Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including Muller, Mueller, Mullner, Moller, Millner, Molnar, Mollnar, and Molner, this is a German occupational and/or residential surname. It usually describes a corn miller, one who operated either a windmill or a waterwheel, although it may also be a person who lived at a house with the sign of a mill. Medieval house signs did not necessarily describe a persons occupation, many signs had simply abstract subjects such as animals or nature were simply signs. Not surprisingly given the importance of "milling" in the medieval period and earlier, the name is both popular, widespread, and one of the earliest on records. The name does tend to be confused with the English versions, and particularly so in the USA where immigration from both countries was at its height in the 18th century. In anycase the name from both countries is often in the same spelling, which is perhaps not surprising as they share similar pre 7th century "Anglo-Saxon" roots. Early examples of the surname recording taken from authentic German or Swiss charters of the medieval period, and at the very start of the introduction of surnames include: Konrad Mulnere of Chringen in the year 1222, Jakob Mulner of Zurich, Switzerland, in 1265, Rudolph Muli of Konstanz in the year 1290, and Heinrich Mollner of Greifswald in 1307.
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