Oliver Family History

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Oliver Name Meaning

English, Scottish, Welsh, and German: from the Old French personal name Olivier, which was taken to England by the Normans from France. It was popular throughout Europe in the Middle Ages as having been borne by one of Charlemagne’s paladins, the faithful friend of Roland, about whose exploits there were many popular romances. The name ostensibly means ‘olive tree’ (see Oliveira), but this is almost certainly the result of folk etymology working on an unidentified Germanic personal name, perhaps a cognate of Alvaro. The surname is also borne by Jews, apparently as an adoption of the non-Jewish surname. Catalan and southern French (Occitan): generally a topographic name from oliver ‘olive tree’, but in some instances possibly related to the homonymous personal name (see 1 above).

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Olivero, Olive, Lier, Oliva, Olivera, Lever, Oliger, Oliviero, Plier

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Oliver Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Oliver name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Oliver. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • Cameroon, Congo, & Southern Bantu Peoples


  • Benin/Togo


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Oliver Family Origin

Where is the Oliver family from?

Oliver Family Occupations

What did your Oliver ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, Farmer, Agricultural Labourer and Coal Miner were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Oliver. The most common Oliver occupation in the UK was Farmer. 4% of Oliver's were Farmers. A less common occupation for the Oliver family was Labourer.

View Census data for Oliver | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Agricultural Labourer

  • Coal Miner

  • Labourer


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Oliver ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Oliver Historical Records

What Oliver family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 934,000 census records available for the last name Oliver. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Oliver census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1891 UK census records for Oliver

Passenger List

There are 88,000 immigration records available for the last name Oliver. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the UK, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Oliver immigration records

Draft Card

There are 141,000 military records available for the last name Oliver. For the veterans among your Oliver ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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You've only scratched the surface of Oliver family history.

Oliver Life Expectancy

What is the average Oliver lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Oliver life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1941, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Oliver in 1940 was 45, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Oliver

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Oliver ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Oliver Family Ancestors

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