Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Richard Ivy

Two local families chose to name their sons Richard Ivey/Ivy:

Richard Ivey Bradsher (born 1789)

Richard Ivy Smith ( born 1800)

The name was used at least once more by the Bradsher family, and was repeated for several generations by the Smith family.

The reason for the choice of given name is not immediately obvious from earlier Bradsher and Smith generations.

Here are excerpts found on the Internet with respect to a Richard Ivy. They apparently are from a site that provides minutes to early Methodist Church conferences. Whether he was the namesake of Richard Ivey Bradsher and Richard Ivy Smith is unknown, but this Richard Ivy would have been living at a time when decisions with respect to the Bradsher and Smith sons were being made.


Richard Ivy was a native of Sussex county, in Virginia. He traveled extensively through Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. A man of quick and solid parts. He sought not himself, any more than a Pedicord, a Gill, or a Tunnell--men well known in our connexion--who never thought of growing rich by the Gospel; their great concern and business was to be rich in grace, and useful to souls. Thus Ivy, a man of affliction, lingering out his latter days, spending his all with his life in the work. Exclusive of his patrimony, he was indebted at his death. He died in his native county, in Virginia, in the latter part of the year 1795.

"His race is run, his sorrows are o'er;
His work it is done, he'll suffer no more."
Minutes for 1795.


As a number of the early Methodist ministers were Englishmen, strongly attached to the mother country, all of them were suspected of being disloyal to this country, Richard Ivy was admitted on trial in the traveling connection in May, 1778. In 1782 he traveled with Joshua Dudley, West Jersey circuit. Rev. Thomas Ware resided there; he had been converted not long before. He says, "Learning that a company of soldiers, quartered near one of these appointments, had resolved to arrest the first preacher who should come there, and carry him to head-quarters, I determined to accompany him, hoping, as I was acquainted with some of the officers, to convince them that he was no enemy of his country. The preacher was Richard Ivy, who at that time was quite young. The rumor of what was about to be done having gone abroad, many of the most respectable inhabitants of the neighborhood were collected at the place. Soon after the congregation was convened, a file of soldiers were marched into the yard, and halted near the door; and two officers came in, drew their swords and crossed them on the table, and seated themselves one on each side of it, but so as to look the preacher full in the face."

"I watched his eye with great anxiety, and soon saw that he was not influenced by fear. His text was, 'Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.' When he came to enforce the exhortation, 'Fear not,' he paused and said, 'Christians sometimes fear when there is no cause for fear;' and so, he added, he presumed it was with some then present. Those men who were engaged in the defense of their country's right meant them no harm. He spoke fluently and forcibly in commendation of the cause of freedom from foreign and domestic tyranny, looking at the same time first on the swords, and then in the faces of the officers, as if he would say, This looks a little too much like domestic oppression; and, in conclusion, bowing to each of the officers, and opening his bosom, said, 'Sirs, I would fain show you my heart; if it beats not high
for legitimate liberty, may it forever cease to beat.'"

"This he said with such a tone of voice and with such a look as thrilled the whole audience, and gave him command of their feelings. The countenances of the officers at first wore a contemptuous frown, then a significant smile, and then they were completely unarmed; they hung down their heads, and before the conclusion of this masterly address shook like the leaves of an aspen. Many of the people sobbed aloud, and others cried out, Amen! while the soldiers without (the doors and windows being open) swung their hats, and shouted, 'Huzza for the Methodist parson!' On leaving, the officers shook hands with the preacher, and wished him well; and afterward said they would share their last shilling with him." -- Life of T. Ware, pp. 71, 72.

This is about all we know of Richard Ivy, except what is contained in the Minutes; but this
is sufficient to make him an evergreen.

Richard Ivey (2 February1755 – 1795/6) Baptized 13 April 1755. Richard was an itinerant Methodist preacher according to an 1918 biography.[133] He inherited the 255 acres on which his father was living and several slaves, for whom he executed a manumission in 1795.[134] He apparently died intestate in Sussex County in late 1795 or early 1796, as Daniel Ivey was his administrator in February 1796.[135] He left no heirs.

Richard Ivey (2 February1755 – 1795/6?) Born 2 February 1755 and baptized 13 April 1755, according to the Albemarle Parish register. He was unmarried. Richard Ivey was one of the earliest Methodist ministers from the colonies, being admitted in 1778, and was one of the original thirteen Elders selected when the American church was organized in 1784. He later served as Presiding Elder of several different church districts. According to a variety of Methodist histories, he preached prodigiously from New Jersey to Georgia and was well-known among Methodists.[295] According to these histories, he returned to Sussex County in 1794 “to take care of his aged mother”, took ill and died in the latter part of 1795. There is some reason to doubt the precision of these dates. Richard and Littleberry Ivey witnessed the will of Nathaniel Cotton on 16 November 1793, suggesting he might have returned to Sussex County before 1794.[296] His father’s will, proved in 1793, had left to Richard Ivey the 255 acres on which his father was living. It also left him six slaves after the death of his mother, for whom Richard executed a manumission in 1795.[297] An accounting of Hugh Ivey’s estate filed by Daniel Ivey on 2 June 1796 shows payments to Richard Ivey, mentions “the six legatees.”[298] However, Richard Ivey was dead by February 1796, when his inventory was taken by Daniel Ivey, who recorded both the inventory and an accounting of Richard Ivey’s estate in February 1801.[299] The same accounting refers to five legatees, seeming to confirm that the remaining five legatees of Hugh Ivey (who were Richard’s own heirs) were still alive at the time of the accounting.[300]

Source: The Line of Adam Ivey


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