This name is of English locational origin, from the place called 'Northover' in Somerset. The placename is first recorded as 'Nordoure' in the 1242. The meaning of the name is 'Northern bank' from the old English pre 7th century 'north' and 'ofer', meaning, in this instance, 'river bank'. It can also mean a slope of ridge. 'Northover' is on the northern bank of the river Yeo locational names such as this were spread around the country when the former inhabitants of the place moved to live or work in another area, and were easily distinguished as, for example, 'Homines de Northowere' (1292, London). One 'James Northover' is listed on the Register of the University of Oxford in 1607. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Prior de Northover, which was dated 1273, in the Somerset Hundred Rolls, during the reign of King Edward l, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.