This is a relatively rare Irish variant form of the Norman-French "Moliniere", a job descriptive name for a corn miller. Introduced into England by the Normans after the 1066 Invasion, there are a wide range of such variants, some bearing almost no resemblance to the original base form, but clearly showing the Norman influence on the early development of British surnames. These variants include: Mulliner, Milner, Molyneaux, Mullineux, Mallinar, Mullinder, Mallinder and Mullinger, of which the dialectally foreshortened "Milner" is the most numerous.It has been suggested that the nameholders had Huguenot associations, and in many Irish recordings this is true. However, the early recordings, of which there are numerous examples, date back to the 13th Century in England, some three hundred years before the Huguenot entry. These recordings, showing the "link" to the modern spellings include: Sancheus Moliner in the 1275 Rolls of Lincoln and William Molinder in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Somerset. The later recordings include Mary Molynex, at Derry Cathedral, Templemore, on September 24th 1654, William Mullinder of Sheffield, in the Hearth Tax Records of 1674, William Mullineax at St Michan's church, Dublin, on January 19th 1687, whilst on November 11th 1768, Sara Mallinder was christened at the church of St Mary Whitechapel, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Mulinas (also spelt Molinaus), which was dated 1212, in the "Book of Land Fees" for Lancashire, during the reign of King John, known by the nickname of "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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