Riviere History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The prestigious surname Riviere comes from the dynamic region of Bourgogne, in France. Riviere is a topographic surname, which is a type of hereditary surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. The name Riviere is derived from the Old French word "rivière", meaning "river", and indicates that the original bearer lived near a river. [1]

Early Origins of the Riviere family

The surname Riviere was first found in Burgundy (French: Bourgogne), an administrative and historical region of east-central France where the family held a family seat from ancient times.

This prominent family prospered and expanded to many regions where members of the family were granted various titles for their valiant behavior in defending their King and country. Important members of the family included the Lords of Perchain and of Champlemis, Governors, Magistrates and Lieutenant-Generals of the Government of Nivernais, Knights of Malta and of Orders of the King, and a Lieutenant for the King at the Government of Bresse, Bugey and Valromey.

During the 17th century, more branches formed, such as the Viscounts of Tonnerre and of Quincy, and the Lords of Corvol-le-Dampbernard. One impressive member of the family was the Lieutenant for the King at the Government of Bourgogne where he commanded the nobility of this province in 1689. As this family were actively involved in the events of the times, many members were active participants in the French Revolution and its resultant social and political upheaval.

Distinctive members of the family at this time were: Joseph François Rivière, the Lieutenant General for the Magistrate of Gévaudan in 1787, and later, in 1789, was a Deputy at the Constituante (National Assembly); Lambert Rivière, the Vice-President of the Assembly in 1806, the Mayor of Pont-sur-Seine in 1814, and, under the Restoration, the President of the General Council; and Jean Baptiste Gabriel Rivière, a Deputy at the Council of Ancients and at the Legislative Corps.

Early History of the Riviere family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Riviere research. Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1147, 1429, 1400 and 1806 are included under the topic Early Riviere History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Riviere Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Rivière, Rivyère, Ryvyère, Ryvière, Rivières, Rivyères, Ryvyères, Ryvières, La Rivière, La Rivyère, La Ryvyère, La Ryvière, La Rivières, La Rivyères, La Ryvyères, La Ryvières, Rivest and many more.

Early Notables of the Riviere family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Bureau de La Rivière (died 1400), a French politician, knight and royal adviser, the chamberlain of Charles V the Wise and an advisor...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Riviere Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Riviere migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Riviere Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Francois Riviere, who landed in Louisiana in 1718-1724 [2]
  • Jean Riviere, aged 50, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719 [2]
  • Louis Rivière, who settled in America in 1766
Riviere Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • J. B. Rivière, aged 26, who settled in New Orleans in 1822
  • Jean Rivière, aged 50, who settled in Louisiana in 1823
  • M. Riviere, aged 20, settled in Louisiana in 1823
  • Manuel Riviere, aged 21, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1827 [2]
  • Pedro Riviere, aged 30, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1829 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Riviere migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Riviere Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Pierre Riviere, son of Jean and Louise, who married Marie-Anne Mousseaux, daughter of Jacques and Marguerite, in Repentigny, Quebec on 23rd April 1680 [3]
  • François Riviere, son of Simon and Marie, who married Marie Mars, daughter of Simon and Anne, in Quebec on 6th June 1686 [3]
  • Pierre Riviere, son of Jean and Michelle, who married Marie Rouillard, daughter of Antoine and Marie, in Quebec on 27th June 1689 [3]
  • Jean Riviere, son of Jean and Jeanne, who married Claire Thibaut, daughter of Guillaume and Marie-Madeleine, in Château-Richer, Quebec on 4th September 1691 [3]
  • Jacques Riviere, son of Gaspard and Catherine, who married Catherine Ménard, daughter of Jacques and Catherine, in Boucherville, Quebec on 1st February 1699 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Riviere Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Robert Riviere, son of Guillaume and Jacquette, who married Marie Pasquet, daughter of Pierre and Marie, in Saint-Jean-de-l'île-d'Orléans, Quebec on 9th September 1700 [3]
  • Jean-Baptiste Riviere, son of Pierre and Marie-Anne, who married Marie-Josephte Goulet, daughter of Thomas and Marie, in Repentigny, Quebec on 24th November 1712 [3]
  • Marien-Joseph Riviere, son of Pierre and Marie-Anne, who married Marie-Anne Fouquereau, daughter of Urbain and Jeanne, in Repentigny, Quebec on 24th November 1712 [3]
  • François Riviere, son of Jacques and Catherine, who married Cécile Cousineau, daughter of Jean-Baptiste and Jeanne, in Quebec on 21st November 1723 [3]
  • René Riviere, son of Pierre and Catherine, who married Marie-Françoise Diel, daughter of Charles and Marie-Françoise, in Montreal, Quebec on 1st December 1725 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Riviere (post 1700) +

  • Alexander Riviere, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Portsmouth, 1884 [4]
  • Jacques Rivière (1886-1925), French writer
  • Georges Henri Rivière, French ethnologist, who created the Popular Arts and Traditions Museum, and was the initiator of many other French museums
  • Émile Rivière, French writer
  • William Riviere (1806-1876), English painter, born in the parish of St. Marylebone, London, son of Daniel Valentine Riviere
  • Daniel Riviere (1780-1854), English drawing-master of considerable celebrity and a gold medallist of the Royal Academy
  • Robert Riviere (1808-1882), English bookbinder, born at 8 Cirencester Place (now called Titchfield Street), near Fitzroy Square, London; he was descended from a French family, who left their country on the revocation of the edict of Nantes, son of Daniel Riviere
  • Henry Parsons Riviere (1811-1888), English watercolour painter, son of Daniel Valentine Riviere, a drawing-master, born in the parish of St. Marylebone, London
  • Francis Osborne Riviere (1932-2017), Dominican politician, Acting Prime Minister in 2004


  1. ^ Dauzat, Albert, Morlet, Marie-Thérèse, Dictionaire Étymologique des Noms et Prénoms de France. Paris: Librairie Larousse, 1987. Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 2, Institut Drouin, 1958.
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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