The English surname Oliver, also found in Wales, Scotland and Germany, is derived from the Old French personal name Olivier, which was taken to England by the Normans in the 11th Century. The name ostensibly means ‘olive tree.’The first recorded reference to the name is in 1180 whenWalter Olifer was a charter witness in Scotland. Other very early examples of the surname include Jordanus Oliueri, in the Pipe Rolls of Cornwall, England, in 1206, whilst John Oliver appears in the charters of Soltre Hospital, Scotland in 1250. Perhaps the most interesting bearer was Lawrence Olivier, later Lord Olivier, 1906 - 1988, the world famous Shakespearean actor.
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