Pickup Family History

Pickup as a name is thought to be derived from the hamlet of Pickup Bank above the town of Darwen on Darwen Moor in northeast Lancashire, England. The name Pickup Bank comes from three Old English words; "Pike" meaning peak or hill; "Copp" meaning cap or top and "Bank" meaning the side of (as in river bank). "Pickup" can be translated as "hilltop". There are other similar names based on the same source but these are now largely extinct. "Pickop" was frequently used in the 19th century. "Piccop"; "Pickoppe" and "Pickuppe" can all be found on older documents.

The cottage industry of weaving woolen cloth had long been established in the area and the Pickup family was certainly involved in this before 1840. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution, large cotton weaving mills sprang up in the towns taking advantage of indigenous weaving skills. Handloom weavers were also unable to compete with the factories and there began a slow migration away from the upland villages towards the burgeoning towns in the valleys. It was in the valleys that water power could be harnessed. Later, canals and railroads in the valleys provided export routes to the rest of England and the Colonies. Import routes for raw cotton came from America through the port of Liverpool.

Pickups moved with the times. First from rural Witton and Tockholes then into the Lower Darwen valley during the 1850's. During the 1860's the family was living in Ewood on the edge of Blackburn. During the 1890's they were living in the town of Blackburn itself and the newly built suburb of Queens Park in the 1890's.

Three generations worked as cotton-loom overlookers before cotton weaving faded away after the Second World War. Later generations have mostly moved away from Lancashire to find work and there have been migrations to the south of England; to Canada and to Australia.

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Pickup Y-DNA project (ybase)

Pickup Y-DNA project (ysearch)

E-mail address: martynpickup (at) aol.com

This data was updated on Wednesday 30 June 2004

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