Pigeon family page
Opinions differ on the exact derivation of this surname, although it is undoubtedly linked to the bird and arrived in Jersey from France, rather than England (the name, that is, not the bird)
Virginie Le Pigeon married Jean Pierre Francois Hamel in St Martin in 1879
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Origins of surname
It comes as no surprise to learn that surname experts believe that this name is linked to the bird, but in what way? Perhaps it simply means someone who owned or looked after pigeons. Perhaps it is a nickname for someone thought to be gullible, as some suggest is one of the bird's traits.
These theories are complicated somewhat by the knowledge that the surname was in existence at a time when the French did not call pigeons, pigeons, but colombards - hence the pigeon houses attached to Jersey manor houses are known as colombiers, not pigeonniers. But young pigeons have apparently always been pigeonneaux to the French, so the surname is conveniently linked to this word.
There is another theory to explain the name's existence in England in medieval times. It is suggested that the surname may have arisen from a medieval nickname 'Petyion' from pety for small and 'John', together meaning Little John.
The name first appears in Jersey records at the beginning of the 19th century and baptism records suggest that in the 1820s there were two different, and perhaps unconnected, families in St Clement and St Helier.
Births and baptisms
Great War service
- Arthur Pigeon (1888- ) Mercantile Marine, no local records or established local link
- Edwin Alfred Pigeon (1889- ) (St H) son of Philip and Sophie Billot, Private RJGB
- George Pigeon (1884- ) Mercantile Marine, local connection uncertain
- Joseph Alfred Henry Pigeon (1898- ) (St H) son of Joshua Joseph and Julia Matilda, Bombardier RGA
- Walter James Philip Pigeon (1900- ) (St H) son of Walter George and Hanna Mary Jane Guppy, Private RAF
These wills created by members of the Pigeon family are now held by Jersey Archive. By visiting the archive site and using the names, dates and reference numbers shown here, it is possible to view a copy of each will. You will have to subscribe to the Archive's online service to do this. To find out more about this collection, which covers the period from 1663 to 1980, and how to search for your family's wills there, visit our Jersey wills page
- Francis Pigeon of 3 Colombus Street, St Helier - 20 July 1945, D/Y/A/113
- Edwin Pigeon, Sussex House, Clarence Road, St Helier - 3 December 1948, D/Y/A/120