This unusual surname is of medieval Welsh origin, and is a patronymic form of the male given name Oliver, formed from the fusion of the prefix "ap" or "ab" meaning "son of", with the personal name. Oliver was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, and appears in its Latinized form "Oliversus" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The Old French form "Olivier" led to the belief that the name was associated with the olive branch, and hence, with peace, from the Old French "olivier, oliver", an olive tree; however, the ultimate origin lies in the ancient Scandinavian "Anleifr", a compound of "an", ancestor, and "leifr", remains, a name presumably given to a male child in the hope that he would carry on the family traditions. The surname, with variant spellings: A'Boliver, Boliver, Bolliver and Bolver, is well recorded in Shropshire Church Registers from the late 17th Century. On January 18th 1681, Robert, son of Richard Boliver, was christened in Hopesay, and in 1705, John ap Oliver, alias Boliver, was noted in Sibdon Carwood. Further recordings include: Eliza ap Oliver, Aboliver and A'Boliver (Stanton Lacy, 1729) and Francis Bolver, christened in Selattyn, Shropshire, on November 29th 1765. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Boloffer, which was dated April 17th 1580, a christening witness at Allhallows, Honey Lane, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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