This surname OVERMAN was derived from the German word OBER, a topographic name for someone who lived at the upper end of a village. In some cases the name may have denoted someone who lived on an upper floor of a building with two or more storeys. The name has numerous variant spellings which include OBERST, OBERER, ZOBRIST, OBERMANN, OBERMAN, AVERMANN and Van BOVEN. The name was also an occupational or status name taken by a rabbi. Surnames which were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have the same meaning in many languages. The court of Charlemagne (Charles the Great, king of the Franks (742-814) was Christian and Latin speaking). The vernacular was the Frankish dialect of Old High German, and the personal names in use were Germanic and vernacular. These names were adopted in many parts of northwest Europe, particularly among the noble ruling classes. Hereditary surnames were found in Germany in the second half of the 12th century - a little later than in England and France. It was about the 16th century that they became stabilized. A minor notable of the name is the American C. Esco OBERMANN, born on the 31st July, 1904. He is a psychologist, and his appointments include director of the Vocational Rehabilitation Veterans Administration Area Office, and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the United States Office of Health. He has written in numerous professional journals. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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