Recorded in history as de Medina, and Medina, this is a surname of the Iberian Peninsula, specifically Catalonia in Spain. It is locational from any or all of the places called Medina, such as Medina del Campo in the province of Valladolid, whilst the duke of Medina Sidonia commanded the famous Armada, which so disastrously failed to invade England in 1588. The name is believed to mean the Holy Place from the Arabic Mdina. Much of Spain was under Moorish Muslim control for many centuries, until they were finally driven out in the 15th century. The Moors left many mementos of their stay including some outstanding architecture, and many place names such as Granada and Medina. The surname is well recorded in surviving Spanish church registers from the 16th century. These include examples such as Antonio de Medina at the church of Nuestra Sendra la Antigua, Valladolid, on July 11th 1538, and Mariana Dominguez Medina who married Juan Aguilera Toro, at the church of Santa Ana Algodonales, Cadiz, on February 5th 1759.
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