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Ollivander was the surname of an old pure-blood wizarding family, one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight.[1] However, the family may no longer have been considered pure-blood in the early 20th century, as Garrick Ollivander's mother was a Muggle-born.[2]


The family was known to have been in the wandmaking business since 382 B.C.. It was said that the name means 'he who owns the olive wand', which suggested that the original Ollivander arrived in Britain from a Mediterranean country (olive trees not being native to the UK).[3]

Garrick Ollivander believed that his earliest ancestors in England arrived with the Romans, and set up stall (subsequently shop) to sell to ancient British wizards, whose wands were crude of construction and unreliable in performance.

The earliest known member of the family, apart from the the original Ollivander who established the wandmaking business, was Geraint Ollivander, active in the Middle Ages.

In the 1790s, the family lost a treasured heirloom wand as it was stolen from the business's Hogsmeade branch by an assistant, Richard Jackdaw. The wand was found to have been destroyed a century later.[4]

The latest known owner of the famous wand shop was Garrick Ollivander. He was an established wandmaker in the British wizarding community, and many wizarding families preferred buying Ollivander's wands over other makers, often remarking that his were the best. Harry Potter also bought his first wand from him in 1991. He is also responsible for making the "brother wand" of Harry's, purchased by Tom Riddle (later known as Lord Voldemort) in 1938.[5]

In 1996, Ollivander was captured and tortured by Lord Voldemort at Malfoy Manor. Later in 1998, he was rescued by Harry Potter and his friends, along with others who had also been captured.[6] He later took refuge at Ron Weasley's great-aunt Muriel's home.[7]

Known members[]

Ollivander family tree[]

(fl. 382 B.C.)
(many generations)
Geraint Ollivander
(fl. Middle Ages)
(many generations)
Gerbold Octavius

(fl. 1800s)
Gervaise Ollivander
(fl. 1800s/1900s)
Mrs Ollivander
Garrick Ollivander
(born before 1908)
Mrs Ollivander
Mr Ollivander
Ms. Ollivander
(died before 2011)

Behind the scenes[]

  • The Ollivander family seemed to have had a fondness for naming their children (at least males) with the initials 'G. Ollivander'.
  • Though the Ollivander family was one of the families listed in the Pure-Blood Directory written in the 1930s, Garrick Ollivander, who was born prior to this, had a Muggle-born mother. It's possible that the author, Cantankerus Nott, was unaware of this, though perhaps this is an example of Nott's personal bias.[1][2]


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 On Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Pure-Blood" at Wizarding World, the Ollivanders are mentioned to have been included in the Pure-Blood Directory published in Britain in the 1930s. However as Gervaise married a Muggle-born the family would not long be considered pure-blood.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Explore the story: Garrick Ollivander from Pottermore (via Internet Archive) (see this image)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Mr Ollivander" at Wizarding World
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Hogwarts Legacy
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23 (Malfoy Manor)
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 24 (The Wandmaker)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Wand Woods" at Wizarding World
  9. 9.0 9.1 Pottermore (Text archive at r/RowlingWritings) (archived copy of old version here)