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Origins of the Oliver surname

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What does the name Oliver mean?

The Oliver surname is English, and is thought to have Anglo-Norman roots, arriving with the conquest of William I in 1066. Records have been found with the surname Oliver dating back to the 1100s. It has patronymic roots, and refers to the son or descendant of someone named Oliver or Olivier.

Alternative variations of the name Oliver

Oliver, Olliver, Olivar, Olivere, Aliver

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

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Where do most Olivers live?

In 1921, most Olivers lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Olivers

How common is your surname?

163rd most common surname in the UK

We have 220,000 records for the Oliver surname. The oldest one dates back to .

Who were Olivers most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Olivers.

What are the most common Oliver first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Oliver family members

Common jobs for Olivers

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Olivers in 1921


Domestic Servant




General Servant Domestic


House Servant


Common Male occupations for Olivers in 1921
Agricultural Labourer


Coal Miner




General Labourer


Farm Labourer


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Census records provide incredible detail on names, ages, marital statuses, occupations and more.

We found over 230,000 family trees with the Oliver surname

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