This is an English occupational surname for someone in charge of a mill, i.e. a miller or mill-keeper. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'mylenweard', composed of the elements 'myle(n)', mill and 'weard', guardian, keeper. There is a slight regional difference to note, however, in that the name can be found in the West Midlands particularly as Millward or Milward with the specific sense of one 'in charge of' a mill, and elsewhere and especially in South West England as Millard, Millwood and Mellard, used as the normal medieval term for a miller. Thomas, son of Robert Milward, was christened in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, on January 28th 1595, and the marriage of John Milward and Margret Delves was recorded at St. Michael's in Macclesfield, Cheshire, on November 18th 1629. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Milleward, which was dated 1273, The Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire, 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017