Humanities › History & Culture Ives Surname Meaning and Family History Share Flipboard Email Print VisitBritain/Pete Seaward/Getty Images History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated June 05, 2017 The surname Ives is believed to have originated from the Old French personal name Ive (similar to the modern French Yves) or the Norman personal name Ivo, both short forms of various Germanic compound names containing the element iv, from the Old Norse yr, meaning "yew, bow," a weapon generally made from the wood of a yew tree. Ives may also have originated as a last name for someone from a town named St. Ives, in the county of Huntingdon, England. Surname Origin: English, French Alternate Surname Spellings: YVES, IVESS Where in the World is the IVES Surname Found? The Ives surname is now most prevalent in the United States, according to surname distribution data from Forebears. However, it is interestingly the most common surname, based on its percentage of the population, in Gibraltar, followed by England and various island nations such as Bermuda. Despite its possible French origins, the Ives spelling is not at all common in France where only 182 people bear the surname. The Ives surname around the turn of the 20th century was most common in the United Kingdom, according to WorldNames PublicProfiler, specifically the South East and East Anglia regions of England. Within North America, Ives is most common in Ontario, Canada, followed by Nova Scotia and the U.S. states of Vermont and Connecticut. Famous People with the Last Name IVES Charles Ives - Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and pianistBurl Ives - American film actor and singer, best known for hits “Frosty the Snowman” and “The Blue Tail Fly.”Chauncey Bradley Ives - American sculptor in ItalyGeorge Frederick Ives - last surviving veteran of the Boer WarFrederic Eugene Ives - American inventor and pioneer in the field of color photography. Genealogy Resources for the Surname IVES Ives Family History BlogThis genealogy blog by William Ives covers the story of William Ives, co-founder of New Haven CT, and many of his descendants, as well as those who married into the family DNA Signature of William Ives (1607–1648)This published DNA signature is the result of the Y chromosome testing of 4 male known direct descendants, none of whom are closely related, of William. Common French Surnames and their MeaningsUncover the meaning of your French last name with this free guide to French surname meanings and origins. Trace Your Family Tree in England and WalesLearn how to research your English Ives ancestors with this introductory guide to genealogical records and resources of England and the rest of the United Kingdom. Ives Family Crest - It's Not What You ThinkContrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as an Ives family crest or coat of arms for the Ives surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male-line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted. FamilySearch - IVES GenealogyExplore over 700,000 historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Ives surname and its variations on the free FamilySearch website, hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Ives Genealogy and Family Tree PageBrowse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the popular last name Ives from the website of Genealogy Today. Sources Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.