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

Origins Available: Portuguese, Spanish

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

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."


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

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


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.


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


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


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


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  1. Domínguez, C. Hispano de Apellidos y Blasones. 4 Vols. 2001. Print.
  2. Atienza, Julio De Atienza. Español: Diccionario Heraldico De Apellidos Españoles Y De Titulos Nobiliarios. Madrid: Aguilar, 1959. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Maduell, Charles R. Compiler Index of Spanish Citizens Entering the Port of New Orleans Between January 1840 and December 1865. New Orleans: The Compiler, 1966. Print.
  5. Diez, Ma Del Carmen Galbis. Catalogo de Pasajeros a Indias Durante los siglos XVI, XVII y XVIII Archivo General de Indias Sevilla Volume 6. Murcia, Spain: Ministerio de Cultura, 1986. Print.
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. de Cadenas, Vicente Y Viicent. Heraldic Patronimica Española Y Sus Patronimicos Compuestos. Madrid: Hidalguía, 1976. Print.
  10. de Cadenas, Vicente Y Viicent. Caballeros de La Orden de Santiago Siglo XVIII. Madrid: Hidalguía, 1996. 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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