I have been stuck on the ancestry of my Robert Ivey (c1730-c1803), who shows up in Dobbs County, NC (later Wayne and Lenoir) in 1759. Although I have some theories, I don’t know where he came from. One useful way of dealing with this sort of situation is to work “tops down” to trace the descendants of immigrants in the hope of uncovering possible ancestors. Having done this work, it makes sense to share it with others. It appears that there were at least four important Ivey immigrants to Virginia in the 1600s: Thomas Ivey, Thomas Vicesimus Ivey, John Ivey, and Adam Ivey. (Two other Iveys are named as headrights in the mid-1600s but left no other trace.) These four men were probably distantly related in some way, but it’s uncertain how. I have tried to track descendants of all four of these men to the mid-1750s in the hope of discovering the ancestry of my Robert Ivey Sr.
Published Genealogies – Some Comments:
I have tried to work from original records wherever possible, and from transcripts otherwise. I want to let the facts speak for themselves, and to reach conclusions supported by them. Many of my conclusions are significantly different than those in most published genealogies of this family. Six of these genealogies, which seem to be the key sources for most Ivey descendants, are listed below. The first two publications, in particular, have numerous errors with regard to the first few generations of Iveys. This is not meant to be especially critical of the authors. At the time they were writing, they lacked access to important records that would have altered their conclusions. I have tried to check as many of their sources as possible, and have tried in these documents to correct the errors I found.
The Ivey Family in the United States, George Franks Ivey (Southern Publishing Co., 1941)
This book, which includes virtually no source citations, essentially consists of a large number of highly abbreviated family group sheets supplied by anonymous correspondents. Mr. Ivey compiled most of the material from his correspondence with Ivey descendants. It is therefore only as accurate as his sources, and appears to have several editing errors as well. This book is probably reasonably accurate with regard to 19th and 20th century Iveys, but has numerous errors in the first several generations. In part, these are apparently due to a reliance by Mr. Ivey on the paper listed below.
“The Ivey Family”, W. Mac Jones, William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, 2nd Ser., Vol. 7, No. 2. (April 1927), pp92-96 and “Notes on the Ivey Family”, W. Mac Jones, William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, 2nd Ser., Vol. 7, No. 3. (July 1927), pp181-192
This paper has much good material, but far too many inaccuracies and faulty assumptions to be reliable. I’m not knocking Mr. Jones, whose reputation as a competent researcher was quite good. In part, the errors are probably due to his not having as much information available to him as we have today. As a result, he made several faulty assumptions that we can now correct. I also strongly suspect Mr. Jones was publishing correspondence from others rather than his own research. There are also a few significant editing and typographical errors.
“Ivey of Prince George and Surry”, Historical Southern Families, Volume 6, John Bennett Boddie, editor (self-published, 1962) pp32
The author is not identified. It was not Mr. Boddie, who published papers by others in this series. This paper deals with the descendants of Adam Ivey. There are several editing errors, and the paper deals mainly with the immigrant Adam Ivey and his six children. It is generally accurate as far as it goes, but there are a few truly significant errors.
“Ive, Ivie, Ivey of Wiltshire, Somerset, England and Princess Anne County, Virginia”, Historical Southern Families, Volume 6, John Bennett Boddie, editor (self-published, 1962) pp21
The author of this paper is not identified. It was not Mr. Boddie. The paper is generally accurate with regard to the family of Thomas Vicesimus Ivey
“The Ivy-Ivey Family of Norfolk Co., Virginia”, Historical Southern Families, Volume 16, Mrs. John Bennett Boddie, editor (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1971) pp158.
This paper was written by Benjamin Holtzclaw, author of an excellent Outlaw genealogy, and appears to be generally accurate with regard to the Iveys it covers.
A History Of The Adam Ivey Family Of Charles City (now Prince George) County, Virginia, Robert Allison Ivey (electronically published, 1995)
This is by far the most extensive of the published works of the Ivey family, though it deals with one specific line. It seems to be generally accurate, but contains virtually no source citations. There are a number of faulty conclusions in the early generations which I’ve attempted to correct in the paper on this family.
A Note on the “Ivey” Name
This is a difficult name to research because it can be read so many ways in old handwriting. Abstracted records are particularly prone to the abstractor’s interpretation. Besides the obvious “Ivie”, “Ive”, “Ivy”, and “Ivey”, and occasionally “Eivy”, I have seen “Ivy” and “Ivey” transcribed in secondary sources as “Joy”, “Jay”, “Jury”, Juie”, and similar variants (and even “Hog” and “Gree” once or twice). Usually, a check of the original record will suggest that the abstractor read the “I” as a “J”, which are quite difficult to distinguish in old handwriting, and tried to make sense of the result. Another frustration is the presence of persons named “Ives”, which is a different name entirely, in the same locations as some of the Iveys. “Ives” is sometimes found in original and abstracted records as “Ive” or “Ivyes” so that it is unclear which name is meant. In these papers I will spell the name as “Ivey” except where quoting an original source.
With regard to the “correct” spelling of the name, “Ivey” appears to be by far the most prevalent form and that is the form I have chosen to use throughout. There is really no difference between “Ivey” and “Ivy” (or even “Ivie”), and people can choose to spell the name however they wish.