Recorded in several apparently associated forms including Ovet, Ovett, Ovetts, Ovid, Ovitt, Ovitts, and others, this is a surname which has been 'English' from at least the 17th century, although its origins are by no means proven. The surname is well recorded in the surviving English church registers from about the time of King Charles 1st (1625 - 1649), and it is possible that there are at least two sources. The first is from the French name Ovid, itself from the Roman-Latin word 'ovidus' meaning gentle, and the name of the famous poet who lived from b.c.43 to a.d.17. It is possibly a 17th century Huguenot protestant entry into Britain, and certainly not Roman. The second origin is a dialectal from the Germanic and Anglo-Saxon pre 7th century word 'hovet' meaning a head. As a surname Head itself has always been popular. It was a nickname surname which may have referred to a village headman, or perhaps more likely somebody who fancied himslef as such, or it may have applied to a person who suffered from some peculiarity of the head. There was no political correctness in medieval times. If you were unfortunate enough to suffer from some physical fraility, that was just too bad. In this case early examples of the surname recording taken from the church registers of the diocese of Greater London include Zacheus Ovet. He was christened at St Mary Aldermary, on April 14th 1641, and coincidentially in the same year, Robert Ovitt married Hester Hunt at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on July 5th. Elizabeth Ovid, the daughter of John Ovid was christened at St Dunstans on December 17th 1654, whilst Thomas Ovid married Elizabeth Veech at St James Westminster, on April 4th 1722.
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