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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Italian Vierra family come from? What is the Italian Vierra family crest and coat of arms? When did the Vierra family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Vierra family history?

The distinguished surname Vierra can be traced back to the ancient and beautiful region of Venice. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adopt a second name to identify themselves as populations grew and travel became more frequent. The process of adopting fixed hereditary surnames was not complete until the modern era, but the use of hereditary family names in Italy began in the 10th and 11th centuries. Italian hereditary surnames were developed according to fairly general principles and they were characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. The most common type of family name found in the region of Venice is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name. During the Middle Ages, Italians adopted the patronymic system of name-making because it perfectly complemented the prevailing Feudal System. In Italy the popularity of patronymic type of surname is also due to the fact that during the Christian era, people often named their children after saints and biblical figures. The surname Vierra came from the given name Olivero, which is further derived from the Latin words olivarius and olivo, which mean olive.

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Italian surnames come in far more variations than the names of most other nationalities. Regional traditions and dialects are a decisive factor in this characteristic. For example, northern names tend to end in "o", while southern in "i". Also important, but not unique to Italy, was the fact that before dictionaries and the printing press most scribes simply spelled words according to their sounds. The predictable result was an enormous number of spelling variations. The recorded spellings of Vierra include Olivieri, Oliviero, Olivier, Oliveri, Olivero, Oliverio, Oliver, Ulivieri, Livieri, Liviero, Liverani, Vieri, Viero, Vier, Vierin and many more.

First found in Bolgna (Latin: Bononia), the largest city and the capital of Emilia-Romagna Region. From the Vierra lineage in this city came many prominent individuals, such as an Oliviero, documented as Cardinal of S.R. Chiesa in 1436.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vierra research. More information is included under the topic Early Vierra History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 197 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Vierra Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Vierra were Angela, Angelo, Carmela, Concetta, Filomena, Gennaro and Lucia Olivieri, who all arrived in New York city March 22, 1893 aboard the SS Alesia from Naples, Nicola Olivieri, who arrived in New York aboard the S.S. Olympia in 1896, Many settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including Pasquale Olivieri, who arrived in the city in 1834..

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  • Carlos Vierra (1876-1937), American painter, illustrator and photographer
  • Ryan Vierra (b. 1968), American world champion Highland Games competitor, he has set 346 Games records, 4 World records, 10 North American & American records and 6 World Championship records
  • Benedict M. Vierra (b. 1994), American priest of the Roman Catholic Church; Pope John XXIII appointed him as a prothonotary apostolic, with the title of monsignor


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  1. Stiens, Robert E. Passenger list Italy to New York 1893 In Italian Genealogist. Torrance, CA: Augustan Society No 3, 1983. Print.
  2. Di Crollalanza, Goffredo. Enciclopedia araldico cavalleresca Prontuario nobiliare. Pisa: Presso La Direzione Del Giorale Araldica , 1878. Print.
  3. Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani. Rome Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana 56 volumesr. Print.
  4. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
  5. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  6. Gheno, Antonio. Contributo alla Bibliografia Genealogica Italiana. Bologna: Forni, 1924. Print.
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  9. Bascapè, Giacomo and Marcello del Piazzo. Insegne e Simboli Araldica pubblica e privata medievale e moderna. Rome: 1983. Print.
  10. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The Vierra Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Vierra Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 25 April 2014 at 09:10.

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