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Lived during the twenty-eighth century of the Third Age (the twelfth century by the Shire-reckoning)1
Probably dwelt in the Yale after her marriage2
i'vee goode'nough
'Ivy' is related to the plant; for a discussion of 'Goodenough', see the text of this entry


About this entry:

  • Updated 9 December 2010
  • This entry is complete

Ivy Goodenough

The wife of Buffo Boffin

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A Hobbit of the Shire who was probably born early in the twenty-eighth century of the Third Age (the twelfth century by the Shire-reckoning). She married the earliest known member of the Boffin family, Buffo, and they had four children. Through the eldest of these, Bosco, Ivy gave rise to all the later known members of the Boffin family. Through her youngest daughter Berylla, Ivy was also an ancestor of the important members of the Baggins clan, including Bilbo and Frodo.

Ivy is the only member of the Goodenough family mentioned in Tolkien's work. Her family name is a real English surname, and though it is clearly Anglo-Saxon in origin, its meaning is open to some dispute. Some sources suggest it means 'very good', others that it is influenced by 'good knave' (a good servant, in other words). One source even traces it back to an actual individual, Godinot, whose name apparently means 'first settler'. Whether any of these interpretations are relevant to Ivy's family is an open question.



There are no dates on record for Ivy, but based on the birth dates of her children, she must have lived primarily during the twenty-eighth century of the Third Age. By comparison with similar generations of Shire-hobbits, she probably lived between about III 2720 and III 2820 (or 1120 and 1220 by the Shire-reckoning).


The Yale was the family seat of the Boffins, so as the wife of the head of the family, it's reasonable to expect that Ivy would have lived there after her marriage. Her original home is unknown.

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