This surname of CINTRON was a locational name meaning 'one who came from CINTRA (now SINTRA) the name of a town in central Portugal. Its beauty has been celebrated by several literary figures, including Byron in his 'Childe Harolde'. The many notable buildings include the royal palace (14th-15th centuries) in Moorish and gothic styles. 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. Portugese surnames share many of the features of Spanish surnames, in particular Arabic and Visigothic influence. A notable feature of Portugese surnames is the class of religious names referring to festivals of the church or attributes of the Virgin Mary. One respect in which Portugese names differ from those of the rest of the Iberian peninsular, is that some were adopted at a comparatively late date and honour saints who did not give rise to surnames in other languages. Portugese names typically have the ending 'eiro'. Portugese heraldry is characterized by the use of broad shields, quite often with borders. This is a practice dating back from earlier times when it was the practice for a man to enclose his arms with a border charged with single heraldic devices taken from the arms of his wife, or even sometimes with her complete arms arranged as a series of small shields. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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