Olliver History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Olliver was first used in the Scottish/English Borderlands by an ancient Scottish people called the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name for someone who lived in Roxburgh. While most of the name likely derive from the Old French Oivier, it is supposed that some of the Scottish instances of this name derive from the Old Norse name Oleifr.

Early Origins of the Olliver family

The surname Olliver was first found in Roxburghshire, where the first on record in this shire was Walter Olifer who was a Justiciar (Judge) of the district, who witnessed a gift of William the Lion to the serf Gillemachoi de Conglud with his children and all his descendants to the bishop of Glasgow c. 1180. Olyver, son of Kyluert, was one of the followers of the earl of March at end of twelfth century. [1]

Despite the fact that the lion's hare of the family do originate in Scotland and into the English borders, there are significant early English records. "Its principal homes are as follows: in the north, in Northumberland and Durham, whence it extends into the Scottish border counties; in the west, in Herefordshire; in the east, in Lincolnshire; in the south - west (including the contracted form of Olver), in Cornwall; and in the south - east, in Kent and Sussex. " [2]

And we would be remiss if we did not mention the earliest entry of the family in the Domesday Book of 1086 as a personal name. Later, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list the name as both a personal name and a surname: Oliver Crane in Huntingdonshire, 1273; and Peter filius Oliver in Oxfordshire. [3]

Early History of the Olliver family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Olliver research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1266, 1330, 1436, 1541, 1542, 1546, 1557 and are included under the topic Early Olliver History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Olliver Spelling Variations

The many spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names result from the fact that scribes in that era spelled words according to sound. Translation too, was an undeveloped science, and many names were altered into complete obscurity. Over the years Olliver has been spelled Oliver, Olivier, Ollivier, Olliver and others.

Early Notables of the Olliver family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was John Oliuer, prepositus of Berwick, who witnessed a gift of land to the Hospital of Soltre, c. 1250-1266; William Holifarth or Holyfarth held land in Perth, c. 1330; Thomas Olyver de Swyne who witnessed a declaration dated...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Olliver Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Olliver family to Ireland

Some of the Olliver family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 90 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Olliver migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainties and discrimination faced in Scotland, many decided to head out for North America. Once they arrived, many Scots fought with relish in the American War of Independence; some went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Many ancestors of these Scots have recovered their lost national heritage in the 20th century through Clan organizations and Scottish historical societies. Among the settlers to North America were:

Olliver Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Olliver with his wife Marey and two sons settled in New England in 1637
  • Mr. Thomas Olliver, (b. 1601), aged 36, British calinder from Norwich traveling aboard the ship "Mary Anne" arriving in New England in 1637 [4]
  • Miss Marey Olliver, (b. 1603), aged 34, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Mary Anne" arriving in New England in 1637 [4]
  • Mr. Thomas Olliver, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Mary Anne" arriving in New England in 1637 [4]
  • Mr. John Olliver, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Mary Anne" arriving in New England in 1637 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Olliver Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Olliver, (b. 1855), aged 30, Cornish settler departing from Liverpool aboard the ship "City of Rome" arriving in the United States on 18 September 1885 [5]

Canada Olliver migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Olliver Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. William S. Olliver Jr., U.E. born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [6]
  • Mr. William Sanford Olliver U.E. born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [6]

West Indies Olliver migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [7]
Olliver Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Olliver, who settled in Barbados in 1680 with his wife and servants

Contemporary Notables of the name Olliver (post 1700) +

  • Commander George R. Olliver, U.S. Navy officer who was injured in the crash of an Otter aircraft on December 22, 1955, eponym of Olliver Peak, Antarctica
  • Michael Orlando Olliver (b. 1959), American former basketball player, Southland Player of the Year (1981)
  • Arthur Olliver (1916-1988), Australian rules footballer who played from 1935 to 1963, inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame
  • Thomas "Tom" Olliver (1812-1874), born Oliver or Olivere, English steeplechase jockey and racehorse trainer who won three Grand Nationals

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Alfred Olliver, aged 27, English Quartermaster from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 5 [8]

The Olliver Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ad foedera cresco
Motto Translation: I gain by treaty

  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 5th 2021, retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_new_york_1820_1891.pdf
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  8. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html

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