Miller (surname)

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Millers in WWI
Region of originUnited Kingdom (England or Scotland); other European countries, including Germany and Switzerland (when anglicized from Müller, Meller, Mueller)
Other names
Variant form(s)Müller, Meller, Mueller
[1][2][3][4] [5][6]

Miller and Millar are surnames of English, German, Irish or Scottish origin.

Miller is a common surname in: the United States (where it is the 7th most common surname), Bahamas (14th), Falkland Islands/United Kingdom (17th), Cayman Islands and Canada (18th), Jamaica (22nd), Scotland/United Kingdom (24th), New Zealand (36th) and Australia (38th).[4][7]


There are two homonymous forms of Miller, one that began as an occupational surname for a miller[1][2][3][4] 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,[5][6] such as Mueller, Müller, Mühler, Moller, Möller, Møller, Myller, and others. There is also a form in the early English linguistics as Milleiir.

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.[5]

The name Miller also has a history in Northern Ireland, notably County Antrim where many migrants from Northern England and Scotland settled in the 17th century Ulster plantations.[8]

In 2020, Miller was the 24th most common surname on the birth, death and marriage registers in Scotland; Millar is 75th.[4]

In the United States[edit]

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Miller was the 7th most common surname in the United States, the number of occurrences was 1,161,437.[4]

In 2007, about 1 in every 25 Americans were named Smith, Johnson, Williams, Brown, Jones, Miller or Davis. Miller was the seventh most common surname.[9]

The surname Miller in the United States can also be the result of anglicization of:

Miller is also the third most common surname among Jews in the United States (after Cohen and Levy), from the Yiddish cognate of Müller, which would be Miller (מיללער) or Milner[10](מילנער).

Miller is also the most common surname in the Amish, originating from Müller in Switzerland.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b World Family Names: Miller
  2. ^ a b "Great Britain Family Names - Public Profiler". Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  3. ^ a b British Surnames - Miller
  4. ^ a b c d e "Most common surnames – Top Twenties for selected years". National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d, Miller Name Meaning and Origin "The American surname has absorbed many cognate surnames from other European languages"
  6. ^ a b c 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"
  7. ^ "Frequently Occurring Surnames from the 2010 Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  8. ^ E. MacLysaght, The surnames of Ireland, 1973
  9. ^ Roberts, Sam (17 November 2007). "In U.S. Name Count, Garcias Are Catching Up With Joneses". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  10. ^ Jewish Names
  11. ^ Facts, Amish. "10 Common Amish Surnames". Amish America. Retrieved 8 November 2020.