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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Italian, Portuguese

The distinguished surname Viera can be traced back to the ancient and beautiful region of Venice. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adopt a second name to identify themselves as populations grew and travel became more frequent. The process of adopting fixed hereditary surnames was not complete until the modern era, but the use of hereditary family names in Italy began in the 10th and 11th centuries. Italian hereditary surnames were developed according to fairly general principles and they were characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. The most common type of family name found in the region of Venice is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name. During the Middle Ages, Italians adopted the patronymic system of name-making because it perfectly complemented the prevailing Feudal System. In Italy the popularity of patronymic type of surname is also due to the fact that during the Christian era, people often named their children after saints and biblical figures. The surname Viera came from the given name Olivero, which is further derived from the Latin words olivarius and olivo, which mean olive.


The surname Viera was first found in Bolgna (Latin: Bononia), the largest city and the capital of Emilia-Romagna Region. From the Viera lineage in this city came many prominent individuals, such as an Oliviero, documented as Cardinal of S.R. Chiesa in 1436.

Italian surnames have a surprising number of forms in comparison with other European surnames because they reflect the regional variations and the many dialects of the Italian language, each of which has its distinctive features. For example, in Northern Italy the most standard Italian surname suffix is "I", whereas in Southern Italy the most typical surname suffix is "O". Sardinian is very different from other forms of Italian and in fact, it is considered to be its own distinct language. Additionally, spelling changes frequently occurred because medieval scribes, church officials, and the bearers of names, spelled names as they sounded rather than according to any specific spelling rules. As a consequence of the major changes in the Italian language and in the local spellings of Italian surnames that occurred over the course of history, there are numerous variations for the surname Viera. These spelling variations include Olivieri, Oliviero, Olivier, Oliveri, Olivero, Oliverio, Oliver, Ulivieri, Livieri, Liviero, Liverani, Vieri, Viero, Vier, Vierin and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Viera research. More information is included under the topic Early Viera History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Prominent among members of the family was Alessandro Oliverio, (1500-1544), born in Bergamo, a famous painter and follower of Palma Vecchio. Pietro Oliveri was President of the Court in Palermo in 1675; Michele Oliveri was the first Duke of Aquaviva, and held the position in 1686; the Oliveri family from Messina...

Another 54 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Viera Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


The records on immigrants and ships' passengers show a number of people bearing the name Viera:

Viera Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Joaquin Viera, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1816
  • Antonio Viera, who arrived in Veragua in 1835
  • Diego Viera, who arrived in Nombre de Dios, Panama in 1835
  • Manuel Viera, who landed in Veragua in 1835
  • Beatriz Viera, who landed in Dominican Republic in 1836

  • Milton Viera Rivero (b. 1946), former Uruguayan footballer
  • Gessler Viera Abreu (b. 1985), Cuban gold medalist Taekwondo athlete at the 2007 World Championships
  • Ousmane Viera Diarrassouba (b. 1986), Ivorian footballer
  • Mario Sebastián Viera Galaín (b. 1983), Uruguayan professional footballer
  • Helvecia Viera (1928-2009), Chilean actress and comedian
  • Feliciano Alberto Viera Borges (1872-1927), Uruguayan politician, President of Uruguay (1915-1919)

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    Other References

    1. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
    2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    3. Annuaire Général Héraldique Universel. Paris: Institut Héraldique, 1901. Print.
    4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    5. Gheno, Antonio. Contributo alla Bibliografia Genealogica Italiana. Bologna: Forni, 1924. Print.
    6. Colletta, John P. Finding Italian Roots The Complete Guide for Americans. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2003. Print.
    7. Battilana, Natale, Ed. Genealogie Dello Famiglie Nobili di Genova. Genova: Fratelli Pagano, 1825. Print.
    8. Di Crollalanza, Goffredo. Enciclopedia araldico cavalleresca Prontuario nobiliare. Pisa: Presso La Direzione Del Giorale Araldica , 1878. Print.
    9. Stiens, Robert E. Passenger list Italy to New York 1893 In Italian Genealogist. Torrance, CA: Augustan Society No 3, 1983. Print.
    10. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    11. ...

    The Viera Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Viera 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 7 January 2015 at 08:19.

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