PIDgeon
GENealogy

Ian Pidgeon's Genealogy Project
for Pidgeon, Pidgen, Pigeon, etc



PIDGEON, PIGEON, PIDGEN, PIDGIN, etc.....
The Name and Distribution

The Name

Possible derivations of the name come from medieval English, which included Old French terms introduced after the Norman Conquest of 1066:

1.  A nickname - especially for someone easily plucked or taken, and thus swindled.

2.  An occupational surname for someone who hunted or bred pigeons and wood pigeons, which were once an item of food.

3.  From the a medieval nickname for Little John, "Pet(y)ion" from "pety" (middle Middle English for small, from the French "petit") and the name John or Johan.

The first known record of the family name is that of William Pigun in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Norfolk", dated 1200.  Other early examples were Ralf Pyjun in the Assize Rolls of Somerset of 1268, Relicta Pygon (1296), and Relicta Pijohan, John Petijohan and Thomas Piyion, all of Sussex in 1327.

The spelling of the name in early times had many variations:  Pegyn, Pigyn, Pygyn, Pygyon, Pygeon, Pigeon, Pidgeon, Pigin and Pigine were all used in Badsey, Worcestershire in the 15th and 16th centuries.   Other early variations found on the IGI are Pigion, Pigen, Pigon, Pygan, Peigeion, Piggen, Pyggen, Piggyn, Pyggyn. There is also some confusion with the name Piggin (see below).  However, modern spellings have been distilled down to just three variations: Pidgeon, Pigeon and Pidgen.   Anything else is most likely to be a spelling or transcription error.

The name of PIGGIN, pronounced Pig-Inn, is today a quite separate name. More can be found on the web-site of Jean-Baptiste Piggin at http://www.piggin.org/.  One section discusses the confusion between the names Pidgeon and Piggin at Badsey, Worcestershire.

The Distribution in England, Wales and Scotland

Although Pidgeons have now flown to all corners of the world, the 1881 census can be used to show where they were in Great Britain in mid-18th century.   The following list gives the number of people in the census with different variations of the name, and the maps below show where in the country they were living.   Some of the spellings are obviously spelling errors.

Pidgeon
Pigeon
Pidgen
Pigjin
Pidgon
Pidgion
Pigion
Pigen
Pigeons
Pidgeons
Pidgin
Pigens
    Total

993
210
39
8
7
3
3
2
2
1
1
1
1270

      see below
      see below
      see below
   Nottinghamshire
      see below
   Essex & Sussex
   London, Hants & Devon
   Middlesex & London
   Yorkshire
   Yorkshire
   Warwickshire
   Lanarkshire
 

Total 1881 Distribution --- all PIDGEON Variations
Distribution Map

Surname Atlas    from    Archer Software

Devonshire
Middlesex
Lancashire
Surrey
Shropshire
Gloucestershire
Dorset
Somerset
Norfolk
Cheshire
Staffordshire
Kent
Jersey
Hampshire
Essex
Cornwall
Worcestershire
Yorks W.Riding
Nottinghamshire
Warwickshire
Glamorgan
Berkshire
Sussex

208
190
83
64
59
58
54
46
45
42
39
34
33
27
27
26
23
21
21
20
15
15
13

 

Northumberland
Derbyshire
Lincolnshire
Hertfordshire
Guernsey
Wiltshire
Buckinghamshire
Oxfordshire
City of London
Monmouthshire
Bedfordshire
Cambridgeshire
Northamptonshire
Isle of Wight
Angus
Flintshire
Stirlingshire
Lanarkshire
Argyllshire
Yorks N.Riding
Yorks E.Riding
Suffolk
    Total

12
12
10
9
8
8
7
6
6
5
5
4
3
3
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1270

PIDGEON distribution in 1881
Distribution Map

Surname Atlas    from    Archer Software

Devonshire
Middlesex
Lancashire
Surrey
Shropshire
Norfolk
Dorset
Gloucestershire
Cheshire
Somerset
Staffordshire
Kent
Hampshire
Essex
Warwickshire
Berkshire
Worcestershire
Cornwall
Nottinghamshire
Lincolnshire
 

193
161
72
54
54
43
42
38
38
34
33
28
26
25
15
14
13
13
11
10
 

 

Yorks W.Riding
Sussex
Guernsey
Wiltshire
Glamorgan
Oxfordshire
Monmouthshire
Derbyshire
Bedfordshire
Cambridgeshire
Northumberland
Isle of Wight
Flintshire
Stirlingshire
Argyllshire
Angus
Yorks E.Riding
Suffolk
Northamptonshire
City of London
    Total

9
9
8
7
6
6
5
5
5
4
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
993

PIGEON distribution in 1881
Distribution Map

Surname Atlas    from    Archer Software

 

Jersey
Middlesex
Gloucestershire
Devonshire
Lancashire
Northumberland
Worcestershire
Hertfordshire
Yorks W.Riding
Cornwall
Glamorgan
Derbyshire
Surrey
Kent

33
24
20
13
11
10
10
9
9
8
8
7
7
6

 

Staffordshire
City of London
Somerset
Cheshire
Warwickshire
Nottinghamshire
Shropshire
Sussex
Berkshire
Dorset
Essex
Wiltshire
Angus
    Total

6
5
5
4
4
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
210

 

 

PIDGEN distribution in 1881
Distribution Map

Surname Atlas    from    Archer Software

Dorset
Somerset
Buckinghamshire
Cornwall
Northamptonshire
Middlesex

11
7
7
5
2
2

 

Glamorgan
Yorks N.Riding
Surrey
Isle of Wight
Devonshire
    Total

1
1
1
1
1
39

PIDGON distribution in 1881
Distribution Map

Surname Atlas    from    Archer Software

 

Shropshire
Norfolk
Surrey
Middlesex
    Total

3
2
1
1
7

 

 

Updated:  23 Jul 2017
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