This interesting and unusual surname is a dialectal variant of "Milner", which itself is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational name for a miller. In fact the modern surnames 'Milner' and 'Millner' are truer to their derivation from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'Mylnere', in Middle English a derivative of 'Mylne', mill found as 'Melnere' and 'Mulnere', than the more familiar forms 'Miller', 'Millar', and 'Meller'. 'Mil(l)ner' is found most often in Yorkshire and the other north eastern counties where the Scandinavian influence was strong, showing the reinforcing effect of the Olde Norse word for a miller, 'mylnari'. One Robert le Milner is recorded in the Yorkshire Subsidy Rolls of 1297. One Ann Mildener was christened on April 25th 1571 at St. Olave, Hart Street, while Richard Mildner married Mary White on July 7th 1617 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. Samuel Milner was an early emigrant to the New World, he left London on the 'Phillip' in 1635 bound for Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Mulnare, which was dated 1275, the Worcestershire Subsidy Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1, the Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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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