Pidgeons have inhabited Norfolk for at least 500 years. On his accession to the throne of England in April 1509, King Henry VIII granted a general pardon to the inmates of all the gaols. However, certain individuals were excepted from this pardon, in particular those guilty of political crimes. One such was "Pygeon of Yarmouth" and he was subsequently hanged on what is now Yarmouth racecourse.
Several small early families can be identified, but not linked. Later, larger families which can be traced to the present day settled at Great Yarmouth, Long Stratton and around King's Lynn.