There are two possible origins for this interesting name, the first and most likely being Anglo-Saxon, and a topographical surname for someone who lived near a mill. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century "mylen, mylene", Middle English "mille, milne", ultimately from the Latin "molina", a derivative of "molere", to grind. Often the surname was in effect an occupational name for the miller himself, or for someone employed at a mill, which was an important centre in every medieval settlement. The modern surname from this source can be found as Mill, Mille, Miln, Milne, Mills, Milles, Millis, Milns, Milnes and Mil(l)man. The name Mill and Mille may also derive from a short form of the female given name "Millicent", of Old German origin and meaning "work strong". The short form is recorded in 1246 as "Mylla", and in 1275 as "Mille". One of the most notable bearers of the name was the philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de la Melle, which was dated 1200, The Sussex Curia Rolls, 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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