PIDGEONs of Seaton & Beer, Devon
William Pidgeon and Joan Manning were married at Seaton and Beer in 1692. The parish comprised the two seaside villages, with the parish church at Seaton. William and Joan lived at Beer.
William was baptised at Sidbury in March 1670/71, the son of Nicholas (one of the few surviving records of Sidbury). Nicholas was probably born at Sidbury, too, about the 1640s, but neither his baptism nor of his marriage can be found. William’s daughters Anne and Elizabeth were not baptised at Seaton, so probably they, too, were baptised at Sidbury, and the records lost
William was a mariner who sailed to Newfoundland where he owned a plantation (probably a fishery business) in partnership with a John Spinster. William maintained dual residency of Newfoundland and Devon. His daughters married in Devon, and his wife was buried there. After the death of his wife in 1720, it seems that he spent most of his time in Newfoundland, where he acted as a constable, eventually died, and was buried.
William’s will was signed, sealed and delivered in Newfoundland, where he had resided “for several years past” on 10th Oct 1733, when he was “very sick and weak in Body but in perfect mind and memory”. After his death, it was proved on 10th Dec 1734 in London. In it he leaves “to John Thatcher Junior and Mary Thatcher his sister All the household Goods which is in Ferryland Newfoundland that did properly belong to their dear Mother and Grandmother”. And to his daughter Elizabeth Seaward, whom he made his sole executor, he left all his “Goods and money which shall be left in England and Newfoundland which is properly my own”. Out of this, she was to pay the three sons of his other daughter Ann Newton one guinea each, a year after his decease. John Spinster of Widworthy, Devon and Robert Shipard of Exmouth were appointed trustees to help Elizabeth perform his will. When the will was proved, Elizabeth was described as a widow.
Contributor: Basil Pidgeon.
ab. = about, b. = born, bp. = baptised, bu. = buried, d. = died, m. =
Various documents use different spellings of Pidgeon or Pigeon, and Seward or Seaward.