The surname of MILLING was a locational name 'the dweller at the mill' from residence nearby. Local names usually denoted where a man held land and indicated where he actually lived. The name was a popular font name during the 11th and 12th centuries. The name is also spelt MILL, MILLE, MILNE, MILIS, MILMAN and MILLER, to name but a few. Early records of the name mention Margary Mylys, County Cambridge, 1273. John Myls was documented in 1336 County Yorkshire. Edward Millman of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Anne Mill was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1645. 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 follower, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village early times, has served to name many families. 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. 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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