Robert Ivey Jr. was born on 15 February 1769 according to a family Bible.1 That makes him one of the younger children of his parents, born while his father was living in Dobbs County. Thus he is likely to be one of the three males over 16 in his father’s household in the 1790 census of Dobbs County, located in the part of Dobbs that would shortly become Lenoir County. The loss of all Lenoir County records means we have citations for him only in the records of the surrounding counties.
The same Bible record identifies his as Elizabeth West, whom he married in neighboring Craven County by bond dated 9 August 1793. It appears that he and his wife lived on his father’s land in Lenoir County, since Robert Ivey Jr. was deeded land in Lenoir by Robert Ivey Sr. sometime in the late 1790s.2 He was probably the same Robert Ivey who was a grantee of Michael Herring about 1799, since his father was in Bladen County by then.3 By the 1800 census he was the only Ivey left in Lenoir County, with a household of two males and two females, all under 10.4
On 2 October 1800, Robert Ivey witnessed the nuncupative will of his father-in-law John West of Craven County, which left a legacy of £150 to John West’s daughter Elizabeth Ivey.5 Among others, the will also mentioned a son named Joseph West, who married Sarah Stanley and later moved to Baldwin County, Georgia, and a daughter named Sarah Stanley, the wife of Moses Stanley and a neighbor of Robert Ivey’s in Lenoir County.
Since there are no surviving deed or court records of Lenoir County, our next record for Robert Ivey is the 1810 census, in which he headed a household of thirteen.6 This household implies a son and daughter not identified by later records. It also suggests that his brother Charles Ivey , and perhaps Charles Ivey’s wife, was living with him. (We know that Charles Ivey was residing in Lenoir County in early 1810, and the fact that he does not appear in the census suggests he may have been enumerated in his brother’s household.)7
In August 1811 Robert Ivey’s older brother John Ivey died intestate in neighboring Wayne County. Robert Ivey and Grady Herring were appointed administrators of the estate, and they filed an inventory later that year and a final settlement in 1814.8 Robert Ivey, who was by then called “Senior” to differentiate him from his nephew of the same name, was appointed guardian of Elizabeth and Edith, two minor children of John Ivey.9 On 12 September 1814, as Robert Ivey of Lenoir County, he bought land in Bladen County from his brother-in-law Josiah Stafford, then sold it to his brother Turner Ivey the following day.10
Moves to Georgia
Robert Ivey moved to Baldwin County, Georgia sometime in mid or late 1817. There are two now-lost deeds in the Lenoir County grantor index from Robert Ivey to William Gray and to James Carter that probably reflect the sale of his land in Lenoir County. 11 Unfortunately, all deed records of Baldwin County, Georgia are also lost, so we have no clear record of his arrival there. However, we know he was still in Lenoir County when he filed a guardian accounting for his niece Elizabeth Ivey in February 1817, and that he relinquished the guardianship to Graddy Herring by 20 May 1817.12 The final settlement between Robert Ivey and Grady Herring is dated 13 August 1817.13 A statement by his grandson Malachi Ivey says that his grandfather “in 1817 removed to Baldwin County”.14
A history of Baldwin County, Georgia contains an undated list of early members of the Camp Creek Baptist Church.15 Although some researchers have assumed this list to be dated in 1817, thus further confirming the migration, it was more likely compiled sometime after 1822.16 It appears that several Lenoir families went to Baldwin County at about the same time – including his in-laws James and Joseph West and several members of the Davis family. Robert Ivey appears in the 1820, 1830, and 1840 censuses of Baldwin County, all children having left the household by 1840. 17
Robert Ivey’s will
Robert Ivey wrote his will on 26 October 1843 and it was proved on 3 May 1847.18 It named his wife Elizabeth, his sons Barna, Furna, James, Robert Dorsey, William and Charles, and daughters Gatsy [Leeves], and Mary. His daughter Elizabeth was not mentioned, perhaps due to her pending divorce, but her marriage record identifies her as another daughter.19
Elizabeth West Ivey, his widow, was in the household of her son Charles in 1850. She was born 22 March 1775 and died 24 June 1853 according to the Ivey-Garland Bible record. Several Ivey descendants of the early 20th century believed she was his second wife. This was apparently based on the (relatively modern) gravestone of his eldest son Barney Ivey, which gives a birth date of 22 September 1792, nearly a year prior to prior to the marriage to Elizabeth West. The Ivey-Garland Bible record, however, gives his birth date as 22 September 1795, more than two years after the marriage. The latter date seems more likely correct, as Barna was enumerated as under 16 in the 1810 census and gives his own age as 54 in 1850. However, see the conflict with the birth date of Gatsey Ivey.
