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About the study

My mother's maiden name was Ivall. I started researching my family tree after I retired in 2003 and began the Ivall one-name study in 2005. I have been greatly helped by research done on the English Ivall family by Dennis Endean Ivall (1921-2006). Margaret Ivall Bymoen compiled a book on the Canadian Ivalls in 1983.

Variant names

I have not registered any variants (meaning alternative spellings used by individuals themselves) of the surname Ivall.

Name origin

The origin of the English surname Ivall is unclear. Dennis Ivall speculated that it could be from the village of Ifield (pronounced Ivel) near Crawley in Sussex. Ifield comes from Old English "€iw feld"€ meaning open land by a yew tree. Another possibility is that the Ivalls are descended from John Ivell, a Hugenot who became an English denizen on 29 October 1550, although I have no evidence to support this theory.

The Canadian surname Ivall seems to be derived from the Scottish surname Ival (see below).

Historical occurrences of the name

Most English Ivalls can be traced back to William Ivall (1699-1773) who lived in the Hampshire village of Bentworth (near Alton). Interesting descendants of his include :

David Ivall (1795-1850), a highly successful coachmaker whose business in Tottenham Court Road, London had numerous wealthy clients. His crest is given above. The motto means 'By defending, I conquer'. After he died the company became Ivall and Large, which continued until 1912.

David James Ivall (1830-1873), an artist who had 4 pictures displayed at the Royal Academy. He was also a proprietor of Ivall and Large, the coachbuilders.

James Ivall (1867-1920), one of the largest bookmakers of his time and owner of several racehorses.

Daniel Durnford Ivall (1905-2000), Assistant Chief Officer of the Middlesex Fire and Ambulance Service. He was in charge of the rescue following the Harrow Train Crash in 1952 (in which 112 people died) and was awarded an OBE.

The Canadian Ivalls are descended from Alexander "€Sandy"€ Ivall who was born in Scotland c 1832 and emigrated to Canada c 1837, settling in the Cote St Gabriel area, about 30 miles NW of Montreal in Quebec. His name is given as Ival in the 1881 Canadian Census. Ival was a relatively common name in Moray in Scotland, where Alexander came from.

Name frequency

According to the 1881 census on the FamilySearch website there were 32 Ivalls in England and Wales, of which 7 are actually Ivatts. However, I have found a further 16 Ivalls whose names were mistranscribed, so the total number of true Ivalls is 41. All of these are descended from William Ivall (1699-1773).

In an extract of the Office of National Statistics database for England and Wales in 2002, there were 74 instances of the name Ivall, making it the 39,977th most common name. There were 53 Ivalls in the 2003 electoral register.

The FamilySearch website lists 9 Ivalls (and 7 Ivals) in the 1881 Canada census and 6 Ivalls in the 1880 USA census.

White Pages (telephone directory) list 62 Ivalls in Canada, 6 in the USA, 1 in Australia and 0 in New Zealand (March 2007).

Distribution of the name

In the 18th century most Ivalls lived in Hampshire. In the 19th century they spread to Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and London.


I have data on about 350 English people born with the surname Ivall of whom about 280 are in my family tree. The following information on Ivalls in England and Wales has been recorded

  • All the registered births, marriages and deaths since 1837
  • Ivalls in census returns 1841-1911
  • All grants of probate since 1858