This Dutch surname of SLUSS was a topographic name for someone who lived by a lock or weir. The name was originally derived from the Old Dutch word SLUIS, and rendered in ancient documents in the Latin form EXCLUSA (to dam, keep out). The name is also spelt SLUIS, VAN DER SLUIS, VAN DER SLUIJS, VAN DER SLUYS, SCHLIESSER, SCHLEUSSER, SCHLEUTER, SCHLUTER and VERSLUIS. Some of these names may have derived from a town in the province of Zeeland, founded in the 13th century. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries.The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices. The preposition 'van' is found especially with habitation names, and the 'de' mainly with nicknames. Compared to other countries, Dutch heraldry is notably simpler, some of the shields bearing only a single charge. Generally speaking one helmet, one shield and one crest has been used, quartering is uncommon and mottoes are rare. A notable member of the name is Paul SCHLUTER, born in 1929, the Danish politician. He became leader of the Conservative Youth Movement in 1944, and in 1982 Prime minister heading a centre-right coalition. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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