Over History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Over surname is generally thought to be a habitational name, taken on from one of several places named Over, or Ower in Britain, such as Over in Cambridgeshire, in Cheshire and in Derbyshire. These place names are derived from the Old English "ofer," meaning "seashore," or "riverbank."

Early Origins of the Over family

The surname Over was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Over, held by Earl Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester and the northwest, who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

Early History of the Over family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Over research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1275 and 1524 are included under the topic Early Over History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Over Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: over, overs and others.

Early Notables of the Over family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Over Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Over migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Over Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Andrew Over, who arrived in Maryland in 1681
Over Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anna Mary Over, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1729
  • Henry Over, a bonded passenger who arrived in America in 1729
  • Anna Mary Over, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1729 [2]
  • Jacob Over, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1729 [2]

Australia Over migration to Australia +

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

Over Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Over, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Egyptian" on 5th April 1839, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]

West Indies Over 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. [4]
Over Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Over, a bonded passenger who settled in Barbados in 1672
Over Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • James Over, a child apprentice, sent to Barbados in 1750


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th January 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/egyptian
  4. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies


Houseofnames.com on Facebook