Ofertown History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancestors of the bearers of the Ofertown family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in the region of Overton in various counties throughout England. Ofertown 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. 
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." 
Early Origins of the Ofertown family
The surname Ofertown 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. " 
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. 
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.) 
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.) 
Early History of the Ofertown family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ofertown 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 Ofertown History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ofertown Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Ofertown include Overton, Oferton, Overtone and others.
Early Notables of the Ofertown 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. " 
Another 101 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ofertown Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ofertown family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Ofertown or a variant listed above: 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..
Related Stories +
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ 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.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print