This ancient German surname is first recorded in the early 14th century, at the beginning of the use of hereditary surnames, in Europe. Recorded as Klug, Kluge, Kluger, Klugmann, Clugel, and the diminutive Clugelin, it originates from a pre 7th century word 'klouc' meaning noble or refined. Given such an interpretation it is not surprising that the name gained some instant popularity firstly as a baptismal form of endearment, and then some five centuries later as a surname of repute. The Germans of what is historically known as 'the Dark Ages', from the 5th to the 10th century a.d., were very fond of names which indicated success in war, or work, or religion. These were usually two elements, in this case except for the addition of the suffix 'mann' in the 15th century, the name has remained a single element. 'mann' has several meanings from friend, partner or manager, to servant of, the precise translation depending on the circumstances in which it was originally adopted. In this case we believe it means 'kinsman', but this is not proven. Early examples of the surname recording include Bentz Clueg of Gachingen in 1383, and Mertin Kluge of Habelschwerdt, in the year 1397. Hans Clugeman was recorded in Schliengen, Mullheim, in 1471, this probably being the earliest recording in suffix form. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johann Clugelin, which was dated 1353, the charters and rolls of the city of Hamburg, during the reign of Emperor Charles 1V of the German Empire, reigned 1347 - 1373. 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.
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