Family name origins & meanings
- Scottish and English : topographic name for someone who lived near a mill, Middle English mille, milne (Old English myl(e)n, from Latin molina, a derivative of molere ‘to grind’). It was usually in effect an occupational name for a worker at a mill or for the miller himself. The mill, whether powered by water, wind, or (occasionally) animals, was an important center in every medieval settlement; it was normally operated by an agent of the local landowner, and individual peasants were compelled to come to him to have their grain ground into flour, a proportion of the ground grain being kept by the miller by way of payment.
- English : from a short form of a personal name, probably female, as for example Millicent.