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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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The surname Rivera was first found in Castile, the kingdom that led the Reconquest of the peninsula from the Muslims, in medieval times.

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


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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 and printed products wherever possible.

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Prominent among members of the family were Ruy Páez de Ribera, 15th century lyric poet; Suero de Ribera, a contemporary of Ruy and also a poet; Diego de Rivera, one of the noblemen asked by Princess (later Queen) Isabella to announce to her brother King Henry her marriage to Ferdinand of...

Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rivera Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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
  • Jose A. Rivera, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008
  • Jose Antonio Rivera, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1988
  • Jose de Jesus Rivera, American politician, U.S. Attorney for Arizona, 1998-
  • Justina C. Rivera, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1984
  • Lucy Rivera, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 2008
  • Luigi Rivera, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Bari, 1884
  • Marie O. Rivera, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Puerto Rico, 2008
  • Mary Rivera, American politician, Representative from New York 18th District, 1990
  • Mercedes Rivera, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Puerto Rico, 2008
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    3. Atienza, Julio De Atienza. Español: Diccionario Heraldico De Apellidos Españoles Y De Titulos Nobiliarios. Madrid: Aguilar, 1959. Print.
    4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    6. Colletta, John P. They Came in Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    7. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Armorial Général by J.B. Rietstap. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. 1967. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-209).
    8. García Carraffa, Alberto and Arturo. Diccionario Heráldico y Genealógico de Apellidos Españoles y Americanos 88 Volumes. Madrid: A. Marzo. Print.
    9. 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).
    10. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
    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 7 July 2016 at 17:43.

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