Is the name "Filreis" Portuguese?
I received this (below) from the cultural director of a Portuguese foundation. It's a response to the possibility that "Filreis" is a Portuguese name. (12/17/03)
In Portuguese son is 'filho'. You can notice the obvious origin in Latin. Reis means 'kings' (it's the plural of 'rei', king). It is used as a surname but I don't know since when or why. I suppose it is connected with the Three Kings that visided Christ when he was born. I don't think there is a connection between Filreis and 'filho de reis', as we would say in Portuguese 'son of kings'. Pronunciation is also important. How do we pronounce the 'r' in' Filreis? As a hard 'r' like in 'rat', or as soft 'r' like in 'art'? The r in Reis is hard. Filreis is not a Portuguese name and I don't recall any Portuguese name similar to it. And there is the jewish issue. Most jews were expelled from Portugal or forced to convert in the 16th century. Those that converted addopted Portuguese names, usually the names of plants. They didn't keep their Jewish names because that was a ticket to trouble. For all these reasons I am inclined to think that the person you talked about this may be right: the connection between Filreis and Reis seems to be accidental.