Wednesday, May 22, 2013

George W. Piggot, Artist

"Artist Studio" by George W. Piggot
After finding the land records for George Piggot,  I went through the rest of the New York collections at FamilySearch. In the Letters of administration index 1743-1910 M-R I discovered an entry for George W. Piggot. It was dated Dec 14, 1896 and the administrator was a Theodore W. Handley.

Unfortunately FamilySearch does not have the actual Letter of administration.

This finding really intrigued me. George Piggot, my distilling 4th great-grandfather had a daughter named Phebe Piggott who married Jacob Handley. They had a son named Theodore Wallace Handley born 1833 and died 1838.

I fell in love with this painting when I saw it.  Sure would love to have it.

I can't help but feel that these two are connected somehow to my Piggott family. I have searched high and low online and have not been able to determine who George W.'s parents were. However, I have discovered a few things about him.

I found George in only one census record:
Name:Geo Pickett
Age in 1860:7
Birth Year:abt 1853
Birthplace:United States of America
Home in 1860:New York Ward 7 District 1, New York, New York
Post Office:New York

Household Members:
Augusta Pickett36
Theodore Pickett21
Geo Pickett7
Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: New York Ward 7 District 1, New York, New York
Roll: M653_792; Page: 527; Image: 534; Family History Library Film: 803792.

His administrator, Theodore Handley was listed as a Pickett in 1860. In 1850 he is listed as a Hanley and is still living with Augusta Pickett. I am going mad trying to figure out the relationship between these three.  Augusta is also a family name.

Name:Augusta Pickett
Birth Year:abt 1825
Birthplace:New York
Home in 1850:New York Ward 6, New York,New York
Family Number:1195
Household Members:
Sarah Hanley20
Theodore Hanley12
Augusta Pickett25
John Dixon40
Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: New York Ward 6, New York, New York
Roll: M432_538; Page: 230B; Image: 467.

According to his death notice and the passenger information I found, he was born in Maricaibo, Venezuela, however his passport application says he was born in New York.

George W. Piggott.
George W. Piggott, an artist, died in this city last Sunday of typhoid fever. He was born in Maracaibo in 1852, his mother being a Venezuelan. though his father was of an old New-York Quaker family. He studied art under Walter Shirlaw in New-York and Lefebvre in Paris. and also spent some time in Venice. His best vein lay in portrait painting.

Source Citation: Year: 1860; Arrival: New York, New York;
Microfilm Serial: 
Microfilm Roll: 
198; Line: 1; List Number: 63.
I wonder why he was traveling alone at 7 years old.

Source Citation: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Passport Applications, 1795-1905; Collection Number: ARC Identifier 566612 / MLR Number A1 508;
NARA Series: 
M1372; Roll #: 236.
I have not been able to find a passenger list for him as an adult, but I am guessing he acquired the passport before he went to Paris to study with Jules Joseph Lefebvre.

George also held several patents for carpet designs. Here are a couple of the designs:

Design no. 10,821, September 10, 1878

Design no. 10, 822, September 10, 1878

Well, I have had fun learning about George W. Piggot the artist, but I will not rest until I find out who his parents were. Luckily I have the information I need to order his death certificate. I will let you know what I learn from that.

*UPDATE: George W. Piggott, artist is my first cousin 4 times removed! You can learn of my discoveries on the following posts:

Leslie Ann


  1. An interesting mystery. Hope the death certificate solves it!

  2. Dear Leslie Ann,
    George W. Piggott was an early member of the Salmagundi Sketch Club, being elected to membership c. 1877. He exhibited in the Club's early Black & White Exhibitions in 1878 and 1879, as well as the National Academy of Design in 1882 and 1886. William Henry Shelton notes in his history of the Club (1918) that when the group was situated at 896 Broadway, the space was dubbed the “Punch and Judy” room due to a large square window looking in on the hall where George W. Piggott and Frank M. Gregory would put on memorable puppet shows. Best, Bob Mueller

    1. Thanks Bob! I did discover that info quite a while back. I just discovered a couple of weeks ago that he is buried in the Locust Grove section of the Cypress Hills Cemetery without a headstone. That makes me sad. I am trying to gather as much info as I can about him and his parents as well as his cousin Theodore Wallace Handley. It's proving rather difficult to find anything on his parents and T W Handley, esq seems to have fallen off the end of the earth around 1916. Piggott and Handley were also members of the Westchester Walking club. My goal is to write a book about George.



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