The surname of MILNE was an occupational name 'the miller'. The name was derived from the Anglo-Saxon word MYLN. The mill, whether powered by water, wind or (occasionally) animals, was an important centre 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 corn ground into flour, a proportion of the ground corn being kept by the miller by way of payment.The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monastries, gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Early records of the name mention Robert le Melner, County Derbyshire, 1273.
William Milner of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Nicol and Elizabeth Milne were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1766. Robert Shore Milne and Charlotte Bentick were married at the same church in the year 1785. The name is also spelt Miln, Milne and Milns. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Registered at Aldecar, Dunston and Cromford, County Derby. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
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