The Orthodox Izhorians, along with the Votes, are the indigenous people of historical Ingria. With the consolidation of the Kievan Rus and the expansion of the Republic of Novgorod north, the indigenous Ingrians became Greek Orthodox. Ingria became a province of Sweden in the Treaty of Stolbovo in 1617 that ended the Ingrian War, fought between Sweden and Russia. After the Swedish conquest of the area in 1617 the Ingrian Finns, descendants of 17th-century Lutheran emigrants from present-day Finland, became the majority in Ingria. In 1710, following a Russian conquest, Ingria was designated as the Province of St. Petersburg. In the Treaty of Nystad (1721), Sweden formally ceded Ingria to Russia. In 1927 the Soviet authorities designated the area as Leningrad Province. Deportations of the Ingrian Finns started in late 1920s, and Russification was nearly complete by the 1940s. As of 2015, Ingria forms the northwestern anchor of Russia—its "window" on the Baltic Sea—with Saint Petersburg as its centre.
Ingria as a whole never formed a separate state (compare however North Ingria); the Ingrians, understood as the inhabitants of Ingria regardless of ethnicity, can hardly be said to have been a nation, although the Soviet Union recognized their "nationality"; as an ethnic group, the Ingrians proper, Izhorians, are close to extinction together with their language. This notwithstanding, many people still recognize their Ingrian heritage.
Historic Ingria covers approximately the same area as the Gatchinsky, Kingiseppsky, Kirovsky, Lomonosovsky, Tosnensky, Volosovsky and Vsevolozhsky districts of modern Leningrad Oblast as well as the city of Saint Petersburg.
In the Viking era (late Iron Age), from the 750s onwards, Ladoga served as a bridgehead on the Varangian trade route to Eastern Europe. A Varangian aristocracy developed that would ultimately rule over Novgorod and Kievan Rus'. In the 860s, the warring Finnic and Slavic tribes rebelled under Vadim the Bold, but later asked the Varangians under Rurik to return and to put an end to the recurring conflicts between them.
The Swedes referred to the ancient Novgorodian land of Vod as "Ingermanland", Latinized to "Ingria". Folk etymology traces its name to Ingegerd Olofsdotter, the daughter of the Swedish king Olof Skötkonung (995–1022). Upon her marriage to Yaroslav I the Wise, Grand Prince of Novgorod and Kiev, in 1019, she received the lands around Ladoga as a marriage gift. They were administered by Swedish jarls, such as Ragnvald Ulfsson, under the sovereignty of the Novgorod Republic.