Preface
[Preface] [Ch1 Historical] [Ch2 - Noteable English Family] [Ch 3 16th Century Bicknells] [Family Characteristics]

    [ Preface ] Ch1 Historical ] Ch2 - Noteable English Family ] Ch 3 16th Century Bicknells ] Family Characteristics ]

    Thomas Williams Bicknell's 1913 genealogy Book

    PREFACE

       Human life is like unto a mountain stream that flows from
    unknown springs to uncharted seas.  An individual life has its
    known entrance and exit.  Not so with a family.  It was never
    born; it will never die.  So complete and wonderful is a family,
    that the term is hard to comprehend or to define.  The strains
    of blood in the veins of a twentieth century Bicknell are as
    numerous as the sands of the shore or the multitude of the
    stars.  To find your Adam and Eve Bicknell would be a search
    as hopeless as for the Holy Grail.  A family genealogy is a bit
    of the infinite in terms of the finite; a sample of creative energy,
    working through men and women, who, for a few centuries,
    bear the Bicknell name.   What name we bore two thousand
    years ago, no man knows.  What name we shall bear two thou-
    sand years hence is beyond our ken.  What we do know, is this,
    that a common name, peculiar physical, mental and spiritual
    characteristics unite  a  few thousands  in relations  of  mutual
    acquaintance, fellowship, brotherhood, love.  The family, called
    your name, is one of the units of a national, a world 1ife; the
    ends it serves are to cement a c1oser brotherhood and to foster
    true sympathy,  co-operation  and  faith.   A  family  genealogy
    gives identity and personality to scattered forces and makes the
    interlinking of lives more real, natural and helpful.  The Bicknell
    genealogy is a grouping of a body of men, women and children,
    a section of world workers, who should make good as
    Beacon lights on the Beacon Hills of life for the races of men.

        This book is the growth of many years.  Prior to 1860, I
    knew no Bicknells outside my own Barrington (R. I.)  family.
    In 1810, I had become acquainted with Lovell Bicknell, of Wey-
    mouth, and Quincy Bicknell, of Hingham, Mass., learning from
    them that Weymouth was the home town of the family.  In
    1875, I took up my residence in Boston, Mass., and there became
    acquainted with several more of our family, notably, William
    E., Alfred, Quincy, Zachariah and Robert.  In 1879, the Bick-
    nell family Association was formed at the house of  William
    E. Bicknell, 43 Somerset Street, Boston.  There were seventeen
    Bicknells present, and fetters were read from twelve of our fam-
    ily absent.  So little did we know of the origin of the family
    or of its founder in America, Zachary Bicknell, that the circular
    issued in calling the  first meeting, had this opening sentence:
    "The Bicknells in the United States are all supposed to be de-
    scendants of  Zachary Bicknell, an English naval officer, who
    came to this country in  1635, and died in  Weymouth  in  1636
    leaving a son John, the ancestor of a large and very respectable
    posterity."  As I suggested a getting together of the family and
    my name stands first in the call, it is pretty certain that I wrote
    that woefully inaccurate statement as to our very   humble and
    untitled progenitor.  I suppose my expert knowledge ot Zach-
    ary's traditional naval career led to my choice as President of
    the Association, while the recognition of the fact that we were
    need of more careful study of the family history and genealogy,
    as kept me at the head of the Association till now.

        By great good fortune, Quincy Bicknell, of Hingham, Mass.,
    was chosen historian, and as he was then writing the genealogy
    of the Tower family, he had unusual qualifications and facilities
    for gathering the facts of our family life.  The value of his serv-
    ices in collecting and collating material is beyond estimation, and
    his chirography is so fine that I shall have the thousand pages
    of Mss., which he made, bound and preserved as a fitting mem-
    orial of his industry, fidelity and beautiful penmanship, most of
    the Mss. he collected having been transcribed by him from his
    careful notation.

