Ollivier History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
In ancient Scotland, Ollivier was a Strathclyde-Briton 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 Ollivier family
The surname Ollivier 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. 
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. " 
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. 
Early History of the Ollivier family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ollivier 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 Ollivier History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ollivier Spelling Variations
Prior to the first dictionaries, scribes spelled words according to sound. This, and the fact that Scottish names were repeatedly translated from Gaelic to English and back, contributed to the enormous number of spelling variations in Scottish names. Ollivier has been spelled Oliver, Olivier, Ollivier, Olliver and others.
Early Notables of the Ollivier 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 Ollivier Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ollivier family to Ireland
Some of the Ollivier 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.
Ollivier migration to the United States +
In such difficult times, the difficulties of raising the money to cross the Atlantic to North America did not seem so large compared to the problems of keeping a family together in Scotland. It was a journey well worth the cost, since it was rewarded with land and freedom the Scots could not find at home. The American War of Independence solidified that freedom, and many of those settlers went on to play important parts in the forging of a great nation. Among them:
Ollivier Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- John Ollivier, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1796
Contemporary Notables of the name Ollivier (post 1700) +
- Jonathan Byrne Ollivier (1977-2015), British dancer, nominated as Outstanding Young Male Artist in National Dance Awards, 2002, Best Male Dancer in National Dance Awards, 2003-2004, awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Northampton, 2006
- Jacques Ollivier Desclozeaux, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 
Related Stories +
The Ollivier 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
- ^ 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)
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. 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)
- ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, February 27) Jacques Desclozeaux. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html