Ollivander is the surname of an old wizarding family, and one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight.


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

Garrick Ollivander believes 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 wand-making business, is Geraint Ollivander, active in the Middle Ages. The current owner of the famous wand shop is Garrick Ollivander. He is 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 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. He later took refuge at Ron Weasley's great-aunt Muriel's home.

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 1919)
Mrs Ollivander
Mr Ollivander
Ms. Ollivander
(died before 2011)

Behind the scenes

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


Notes and references

  1. On Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Pure-Blood" at Pottermore, 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. Garrick Ollivander on Pottermore
  3. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Mr Ollivander" at Pottermore
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