Last name: Mills
This name is a medieval English or Scottish topographical surname, given originally to someone who lived near a mill, and is derived from the Middle English "mille, milne", mill, a development of the Olde English pre 7th Century "mylen(e)", itself from the Latin "molina", a derivative of "molere", to grind. The final "s" indicates a patronymic, i.e., "son of". The surname gradually came to be used as an occupational name for a worker at a mill, and indeed sometimes for the miller himself, a respected and important position in medieval communities, where the mill was a central part of the settlement. It was powered by water wind, or, sometimes, animals, and usually operated by an agent of the local landowner. The villagers were compelled to bring their corn to the miller to be ground into flour, and to pay for the service with a proportion of their grain. The modern surname can be found as Mill, Mills, Millis, Mille, Milne(s), Millman and Mullen. One Richard Mille appeared in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1279. An interesting namebearer was George Mills (1808 - 1881), a builder of iron steam ships who became a journalist and started the "Glasgow Advertiser and Shipping Gazette" in 1857. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de la Melle which was dated 1200, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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