This surname of LAUTER was an occupational name for a player on the lute. The name was originally derived from the word LUT, and is also spelt LUTHER, LEUTHER, LUTTER, LUTHIER, LUTERAND, LAUTERO, LAUTE, LAUTENSCHLAGER and LAUDENSLAYER. Surnames are divided into four categories, from occupations, nicknames, baptismal and locational. All the main types of these are found in German-speaking areas, and names derived from occupations and from nicknames are particularly common. A number of these are Jewish. Patronymic surnames are derived from vernacular Germanic given names, often honouring Christian saints. Regional and ethnic names are also common. The German preposition 'von (from) or 'of', used with habitation names, is taken as a mark of aristocracy, and usually denoted proprietorship of the village or estate from where they came. Some members of the nobility affected the form VON UND ZU with their titles. In eastern Germany there was a heavy influence both from and on neighbouring Slavonic languages. Many Prussian surnames are of Slavonic origin. A notable member of the name was Martin LUTHER (1483-1546) the leader of the Protestant Reformation in Germany. He was the translator (1522-34) of the Bible into German and author of many hymns. The LUTHERANS are the followers of the Lutheran church, especially in Germany and Scandinavia, which accept the doctrines of the Augsburg Confession (1530) and whose cardinal doctrine is that of justification by faith alone. The word Heraldry is derived from the German HEER, (a host, an army) and HELD, (champion): the term BLASON, by which the science is denoted in French, English, Italian and German, has most probably its origin in the German word 'BLAZEN' (to blow the horn). Whenever a new knight appeared at a Tournament, the herald sounded the trumpet, and as competitors attended with closed vizors, it was his duty to explain the bearing of the shield or coat-armour belonging to each. Thus, the knowledge of the various devices and symbols was called 'Heraldry'. The Germans transmitted the word to the French, and it reached England after the Norman Conquest of 1066.
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