Derived from the Old Middle German 'Krus' - this name is a nickname for a person with 'curly hair' and is equivalent to the English, Crisp or Cripps. There are a number of alternative spellings including Kraus, Krause, Krauss, Krauze, Kruse, the original recordings being found in Vienna (Austria), Basle (Switzerland), Berlin and Nuremberg (Germany). Although not an early recording in Britain (for obvious reasons), the Rev. William Krause (1796-1852) was born in Ireland, joined the British Army and fought at Waterloo. He later entered Trinity College, Dublin before taking Holy Orders.The Coat of Arms granted to the family has the blazon of a quartered shield blue and red. In the 1st and 4th a lion rampant holding a mullet (knight spur) and in the 2nd and 3rd a white heraldic rose barbed and seeded. The Crest being, out of a ducal coronet a demi lion rampant all gold, as depicted in Rietstap's Armorial General. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edle Von Kraus, which was dated 1681, in Wien (Vienna) Austria, during the reign of Emperor Leopold 1 of the Holy Roman Empire 1668 - 1785. 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.
Popularity of Krause in the U.S.
Krause is a moderately common surname in the United States. When the United States Census was taken in 2000, there were about 34,345 individuals with the last name "Krause," ranking it number 932 for all surnames. Historically, the name has been most prevalent in the Midwest, especially in Wisconsin. Krause is least common in the southeastern states.
Excerpted from The Internet Surname Database