Explore the Family Name Miller

The meaning of Miller

1. English and Scottish: occupational name for a miller. The standard modern vocabulary word represents the northern Middle English term miller, an agent derivative of mille ‘mill’, reinforced by Old Norse mylnari (see Milner). In southern, western, and central England Millward (literally, ‘mill keeper’) was the usual term. In North America, the surname Miller has absorbed many cognate surnames from other languages, for example German Müller (see Mueller), Dutch Mulder and Molenaar, French Meunier, Italian Molinaro, Spanish Molinero, Hungarian Molnár (see Molnar), Slovenian, Croatian, and Serbian Mlinar, Polish Młynarz or Młynarczyk (see Mlynarczyk). Miller (including in the senses below) is the seventh most frequent surname in the US. 2. South German, Swiss German, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): variant of Müller ‘miller’ (see Mueller) and, in North America, also an altered form of this. This form of the surname is also found in other European countries, notably in Poland, Denmark, France (mainly Alsace and Lorraine), and Czechia; compare 3 below. 3. Americanized form of Polish, Czech, Croatian, Serbian, and Slovenian Miler ‘miller’, a surname of German origin. History: As a name of Swiss German origin (see 2 above) the surname Miller is characteristic of the American Mennonites and Amish, being one of the two most common surnames among them (the other is Yoder). The first Mennonite immigrant(s) bearing this name came to PA in the early 18th century.

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Miller in the United States?

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname Miller has maintained its popularity in the United States over a decade from 2000 to 2010. In terms of rank, it slipped slightly from 6th place in 2000 to 7th place in 2010, representing a change of -16.67%. However, the total count of individuals with the Miller surname increased by 2.98%, from 1,127,803 in 2000 to 1,161,437 in 2010. The proportion per 100,000 people dropped by -5.82% during the same period, from 418.07 to 393.74.

Proportion per 100k418.07393.74-5.82%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Miller

In terms of ethnic identity, the Decennial U.S. Census data reveals some shifts for those bearing the Miller surname between 2000 and 2010. The percentage identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander saw an increase of 28.57%, from 0.42% to 0.54%. Those identifying with two or more races also saw a significant rise of 35.11%, from 1.31% to 1.77%. The largest growth was seen among those identifying as Hispanic, with a jump of 51.75%, from 1.43% to 2.17%. The percentage of individuals identifying as White decreased by -1.98%, from 85.81% to 84.11%, while those identifying as Black saw a small increase of 3.36%, from 10.41% to 10.76%. Lastly, the American Indian and Alaskan Native category saw a rise of 4.76%, moving from 0.63% to 0.66%.

Two or More Races1.31%1.77%35.11%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.63%0.66%4.76%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.42%0.54%28.57%

Miller ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Miller is British & Irish, which comprises 43.4% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (30.0%) and Eastern European (5.2%). Additional ancestries include Ashkenazi Jewish, Scandinavian, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, and Nigerian.

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British & Irish43.4%
French & German30.0%
Eastern European5.2%

Possible origins of the surname Miller

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Miller have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom80.90%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom80.40%
Merseyside, United Kingdom80.30%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom80.20%
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom80.10%

What Miller haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Miller is R-P311, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-P311 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-U152 and R-M405, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Smith, Brown, Wagner, Meyer, Schmidt, Young, Snyder, Fischer, Becker, Hoffman.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Miller surname are: T2b, H1, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

millerPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Marie Antoinette

Because it is so dominant in the general European population, haplogroup H also appears quite frequently in the continent's royal houses. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Hapsburg who married into the French royal family, inherited the haplogroup from her maternal ancestors. So did Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose recorded genealogy traces his female line to Bavaria. Scientists also discovered that famed 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus traced his maternal lineages to haplogroup H.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Miller have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Miller" Surname 42.4%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Miller" Surname 27.0%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Miller" Surname 22.2%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Miller" Surname 18.3%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Miller?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Miller are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

British & Irish 62.1%

23andMe Users 57.2%