Family name
Related names Oliver; Olivier
Clan affiliations Fraser

The surname Oliver is of several different origins.


The surname Oliver is derived from the Old French personal name Olivier. Also means "legend, hero and valliant" The Oliver surname (meaning "seller, or processor of olive oil") seems to be French Norman in origin. The Olivers were probably part of William the Conqueror's Norman Invasion of Britain in 1066. The Oliver family was a sept of the Scotland Highlands' powerful Fraser Clan and was a very powerful clan themselves in Roxburghshire and the Borders area. It arrived in Scotland and Ireland in the 14th century. This Old French name was introduced to Scotland and Ireland by the Normans. During the Middle Ages, it was a popular name throughout Europe. It was borne by one of Charlemagne's paladins, and friend of Roland.[1] Ostensibly, the name is said to derive from the Latin olivarius, meaning "olive tree".[2] However, all of Charlemagne's paladins bore Germanic names;[2] and the Latin derivation of the name may be a result of folk etymology working on an unidentified Germanic personal name, possibly a cognate of Alvaro;[1] or possibly distantly connected with the Old Norse Óleifr, meaning "ancestral relic".[2]

The Catalan and (Occitan) French surname is a topographic name. It is derived from oliver, meaning "olive tree". It may also be related to the homonymous name listed above.[1]


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  • Catriona Oliver(born 1980), Australian Olympic rower
  • Chad Oliver (1928–1993), science-fiction novelist
  • Craig Oliver (born 1938), Canadian telejournalist
  • Craig Oliver (born 1969), Downing Street Director of Communications and former BBC media executive





  • Gene Oliver (1913–2007), American catcher and first baseman in Major League Baseball.
  • Geoffrey Oliver (1898–1980), British admiral
  • George T. Oliver (1848–1919), American lawyer, publisher, and Republican party politician
  • Glynis Oliver, artist and colorist in the comics industry
  • Graham Oliver, English guitarist.



  • Ian Oliver, former police officer, now an international consultant for the United Nations
  • Isaac Oliver (c. 1565–1617) French-born English portrait miniature painter


  • Jack Edward Oliver (1942–2007), British cartoonist
  • Jackie Oliver (born 1942), Formula One driver
  • James Harrison Oliver (1857–1928), a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy
  • James Michael Yorrick Oliver, Lord Mayor of London from 2001 to 2002
  • Jamie Oliver, (b. 1975), British celebrity chef
  • Jamie Oliver (musician), of Lostprophets
  • Jimmy Oliver (born 1969), basketball player
  • Joe Oliver (baseball player) (born 1965), catcher
  • Joe "King" Oliver (1885–1938). African-American jazz musician and bandleader
  • John Oliver (politician) and farmer in British Columbia, Canada
  • John Oliver (comedian), British political comedian
  • John Ertle Oliver, (1923–2011), American scientist (aka Jack Oliver)
  • Jools Oliver; née Juliette Norton, wife of British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver
  • Joseph Oliver (mayor), mayor of Toronto 1908–1909
  • Joseph Oliver (rugby league), rugby league footballer of the 1920s and '30s
  • Despot Jovan Oliver (ca. 1310–1356), Serbian nobleman and autonomous ruler
  • Juan García Oliver (1901–1980), Spanish Anarcho-syndicalist revolutionary


Kevin J. Oliver(born 1965) Dentist-





  • Oliver (singer) (1945–2000), American pop singer (né William Oliver Swofford)



  • Robert Don Oliver (1895–1980), British naval officer
  • R. W. Oliver, the first chancellor of the University of Kansas
  • Rachel Oliver, New Zealand international football (soccer) player
  • Raymond Oliver (1909–1990), Parisian restaurateur
  • Reggie Oliver (born 1952), English playwright
  • Revilo P. Oliver (1908–1994), American professor, conspiracy theorist and white supremacist
  • Richard Martin fitz Oliver, actually Richard Martyn (c. 1602–1648), Irish politician
  • Robert Oliver (born 1950), New Zealand Olympic cyclist
  • Roland Oliver (born 1923), professor of African history




  • Vaughan Oliver (born 1957), British graphic designer
  • Vic Oliver (1898–1964), Austrian actor-comedian; Winston Churchill's son-in-law


  • W. H. Oliver (born 1925), New Zealand poet-historian
  • Walter Oliver (1883–1957), New Zealander ornithologist
  • William Oliver (1695–1764), physician and philanthropist, inventor of the "Bath Oliver" biscuit
  • William Bacon Oliver (1867–1948), Alabama Congressman
  • William J Oliver, aka "Oliver the Spy", and aka W.J. Richards, 19th century agent-provocateur, employed by the English Home Office against the Luddites
  • William M. Oliver (1792–1863), New York politician
  • Winslow Oliver (born 1973), National Football League running back

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Oliver" in A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0192800507
  2. ^ a b c Hanks, Patrick; Hodges, Flavia (2006). Hardcastle, Kate. ed. Oxford Dictionary of Names (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 210. ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1. 

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