This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It is occupational for someone in charge of a mill, the miller or millward. It derives from the Old English word mylen, meaning a mill, and "weard", a guardian or keeper. In southern and south west England, and the West Midlands, Millward was the usual medieval term for a miller; the variant form Millard is found chiefly in Gloucestershire. Job - descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and gradually became hereditary when a son folowed a fathger into the same skill or business. The mill was an important centre in every medieval settlement, whether powered by wind, water, or, occasionally, animals, and the millward, a powerful and respected figure in the community. Early examples of the surname recordings include Richard Meleward in the county of Sussex in 1296, Walter le Milneward in the letter books of the city of London in 1300, and Robert le Moleward in the Subsidy Tax rolls of Derbyshire in 1327. The modern surname is found in such variations as Milward, Millward, Millard, Millyard, Millwood, and even Mellard. A coat of arms associated with the name has the blazon of a black field charged with two ermine chevronels, the crest being a stag browsing, on a green mount. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Milleward. This was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of Huntingdonshire, during the reign of Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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