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Oliver Tartan

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Motto: I gain by treaty

There is considerable confusion surrounding the name Oliver, and several authorities are found to be in contradiction with each other as to its extraction.  A study of Heraldic crests indicates that there were armigorous Olivers in Kent, Exeter, London, Ireland and three in Scotland.  The earliest mention of the name in Scotland appears to be of one Walter Olifer (Justiciar Laudonia) who witnessed William the Lion’s gift of the serf Gillemachoide Congled with his children and all his descendants, to the Bishop of Glasgow, c1180. 

Oliver, son of Kyleurt, followed the Earl of March around 1300.  It has been claimed that this Oliver was linked to the Frasers.  Over the next 400 years the name was prominent in the southern Scotland.  

In Shetland, the Old Norse name of Olaf (Oleifr) was merged into Oliver, and it is now difficult to differentiate between the two.  In old French the name Oliver means an olive producer – fabricant au marchant d’olove, and certain Oliver crests bear a dexter hand or arm holding an olive branch fructed.  

As with many names from old documents, there are many spellings of the name including: Olipher, Oluer, Olyer, Olwer, Holifarth and Holyfarth etc.  It appears the names popularity can be traced to the song of Roland.  The Olivers appear to have reached Scotland 1100-1150.  The Fraser connection links to land in Tweedale and Oliver Castle in the upper Tweed, although the Frasers do not claim the Olivers as a sept.  

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