While it is claimed here and there that Picard name is inspired by Auguste Piccard, the first man who saw the Earth’s curvature, and his family of balloonists and bathyscaphists, is this actually mentioned in the series? Wikipedia does not have a precise reference.

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    Bathyscaphe : A manned submersible vessel of a kind used by the French deep-sea explorer Auguste Piccard. – Daft Nov 29 '16 at 11:51

According to Wikipedia Gene Roddenberry created the name Jean-Luc Picard for one or both of the Piccard brothers. However it is not related at all to the fictional ancestry of the character Jean-Luc Picard.

In the family photo album which Picard has in both Generations and Nemesis the opening cover shows the "beginning" of the Picard family line as Madame de La Barre and Francoise de Picard.

The caption on the photo reads:

The founders of the family, Madame de La Barre and Francoise de Picard

In Generations Picard speaks briefly about his family's heritage, mentioning the Picard who was at Trafalgar and in the first Martian colony.

Memory-Alpha says that Picard claimed he was able to trace his family's roots back to the time of Charlemagne in the 8th century, which is well before the time of Auguste Piccard. Given the consistency of the single 'c' in Picard, is it extremely unlikely he would be related to people with a deviation in the name.

  • A comment on the "consistency of the single 'c' in Picard" : Picardie is also a region in France. So, variations of the name are probably rare (since the reference world is still used) Edit : Was still used since Picardie does not exist anymore (it fused with another region a few months ago) – Edelk Nov 29 '16 at 10:35

It's unlikely that such a reference would exist in the series - Picard is a last name, not a given name. Jean-Luc has the last name of 'Picard' because his father did. His father had that last name because his father did, and so on. Thus, Picard would never say, "I was named after Auguste Piccard". The difference in spelling between Jean-Luc's name and Auguste's name makes a direct ancestry less likely, as well.

In general, excepting those who do so through legal channels or during immigration, people don't choose their last names. Most people don't even know the background of their last name, though they may be aware of ancestors who were important or well-known.

It's entirely possible that the writers and producers chose the name 'Picard' as a reference to the gentleman you mention. If so, however, I do not recall Picard naming him as an ancestor during the show, not do I recall any specific interview where the shows staff or producers said as much.

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    Yeah, Picard is a last name, I explicitly ask for "ancestry" in the question. Consider that both Auguste Piccard and his son, as well as other members of the family, pushed the limits of exploration of space holding for some time the records for maximum distance from earth and maximum depth in the ocean. – arivero Oct 19 '11 at 22:48
  • @arivero: Your question does not include a reference to "ancestry". Your question currently, and at the time of my response, asked if the show mentioned Picard's name being 'inspired' by Piccard's. – Jeff Oct 22 '11 at 20:43

It could be possible. For example, my last name is Perlich. I'm a 3rd generation American. When my great great grandfather and his family immigrated into the US, the last name was originally Berlich. For some reason it was changed (possibly a misspelling by immigration authorities at Ellis Island). Since Auguste Piccard is from the early 20th century, and Jean-Luc is from the 24th, it's entirely possible that the last name was slightly changed. It's also possible, in the fictional sense, that Auguste Piccard could be related to the ancestrial Picard, but that the last name was changed to Piccard for some reason or another, and then corrected prior to Jean-Luc. I know, a far fetch, but this is fiction that we're talking about.

  • Hello David, and welcome to the SF & Fantasy Stack. While we appreciate your answer, we're looking for more than just speculation that "it could be possible". This question has already received an answer indicating that Gene Roddenberry named Jan-Luc Picard after the Piccard brothers, but not as actually being related. This site is not a forum or a message board; instead, we're looking for referenced answers. We appreciate your effort, but it might be a good idea to take the tour to learn more about this site. But don't let this put you off; stick around and try your hand at other questions! – SQB Nov 29 '16 at 9:12

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