Cliff McCarthy, 2016
Last Updated 17 December 2018
There is a whole lot of new research about the origins of William Ives that turns much of the “tradition” into “mythology.” Researcher Richard Ives, in conjunction with the Langham Village History Group, has proposed that the origins of “our” William Ives lie in Langham, Rutland Co., England, where he was born 21 March 1607. This William was vehemently disinherited in the will of his father, Thomas Ives, in 1628, the year he turned 21. Seven years later he was on his way to America.
Bill Ives, webmeister of the “Ives Family History Blog,“ describes another research finding by Richard Ives:
“Richard notes it is time to clear the air about a few details relating to Will Ives, both before he arrived in America, and after. Three years ago, he [Richard] procured copies of the records of church membership for St. Stephen Coleman, London for the years 1630 to 1635 from the LDS genealogical center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since 17th century English cannot be read by anyone not trained to read that script, he paid several experts to decipher the rolls. What they revealed was that Will Ives was never enrolled as a tithing member of St. Stephen Coleman [Parish] during the period 1630-1635, nor is there a record of any person named Ives having been enrolled during that time. The legend, perpetrated by well-meaning scholar Isabel Calder that Will Ives was a member of Reverend Davenport’s congregation is, simply, false. This is not meant to suggest that Will did not attend St. Stephen – he may have – only that the records indicate clearly that he was never a member.”
In his Genealogy of the Ives Family, Arthur Coon Ives states that our immigrant Ives ancestor was William Ives that arrived on these shores as a passenger aboard the Truelove, which debarked in Boston in 1635. This has been widely accepted. I once thought that it was incorrect, since Carl Boyer, in his book Ship Passenger Lists, lists a William Ives among the passengers known to have been aboard the Hector, the ship that brought Rev. Davenport’s party from England to Boston and subsequently to New Haven. However, Boyer relied solely on the work of Isabel Calder, which he cited verbatim, and which was not based on any verifiable document. This now seems to be discredited. (For a detailed examination of the mythology around the Hector’s passengers, see:
Whatever the circumstances of William Ives’ arrival in Boston, it is documented that he was one of the party that established a settlement at New Haven. A “Will Eves” was among that number of original settlers, signing the Fundamental Agreement in 1639. In the first division of land, he received 6 1/4 acres, plus 1 1/4 acres “in the neck” and 2 1/4 acres in “the meadow.” Later, he also was given 9 acres in the second division of land. [To see the location of William Ives’ house lot, see the Brockett Map, 1641.] William was a member of the First Church at New Haven by 1641. He was admitted as a “freeman” in that year.
Isabel MacBeath Calder wrote:
“Passing now to the suburb on the west side of West Creek, we find, on the corner made by the streets now named Hill Street and Congress Avenue, the lot of William Ives. He died in 1648, leaving a wife and four children. William Bassett married the widow; and the family continued to reside in the house till it was sold, in 1652, to the widow of Anthony Thompson.”
When William married “Hannah” is not recorded, but she does not appear as a passenger on the Truelove. Arthur Coon Ives indicates that a census taken in 1639 shows a family of two. Certainly, they were married by 1646, when Sister Ives was granted admission to the church and a seat in the meetinghouse.
While the identity of Hannah is not absolutely certain, I believe the evidence points strongly to her being the daughter of Thomas Dickerman of Dorchester, Massachusetts. In his will, William Bassett, Hannah’s second husband, names Abraham Dickerman and John Cooper, Sr. as his “brothers.” In those days, the term “brother” was often used to cover brothers-in-law. Taken literally, this would infer that Abram Dickerman was Hannah’s brother (more likely a half-brother). Abram Dickerman was married to the daughter of John Cooper, Sr., making both Cooper and Dickerman “brothers-in-law” to William Bassett. Also, Abram Dickerman left Dorchester to join the New Haven Colony at about the same time that Hannah shows up in New Haven.
However, in fairness, it should be noted that it is also possible that Bassett used the term “brothers” because Cooper and Dickerman had become his “in-laws” on June 21, 1677, as his son, Samuel, married Mary Dickerman, daughter of Abraham and granddaughter of John Cooper.
