Rivera History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Rivera family

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

Early History of the Rivera family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rivera research. Another 110 words (8 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.

Rivera Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Rivera family (pre 1700)

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 Aragon; Diego Ribero, royal...
Another 54 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.


United States Rivera migration to the United States +

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 [1]
Rivera Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hipolito Rivera, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1803 [1]
  • Carlos De Rivera, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1816 [1]
  • Manuel Rivera, aged 21, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1827 [1]
  • Cosme De Rivera, who arrived in America in 1828 [1]
  • Felipe Garisa Rivera, aged 50, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1829 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Rivera (post 1700) +

  • Chita Rivera (b. 1933), American actress, dancer, and singer, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009
  • Carlos M. Rivera (1934-2020), American firefighter, the first Hispanic commissioner in the New York City Fire Department's 127-year history
  • Samuel Rivera (1946-2020), American politician, Mayor of Passaic, New Jersey, from 2001 until 2008
  • Manuel Joseph "Jim" Rivera (1921-2017), American Major League Baseball outfielder who played from 1952 to 1961
  • T. C. Rivera, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Senator from New Mexico, 1922 [2]
  • Samuel Rivera, American politician, Mayor of Passaic, New Jersey, 2007 [2]
  • Robert L. Rivera, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Mexico, 1996 [2]
  • Richard G. Rivera, American politician, Representative from New Jersey 13th District, 1998 [2]
  • Peter Rivera, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 2004 [2]
  • Ramon A. Rivera, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1920-23 [2]
  • ... (Another 48 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Francisco Unpingoo Rivera, American Mess Attendant Second Class from Guam, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [3]


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 30) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  3. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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