Ofertum History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Ofertum date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in the region of Overton in various counties throughout England. Ofertum 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 Ofertum family

The surname Ofertum 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 Ofertum family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ofertum 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 Ofertum History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ofertum Spelling Variations

Ofertum has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Ofertum have been found, including Overton, Oferton, Overtone and others.

Early Notables of the Ofertum 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 Ofertum Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Ofertum family

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Ofertums to arrive on North American shores: 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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