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Hi Robert, I'm a Ferreira descendant. I'm from brazil and we went to Minas Gerais from Portugal in the 1700's. My family has kept so far all the names of every Ferreiras in an arquive, counting them along with the Almeida "Ferreira de Almeida" makes us about a little over 10,000 in an specific area of the town. Around 1829, a sir named Gualberto Ferreira Brito married the daughther of Manoel Antonio de Almeida ( My 7th generation grandfather). Both were very powerful, Gualberto at the time was a Captain and he organized a war against a neighbor village to free the slaves in that region and his father in Law Manoel financed it and his title was of a "comendador", a higher archy who could make lawful decisions in that town. Today there are many Ferreiras around the region, many comes in different financial background, from poor to rich, middle class, or just struggling for survival, educated and uneducated. But since there are lots of different family with the Ferreira's name you have to find out,and the best place is to try to trace your family trhorugh death certificate and the origin and place that your Ferreira came from. I'm sure it's not from the United States. My Ferreira's are from Minas, but there is another Ferreira family in the very southern part of Brasil that has nothing to do with us. Just because there are lots of Ferreiras out there it does not mean we came from one specific familiy back in the old days...at the time of the feudal system in Europe, many poor family adopeted the landlords last name..and that's too far to trace back with valid documents...so you must try to find and settle where your ferreiras came from, and that takes time and pacience.