Ives


Select Ives Surname Genealogy

The Ives surname derived from the Old French name Ive, meaning "yew" or "bow," and has its modern equivalence in the French Yves.  The name was introduced by the Normans into England at the time of the Conquest - although the place-name St. Ives in Cornwall was apparently named after a 5th century Irish female saint.

Select Ives Resources on The Internet

Select Ives Ancestry

England.  The Ives surname has mainly cropped up on the east coast of England - from Yorkshire in the north down to Essex and London. 

An Ives family were prominent merchants in the woollen industry in Norwich in the 18th century.  Four Jeremiah Ives were mayors during that time, Jeremiah Ives, the mayor in 1733; Jeremiah Ives the elder; Jeremiah Ives of St. Clements; and Jeremiah Ives of St. George's Tombland.  The last of these Ives built Catton Hall and died there in 1820, aged sixty six. 

Jeremiah Robert Ives bought Bentworth Hall in Hampshire in 1848.  After his death, his widow Emma raised their illegitimate grandson George at the house.  George, a friend and supporter of Oscar Wilde, became a writer, penal reformer and early gay rights campaigner.

Another Ives family were Norfolk landowners and merchants at Great Yarmouth.  John Ives, born there in 1751, was an antiquarian and an officer of arms at the College of Arms in London, although he did not leave a good impression on everyone.

"Mr. Ives possessed a quick and lively fancy, but seems to have been deficient in sound antiquarian learning.  He died in 1776 at the early age of 25 years."

The 1851 census for Norfolk showed 358 Ives individuals living at 130 different addresses.  One family account traces an Ives family from Burnham in rural Norfolk who migrated to Lancashire in search of jobs at the cotton mills.

An Ives family owned the New Inn in Ealing in the 17th century where that ran a coaching service to London.  Another Ives family were curriers in Cratfield near Halesworth in Suffolk.   In 1864 two brothers of this family, Walter and Charles, started the manufacture of boots.  Six generations later, John Ives runs the family shoe business in Woodbridge, Suffolk.

AmericaWilliam Ives left London in 1635 aboard the Truelove bound for New England.  In the years that followed, he married Hannah Dickerman and was one of the co-founders of New Haven, Connecticut.  William and Hannah had nine children and are considered to be the progenitors of the largest Ives family in America. 

The family produced an unusual number of noteworthy descendants.  As Arthur Coon Ives put it in his 1932 Genealogy of the Ives Family: 

"A member of our family was the first explorer of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, one is president of a large insurance company, one ranks among America's best known publishers, one became a member of the Canadian Parliament, one is known for his ability as a railroad builder, one rose from humble circumstances to the office of lieutenant governor, and one - the black sheep - became a famous horse thief and bandit."

Prominent bearers of the Ives name in Connecticut in the 19th century - not necessarily all are related - include:
  • Chauncey Ives (from New Haven), the neo-classical sculptor.
  • Edward Ives (from Bridgeport), the toymaker.  He and his son Harry were the subjects of Louis Hertz's 1950 biography Messrs. Ives of Bridgeport.
  • Frederick Ives (from Litchfield), a pioneer of color and stereoscopic photography.  His son Herbert headed the development of facsimile and television systems at AT&T. 
  • Henry Ives (from Litchfield), the so-called "Napoleon of Finance," a stock manipulator responsible for a brief but spectacular Wall Street scandal in the 1880's. 
  • and Charles Ives (from Danbury), the modernist composer.  He was the son of George Ives, a bandleader during the Civil War.
A more recent genealogy has been Dorothy Gilmore's 1988 book The Migrating Ives and their Descendants.

Select Ives Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:


Select Ives Names

James Ives co-founded with Nathaniel Currier the American printmaking firm of Currier & Ives in 1857.  
Charles Ives
was an American modernist composer, widely regarded as one of the first American composers of international renown.
Burl Ives was a well-known American folk-singer, writer, and actor.

Select Iveses Today
  • 7,000 in the UK (most numerous in Yorkshire)
  • 3,000 in America (most numerous in New York) 
  • 4,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)


PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

Click here for reader feedback
Click here for return to front page