- This interesting surname is of Germanic and Old French origin, and has two possible sources. Firstly, it may be derived from the Norman personal name "Ivo", a short form of any of the various Germanic compound names with a first element "iv" (Old Norse "yr", the plural of "ifar") yew, bow (a weapon generally made from the supple wood of the yew tree). This was a popular name in Normandy and Brittany, and was introduced into England at the time of the Conquest of 1066, perhaps reinforcing the Olde English pre 7th Century "Ifa, Iva". The second source is from a Norman habitational name from Ivoy in Cher, so called from the Old French "ivoie", a collective from "if", yew tree (of Germanic or Celtic origin). The modern surname can be found recorded as Ivey, Ivy and Ivie, and is very popular in Cornwall. The christening was recorded in Cornwall of James, son of James Ivey, on March 28th 1617 at Perranzabuloe, and John Ivey married Johana Guye on October 13th 1656 at St. Minver, also in Cornwall. A Coat of Arms granted to the Ivey family of Exeter depicts on a red shield, a gold lion rampant, the Crest being a gold demi lion rampant, supporting a staff raguly green. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey de Iuoi, de Ioue, which was dated 1161 - 1162, in the "Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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.