Robert Ivey Jr.’s children and descendants are covered in a separate paper.
- “Ivey-Garland Bible Records”, Bible Records of Barbour County, Alabama, Vol. 2, Helen S. Foley, p66-68. [↩]
- The surviving Grantor Index shows a deed from Robert Ivey Sr. to Robert Ivey Jr. recorded in Lenoir County Deed Book 17, p 363 (recorded sometime in 1797-98). The deed book, and therefore the deed, was lost in the courthouse fires of 1878 and 1880. [↩]
- Another lost deed recorded in Lenoir Deed Book 19, p58 according to the surviving Grantor Index. The recording date was probably in 1799. [↩]
- Lenoir County 1800 census, p15: Robert Ivey 20010-20010-00 [↩]
- Craven County Will Book A, p104. [↩]
- Lenoir County 1810 census, p315: Robt Ivy 32011-12111-2 [↩]
- Wayne County Deed Book 9, p216 is a bill of sale for a slave from Turner Ivey to his brother Charles Ivey of Lenoir County dated 10 February 1810. I note that Robert Ivey’s 1810 household included two slaves. [↩]
- Loose paper recorded at October court 1812, in folder of John Ivey estate papers filed at NC Archives as CR 103.508.xxx “I” box. [↩]
- Wayne County Deed Book 9, p440. A deed by the heirs to the widow dated 15 August 1812 is signed by Robert Ivey, guardian of Edith and Elizabeth Ivey. A petition by the heirs later in 1812, filed in the John Ivey estate file, also identifies Robert Ivey as guardian of Edith and Elizabeth. He is “Sr.” to distinguish him from his nephew Robert Ivey “Jr.” one of heirs who was guardian to two other minor children. [↩]
- Bladen County Deed Book 7, p544 and Deed Book 30, p508. [↩]
- Lost deeds recorded in Lenoir Deed Book 24, p209 and p352. Apparently recorded in the period 1815-17 from context. [↩]
- John Ivey estate papers filed in NC Archives in box CR 103.508.xxx “I” box. [↩]
- Ibid. [↩]
- Memorial Record of Alabama (Brant & Fuller Publishing, Madison, Wisconsin, 1893), p553. [↩]
- History of Baldwin County, Georgia, Anna Maria Green Cook (1925), p100-101. Also repeated in They Were Here, Vol. 5 (1969), p107. [↩]
- The list of members is undated and might be assumed to be a list of the founding members. However, the names on the list could not have been members of the church until sometime in the 1820s. It includes two women named Elizabeth Ivey. One was surely the wife of Robert Ivey, but the second Elizabeth Ivey could only have been the wife of Furna Ivey, whom he did not marry until 1822. [Robert Ivey’s daughter Elizabeth was only 6 in 1817.] Both George and Gatsey Leeves are also on the list, and that marriage surely did not occur until after 1820. Furthermore, Asa Cook and James Ivey who appear on the list were clearly too young to have been members in 1817 and were still minors even in the early 1820s. Asa Cook, who lived in Jones County and attended a different church there, probably did not become a member until near 1829 when he married Elizabeth Ivey. Like many membership lists, this one may actually include people joining the church over a period of a decade or more. [↩]
- 1820, p46: 210011-11101. 1830, p30: 00211001-00000001. 1840, p60: 0000000001-000000001. [↩]
- Baldwin County Will Book B, p146. [↩]
- Marriages and Obituaries from the Macon Messenger 1818-1865, Willard R. Rocker (1988), quoting from the issue of 25 April 1829: “Married… Mr. Asa B. Cook of Jones County to Miss Elizabeth W. Ivey daughter of Robert Ivey o f Baldwin County.” [↩]