Recorded as Oven and Ovens, this is an English residential surname. It originated as a topographical surname for somebody who lived by or worked at, an ironworks or furnace, as in the first known recording of John Attenovene, in the Assize Rolls of the county of Somerset, as far back as the year 1243. In those days Somerset was one of the principle areas for coal mining and charcoal making. Topographical surnames were amongst the earliest to be created, as one of the easiest ways to idnetify a person was to call them by the name of some natural or man made object in the countryside. The origination is from the pre 7th century word 'ofen', and other early examples taken from surviving charters and registers include those of John atte Oven of Worcester in the year 1299, and listed in Lund's Medieval English names register compiled in 1942, whilst another recording from the same period, but from a quite different area, although again a coal field, is that of William ate Ovene. He appears in the Assixe Rolls of the county of Kent in 1317.
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