Noble surnames, such as Medina, evoke images of the ancient homeland of the Spanish people. The original bearer of the name Medina, which is a local surname, once lived, held land, or was born in the beautiful region of Spain. In Spain, hereditary surnames were adopted according to fairly general rules and during the late Middle Ages, names that were derived from localities became increasingly widespread. Local names originally denoted the proprietorship of the village or estate. Many Spanish local names reflect Arabic words or place-names because Spain was conquered by the Muslim Moors from the 8th to 12th centuries. The Medina family originally lived in the town named Medina. Medina was a common place-name in the Iberian Peninsula during the Muslim occupation because it was the Arabic word for town.