The English surname Millard is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is derived from the words mylen (mill) and weard (guardian or ward). It is an occupational surname that originally meant "person in charge of the mill", a millward or miller. Millward was medieval term for "miller" in southern and southwest England and in the West Midlands. The word was first recorded as a surname in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. The variant Millard is found mainly in Gloucestershire, England.
Modern spellings of Millward include Milward, Millward, Millard, Millyard, and Millwood.
Fortunately for genealogists, Millard is far less frequent than its cognate Miller. Researchers should be aware that the name Millard is often mistakenly transcribed in records as Miller, and in some cases has even been changed, either deliberately or inadvertently, to Miller. (The reverse, however, would be unlikely.)
Written by Marilyn Horn