Recorded in several spelling forms including Schlag, Schlagh, Schaght, Schlage, Slag, Slagh, Slaght, Slaghman, Slagtmans and possibly others, this is a German surname of medieval origins. In most cases it is locational, and describes a person who lived at a "schlag", generally regarded as being a clearing in a forest, or an area suitable for agriculture. However the word can also mean a "blow", as in striking something, and it may be that the name in some cases descends from an occupation, and as such may be a nickname for a smith. To add to the complication, it is also possible that the surname derives from the very early pre 7th century personal name, Slag. This also translates as "blow", although why anybody should have an original name of "Blow" is unclear. It is known that many early personal or first names had a meaning based upon physical strength or prowess, and this may well have been one of them. Early examples of the surname recording include Tomas Slegher of Haldenstein in 1378, and Nitsche Slag of Leipsig, in the 1386 charters of that famous city. Other recordings are those of Clery Slagetter of Schonar in 1446, and later Joes Slaghtmans of Appledorn, Rheinland, on March 1st 1712. The first known recording in any spelling is probably that of Arnold Schlag of Oberrosbach, in the 1343 rolls of the town. This was during the reign of Emperor Louis 1V of the Holy Roman (German) Empire, 1314 - 1347.