The surname of CARDENAS was a Spanish habitation name from places in the provinces of Almeria and Longrono, so called from the Spanish CARDENO, meaning blue or blueish purple. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form CARDINUS (thistle). Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. A notable member of the name was Garcia Lopez de CARDENAS (mid 16th century) the Spanish explorer. On an expedition to New Mexico, he discovered the Grand Canyon of Colorado in 1540. In the 8th century, Spain fell under the control of the Moors, and this influence, which lasted into the 12th century, has also left its mark on Hispanic surnames. A few names are based directly on Arabic personal names. The majority of Spanish occupational and nickname surnames, however, are based on ordinary Spanish derivatives. In Spain identifying patronymics are to be found as early as the mid-9th century, but these changed with each generation, and hereditary surnames seem to have come in slightly later in Spain than in England and France. As well as the names of the traditional major saints of the Christian Church, many of the most common Spanish surnames are derived from personal names of Germanic origin. For the most part these names are characteristically Hispanic. They derive from the language of the Visigoths, who controlled Spain between the mid-5th and early 8th centuries. Lazara CARDENAS (1895-1970) was the Mexican soldier and political leader, president of the Mexican Republic, the son of a peasant. He joined the revolutionary army in 1913, was a general by 1923 and governor of Michaocan from 1928 until 1932. The associated coat of arms for this name are recorded in J.B Rietstaps Armorial General. Illustrated by V & H.V Rolland's. This monumental work took 23 years to complete and 85,000 coats of Arms are included in this work.
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