Martin Family History
The ancient origin of the name Martin was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Martin is a baptismal name meaning 'the son of Martin', a name of great antiquity. Variants include Gilmartin, Kilmartin, McGilmartin, Marten, Martens and Martyn. This name was borne by a fourth century Saint, Martin of Tours, and consequently became extremely popular in the Middle Ages. This name is of Celtic origin and is popular throughout England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is found in many mediaeval manuscripts in these countries. Examples of such are a Johannes Martynson who was recorded in the 'Poll Tax' of the West Riding of Yorkshire in the year 1379 and a Walter Martyn who was burgess of Edinburgh, Scotland, in the year 1386. In Ireland the Martins were one of 'The Tribes of Galway', and arrived with Strongbow. Tyrone is the homeland of another sept. They were called MacGilmartin in the seventeenth century, and also Kilmartin. Being Chiefs of the Barony of Clougher, they were gradually forced West to Leitrim and Sligo.The Martin family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Martin descendants.