The Pidgeons of Ireland probably came originally from England,
but there are no known records which confirm this view. The
surname probably originated in England around the 14th century.
In the 16th century, after Henry VIII fell out with the Pope, many
English Protestants were sent to Ireland to settle there and help bring
the island under English control. Pidgeons were possibly amongst
the settlers. This does not mean that they all remained
Protestants, and we know that some of those who later left Ireland were
The records of Ireland are
relatively scarce, compared to those of England, although more are
being found and published regularly. At the moment, these family
trees of Irish Pidgeons are those who left Ireland and either settled
in England, or emigrated across the oceans. No links between them
have yet been established, although it is likely that some do exist.
(This is work for the future.) There could, for example, be a
relationship between the Pidgeons of Wigan and Middlesbrough.
A series of famines caused
by potato blight in the 1840s caused mass starvation and emigration.
It was after this that most of the Irish Pidgeons emigrated to England,
Australia or the USA.
Irish Pidgeons of Liverpool & Birkenhead
James Pidgeon and his wife
Ellen came from King's County (now County Offaly) to Liverpool, England
about 1836. After the death of Ellen, James remarried and settled
across the River Mersey at Birkenhead.
Irish Pidgeons of Liverpool
Thomas Pidgeon was born in Dublin, came
over to England about 1844 with his wife and son, and settled in
Irish Pidgeons of Walsall
Several families from Ireland appeared
in Walsall in the early 1840s. One family arrived about 1838 via
Huddersfield in Yorkshire. Were they related? Some came
from County Mayo; did they all? There are many unanswered
questions concerning these Pidgeons.
Pidgeons of Wexford
Nathaniel Pidgeon was born
in County Wexford. In about 1839, his cabinet-making business
fell into difficulties and he decided to look for work in England,
eventually settling at Rochdale, Lancashire. However, his
brother-in-law invited him to travel to Australia, and a family group
of sixteen sailed from Liverpool at the end of 1840, arriving at Sydney
in May 1841. Nathaniel was a bible-thumping Wesleyan Methodist,
and spent his life converting the sinners of Sydney.
For more about this
extroverted man and his family, see Peter Pidgeon's
Pidgeons of Kildare and NSW
Michael Pidgeon and his
wife and family came from County Kildare. They emigrated to
Australia in 1841, initially settling at Windsor, New South Wales,
about 30 miles north-west of Sydney. Later, the family was
scattered over NSW, most now living in the greater Sydney area.
Irish Pidgeons of Wolverhampton
Anthony and Thomas Pidgeon
were born in Ireland, but we don't know where. They both arrived
in Wolverhampton in the 1850s, so may have been brothers. Both
married Carey women from Ireland, who may have been sisters.
Pidgeons of Kilkenny & Memphis
Philip and Christopher Pidgeon were half-brothers, born in County
Kilkenny. They emigrated to the USA in the late 1850s and settled
in Memphis, Tennessee. It is thought that Philip's family was
wiped out by a yellow fever epidemic, but Christopher's descendants
still live mostly in Tennessee.
Irish Pidgeons of Wigan
Patrick and Mary Pidgeon
first came to England about 1853, when their eldest daughter was born
at Chorley, Lancashire. However, by about 1855 they had returned
to Ireland, and only settled at Wigan about 1860. They claimed to
have come from Mamford in Ireland, but where was that? One
daughter claimed to have been born in County Sligo . Was that where
Mamford (or Mumford?) was?
Irish Pidgeons of Stockport
Robert T Pidgeon was born
in Ireland, but we don't know where. Somewhere, again unknown, he
married Elizabeth Froggatt from Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. After
their first child was born in Manchester in 1878, they settled at Stockport, Cheshire.
Irish Pidgeons of Exmouth
William Pidgeon was born in County
Clare, but married in County Kildare where his wife Eliza Jane was
born. Their first four children were born in County Kildare in
the 1870s, but by 1881 the family was living at Withycombe Raleigh, Exmouth
in Devon, England.
Irish Pidgeons of Middlesbrough
Patrick Pidgeon was born in
County Mayo, but married Ellen Keenan at Middlesbrough in the North
Riding of Yorkshire in 1886. Although the family settled and
remains in the Middlesbrough area, two of his children were born at
Wigan, Lancashire. Does this indicate a connection with the Irish
Pidgeons of Wigan, above?
Irish Pidgeons of Western
John Pidgeon was born in
Dublin, and emigrated to Australia in 1888. Most of the family
remained in the Perth and Freemantle area of Western Australia, but a
grandson Richard Hain Pidgeon moved to Melbourne, Victoria and became a
Church of England vicar.