This surname of LASCH was a German metonymic occupational name for a salmon fisher or a seller of salmon and other delicacies, originally derived from the Old German LACHS (originally meaning playful, leaping). It was also a nickname for a lively person rendered in Middle German as LAHS. The name has many variant spellings which include LACHS, LACKS, LASS, LAXER, LACHSER and LACHMANN. The name was found early in England (probably arriving in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066) and LAX de Ludham appears in 1141 in County Norfolk. Thomas LAX was documented in Yorkshire in the year 1351. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. Later instances of the name include Joseph LAX of Whitby , County York, and Anne Dodd were married at St. Georges's, Chapel, Mayfair, London in the year 1729. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. A notable member of the name was Karl Konrad LACHMANN (1793-1851) the German philologist, born in Brunswick. He was professor successively at Konigsberg and Berlin. A founder of modern textual criticism, he edited various papers.
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