This surname of MILNTHORPE was a locational name from three places so called in England. There was a spot in Lincolnshire named Millthorpe, Milnthorpe in Nottinghamshire, and a small place in Westmorland from where the original bearers of the name may have lived. The name was derived from the Old English word MILNETHORPP, literally meaning the dweller at the thorp with a mill. 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 names of habitation, which are the largest group, usually denoted where the original bearer of the name held and perhaps owned his land. These local surnames derive (with a few occasional exceptions) from English, Scottish or French places, and were originally preceded by a preposition such as 'atte' or 'bye'. The earliest local surnames of French origin are chiefly from Normandy, particularly from the departments of Calvados, Eure, Seine-Inferieure and La Manche, although some Frenchmen, arriving in England early acquired surnames from English places. Local names may derive from the manor held, the place of residence, and occasionally from a sign like an Inn or Tavern, or a particularly unusual shape of rock, hill, tree, stream or river. Early records of the name mention MILNTORP (without surname) who was recorded in Lincolnshire in 1202. MULTHORP (without surname) appears in Nottingham in the year 1284, and MILNETHORPP (without surname) was recorded in the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1348. Later instances of the name include Geoffrey de Milnthorpe, who was recorded in County Lincolnshire in 1273, and Robertus de Milnthorpe, and Joanna Milnthorpe were both listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
The arms depicted here have been quartered with MILNE and THORPE.
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