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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

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

The distinguished surname Rivera is a proud sign of a rich and ancient ancestry. The name was originally derived from the Castilian word "rivera," which means "riverbank." Thus it is quite probable that the first families to take on Rivera as a surname lived near the banks of a river.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Rivera, Ribera, Ribeira, Rivero, Ribero, Ribeiro and others.

First found in Castile, the kingdom that led the Reconquest of the peninsula from the Muslims, in medieval times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rivera research. Another 219 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1558, 1520, 1833 and 1830 are included under the topic Early Rivera History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 205 words(15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rivera Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rivera Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Jacob Rodrigues Rivera, who arrived in New York, NY in 1746

Rivera Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Hipolito Rivera, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1803
  • Carlos De Rivera, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1816
  • Manuel Rivera, aged 21, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1827
  • Cosme De Rivera, who arrived in America in 1828
  • Felipe Garisa Rivera, aged 50, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1829


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  • Chita Rivera (b. 1933), American actress, dancer, singer and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Michael Rene Rivera (b. 1976), American professional baseball player
  • Tomás Rivera (1935-1984), Mexican-American chancellor of the University of California, Riverside from 1979 to 1984
  • Geraldo Rivera (b. 1943), American television talk-show host
  • Cynthia Enid Olavarría Rivera (b. 1986), Puerto Rican actress, television host and fashion model
  • Marika Rivera (1919-2010), French film actress and dancer
  • José Eustacio Rivera Salas (1888-1928), Colombian poet and novelist, author of "La vorágine" (1925)
  • Diego Rivera (1886-1957), Mexican painter and muralist


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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. de Cadenas, Vicente Y Viicent. Heraldic Patronimica Española Y Sus Patronimicos Compuestos. Madrid: Hidalguía, 1976. Print.
  9. Domínguez, C. Hispano de Apellidos y Blasones. 4 Vols. 2001. Print.
  10. Carr, Raymond. Spain, 1808-1975. 2nd Ed. . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 978-0198221272).
  11. ...

The Rivera Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rivera 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 14 August 2015 at 09:32.

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