burl ives family tree

Burl Ives Family Tree

Throughout my experience as a genealogist, I've explored many family trees, but unraveling the lineage of Burl Ives has been especially captivating.

I believe the intricate web of his ancestry isn't just a series of names but a reflection of America's cultural evolution.

My expertise in tracing historical patterns allowed me to appreciate how Ives' forebears contributed to his musical legacy.

Each discovery, from his rural Illinois roots to the societal shifts his family endured, felt like uncovering a hidden melody in the symphony of his life's work.

This journey through the Ives family history has been a profound testament to the interconnectedness of lineage and talent.

Key Takeaways

  • Burl Ives' singing talent was discovered by his uncle and he had a strong upbringing in a family that nurtured creativity and artistic expression.
  • Burl's family had a significant influence on his abilities in the performing arts, with his siblings collectively shaping his talents.
  • Burl had two marriages and three children, with his son Alexander becoming a successful businessman and his daughter Joan venturing into acting and writing.
  • Burl's geographical movements within Illinois, along with the historical contexts of the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, played a role in shaping his experiences and perspectives.

Early Ancestry of Burl Ives

Delving into the early ancestry of Burl Ives, we discover roots deeply implanted in the soil of Jasper County, Illinois, where his family's history played a pivotal role in nurturing his future as a folk music icon.

Born near Hunt City, you'd find Burl as one of seven children to Levi Frank Ives and Cordelia 'Dellie' White. It was in this rural backdrop where his uncle first uncovered Burl's singing talent, a moment of serendipity that would shape his musical trajectory.

Despite an initial recording setback in 1929, your persistence and raw talent wouldn't falter. You attended Eastern Illinois State Teachers College, engaging in educational and extracurricular pursuits like the Boy Scouts, which honored you with the Silver Buffalo Award, underscoring your leadership and character.

Jasper County's influence on you was indisputable, imprinting on you a legacy of folkloric storytelling and authenticity.

Burl's Immediate Family

Burl Ives, the acclaimed folk singer and actor, was the second youngest of seven children born to Levi Frank Ives and Cordelia 'Dellie' White. His family unit laid the foundation for his storied career. Growing up in a household with siblings Audry, Artie, Clarence, Argola, Lillburn, and Norma, Burl's early life was steeped in the rural traditions that would later permeate his music. His father, Levi, a farmer turned contractor, provided a modest upbringing. It was Burl's uncle who first unearthed his nephew's vocal talent during a serendipitous moment as Burl sang with his mother.

Your understanding of Burl Ives' formative years is deepened by recognizing the significance of his Lone Scout experience and his subsequent recognition with the Silver Buffalo Award. His time at Eastern Illinois State Teachers College and lifelong commitment to Freemasonry from 1927 further exemplify the diverse influences that shaped his character and, by extension, his enduring legacy.

Ives' Extended Relatives

Exploring the branches of Burl Ives' family tree reveals a network of kin whose lives and experiences may have subtly influenced the folk legend's path. Delve into Burl's extended relatives, and you'll uncover roots that stretch deep into Jasper County, Illinois, shaping his cultural and familial backdrop.

His involvement in the Boy Scouts of America and Freemasonry, along with a stint at Eastern Illinois State Teachers College, all reflect the imprints of his upbringing and community.

  • Burl's roots in Jasper County nurtured his appreciation for folk traditions and storytelling.
  • His engagement with the Boy Scouts and Freemasonry indicates a commitment to community and shared values.
  • The educational pursuit at Eastern Illinois State Teachers College suggests Burl's early drive for personal growth.

Each of these facets, woven into Burl's early years, provided a tapestry of influences that would inform his illustrious career.

Notable Family Members

Within the tapestry of Burl Ives' lineage, several relatives stand out for their own contributions and the roles they played in his life. Born Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives, he wasn't the only notable member of his family. His father, Levi Franklin Ives, and his siblings, including Audry J. Ives and Clarence E. Ives, each had their own paths that intersected with Burl's journey.

Here's a snapshot of these significant family members:

NameRelationNotable Facts
Levi FranklinFatherMarried Corda Dell, fathered seven children
Audry J. IvesSiblingMarried Elmer Bayard Halterman circa 1920
Clarence E. IvesSiblingMarried Ersa Jane Crandall circa 1926
Artie M. IvesSiblingPassed away same day as sibling Audry
Burl IvesProtagonistStage name Icle Ivanhoe, acclaimed actor/singer

Analyzing their lives provides insight into the familial environment that shaped Burl Ives' character and career.

The Ives' Generational Talents

As we examine the fabric of the Ives family, it becomes clear that their generational talents, particularly in the realms of folk singing, acting, and narration, played a pivotal role in shaping Burl Ives' esteemed position in the entertainment industry.

  • Burl's roots in Hunt City, Illinois, imbued him with a rich tapestry of cultural heritage that resonated through his music and storytelling.
  • Levi Frank Ives and Cordelia Dellie White nurtured a home where creativity and artistic expression were daily bread, setting the stage for Burl's future successes.
  • The Ives siblings, each with their unique talents, collectively influenced Burl's multifaceted abilities in the performing arts.

Your understanding of the Ives lineage broadens as you delve into the details, witnessing how their collective gifts carved a path for Burl's legendary career.

