Miller (name)

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Family name
Meaning derived from the occupation of a miller
Region of origin United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland)
Footnotes: [1][2]

Miller or Millar is a surname of English, Scottish origin, principally derived from the occupational name for a miller.[3][1] Also, it may be derived German surname Müller. 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.[4] 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.[5] If the surname has Highland Scottish origins, the bearers are associated with Clan MacFarlane.[6]

The name Miller also has a long history in Northern Ireland, notably County Antrim where many migrants from Northern England and Scotland settled in the 16th and 17th centuries.[7]

Amongst the earliest recordings of the surname is Reginald Miller in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Sussex, South East England in 1327.[8]

The surname "Miller" can also be the result of anglicization of:

  • surnames of German origin as Müller, "Mueller", "Moeller", "Muller" and "Mahler", all of which are cognates to Miller
  • surnames of other European languages origin, for example: French - Meunier, Dumoulin, Demoulins and Moulin, Dutch - Molenaar, Danish - Møller, Italian - Molinaro, Spanish - Molinero, Hungarian - Molnár, Slavic - Mlinar, etc.[4]

In the United States[edit]

About 1 in every 25 Americans is named Smith, Johnson, Williams, Brown, Jones, Miller or Davis. Miller is the seventh most common surname.[9]

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.[10]

See also[edit]