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IVES Family History

This unusual and interesting surname derives from the Norman personal name "Ivo", a short form of any of the various Germanic compound names with a first element "iv", from the Old Norse "yr", plural "ifar" meaning yew, bow, a weapon generally made from the supple wood of the yew tree. The name was introduced into England at the time of the Conquest, and enjoyed great popularity, reinforced by such bearers of the name as St. Ivo, Bishop of Chartres, and a 13th Century Breton, St. Ivo, who became the patron saint of lawyers.

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