Show ContentsOlver History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Scotland, the first people to use Olver as a surname were the Strathclyde-Britons. It was a name 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 Olver family

The surname Olver 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 Olver family

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

Olver Spelling Variations

Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. Olver has been spelled Oliver, Olivier, Ollivier, Olliver and others.

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

Ireland Migration of the Olver family to Ireland

Some of the Olver 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.

Australia Olver migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Olver Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Olver, (b. 1822), aged 22, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 1st August 1835, sentenced for 14 years for stealing broad cloth from the shop of James Symons, transported aboard the ship "Recovery" on 26th October 1835 to New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mr. Jonathan Olver, (b. 1816), aged 23, Cornish boot maker, from Boconnoc, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Amelia Thompson" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 27th September 1839 [5]
  • Mr. Albert Olver, (b. 1870), aged 19, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Jumna" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 12th December 1889 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Olver (post 1700) +

  • Peter J. Olver (b. 1952), American professor of mathematics, fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 2014
  • John Walter Olver (b. 1936), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts (1991-2013)
  • Frank William John "W. J." Olver (1924-2013), English-born, American mathematician, emeritus professor of mathematics at the Institute for Physical Science and Technology and Department of Mathematics at the University of Maryland
  • Ian Olver AM (b. 1953), Australian medical oncologist, cancer researcher and bio-ethicist, former chief executive officer of Cancer Council Australia
  • Wing Commander Peter Olver (1917-2013), British World War II flying ace from Royal Leamington Spa, England
  • Mark Olver (b. 1988), Canadian professional ice hockey player
  • John Olver (b. 1961), English former international rugby player who played for England, Northampton Saints and Harlequins
  • John Olver (b. 1958), Canadian ice hockey player and coach from North Burnaby, British Columbia
  • Jeff Olver (b. 1960), Australian footballer, member of the Football Federation Australia-Football Hall of Fame
  • Fergie Olver, Canadian gameshow host and sports broadcaster from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Olver 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. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from
  5. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  6. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook