Recorded as Melan, Mellan, Melland, Mealand, Milend, Millan, Milland, Milln, Millen, and others, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname. It has at least three possible origins. Firstly, it may be a short form of McMillan, from the ancient Gaelic "Mac Maolain", meaning the son of the tonsured one, and probably a reference to a holy man, or the follower of a saint. Secondly, it maybe from the word and surname Mill, which is either from a topographical for someone who lived near a mill, or an occupational name for the miller himself. The derivation is the Olde English pre 7th century word "mylene", from the Roman "molina", meaning to grind. Thirdly it may be residential from a place such as Milend or perhaps Mill Land, the land beloging to a mill, although we have no proven records of such a place. Examples of the surname recording taken from the church registers include Mary Mylyn, who married Roger Alee, at St Augustines, Watling Street, London on May 24th 1561, Katherine Millan, who married John Lynnitt at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on May 26th 1618, and Elizabeth Melland, the daughter of William Melland, christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on May 6th 1699. The records also include Jean Melan, a Huguenot refugee, registered at the French Church, Threadneedle Street, London, on October 9th 1603, giving a further dimension to the surname spelling. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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