History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index



CAPTAIN HENRY Y. PICKERING.  Among the first of the gallant boys in blue to respond to the call of his country when the bombardment of Fort Sumter surprised and shocked the people of his native state, was Captain Henry Y. PICKERING, of Lower Makefield township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania.

            He was born in Buckingham township, April 20, 1831, and came of the Quaker, non-combatant stock, being son of Yeamans and Rachel (BEANS) PICKERING, and great-great-grandson of Samuel PICKERING, of Solebury, who married Mary SCARBOROUGH in 1712, and settled on part of the land of his father-in-law, John SCARBOROUGH, in Solebury, where he died 8 mo. 10, 1727.  The children of Samuel and Mary SCARBOROUGH PICKERING were: John, born 1714, died 2 mo. 1, 1787, married 1745, Hannah DAWES; Isaac, born 12 mo. 23, 1716, married 1738, Sarah LUPTON; Samuel, born 1718, married 1747, Grace STACKHOUSE; William, born 1720, removed to Virginia; and Grace, who married William LUPTON.  John, the eldest son, settled on a portion of the Solebury homestead and had the following children: John, born 7 mo. 27, 1748, married Rachel DUER, in 1771; Jesse, born 12 mo. 10, 1751, married 1774, Ann KEMBLE; Hannah married Jonathan JOHNSON, and removed to Lancaster county; Hannah DAWES PICKERING, died 1796.

            John PICKERING and Rachel DUER, grandparents of Captain PICKERING, were the parents of seven children; Joseph, married Ann WATSON, and removed to Chester county, Pennsylvania; Benjamin, who removed to Elmira, New York; Phineas, who removed to North Carlonia, (sic) John, who was blind; William, who married Tabitha CROASDALE, and removed to Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania; Yeamans, married Rachel BEANS; Stacy, married Rachel PHILIPS; and Mercy, who married Robert PAIST.

            Yeamans PICKERING, father of the subject of this sketch, was a carpenter, though he carried on farming in connection with his trade.  On his marriage with Rachel BEANS he settled in Upper Makefield township, but having purchased a small farm in Buckingham he removed thereon three years later.  In 1826 he sold his farm and removed to the village of Greenville, where his son Yeamans Henry, as the Captain was first known, was born April 20, 1831.  The other children were: Mary; Hannah, married John ROBERTS; Rachel D., Timothy, Phineas, and Thomas Elwood.  In 1840 Yeamans PICKERING removed with his family to Lower Makefield township, where he remained until 1861, when he removed to Newtown borough.  He died in Newtown, October 1, 1862.

            The boyhood days of Captain PICKERING were spent on his fatherís farm in Lower Makefield.  When the war alarm sounded in April, 1861, he at once enlisted in Company F, Twenty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Captain Henry MíCORMICK, and was mustered into service May 2, 1861, for three months.  The Twenty-fifth was one of the first five regiments of Pennsylvania Volunteers, and the first to report for service at Washington.  It was kept on duty at the Capital until June 28, 1861, when five companies, including company F, were ordered to join Colonel Charles P. STONE at Rockville, Maryland.  They participated in the skirmish at Harperís Ferry, and suffered the hardships of Camp Misery.  They were finally assigned to the Seventh Brigade, Third Division, under General Robert PATTERSON, and marched to Bunker Hill, July 15th.  On the termination of their term of service they were highly praised by their commanding general.  They were mustered out of service at Harrisburg, July 26, 1861.

            Returning to Bucks county, Private PICKERING at once enlisted in the One Hundred and Fourth Regiment, then being recruited at Doylestown by Colonel W. W. H. DAVIS, and was commissioned captain of Company K., September 20, 1861.  With his regiment he served in the Army of the Potomac, at the siege of Yorktown, the battles and skirmishes on the Chickahominy, at Fair Oaks, James River, White Oak Swamp, Carterís Hill, and Malvern Hill, where, as is well known, the One Hundred and Fourth was always in the thickest of the fight.  When the regiment was transferred to Carolinas, Captain PICKERING was appointed Inspecting Officer of DAVISí Brigade, at the siege of Charleston, and, when Colonel DAVIS was placed in command of all the United States forces on Morris Island, General GILMORE appointed Captain PICKERING inspector of all the forces on the Island.  When General DAVIS was ordered to the command of the forces at Hilton Head, Captain PICKERING was retained upon his staff.  He earned and retained the reputation of a good officer and a brave soldier.

            Just prior to the breaking out of the war, Captain PICKERING had studied dentistry at Newtown, with Dr. TREGO, and on his return from the war he removed to Erie, Pennsylvania, and began the practice of his profession.  When the oil fever broke out, Captain PICKERING contracted the disease and went to Titusville, Crawford county, Pennsylvania, and engaged in the refining of crude oil.  He was the head of the firm of PICKERING, CHAMBERS & Co.., and known as the Keystone Refinery, all the members of the firm being brothers-in-law.  Being early on the ground, and of shrewd business capabilities, he amassed a comfortable fortune.  Becoming somewhat broken in health, he returned to Bucks county and located at Langhorne in 1890.  He died May 24, 1892, aged sixty-one years.  

            He was married October 16, 1861, to Anna J., daughter of John and Mary (HOUGH) BARNSLEY, now living in Newtown borough.  Their children are: Russel, of Newtown; and Mary, wife of Major Charles Stuart SPONG, of the English army, now stationed at Cario, Egypt.

Text taken from page 517 to 518 of: 

Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed August 2005 by Joan Lollis,  as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published August 2005 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/

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