This surname of MEDEIROS is a Portugese occupational name for a carpenter, from the Portugese word MADEIRA (wood, timber) and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form MATERIES. It was also a local name from the island of MADEIRA, which was named with the Portugese MADEIRA, because of the timber that grew there. The island was colonized in the 15th century under the patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator. A notable member of the name was Francisco Indalecio MADERO (1873-1913) the Mexican president, born in San Pedro, Coahulia. The son of a wealthy land-owner, groomed in Paris, educated at the University at Berkeley, he was no social revolutionary, although he greatly improved the peon's on his own estates (a peon is a debtor held in servitude). He launched a presidential campaign, but at first was not taken seriously, but his popularity grew and he was imprisoned by Diaz. He escaped to the USA dressed as a railway worker, and in October 1910 issued the 'Plan de San Luis Potosi' from his San Antonio headquarters. He led a military campaign that captured Cuidad Juarez, where he established his capital (May 1861). Once elected president (1911) his moderate political reform programme pleased no one, and he faced a succession of revolts. On the night of 23rd February 1913, he and his vice-president were murdered. 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.
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