This is a rare surname, which in this spelling is only recorded in the United States of America. In addition it is almost specific to the state of Ohio, and rarely found anywhere else. Research back to medieval times (14th century) indicates that it derives from the Germanic name Jaus, Joos, Josse and others. These names are themselves variants from the pre 7th century personal name Judocus or Iudicus, originally a Celtic name which spread across much of Europe. It translates as'Lord' or possibly 'Leader'. A faint possibility is that it could derive from one of the variant forms of the biblical St. Job., but we are unable to find any definitive links. Certainly in the periods before surnames became 'set' in their spelling, which is from the 12th century onwards and this varied considerably from country to country, - thick local accents, coupled with minimal education through into the 1870's, made opportunities for name changes almost endless! With this name the letter J would be pronounced as an almost silent yuh or huh, hence Jaus, Josse, and Joos would all have sounded pretty much the same to a tired immigration official at somewhere like Ellis Island, New York, and whose language would have been American-English. This simple mistake occured hundreds, if not thousands of times, and is a good illustration of the genre. It has been suggested that Yaus is of Islamic origins, but we have not found any evidence to support that synopsis, in fact the reverse. The forenames associated with Yaus are exclusively European and Christian. People in the past may not have known how to read or write their name - they would have known their religion! The first recording we have is that of one Jaus who was the market official , in Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, in 1520. Germany was in those days a loose federation of dozens of large and small states, and surnames were considerably later than in Britain and France.
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