Our branch of the family came to Canada in 1782 from the Mohawk Valley in New York State. They were of German origin and members of the High Dutch Church. They entered the country in Quebec but later moved to Darlington Township near Oshawa.
My great grandfather became a sailor on the Great Lakes and was eventually captain of a ship. Captain George Pickell married Julia Ann Miller in Darlington Township near Oshawa, Ontario. The captain married a second time to Catherine Talbot of Port Huron. Children from the first marriage were: Wilmot Gordon Pickell (born in Darlington Township), Allen Wellington Pickell, Mary Julia Pickell, (born in Artemsia, Grey County, and baby Pickell. Of the second marriage to Catherine Talbot (Port Huron, Michigan) the children were: Alice Wilhelmina Pickell (Port Huron), George Pickell died June 1866 in Detroit City, Michigan. The captain's ship was wrecked off Point Pelee end he was several hours in the water before being res-cued from shore. He dropped dead in Detroit in 1666, never having really recovered from his ordeal.
His eldest child Wilmot Gordon Pickell was about 14 years old when the captain decided to buy a farm at Flesherton, Ont. The captain soon tired of the land but his son vowed he would come back to the farm when he was old enough and did so at the age of 17. He met and married a young school teacher, Elizabeth Ann Wright and Fanny Thorpe ran away from Ireland after being secretly married against her parents' wishes. The boat became cholera-ridden and Fanny was the only one to survive after contracting the dread disease. Their daughter, Elizabeth Ann, got her high school education in Flesherton and walked to Owen Sound to write examinations for her teaching certificate. According to the Flesherton weekly newspaper She WPS considered the foremost historian of Artemesia Township. She was born in 1842 and died in 1929 at a daughter's home in Regina, Saskatchewan. Her husband had died in Markdale in 1914. They had eight children. Births and Deaths of Children- Julia Ann Pickell, Born Dec. 27, 16695 George Low Wright Pickell, March 11, 1671, died in Philadelphia 1690; Austin Allen Pickell, Oct.7, 167?, Died Seaview Hospital, Stratten Island, N.Y., Oct.6, 1912; Wilmot Gordon Pickell, Aug.16, 1674, died in Flesherton Aug. 16, 1676; Prances Elizabeth Eleanor Pickell, July 6, 1676, died in Port Arthur, Mar. 12, 1966; Wilmot Guy Pickell, May 25, 1676, died in Paris, Ont. Jan. 4, 1944; Charles Perry Pickell, Apr.11, 1880, died in Woodstock, Ont. Mar.20, 1970; Robert Goldwin Thorpe Pickell, April 20, 1664, died in Elmira, Ont. 1974.
A son Wilmot Guy Pickell learned the printing trade in Dundalk. By age 16, he had his own newspaper at Sturgeon Palls. He worked for a time at the Toronto Telegraph and the Dundalk Herald. He purchased a newspaper at Minto, Manitoba. He also owned a job printing plant at Portage la Preirie end managed the British Printing and Publishing Co., in Winnipeg. He came to Paris in 1927.
As a sideline, he published several weeklies at Lengruth, Oakville end Trenscona-all in Manitoba.
Mr. Guy Pickell worked in Paris for sixteen years. He changed the name of the Star Transcript to its original name-The Paris Star. He died in 1944 and was succeeded by his son, J.P.(Jack) Pickell. Jack had been working with his father on the Paris Star since they bought it in 1927. He continued on as editor end proprietor until 1970 when he sold out to Mr. end Mrs. William Gilchrist. Jack Pickell stayed on until 1978 as editor-until his retirement in 1978- fulfilling about 50 years of service to the newspaper.
He was president of the Ontario-Quebec Weekly Newspaper Association in 1954. He and his father were presidents of the Paris Lions Club at different times (1937 and 1958). The Star had its centennial in 1956. Jack Pickell was chairman of the town's program for the Canada Centennial in 1967 end has been active in many other organizations in the community.
Jack Pickell discovered his last name written in different ways. He found a tombstone in Richwood, Ont. of a Francis PICKLE- a member of one branch of the family. Francis Pickle died in 1860. Apparently, he was a minister or lay preacher who followed his son to Richwood and established a Baptist Church (which has since burned down). His wife later moved to Burford.