Recorded in a number of surname spellings such as Over, Overbury, Overlow, Overnell, Overpool, Overshot, Overstall, Overstrand, Overstone, Overstreet, Overthrow, Overton, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is usually locational from a place of the same or near spelling. The derivation in all cases is from the pre 7th century Olde English prefix 'ofer' which can have several meanings relative to the situation of the place to which it refers. For instance Overton, of which there are some thirty places mainly in England, means variously the upper settlement, the settlement on a river bank, and the settlement on a slope or ridge. Overbury means the upper or higher fort, Overstreet, the higher road, whilst Overthrow is believed to originate from a now 'lost' medieval village possibly in Wiltshire whose name may mean 'The upper trough' from 'ofer-trow.'This is a reference to a stream, possibly man made, which lead down to a larger river. Examples of surname recordings taken from surviving church registers of Greater London include Peter Overton at St Andrews Holborn, on December 13th 1573, John Overstreete, at St Katherines by the Tower (of London), on August 24th 1628, John Overthrow at St Mary's Stoke Newington, on April 8th 1660, Mary Overstall, at St Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, on October 8th 1695, and James Overlow, this may be a form of Overthrow, at St Andrews Undershaft, on January 17th 1713.
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