Appendix ] [ Preface ] Introduction ] About the Author ] Early US History ] Sources ]   


"An individual life has its known entrance and exit. Not so with a family. It was never born; it will never die.
Thomas William Bicknell

Thomas Wm. Bicknell of Providence, RI was the president of the Bicknell Family Association which was organized in Boston in 1879. After the death in 1890 of Quincy Bicknell, the Association historian who began the collecting of the history & genealogy of the Bicknells, Thomas finished the collating, editing & writing of much of the history for the volume which appeared in 1913 entitled History & Genealogy of the Bicknell Family & some Collateral Lines of Normandy, Great Britain and America comprising some Ancestors & Many Descendants of Zachary Bicknell From Barrington, Somersetshire, England 1635. It is known today simply as the 1913 Bicknell Genealogy. That large volume of over 600 pages contained a wealth of material including ten generations counting our immigrant ancestor Zachary as the first generation. This new book is a supplement to that work. In it I have tried to trace the many branches of this large family to the present time. In many cases I found families who had been omitted from the 1913 book several generations back and have successfully brought them up-to-date.

I have added one major innovation. Whereas in the Victorian outlook in which the original volume was written, once a Bicknell daughter married, she then became a member of her husband’s family with her own family heritage being relegated to a negligible place in the Genealogy. Thomas seldom did more than list her children, if that. In this modern history, I have included both male & female descendants, whenever possible. If any of my readers disagrees with this approach, let him pause for a moment and look again at the title page. Note again the author’s names Phyllis Bicknell Carroll. I have been a Carroll for over 29 years. If I did not subscribe to the belief that the female line of descent is every bit as valid as the males, you would not be holding this book in your hand today.

Because I know that many of you do not have copies of the 1913 Bicknell Genealogy, I have rewritten much of the history adding new information, for inclusion in this current volume. In the Appendix I have also listed libraries which I know have copies of the original book. There must be many others. The Bicknell Family Association also published various proceedings of family reunions which some of you may have. As the history of the Association is included in the 1913 book, I shall just briefly list here the main reunions for which some of you may have pamphlets:

11 Dec 1879 Organization meeting at Boston, MA

22 Sep 1880 First Family Reunion at Weymouth, MA
20-21 Sep 1882 Second Family Reunion at Weymouth, MA
Sep 1885 The 250th Anniversary of Zachary’s arrival.
The 250th Anniversary meeting was held in Boston.

There were also two editions of a newsletter entitled ‘Good News’--Volume 1 (1911) & Volume 2 (1913). One of the highlights of the 1882 Reunion was the dedication of the Bicknell Monument in Weymouth. When I visited Weymouth in 1976, I discovered that the bowl-shaped, fluted urn which had originally topped the five-ton monument (see photo in 1913 book) is now missing. The papers & records belonging to the Bicknell Family Association 1879-1932 are now in the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. Eventually I shall offer them all my records & worksheets so that all will be together for the convenience of some future genealogist who wishes to update the 1981 Bicknell Genealogy---in the year 2050 perhaps?

The longer I worked on this project, the more I realized how much appreciation we owe to Quincy & Thomas W. Bicknell and to A. Sidney Bicknell of London, England who did most of the research into our family’s English & Norman roots. Most especially so when I learned during my recent visit to Weymouth, Barrington & Somerset, England that not only have the old gravestones in the Barrington Churchyard become completely illegible but that most Somerset wills were destroyed by German bombings at Exeter during World War II. So we can all be very grateful that copies of Zachary’s parents’ wills were included in the 1913 Genealogy.

I must also thank all of you who answered my inquiries, who sent me clippings and names & addresses of other Bicknells, one leading to another, and again my thanks to those of you who wrote appreciative letters and to those of you who, realizing the extent of this undertaking, would occasionally include extra stamps. Your thoughtfulness was most encouraging. Now that it is finally finished, I hope you are all pleased with the results of my ten-year project. This 1981 Bicknell Genealogy is priced to cover only the actual cost of publishing it. The cost of the research and my decade of genealogical labor is my gift to all my Bicknell "cousins".