 200 people travelled from across North American to attend. Professor Bethel S. Pickett of Westwood Farm, Grimsby, Ontario organized the reunions.
The Pickett family has scattered far and wide, but the little octagonal house on the hill in Lowville survives, a reminder of the family that settled there, cleared the land, and left a legacy for all to enjoy, a testimony not only to the fine building methods of their time, but to the owners since the Picketts that have restored and maintained the house and barn. A few apple trees still remain of the old orchard and blossom every year.
Three hundred and fifty years have passed since the Picketts landed in North America, two hundred years since the family came to Upper Canada. We expect the family will endure for many generations to come.
Contributing Author: Ruth Taylor
Source: Kilbride Chronicles, Issue 13, Page 22
Transcribed by: Lyndsey Innes