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

Origins Available: Italian, Scottish

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

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Silvestri, Silvestry, Silvester, Sylvester, Sylvestar, Sylvestri, Silvestre, Silvestrelli, Silvestrini, Silvestrino, Silvestro and many more.

First found in Ferrara, a city and comune in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, capital city of the Province of Ferrara, in the district of Marche but there were also early instances of this surname in other areas of Italy. Ferrara was at war with Venice in 1471. It is a walled city and notable is the Church of S.Cristoforo. In those ancient times only persons of rank, the podesta, clergy, city officials, army officers, artists, landowners were entered into the records. To be recorded at this time, at the beginning of recorded history, was of itself a great distinction and indicative of noble ancestry. The name is a modification of the Latin name Silvester, which was derived from the word "silva," meaning "wood."


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sylvester research. Another 195 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1420, 1485, 1525, and 1606 are included under the topic Early Sylvester History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 33 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sylvester Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sylvester Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Richard Sylvester, who arrived in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1630
  • John Sylvester, who landed in Maryland in 1651-1658

Sylvester Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • S Sylvester, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Christian Sylvester, aged 67, arrived in New York, NY in 1850
  • Mr. Sylvester, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Charles A Sylvester, who landed in Arkansas in 1891

Sylvester Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Ralph Howard Sylvester, who landed in Wisconsin in 1918

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  • Albert Hale Sylvester (1871-1944), American pioneer surveyor, explorer, and forest supervisor, best known as the discoverer, explorer of The Enchantments
  • William Sylvester (1922-1995), American television and film actor, perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Heywood Floyd in Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Sherry Sylvester, American political worker and journalist
  • Rick Sylvester, American stuntman
  • Michael Sylvester (1951-1997), American opera-singer
  • Harold Sylvester (b. 1949), American film and television actor
  • Dean Sylvester (b. 1972), American NHL hockey player
  • Jessica Aimee Sylvester (b. 1987), British silver medalist freestyle swimmer at the 2010 European Championships
  • Terry Sylvester (b. 1947), English guitarist/singer with The Escorts, The Swinging Blue Jeans and The Hollies
  • Anthony David Bernard Sylvester CBE (1924-2001), British art critic and curator

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  1. Gheno, Antonio. Contributo alla Bibliografia Genealogica Italiana. Bologna: Forni, 1924. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Bascapè, Giacomo and Marcello del Piazzo. Insegne e Simboli Araldica pubblica e privata medievale e moderna. Rome: 1983. Print.
  4. Di Crollalanza, G.B. Dizionario Storico-Blasonico Delle Famiglie Nobili e Notabili Italiane 3 volumes. Pisa. Print.
  5. Fucilla, Josheph G. Our Italian Surnames. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0806311878).
  6. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
  7. Guelfi Camajani, Piero. Dizionario Araldico 1940 Reprint Arnoaldo Forni. Milan: 1978. Print.
  8. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Annuaire Général Héraldique Universel. Paris: Institut Héraldique, 1901. Print.
  10. Battilana, Natale, Ed. Genealogie Dello Famiglie Nobili di Genova. Genova: Fratelli Pagano, 1825. Print.
  11. ...

The Sylvester Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sylvester 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 15 September 2014 at 18:59.

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