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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Portuguese, Spanish


From the historical and enchanting region of Spain emerged a multitude of noble families, including the distinguished Desilva family. The original bearer of the name Desilva, which is a local surname, once lived, held land, or was born in the beautiful region of Spain. In Spain, hereditary surnames were adopted according to fairly general rules and during the late Middle Ages, names that were derived from localities became increasingly widespread. Local names originally denoted the proprietorship of the village or estate. The Desilva family originally lived in one of the numerous places named Silva, which are scattered throughout the provinces of Leon, Coruna, Lugo and Oviedo. The surname Desilva was derived from the Latin word "silva," which meant "wood."

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Silva, Silvera and others.

First found in Leon and Galicia, important Christian kingdoms of mediaeval Spain.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Desilva research. Another 349 words (25 lines of text) covering the year 1796 is included under the topic Early Desilva History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 165 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Desilva Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Desilva Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John Joseph DeSilva, who arrived in New York in 1792

Desilva Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Baltasar DeSilva, who arrived in America in 1835
  • Francisco DeSilva, who landed in New Spain in 1838
  • Miguel DeSilva, who landed in Guatemala in 1838
  • Rosa DeSilva, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • M R DeSilva, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851


Desilva Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Felicia Desilva, aged 19, who landed in America from Benevento, Benevento, Italy, in 1906
  • Manuel deSilva, aged 21, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Carmine DeSilva, aged 3, who landed in America from Avellino, Italy, in 1907
  • Manuel DeSilva, aged 22, who emigrated to the United States from Val D'Ozenda, Portugal, in 1910
  • Joan C deSilva, aged 33, who landed in America from Lisbon, Portugal, in 1914


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  • Norman deSilva, former American NCAA basketball player and Assistant Coach
  • John Reed DeSilva (b. 1967), American former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball
  • Diego de Silva y Velasquez (1599-1660), Spanish painter
  • Luigi deSilva (b. 1953), Italian professional footballer
  • Walter Maria deSilva (b. 1951), Italian car designer


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Desilva Framed Surname History and Coat of ArmsDesilva Framed Surname History and Coat of Arms

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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Armorial Général by J.B. Rietstap. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. 1967. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-209).
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Domínguez, C. Hispano de Apellidos y Blasones. 4 Vols. 2001. Print.
  6. de Cadenas, Vicente Y Viicent. Heraldic Patronimica Española Y Sus Patronimicos Compuestos. Madrid: Hidalguía, 1976. Print.
  7. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  8. García Carraffa, Alberto and Arturo. Diccionario Heráldico y Genealógico de Apellidos Españoles y Americanos 88 Volumes. Madrid: A. Marzo. Print.
  9. Annuaire Général Héraldique Universel. Paris: Institut Héraldique, 1901. Print.
  10. Atienza, Julio De Atienza. Español: Diccionario Heraldico De Apellidos Españoles Y De Titulos Nobiliarios. Madrid: Aguilar, 1959. Print.
  11. ...

The Desilva Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Desilva 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 21 September 2013 at 14:54.

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