Silva Name Meaning, Family History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms (2024)

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  • Silva Name Meaning, Family History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms (1) Portugal
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Silva Name Meaning, Family History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms (4)

Early Origins of the Silva family

The surname Silva was first found in the town of Silva in the Portuguese province of Valenca do Minho. The name of the town is derived from the Portuguese word 'silva,' which means 'forest,' and indicating that the area was once heavily forested.

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Early History of the Silva family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Silva research. Another 36 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1647, 1673, 1691, 1694, 1714, 1717, 1720, 1721, 1730, 1731, 1733, 1756, 1774, 1778, 1799 and 1835 are included under the topic Early Silva History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Silva Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Da Silva, De Silva, Silva, Silveira and others.

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Early Notables of the Silva family

Prominent members of the family include

  • Pedro da Silva (c.1647-1717), born in Lisbon and settling in New France prior to 1673, he was the first post courier in New France; a Canadian postage stamp honoring him was released in June 2003; and...
  • Manuel Pereira da Silva (1694-1733) was a priest and friar of the Order of Christ, master of arts, doctor of canons and professor of the same faculty at the University of Coimbra, etc. He was born in...
  • José da Silva Lisboa (1756-1835), Born in Bahia on July 16, 1756, he died in Rio de Janeiro on August 20, 1835. He was the son of the Portuguese architect Henrique da Silva Lisboa and Helena Nunes de...

Silva World Ranking

In the United States, the name Silva is the 254th most popular surname with an estimated 104,454 people with that name. 1 However, in Canada, the name Silva is ranked the 631st most popular surname with an estimated 8,212 people with that name. 2 And in France, the name Silva is the 1,171st popular surname with an estimated 4,719 people with that name. 3 South America ranks Silva as 31st with 108 people. 4

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Silva Name Meaning, Family History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms (5) Silva migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Silva Settlers in United States in the 16th Century
  • Jerónimo de Silva, who immigrated to Peru in 1560
  • Diego de Silva, settled in Peru in 1561
  • María de Silva, moved to Hispaniola in 1562
  • Juan de Silva Correa, moved to Florida in 1563
  • Antonio de Silva, settled in New Spain in 1566
Silva Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Antonio De Silva, who arrived in America in 1760-1763 5
  • Joze Roiz Silva, who landed in New York in 1792 5
  • John Roix Silva, who arrived in New York in 1792 5
Silva Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Manuel Silva, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1803 5
  • Juan De Silva, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1803 5
  • Pedro De Silva, who arrived in America in 1814 5
  • Maria Silva, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1816-1826 5
  • Jose Silva, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1816 5
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Silva Name Meaning, Family History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms (6) Silva migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Silva Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Manuel Silva, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia 6
Silva Name Meaning, Family History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms (7) Silva migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Silva Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • R. Silva, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Abernyte" in 1876
  • H. Silva, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ashmore" in 1881
  • Algernon Silva, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ashmore" in 1881
  • Augustus Silva, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ashmore" in 1881
  • Esther Silva, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ashmore" in 1881
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Silva Name Meaning, Family History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms (8) Silva migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. 7

Silva Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Isaac Gomes Silva, who landed in Jamaica in 1742-1743 5
  • Joshua Gomez Silva, who landed in Jamaica in 1742 5
Silva Settlers in West Indies in the 19th Century
  • Jeronimo De Silva, who landed in Dominican Republic in 1834 5
Contemporary Notables of the name Silva (post 1700) +
  • Henry Silva (1926-2022), American actor, known for his roles as criminals or gangsters in films like Ocean's 11 (1960), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Johnny Cool (1963), Sharky's Machine (1981), and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)
  • Lyversa De Silva, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for New York State Assembly from New York County 3rd District, 1919; Prohibition Candidate for Presidential Elector for New York, 1920 8
  • Joseph R. De Silva, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1948, 1952, 1964 9
  • Daniel Silva (b. 1960), the best-selling American author
  • James Della Silva, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Alaska State Senate District M, 2000 10
  • Tomás George Conceição Silva (1933-2021), Portuguese general and politician who was awarded the Grand Cross of the Military Order of Christ and Grand Cross of the Military Order of Avis
  • Arménio Adroaldo Vieira e Silva (b. 1941), Portuguese journalist
  • Manuel Pereira da Silva (1920-2003), Portuguese sculptor
  • António Maria da Silva (1886-1971), Portuguese actor
  • Anibal Cavaco Silva (b. 1939), Portuguese politician
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Historic Events for the Silva family +
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Charles D Silva (1887-1917), Welsh Steward aboard the SS Middleton Castle from Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) 11
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Thomas James Silva, American 1st Class Passenger from Thomasville, Georgia, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and died in the sinking 12
USS Indianapolis
  • Phillip Gomes Silva, American crew member on board the ship "USS Indianapolis" when she was on a top secret trip for the first nuclear weapon, she was sunk by Japanese Navy on 30th July 1945, he was one of the many who were killed in the sinking due to exposure, dehydration, saltwater poisoning and shark attacks 13
Related Stories +
  • Family Crests: the Heraldic Artist
  • Family Crests: Timeline
  • Family Crests: Elements
  • Family Crests and Genealogy: how they relate
  • Spelling variations
  • Van Diemen's
  • First Fleets
  • Australia
  • Spain
  • Wales
  • Welsh
Suggested Readings for the name Silva +
  • Silva Descendants: Portuguese Genealogy by Henrietta Mello Mayer.
Citations +
  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
  2. "Surnames Meanings, Origins & Distribution Maps - Forebears." Forebears, https://forebears.io/surnames
  3. http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  4. "List of most common surnames in South America." Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_common_surnames_in_South_America
  5. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) Lyversa Silva. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) Joseph Silva. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  12. Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  13. Final Crew List, retrieved 2021, October 30th Retrieved from https://www.ussindianapolis.com/final-crew

Silva Name Meaning, Family History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms (9)
Silva Name Meaning, Family History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms (2024)
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