- The ancient Greek name 'Nicholas' meaning 'victory-people', is probably the source of more variants than any other name, some five hundred have been identified covering every European language and country. In this case the name means 'son of (Ni)cholas' - with 'Claus' being the Danish-German variant celebrated in Santa Claus. Although recorded as a personal name in the English Domesday Book of 1086 as Nicolaus, the name popularity both as a personal name and a surname came after the Crusades. Examples of the name's modern variants are; Clayson, Clausson, Claussen and Clawson. The Coat of Arms of Clausen of Bavaria is two facing gold rampant lions holding keys on a black field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wilhelm Clausen which was dated C. 1680, in Nordlingen, Bavaria during the reign of Emperor Leopold 1 of the Holy Roman Empire 1668 - 1705 Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.