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Miller (name)


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[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, 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.[5]

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.[7] If the surname has Highland Scottish origins, the bearers are associated with Clan MacFarlane.[8] In 1995, Miller was the 22nd most common surname on the birth, death and marriage registers in Scotland; Millar was 77th.[4]

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.[9]

Amongst the earliest recordings of the surname is Reginald Miller in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Sussex, South East England in 1327.[10]

In North America

The surname Miller in Canada and 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).[11]

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.[12]

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.[13]


References

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