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Family spelling variants includes Muller, Meller, Millor, Millar

MILLER Family History


This notable surname is regarded as both English and Scottish. It has over twenty-five entries in the British "Dictionary of National Biography", and no less than thirty coats of arms. It is or rather was, occupational, and described a corn miller, or at least someone in charge of a mill. The origination is from the pre 7th century Old English word "mylene", and the later "milne", but ultimately from the Latin "molere", meaning to grind. Job-descriptive surnames denoted the occupation of the namebearer, but only became hereditary when a son followed a father into the same line of business. The miller enjoyed a privileged position in medieval society, the mill being an important centre in every medieval settlement, and farmers gathered there to have their corn ground into flour.


The etymology of this surname goes back to the Middle English forms 'miller, muller' & c. and further still to Old English 'mylener', denoting the occupation of miller.  In 1881 there were 53, 151 bearers in Great Britain as a whole.  Heavy concentrations of the name were found in that year in Lanarkshire, Durham, Lancashire and South East England, particularly London, Surrey and Kent.  The Scottish variant Millar was also found in large numbers in Lanarkshire, Midlothian and Angus.  The surname Miller was noted by MacLysaght as being numerous also in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Examples of early bearers are Adam le Molendinator, Oxfordshire 1273 (Hundred Rolls), Ralph Muller, Sussex 1296 (Subsidy Rolls) and John le Mellere, 1300 (Writs of Parliament).  The first form is in Latin, and it is in Latin, Molendinarius & c. that the name is often recorded in early records.

The Miller population frequency in England and Wales in the 1891 Census was 38,218; and of Scotland 14,951.  

In  Kent, as an example,  the frequency of Miller was 1,839 in the 1881 Census; and in 1891 it was 1,251, that is 3% of the total for that year in England and Wales.

According to Guppy there were three groups of Millers in England, the Millers of the south, principally Dorset, the Millers of the north, mostly in Lancashire, Durham and Northumberland, and the Millers of the south-east, chiefly Essex and Kent. 

This surname occupies seventh rank in the U.S.A Census for 2010, with a frequency of 1,161,437.  However, the surname is often an anglicised form to which has been assimilated the cognate German and Ashkenazic Jewish Müller/Mueller, French Meunier, Dumoulin, Demoulins, and Moulin and many others.


1881, 1891 Census of England, Wales & Scotland

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890

A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames, C.W.E.  Bardsley, London, 1872/96

Surnames of Ireland, E. MacLysaght, Dublin 1985

Dictionary of American Family Names, P. Hanks, OUP, 2003-2013

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain & Ireland, eds Hanks, Coates, McClure, 2016




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    James Miller

    Thomas Miller Birthdate: December 1633 Birthplace: Tyne River, Northumberland, England Death: October 05, 1675 (41) Springfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts Bay Colony (Killed by Indians at Great Falls Fight) Place of Burial: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States Immediate Family: Son of Robert Miller and Elizabeth Miller Husband of Sarah Foster Father of Sarah Ball; Thomas Miller; Samuel Miller; Ens. John Miller; Joseph Miller and 8 others Brother of Obadiah Miller Occupation: Farmer
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    Hi im doing my family tree unsure where to start They lived near Loch Ness in Scotland and then i also have a name of a town Berkhamsted. Ezra and his brother went to Grammar School and both became member of the Anglican Church. I'm a bit unsure of these areas. Happy if you can shed some light on this as im in Australia.. I would really appreciate if you found anything and let me know. Thank you so much. Kind regards Patricia, Mr Ezra Miller married ? they had 8 children Frederick,Albert,Marion,Henry, Emily, Louisa,Jane, George and my great grandma? Ezra was a Quaker , he built the Quaker Chapel in Castle St and gave it to the Quakers. Behind the Chapel is the burial ground my great great grandma was buried.He pulled down the old manor house and estate and he cut up and made 3 roads, Manor Rd, George St and Chapel St and built houses. The roads he gave to the town.
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    indira miller

    My grandfather's name was Derick Miller, I don't know much about him because he died before I was born. I am from a mix culture family that lives in Belize and that is were my grandmother meet my grand father. I'm not sure of my grandfather arrival to Belize. His mother name was Amelia Miller I'M not sure about my great-grandfathers name.
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    Nedra Jumper

    My fourth great grandfather‘s name was Adam Miller. He immigrated to America around the 1780s. He was born in 1765 and ancestry record show him as being born in Antrim Ireland. He had four brothers one of which was named John. The five of them immigrated to America but only 2 of them stayed, Adam and Jon. The other three went back to Ireland.
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