This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is from an occupational name for a miller. The word itself represents the Northern Middle English term, an agent derivative of "mille, milne", a mill, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "mylen(e)", originally from the Latin "molina", a derivative of "molere", to grind; the word was reinforced by the cognate Old Norse "mylnari". Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary.This form of the surname is unusual in that it retained the "-n-" of the original Middle English and Olde English words, unlike the more popular form Miller, which lost the "-n-" over the centuries. Because of the Old Norse influence the surname is very popular in Yorkshire, one of the counties popular with Scandinavian settlers. The surname was first recorded in the late 13th Century, and other early recordings include: Ralph Muller in the 1296 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, and Robert le Milner in the 1297 Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire. One Samuell Milner, aged 18 yrs., was an early settler in the New World Colonies, leaving London on the "Phillip" in June 1635, bound for Virginea. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name from Yorkshire is a black shield, a chevron between three snaffle-bits gold, the Crest being a horse's head erased bridled gold, charged on the neck with a bezant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Mulnare, which was dated 1275, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "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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