Portuguese, Galician, and Jewish (Sephardic): habitational name from any of the many places called Silva, or a topographic name from silva ‘thicket’, ‘bramble’.


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You can see how Silva families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Silva family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Silva families were found in the USA in 1920. In 1840 there were 6 Silva families living in Louisiana. This was about 33% of all the recorded Silva's in the USA. Louisiana had the highest population of Silva families in 1840.

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Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Silva surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

In 1940, Laborer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Silva. 25% of Silva men worked as a Laborer and 6% of Silva women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Silva were Farm Laborer and New Worker.

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*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.


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Census Records

There are 183,000 census records available for the last name Silva. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Silva census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Silva

Passenger Lists

There are 129,000 immigration records available for the last name Silva. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Silva immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 29,000 military records available for the last name Silva. For the veterans among your Silva ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Silva military records

Between 1941 and 2004, in the United States, Silva life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2001. The average life expectancy for Silva in 1941 was 46, and 71 in 2004.

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View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Silva


An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Silva ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.