Pereira is a common surname in the Portuguese and Galician languages, a well known Sephardic Jewish surname, quite common mostly in Portugal, the Galicia region of Spain, Brazil, other regions of the former Portuguese Empire, among Galician descendants in Spanish-speaking Latin America and by adoption also common among Sephardic Jews of Portuguese origin throughout the Sephardic Jewish diaspora. Currently, it is one of the most common surnames in South America and Europe.
It was originally a noble Christian toponym of the Middle Ages, taken from the feudal possession of Pereira, Portugal, which in Portuguese means ‘pear tree’.
The variants of this name are more commonly found in other countries such as Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, India (specifically Goa and Kerala) and Sri Lanka. Pereire, for example, is a French variant. Many Portuguese immigrants to the United States, especially Massachusetts, chose to “Americanize” their surname to Perry.
As a toponymic surname, it does not refer to a single lineage with a single founder, but to various unrelated lineages.
The progenitor of the Pereira family of northern Portugal is believed to be Don Mendo “ Irmao” of Desiderio, the 8th Century King of the Lombards. After a great storm at sea, five of his knights arrived at a port in Galicia, Spain in 740 ad.
The name is first recorded in the New World in 1555 when Simon Pereira arrived in Chile from Portugal. The name also exists in variations such as Pereyra, Perera, Perreira, Pereiro, and others.
- Pereira Barreto is a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil.
- Pereiras is a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil.
- Pereira (Spanish pronunciation: [peˈɾeiɾa]) is the capital city of the Colombian department of Risaralda. It is located in the foothills of the Andes in a coffee-producing area of Colombia officially known as the “Coffee Axis”. Pereira, alongside the rest of the Coffee Axis, forms part of UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia”. It is the most populated city in the Coffee Axis and the second-most populated city in the Paisa region, after Medellín. Pereira is also part of the Central West Metropolitan Area, which has 709,322 residents and is composed of Pereira and the neighboring cities of Dosquebradas and La Virginia.
As the capital of the department of Risaralda, Pereira houses the headquarters of the Government of Risaralda, the Departmental Assembly, the Departmental Court, the Metropolitan Area Authority and the Attorney General. It also serves as the headquarters for numerous public companies and institutions of the Colombian state. Being in the center of the Golden Triangle (which consists of the cities of Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali), Pereira has become especially important in the fields of trade and commerce.
Pereira was the city where the last execution in Colombia took place. David López, 19, was indicted for the murder of Ricardo Torres on November 30, 1888. Lopez unsuccessfully exhausted all appeals to spare his life; he was executed in Pereira on July 26, 1890, after telling the firing squad to shoot directly at his heart.
- Pereira is a Portuguese parish, located in the municipality of Barcelos. The population in 2011 was 1,318, in an area of 3.85 km².