       At Mr. Quincy Bicknell's death, the Mss. he had prepared
    were committed to my care, as President of the Association.
    I had already collected a large amount of material, I at once
    proceeded to edit the whole, connect, so far as possible, unclas-
    sified families, collect all new data possible, and edit the whole
    for  publication.   Finding  the  desire  very  general  that  the
    genealogical matter should be published, and that I should assume
    the work, I found one of our own family, Mr. William N.
    Bicknell, a printer, of Cincinnati, Ohio, prepared and qualified
    for the task.  I made a contract with the Higbee-Bicknell Publish-
    ing and Printing Co., to print the volume.  Mr. W. N. Bicknell
    has had the supervision of the printing and issuance of the book
    and whatever material excellence it possesses should be credited
    to that firm.  It is a great satisfaction to me to know that from
    start to finish, this History and Genealogy is wholly a Bicknell
    product.

      So many have assisted that it seems invidious to name a few,
    if not all, and yet I am sure it will awaken no jealous thougths
    if I name of American Bicknells; Miss M. Maude Bicknell, and
    Dr. Emma V. P. B. Culbertson, of Boston ; Rev. Geo. W. Bick
    nell, D. D., of Cambridge; Miss Mary Ellen Clarke, of Lynn;
    Hon. Ellery Bicknell Crane, of Worcester, Mass.; Miss Ada B,
    Bicknell, of Potsdam, New York; Mrs. John R. Bicknell, of
    Skowhegan, Me.; Mr. George A. Bicknell, New York, N. Y.;
    Hon. Warren Bicknell, Cleveland, Q.; Mrs. Ernest P. Bicknell,
    Washington, D. C.; Dr. Robert C. Bicknell and Miss Harriet M.
    Grange, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Mrs. Electa B. Grange, Napanee,
    Canada; Mrs. Emeline L. Bicknell, Pomeroy, O.; Miss Fannie E,
    Bicknell and Mr. Dana E. Bicknell, Chicago, Ill.; Mrs. Frederick
    T. Bicknell, Los Angeles, Cal., and many others.

       The chief English contributor has been Mr. A. Sidney Bicknell,
    of London, England.  He made a long and faithful study of
    the English Bicknells, and his wealth and scholarship enabled him
    to gather a vast amount of valuable material, which I trust will
    be printed for the use of Bicknells the world over.  Mr. Bick-
    nell's family had its origin in Somesetshire about tlie middle of
    the Eighteenth century, and is an integral part of the Paveley
    descent.

       This history and genealogy is not complete.  I doubt if  it
    could be made comptete in an exact sense.  Many families have
    been lost to our view.  The labor of years is wrapped up in this
    volume.  To make a volume that would include the direct and
    collateral lines from Zachary Bicknell would occupy a score of
    years more.  The best we can do has been done, in that by this
    volume it is thought that every person in America, of Bicknell
    descent, can, by its aid, trace out his ancestral lines to an Eng-
    lish origin in the distant past.

       This volume is the key to the future study of the family.
    Many errors as to names and dates will appear.  Errors of omis-
    sion and commission will be noted ; they must be expected. All that
    the editor can claim is this, that he has used the material obtained
    from hundreds of sources, often after much solicitation and long
    delays, in such form as will enable every Bicknell of Zachary's
    descent to construct and fill out his own family tree.  To this
    end, a few blank pages are left in the back part of the book for
    the filling up of unfilled records, and the addition of births, mar-
    riages and deaths.  The family genealogy will take the place
    Of the Family Bible for family records, thereby giving it greater
    permanent value.

        A genealogy is a memorial of lasting value, far more perma-
    nent and intelligent than tombstones, and yet I have found it
    difficult to show to some members of the family the importance
    of a pictorial family representation in this volume.  Hundreds
    of dollars are spent in headstones and monuments, in cemeteries,
    most of which are neglected in the second generation and are
    destroyed before the life of the fifth.  The pictures in this vol-
    ume tell more than the printed page, and will long survive all
    other material records.  They insure a limited immortality of
    remembrance, so cherished a desire of the human spirit.

       The history and genealogy of the Bicknell family are begun
    in this volume; they will be completed in the lives and records
    of the present and succeeding generations.

       May the future of the family be as clean, as pure, as noble,
    a honorable as the past, and may the future Bicknell historian
    have as pleasant a task as has been mine in the work I have done
    in and for the Bicknell family, since the formation of the Bick-
    nell Family Association, in Boston, in December, 1879.

                                       THOMAS  WILLIAMS  BICKNELL.
      Providence, R. I., 1913.