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Surname Claes - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'C'

Claes: What does the surname Claes mean?

The surname Claes is of Proto-Germanic origin and is commonly found in Scandinavian and Belgian regions. It is a colloquial form of the Greek name "Nicholas" which translates to "victory of the people". The name is believed to have spread across Europe through Christian patron saints like Saint Nicholas. Like many surnames, Claes was first used in medieval times and its use became more common place as the practice of adopting surname became widespread. It's a patronymic name, that is, derived from the first name of a paternal ancestor. Occasionally, the name Claes could be used as a first name as well.

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Claes: Where does the name Claes come from?

The surname Claes is derived from the personal name Nicholas, which has Greek origins, meaning victory of the people. It is primarily a popular Dutch, Belgian, and Scandinavian surname. The name transitioned to a surname during the Middle Ages in these regions, and variations include Klaus, Klaas, and Claus.

The name Claes is most common today in Belgium, where it ranks as one of the more prevalent surnames. Belgium's dense population in relation to its size contributes to the high frequency of this surname. Apart from Belgium, Claes is also quite common in the Netherlands as well as in areas with large populations of Dutch and Belgian descent like the U.S. and Canada. Though it isn't among the most widely spread surnames, it maintains a considerable presence across various regions around the world, thanks largely to migration.

Variations of the surname Claes

The surname Claes is Scandinavian in origin and is a common first name that eventually became used as a surname. The name was especially prominent in Sweden and Denmark. Variants of the surname Claes may include Claeson, Claesson, Klaas, Klaes, and Classen.

In Netherlands, variations such as De Klerk, Klerks, or Clerx may be found, which are derived from "De Klerk," meaning "the clerk," pointing at a profession rather than a first name. Another Dutch variant can be Klaassen.

It is also important to note that Claes can be a pet form of Nicholas, hence variants cognate with Nicholas might overlap, such as Claus (Germany), Klaus (Germany), Niels (Denmark), and even Clausen or Klausen.

Names such as MacNicholas, which is of Irish origin, or MacNicol, which is of Scottish origin, can also be arguably linked to Claes.

Different spellings can occur, especially considering regional variations and potential anglicisation of the name, for example, Clase, Klase, Clas, Class or Klasse.

However, the precise origin and variation of any surname can be best confirmed through genealogical research specific to ones ancestry.

Famous people with the name Claes

  • Cornelius Claes: He was a prominent player during the 1934 World Cup as part of Belgium's soccer team.
  • Evi Claes: She is a contemporary Belgian actress known for her roles in "Sara" and "Thuis."
  • Ernst Claes: A prolific Flemish writer famous for his work "De Witte."
  • Octavie Claes: She was a famous Belgian poet known for her work in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Pelagie Claes: She is prominently featured as a character in Balzac's novel "The Black Sheep."
  • Joachim Claes: Joachim Claes is a well-known Belgian tenor.
  • Annemie Claes: A recognized show jumper from Belgium.
  • Jean-Pierre Claes: A Belgian entrepreneur, he is known for his work in the music industry.
  • Johan Claes: A prominent Belgian psychologist and author.
  • Frans Claes: Frans Claes is a Belgian cyclist who has performed remarkably in his career.
  • Jef Claes: He is a Belgian photographer renowned for his stunning photography.
  • Sarah Claerhout: She is a Belgian politician from the Christian Democratic and Flemish party.
  • Tom Claes: A Belgian musician renowned for his classical music compositions.

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