Oferton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Oferton comes from when the family resided in the region of Overton in various counties throughout England. Oferton is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.

The place name literally means "higher farmstead" and dates back to Saxon times when the first record of the place name was Uferantun in 909 in Hampshire. There are numerous entries in the Domesday Book of 1086 with very early spellings including: Ovretune in Hampshire; Ovretone in Wiltshire; Oureton in Lancashire; and Ovreton in North Yorkshire. [1]

One source claims a dual origin of Overton and Orton. "From one or other of the many places called Overton, or from Orton (Hunts, Leics, Northants, Warwicks, Westmorland), all with ofer, ufera as the first element. In the absence of medieval forms the two names cannot be distinguished." [2]

Early Origins of the Oferton family

The surname Oferton was first found in Lancashire where "in the reign of Henry III., Adam de Overton held lands here; and here, also, the priory of Lancaster had a grange, the site of which appears to have been granted to the monks about 1272. " [3]

Before this entry we found Æðelweard of Ortun c. 1051 who was listed as an Old English Byname. Henry de Orton was listed in the Feet of Fines for Oxfordshire in 1229. [2]

The following year the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 eluded to the widespread use of the name throughout ancient Britain: Adam de Overton, Oxfordshire; Ode de Overton, Huntingdonshire; and Geoffrey de Overton, Salop (Shropshire.) [4]

The Writs of Parliament include a listing for John de Overton, Huntingdonshire in 1324. In Somerset, Sarra de Overtone, was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [5]

Early History of the Oferton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oferton research. Another 170 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1203, 1275, 1324, 1624, 1788, 1525, 1609, 1580, 1609, 1520, 1530, 1539, 1551, 1547, 1553, 1562, 1599, 1664, 1629, 1642, 1640, 1668, 1609, 1631, 1609 and 1678 are included under the topic Early Oferton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Oferton Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Oferton include Overton, Oferton, Overtone and others.

Early Notables of the Oferton family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include William Overton (c.1525-1609), an English clergyman, Bishop of Lichfield (1580-1609.) He was "born in London between 1520 and 1530, is said to have been of the same family as Robert Overton, the major-general, and to have owed his early education to Glastonbury Abbey; it is certain that he was elected to a demyship at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1539, and that he became perpetual fellow of the college in 1551. He graduated B.A. in 1547 and M.A. in 1553; in the latter degree he was incorporated at Cambridge in 1562. " [6] Richard Overton...
Another 101 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Oferton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Oferton family

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: John Overton and his wife Mary, who came to Virginia in 1654; John Overton, who settled in Barbados in 1693; as well as Robert and Samuel Overton, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1850..



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  6. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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