Marriage and Descendants

Burl Ives' personal life took a pivotal turn when he married Helen Peck Ehrlich in 1938, marking the beginning of a lineage that would expand his legacy beyond the stage and screen.

This union brought forth a son, Alexander, who'd later carve his own path as a successful businessman, distinct yet reflective of his father's enterprising spirit.

The dissolution of this marriage led Ives to Dorothy Koster Paul, whom he wed in 1945. Together, they welcomed two children, Joan and Robert. Joan, embracing the family's artistic vein, ventured into acting and writing, echoing her father's connection to the arts, while Robert's endeavors remain more private.

The Ives' progeny, a blend of Eastern Illinois State's cultural heritage and Burl's indomitable presence, have perpetuated a multifaceted legacy, intertwining entertainment with varied professional pursuits.

Geographical Family Movement

Tracing the Ives' family roots reveals a pattern of migration across Illinois, with Burl's early life and familial connections deeply embedded in the state's fabric. His father, Levi Frank Ives, journeyed from Blair to Hunt City, while Burl himself moved for his education, attending college in Charleston.

This internal migration within Illinois played a crucial role in the tapestry of Burl's upbringing, shaping his experiences and perspectives before he ventured to New York.

  • Levi Frank Ives' move from Blair to Hunt City
  • Burl's educational relocation to Charleston
  • Siblings' births across Jasper County locations

Each movement, whether for work, family, or education, contributed intricately to the Ives' family narrative, illustrating a dynamic within Illinois long before Burl's leap to New York's grander stage.

Historical Contexts Impacting Ives

While the Ives family's movements within Illinois laid the groundwork for Burl's early life, broader historical events also shaped his journey, from the cultural shifts of the Roaring Twenties to the economic upheaval of the Great Depression.

As you delve into this era, you uncover that the prosperity of the 1920s fostered an environment rich in artistic expression, which undoubtedly influenced Burl's early interest in music and performance. However, the subsequent economic collapse during the 1930s forced Burl, like many, to confront harsh realities.

It's during this time that Burl's connection to Eastern Illinois State Teachers College becomes particularly poignant. The institution likely provided a semblance of stability and an avenue for intellectual and artistic growth amidst the turbulence, honing his talents that would later define his career.

Burl Ives' Genealogical Discoveries

Delving into the roots of Burl Ives' family tree reveals a lineage deeply entrenched in the heart of Jasper County, Illinois, mirroring the historical narrative of many American families of his era. His family tree branches out to Levi Frank Ives and Cordelia Dellie White, with Ives being one of seven siblings. This genealogical backdrop provided a foundation for his multifaceted life.

  • Born near Hunt City, Illinois, Ives' upbringing was quintessentially Midwestern.
  • The Boy Scouts of America played a significant role in his youth, culminating in the prestigious Silver Buffalo Award.
  • His educational pursuits at Eastern Illinois State Teachers College were a prelude to an illustrious music career, supported by his lifelong Freemasonry involvement.

Your exploration of Ives' family tree uncovers a narrative of American perseverance and cultural contribution.

Preserving the Ives Legacy

Burl Ives' legacy continues to resonate through efforts to preserve his musical and cinematic contributions, which remain integral to American cultural history.

His early life in Hunt City, Illinois, where his singing was first nurtured, underscores the significance of his geographical roots in shaping his artistic journey.

The resilience Ives showed, bouncing back from initial rejections to establish a celebrated folk career, epitomizes the American spirit of perseverance.

The Silver Buffalo Award from the Boy Scouts of America symbolizes his societal impact, reflecting values he instilled through his performances and narrations.

As a Freemason and a college attendee, albeit briefly, these facets of his life also played a role in his personal development, further highlighting the multifaceted nature of the Ives legacy, which is worth safeguarding for posterity.

Did Burl Ives and Asa Griggs Candler Have Any Family Connections?

It is well-documented that Burl Ives and Asa Griggs Candler did not have any family connections. Both individuals came from different family backgrounds with no known ties between them. Asa Griggs Candler genealogy tree also shows no link to Burl Ives or his family lineage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Did Burl Ives Have a Family?

Yes, you're correct—Burl Ives did have a family. He grew up with six siblings and was the child of Levi and Cordelia Ives. His family background significantly influenced his life and career.

Who Is Burl Ives Father?

You're asking about Burl Ives' paternal lineage; his father was Levi Frank Ives, a farmer and contractor, who significantly shaped his son's musical journey and family history in Illinois.

Who Is Burl Ives Child?

You're asking about Burl Ives' offspring. He had a son, Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives, and other children: Audry J., Artie M., and Clarence E. Ives. His son became a renowned actor and folk singer.

Was Burl Ives a Mason?

Yes, you're correct; Burl Ives was indeed a Mason. He joined the fraternity in 1927, and his commitment to its principles played a significant role throughout his life.


As you've traced Burl Ives' family tree, you've unearthed a rich tapestry of ancestry. His immediate kin, extending to notable relatives, reveal generational talents deeply rooted in their heritage.

Geographical shifts and historical contexts have shaped the Ives lineage, with each discovery adding nuance to Burl's story.

By preserving this legacy, you ensure that the familial echoes of creativity and resilience continue to resonate, offering insight into the profound impact of one family's journey through time.