Still, there are doubts about her identity — perhaps, the most important being that the major genealogical works on the Dickerman family do not claim Hannah, anywhere. The children of Thomas and his wife Ellen Whittington are given, but Hannah is not among them. There is speculation unsupported by the known records — the Hannah was a daughter of an earlier marriage of Thomas Dickerman. For a very thorough exploration of the nagging question of Hannah’s identity, visit Bill Ives’ “Ives Family History Blog,”
Unfortunately, William Ives was only alive for ten years in the New World. In the records of New Haven we find that he and Edward Banister were appointed “fence viewers” for the suburbs on the west side of West Creek. Also, Ives was once fined for coming to military training “wanting a scourer.”
William Ives died in 1648 at age 41 years. He left a will. On the same day that the will was probated, 7 November 1648, Hannah Ives married William Bassett!
Children of William & Hannah (Dickerman) IVES
HANNAH DICKERMAN was born 1622. She married (1) WILLIAM IVES Bef. 1641 in New Haven, CT. He was born 1607 in England, and died 1648 in New Haven, New Haven Co., CT. She married (2) WILLIAM BASSETT 7 November 1648. He died 29 August 1684.
Children of HANNAH DICKERMAN and WILLIAM IVES are:
i. PHEBE IVES, b. Bef. 2 October 1642; d. Abt. 1682, Branford, New Haven Co., CT; m. (1) JOSEPH POTTER, Bef. 1660; b. Abt. March 1634/35, England; d. 17 August 1669, New Haven, CT; m. (2) JOHN ROSE, August 1670, New Haven, CT.
ii. JOHN IVES, b. Bef. 29 December 1644, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT; d. 1682, Wallingford, New Haven Co., CT; m. HANNAH MERRIMAN, 12 November 1668, Wallingford, CT; b. 16 May 1651.
iii. MARTHA IVES, b. Abt. 1646; m. AZARIAH BEACH; b. 6 July 1646, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT; d. 1696.
iv. JOSEPH IVES, b. Abt. 1648; d. 17 November 1694, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT; m. MARY YALE, 2 January 1671/72, New Haven, CT; b. 26 October 1650, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT.
Children of HANNAH DICKERMAN and WILLIAM BASSETT are:
v. HANNAH BASSETT, b. 13 September 1650, New Haven, CT; d. 7 June 1726, Wallingford, CT; m. JOHN PARKER, 8 November 1670; b. Bef. 1648; d. 1711.
vi. JOHN BASSETT, b. 24 December 1652, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT; d. 8 February 1713/14, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT; m. MERCY TODD; b. 18 February 1654/55, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT; d. 8 April 1717, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT.
vii. SAMUEL BASSETT, b. 15 February 1653/54, New Haven, CT; d. 8 April 1716, New Haven, CT; m. MARY DICKERMAN, 21 June 1677, New Haven, CT; b. 1659; d. 1728.
viii. ABIAH BASSETT, b. 7 February 1656/57, New Haven, CT; m. RALPH LINES, 27 April 1681; b. 1652; d. 1712.
- Boyer, Carl, 3rd, Ship Passenger Lists, (Heritage Books, Westminster, Md., 1980).
- Calder, Isabel MacBeath, The New Haven Colony, (Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., 1934).
- Cutter, William Richard, et al, A Genealogical and Family History of the State of
Connecticut, Vols. 1-4, New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1911.
- Dexter, Franklin Bowditch, Historical Catalogue of the Members of the First Church of Christ in New Haven, CT, (New Haven, CT, 1914).
- Ives, Arthur Coon, Genealogy of the Ives Family, Watertown, NY:
Hungerford-Holbrook Co., 1932.
- Ives, Bill, “Ives Family History Blog,” (website at: http://billives.typepad.com/ives_family_history_blog), “Electronic.”
- Jacobus, Donald Lines, Families of Ancient New Haven, (Genealogical Publishing Co.; Baltimore, MD, 1981).
- Mitchell, Mary Hewitt, History of New Haven County, Vol. III, Chicago: Pioneer
Historical Publishing Co., 1930.
- Roberts, Gary Boyd, “Genealogies of Connecticut Families” (from the New England
Historic Genealogical Register, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983).