The Portuguese surname Pereira, also found in Galicia in northwest Spain, is a topographic name from the Portuguese term pereira meaning “pear tree,” or an habitational name from a place named with this word in Portugal and Galicia. 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. The name is first recorded in the New World in 1555 when Simon Pereira arrived in Chile from Portugal. Today there are approximately 23,000 bearers of the name Pereira living in the US.
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