Humanities › History & Culture MILLER Surname Meaning and Origin Share Flipboard Email Print Getty / Duncan Davis History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated May 30, 2019 The common Miller surname is usually occupational, but there are also other possibilities. Miller is usually an occupational surname referring to a person who owned or worked in a grain mill.The Miller surname also possibly be derived in some instances from the Gaelic words meillear, meaning "having large lips"; malair, or "merchant"; or maillor, a man wearing armor or a soldier.In ancient times the Miller surname originated from the Molindinar (mo-lynn-dine-are), a Scottish burn (rivulet) that still flows under the streets of modern Glasgow. Surname Origin: English, Scottish, German, French, Italian Alternate Surname Spellings: MILLAR, MILLS, MULLAR, MAHLER, MUELLER, MOELLER Fun Facts About the Miller Surname: The popular Miller surname has absorbed many cognate surnames from other European languages, for example, the German Mueller; the French Meunier, Dumoulin, Demoulins, and Moulin; the Dutch Molenaar; the Italian Molinaro; the Spanish Molinero, etc. This means that the surname alone doesn't really tell you anything about your distant family origins. Famous People with the Surname MILLER: Arthur Miller (1915-2005) - American playwright best-known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Death of a Salesman."Shannon Miller - American gymnast and Olympic gold medalistAlice Duer Miller - American woman's suffrage activist, journalist, and writerWilliam Miller - author of "Wee Willy Winkie" and other nursery rhymes (1810-1872)Reggie Miller - American basketball player Genealogy Resources for the Surname MILLER: 100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings: Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?Miller Family History: Gary Miller offers information on his Miller families of Chester and Columbia counties in Pennsylvania, along with some transcribed Miller records from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.Miller Genealogy of Western North Carolina: Marty Grant has provided a huge amount of information on his three Miller lines in Western North Carolina, along with links and information on other Miller families around the world.Miller DNA Study: This large DNA surname study includes over 300 tested members of the Miller family with the goal of untangling 5,000+ distinct Miller lines in the world today.Miller Family Genealogy Forum: Search this popular genealogy forum for the Miller surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Miller query.FamilySearch - MILLER Genealogy: Explore over 22 million historical records, digital images and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Miller surname and its variations on this free website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.MILLER Surname & Family Mailing Lists: RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Miller surname.DistantCousin.com - MILLER Genealogy & Family History: Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Miller.----------------------- References: Surname Meanings & Origins Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967. Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005. Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004. Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989. Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003. Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.