MILLER/ MILLAR: This name is of universal origin derived from the trade of which it is descriptive, and it will thus be evident that Scottish origin should not be claimed on basis of name alone - unless a tradition of such descent is held within one's family. The "..ar" suffix is more traditional in Scotland, but both are found elsewhere. The trade from which it derives was not limited to milling of cereals, but encompassed such products as flax, and in later times the finishing of cloth. It was earliest found in its descriptive form as 'Molindarius' during the 13th century, and continued in that use in documents written in charter Latin until the 15th century, when a gradual change to the various phonetic forms of miller took place. Like many trade-names, when hereditary surnames became the vogue it was a name commonly adopted. It is to be remarked, however, that the ancient form is perpetuated in the 'Molindinar burn', a small rivulet which still flows under the streets of modern Glasgow. Numerous distinct families evolved, and though many have achieved distinction in almost every field of endeavour, none has been recognised as the principal family of the Name. They are a 'motley crew', and their achievements have spanned from the highest legal office in the land, through Hugh Millar, the Cromarty stone-mason, (pioneer geologist and author), to Betsy Miller, who captained the brig 'Clitus' for 24 years. Perhaps the most endearing was William Miller (1810-1872) who wrote 'Wee Willie Winkie' and other nursery rhymes. In the realms of clan lore, the Millars have traditional links with the Clan Macfarlane, but such would only be true if an ancestor resided in an area in which that clan held power. Given the widespread origin of the name, they might equally have association with almost any clan. The Millers do not have a specific tartan but their strong links lie with the MacFarlanes.
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