The ancient Germanic tribes that made up the Saxon confederation in northern Germany were divided into clans that often took their name from an aspect of their natural environment. This is made very clear in the novel by Hermann Löns, Der Wehrwolf (The Warwolf) published in 1910:
"Many of the clan names originated from nature, eg Ul `owl`, Wulf `wolf`, Bock `goat`, Specht `woodpecker`, Katz `cat`.
These clan names continue to the present day as surnames. In the cemetry in Langelsheim in the Oberharz one may find many gravestones with my mother`s maiden name Bock, indicating that this tribal name is still very numerous in Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony). The Low German for Niedersachsen being Nedersassen.
The goat is an animal which is sacred to the God Donar and this may indicate that this clan were originally worshippers of the Thunder God and their houses were decorated with the sign of the goat.