|Meaning||derived from the occupation of a miller|
|Region of origin||Ireland, United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland), or elsewhere in Europe|
Miller and Millar are surnames of English or Scottish origin. There are two homonymous forms of Miller, one that began as an occupational surname for a miller and another that began as a toponymic surname for people from a locale in Glasgow. Miller of the occupational origin may also be translated from many cognate surnames from other European languages, such as Mueller, Müller, Mühler, Moller, Möller, Møller, and others.
The standard modern word represents the northern Middle English term, an agent derivative of mille ‘mill’, reinforced by Old Norse mylnari (see Milner). In southern, western, and central England, Millward (literally, ‘mill keeper’) was the usual term.
The origin of the Scottish surname is from a burn (rivulet) in Glasgow, namely the molindinar (Mo-lynn-dine-are), and the name has evolved over the years to molindar Mo-lynn-dar and to molinar mo-lynn-ar and to Millar and finally to Miller. The first record of the name was in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. If the surname has Highland Scottish origins, the bearers are associated with Clan MacFarlane. In 1995, Miller was the 22nd most common surname on the birth, death and marriage registers in Scotland; Millar was 77th.
In the United States
The surname Miller in the United States can also be the result of anglicization of:
- surnames of German origin as Müller, "Mueller", "Moeller", "Muller" and "Mahler", all of which are cognates of Miller
- surnames from other European languages, for example: French - Meunier, Dumoulin, Demoulins and Moulin, Dutch - Molenaar, Danish - Møller, Italian - Molinaro, Spanish - Molinero, Hungarian - Molnár, Slavic - Mlinar, etc.
According to the 1990 U.S. Census, Miller was the 7th most common surname in the United States by 1990, accounting for 0.424% of the population.
- World Family Names: Miller
- "Great Britain Family Names - Public Profiler". Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- British Surnames - Miller
- 100 Most Common Surnames - General Register Office for Scotland
- ancestry.com, Miller Name Meaning and Origin "The American surname has absorbed many cognate surnames from other European languages"
- H.L. Mencken, American Language, 2012, p. 477 "A large proportion of our Millers would be more exactly known as Müller, Mühler or Möller, and another substantial group as Millar"
- Sample History: Miller - Knowledge Base, House of Names
- Clan Miller: Electric Scotland
- E. MacLysaght, The surnames of Ireland, 1973
- Surname Database: Miller last name origin
- United States Census Bureau (9 May 1995). s:1990 Census Name Files dist.all.last (1-100). Retrieved on 2008-07-04.
- Roberts, Sam (17 November 2007). "In U.S. Name Count, Garcias Are Catching Up With Joneses". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 March 2014.