Medeiros Surname History
The earliest recorded Medeiros was Rui Gonçalves de Medeiros ("of Medeiros") from Évora, Portugal.
King Joao I of Castilla occupied the town of Évora, installing his "alcaide" (governor/commander of a Portuguese fort) Álvaro Mendes de Oliveira in the castle of Évora. Leading the conflict against Castillian occupation was the Order of St. Benedict de Avis, a religious military order of the Knights of Portugal. The order was likely formed in Portugal in the 12th century by D. Afonso Henriques, the founder and first king of the Kingdom of Portugal.
Rui Gonçalves helped the Master of the Order of Avis expel the Castillian-installed Oliveira, after riots rocked the city in the 1383-85 crisis there. Medeiros was rewarded with the governorship of the castle at Évora after the Castillian governor was evicted.
A branch of the Medeiros family lived in the southern Portuguese region of the Algarve during the 15th century and in the same period, another branch lived on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores. Both branches came originally from the principality of Ponte de Lima in northern Portugal, in the region of Guimarães.
In the early 15th century, Rui Vaz de Medeiros - a contempoary of Rui Gonçalves - left the family in Ponte de Lima and emigrated to the Portuguese island of Madeira, during it's first colonization. There, he married a nobleman's daughter, and eventually moved his family to the Azorean island of Sao Miguel. Together they had a son who they named Vasco de Medeiros. Vasco eventually settled in the village of Lagoa (or Alagoa).
Supposedly, most Azoreans with the surname Medeiros descended from the line of Vasco de Medeiros.
Medeiros is a Portuguese surname originating in mainland Portugal at or earlier than the 14th century. The only common variation is "de Medeiros".
The name appears regularly in both Portuguese and Brazilian cultures. It can be found all around the world, owing to the breadth and duration of Portugal's colonial period.
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