Recorded in many forms including Emilian, Emilien, Emiliano, Milien, Millien, Milian, Million,Milla, Milia, Milius, this is a surname of Latin (Roman) origins. It derives from the word 'aemulus' meaning rival or competitor, and it is said, was firstly used as a Roman Clan name of the 1st Century a.d., in the spelling of 'Aemilius'. In later years after the formation of the official Christian church, it is claimed to have been borne by a number of saints. This would seem to be true as there are a number of places so called, such as the town of St Emilien in France. However the Oxford Dictionary of Saints, which records the activities of over one thousand such persons does not list it at all in any of the known spellings, and it is perhaps surrising that given its pagan background, it did achieve religious recognition . However be that as it may, in its many and varied forms this surname is found throughout what used to be called 'Christendom' (with the exception apparently of the British Isles), and including France, Spain, Italy, Serbia, Romania, and even Belorusse, where it is recorded as 'Yemelyan'.
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