- This interesting and long-established surname has two distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, Ivory may be of Norman-French origin, and a locational name from Ivry-la-Bataille in Eure, Normandy, so called from Gallo-Roman personal name "Eburius", a derivative of "ebur", ivory, and the local suffix "-acum", village, settlement. The family "de Ivery" are believed to de descended from Rodolph, half-brother to Richard the First, Duke of Normandy, who was awarded the Castle of Ivery for killing a monstrous boar while hunting with the Duke. This surname has the rare distinction of being recorded in England prior to Domesday (see below). Examples from the Domesday Book (1086) include: Hugh de Ivri, an Oxfordshire lord, and Roger de Iueri (Berkshire). The second possibility is that the surname derives from the medieval male given name "Ivory", itself a diminutive of the Old Norse "Ivor", believed to come from "iw", yew, bow. One Ivory Malet was noted in 1270, and in 1332, Thomas, son of Ivorie appears in the 1332 Subsidy Rolls of Cumbria, while in 1364, William Ivory was entered in the Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London. A Coat of Arms granted to the Ivory family is a silver shield with a green bend between three red mullets, the Crest being a red lion sejant affrontee holding in the dexter paw a silver sword, pommel and hilt gold, and in the sinister a gold fleur-de-lis. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Ivery, who obtained the manor of Ambrosden, Oxfordshire, which was dated 1077, in "Ancient Records of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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.