The German, English, French, Spanish, Portugese, Flemish and Dutch surname of LAUX was originally from the Latin given name LUCAS, a form of the Greek LOUCAS, meaning 'the man from Lucania, which was a region of South Italy that was perhaps originally named with a word meaning 'bright'. The name owed its popularity in the Middle Ages to St. Luke the Evangelist. The name has many variant spellings which include LUCKS, LUX, LUKESCH, LUKAS, LUKES, KAS and LUKACS, to name but a few, and was found in Germany at an early date. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. A notable member of the name was Leyden Van LUCAS (1494-1533) the Dutch painter and engraver, born in Leiden. He practised almost every branch of painting and his most famous works include the triptych of 'The Last Judgement' (1526) and 'The Blind Man of Jericho Healed by Christ' (1531). As an engraver he is believed to have been the first to etch on copper. When the first immigrants from Europe went to America, the only names current in the new land were Indian names which did not appeal to Europeans vocally, and the Indian names did not influence the surnames or Christian names already possessed by the immigrants. Mostly the immigrant could not read or write and had little or no knowledge as to the proper spelling, and their names suffered at the hands of the government officials. The early town records are full of these mis-spelt names most of which gradually changed back to a more conventional spelling as education progressed. 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.