Silva family crest

Silva family crest

Colors on the Silva family crest explained

Argent (silver) - is a symbol of the Silva family's values of peacefulness and sincerity.

Gules (red) - symbolizes martyrdom and the historic military strength of the Silva family when called upon in times of war.


  Symbols on the Silva family crest explained  

The lion - represents the ferociousness, bravery and valour of Silva family members, one of the most desirable family crest symbols.

The crown - signifies authority in relation to royalty, societal standing or military ranking.


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Origins of the Silva family name

The earliest known origin of the family name Silva is from Portugal.

There are many different spellings of the name, but all are derived from the Latin word silva, meaning forest or Wood.

The name was likely given to someone who lived near or worked in a forest.

Over time, the name Silva spread to other countries with Portuguese settlers, such as Brazil and the United States.


For a more detailed history, see our crest & history products


Summary of the Silva family and the Silva family crest

  • The Silva family name is of Portuguese origin.
  • The Silva family name is one of the oldest Portuguese surnames.
  • The first recorded use of the Silva surname dates back to the 12th century.
  • It is believed to be derived from the Latin word silva, meaning "forest" or "woodland".
  • The Silva family name is associated with the nobility, the Church and military service both in Portugal and other latin countries.
  • The Silva family were among the first settlers in the Portuguese colony of Brazil.
  • The first recorded Silva in North America was Joao da Silva, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1638.
  • He was followed by more of the Silva family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who came mainly from Portugal and Brazil.
  • Many of these family members settled in California, where they found work in agriculture and fishing.
  • The Silva name quickly spread throughout the United States as the Silva's built their reputation on a strong work ethic and reliability. 
  • Today, all Silva's can still trace their ancestors back to middle age Portugal.