Show ContentsMolenaar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Molenaar surname is thought to have originated in Bavaria, Germany. As hereditary surnames began to be adopted in that area beginning in the 12th century, people were often identified by the kind of work they did. Molenaar is an occupational name for a miller, derived from the Old Germanic "Mulinari."

Early Origins of the Molenaar family

The surname Molenaar was first found in Southern Germany, where they were established in the Middle Ages. The name is the German form of the Latin name "Molinarius," "Mulinari" in Old German. The modern form of the name, Mueller, is documented early on in the chronicles of Swabia, wherein the knight Conrad von Husen is noted as having become known as Mueller for his ownership of a mill.

Early History of the Molenaar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Molenaar research. Another 239 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1631, 1670, 1675, 1693, 1749, 1752, 1758, 1779, 1806, 1807, 1815, 1825, 1828, 1829 and 1846 are included under the topic Early Molenaar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Molenaar Spelling Variations

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Molenaar include Mueller, Muller, Mueler, Muler, Miller, Moeller, Muellner, Milner, Molner and many more.

Early Notables of the Molenaar family

Prominent among members of the name Molenaar in this period include Heinrich Müller (1631-1675) was a German devotional author, Protestant author of hymns and Lutheran theologian; Adam Heinrich Mueller (1779-1829), ennobled in 1828 as Ritter von Nittersdorf, who influenced Hegel and accompanied Metternich to Paris in 1815, Johann Matthias Mueller, a general in the Austrian army, who was ennobled in 1758, Friedrich Mueller (1749-1825), known as "Maler Mueller" ("painter...
Another 69 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Molenaar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Molenaar Ranking

In Netherlands, the name Molenaar is the 83rd most popular surname with an estimated 11,316 people with that name. [1]

United States Molenaar migration to the United States +

The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from Bavaria who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. For many Bavarian tenant farmers, the chance to own their own land was a major incentive. So the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlement centered in Ontario and the prairie Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Molenaar Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Styntje Molenaar, aged 50, who landed in New York, NY in 1848 [2]
  • Gerrit Molenaar, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1853 [2]
  • Maaike Molenaar, who arrived in Iowa in 1855 [2]
  • Pieter Molenaar, who landed in Iowa in 1855 [2]
  • Ritje Molenaar, who arrived in Iowa in 1855 [2]
Molenaar Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Engel Molenaar, aged 32, who landed in America from Harlingen, in 1901
  • C. Molenaar, aged 23, who settled in America, in 1903
  • Claas Molenaar, aged 29, who immigrated to the United States from Amsterdam, in 1904
  • Cornelis Molenaar, aged 9, who landed in America from Rotterdam, Holland, in 1910
  • Frans Molenaar, aged 6, who immigrated to the United States from Rotterdam, Holland, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Molenaar (post 1700) +

  • Dee Molenaar (1918-2020), American mountaineer, author of The Challenge of Rainier
  • Joan Molenaar, American politician, Candidate for Mayor of Champlin, Minnesota, 2006 [3]
  • James D. Molenaar, American politician, Candidate for village President of Lansing, Illinois, 2005 [3]
  • Robert Molenaar (b. 1969), former Dutch footballer
  • Marjolijn Molenaar (b. 1983), Dutch cricketer
  • Kees "Keje" Molenaar (b. 1958), former Dutch footballer
  • Frans Molenaar (b. 1940), Dutch fashion designer
  • Beau Molenaar (b. 1985), Dutch football goalkeeper

The Molenaar Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtute ingenioque valemus
Motto Translation: We are strong because our virtue and talent

  1. "Most Common Last Names in Netherlands." Forebears,
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 19) . Retrieved from on Facebook