History of the IRESON name

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This is a patronymic i.e. “son of Ire”, itself an ethnic name for an Irishman, deriving from the Olde Scandinavian “Ira”. Ireby in Cheshire and Lincolnshire, recorded as Ireby in the Domesday Book of 1086, translate as “the settlement (“by”) of the Irish (“Ira”)”, from the Olde Scandinavian “Irabyr”. Two places in Derbyshire, recorded as Ireton in the Domesday Book are so named from the Olde English pre 7th Century “Ir(as)”, Irish, plus “tun”, a farm or settlement.

The patronymic form of the name first appears on record towards the middle of the 17th Century, (see below). On June 17th 1635 Edward Ireson (aged 32) and Elizabeth Ireson (aged 27) embarked from London on the ship “Abigall” bound for New England. They were among the earliest recorded namebearers to settle in America. On October 10th 1642 John Ireson and Rachell Whitlocke were married in St. Stephen’s, Coleman Street, London, and on January 5th 1719. Elizabeth Ireson and William Eaton were married in Sawley, Derbyshire.

The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Ireson married Thomas Latham, which was dated April 27th 1635 in St. Dunstan’s, Stepney, London, during the reign of King Charles I, “The Martyr”, 1625 – 1649. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to “develop” often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.


Earliest IRESONS in America:
The name has been found in the early 1600’s in England and Massachusetts:

EDWARD IRESON, born 1601 to 1603 1 and was said to be of Buckenham parish, Norfolk county, England.  2The community of Buckenham today is 12km ESE of Norwich in Norfolk County.His wife ELIZABETH was born in 1607 or 1608 .3Her maiden name is not known.

They sailed on the 17th of June 1635 from London, Eng. on board the “Abigail” for Boston, Mass., and are said to have come to Lynn, Mass. that same year.  Other references place them in Lynn at an undated time.  Lynn was a coastal village 15km NE of the original Boston village. There is no indication of any children accompanying them. This is the colony of the Pilgrims and since it is only 15 years after the Mayflower arrived, it is reasonable to assume that these IRESONs held the same religious beliefs.

Seven children have been identified as EDWARD’s 15,16, all likely born in Lynn, Massachusetts. There is no indication of which one(s) survived, but names appearing below in 1800 suggest that Samuel and Benjamin did. The lack of children’s names between 1635 and 1639, and between 1648 and 1657, may indicate that those shown were the survivors at the time that the ORIGINAL list was made, this being an unknown date.

Hannah, b. 10th of February 1639
Ruth, b. 12th of January 1641
Samuel, b. December 1641
Eleazer, b. 1st of September 1642
Benoni or possibly Benjamin, b. September 1645, m. 1st of August 1680 to Mary Leach. Their first child, Edward b. 6th of April 1681, d. in few days. There were other children.
Eliz. (possibly Elizabeth after her mother), b. December 1648
and, as suggested by Whitmore 17 , by a second wife of EDWARD Rebecca, b. May 1657
Several explanations, besides that of Whitmore, are possible but his seems the most likely.

– Children by ELIZABETH between 1648 and 1657, died young and were not recorded by the maker of the list. Only survivors shown.
– Rebecca was a very late child, an after thought, because ELIZABETH, the first wife, would have been 49 years old when she was born.


Where Our Family Began:

Our branch of the Ireson family began in Philadelphia and moved to Fredrick County, Virginia in the early 1700’s.  From there, part of the family branched off and moved to Saltville, in South Western Virginia.  From there, our branch of the Iresons, moved to the Tazewell Virginia and then to Williamson, West Virginia.

This site is dedicated to those individuals and my parents!