- This name, with variant spellings Ivins, Ivons, Iv(e)ans and Yvens, is a patronymic i.e. "son of Iven", itself deriving from the Norman personal name Ivo, ultimately from the Olde Norse "yr", (plural "ifar"), meaning "yew" or "bow", a weapon generally made from the wood of the yew tree. The name was introduced into Britain by the Normans and is first recorded in its latinized form in the Domesday Book of 1086 - "Herbertus filius (son of) Ivonis". One, Ivo de Gausla appears in documents relating to the Danelaw London, (1155) and an Ivo or Yvonus Pantulf in "The Pipe Rolls of Shropshire", dated 1272. The patronymic forms are particularly well recorded in London church registers from the late 16th Century, (see below), the final "s" on the name being a reduced form of "son of". On March 7th 1584, Jeane, daughter of Thomas Ivens, was christened in St. Botolph's without Aldgate, and on August 27th 1668 John Ivens and Janam Evans were married in St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Susanna Yvens, christened, which was dated July 21st 1581, St. Botolph's without Aldgate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.