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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

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Where did the Irish Martin family come from? What is the Irish Martin family crest and coat of arms? When did the Martin family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Martin family history?

The original Gaelic form of Martin was Mac Giolla Mhartain. This name denotes a devotee of St. Martin. This saint founded the first monastery in France c. 360 and was made Bishop of Tours in 372. He is the patron saint of publicans and inn-keepers and is also a patron saint of France.


Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Martin dating from that time include Gilmartin, Kilmartin, MacKilmartin, MacGilmartin and many more.

First found in County Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where they had been granted lands by Strongbow after the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1172, and became one of the "Tribes of Galway." Kilmartin is a small village in Argyll and Bute, in western Scotland. It is best known as the center of Kilmartin Glen, one of the best examples of standing stones in Scotland. Kilmartin Castle, a small tower house, dating from about 1580, stands above the village and was the property of the Campbells.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Martin research. Another 151 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1652, 1722, 1600 and 1648 are included under the topic Early Martin History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 53 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Martin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name Martin:

Martin Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • John Martin, who came to Virginia in 1606
  • Christopher Martin and his wife Mary, who arrived in America on the "Mayflower" in 1620
  • Christopher Martin, who settled in Plymouth in 1620
  • Giles Martin, aged 23, who arrived in New England in 1623
  • Simon Martin, who immigrated to St Christopher in 1633

Martin Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Adam Martin, who landed in Charles Town, South Carolina in 1782

Martin Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Charles Martin, aged 20, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Barbara Martin, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1806
  • Andrew Martin, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • James Martin, who arrived in New York in 1820
  • August, Edmond and Belfort Saint Martin, who came to New Orleans in 1820


  • Charles E Martin (1912-2002), American cartoonist and animator
  • Strother Martin (1919-1980), American actor perhaps best known as the prison "captain" in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke
  • Homer Dodge Martin (1836-1897), American painter
  • Edwin McCammon Martin Sr. (1908-2002), American diplomat who was ambassador to Argentina from 1964-1968
  • Dean Martin (1917-1995), born Dino Paul Crocetti, American singer, film actor, television star and comedian
  • Glenn Luther Martin (1886-1955), American aircraft manufacturer
  • Valerie Martin (b. 1948), American novelist and short story writer and winner of the prestigious Orange Prize
  • First Lieutenant Harry Linn Martin (1911-1945), United States Marine Corps officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945
  • Tony Martin (1913-2012), born Alvin Morris, American actor and singer, husband of Cyd Charisse
  • Slater Nelson "Dugie" Martin Jr. (1925-2012), American Hall of Fame basketball player



  • Adam Martin (1755-1835) and Thomas Roy Musick (1757-1842), St. Louis County, Missouri, Pioneers by Michal Martin Farmer.
  • Colonial Pioneers: Martin and Bell Families and their Kin by Mary Coates Martin.
  • Deacon John Burnham of Ipswich and Ebenezeer Martin of Rehoboth, Massachusetts by Elisabeth Puckett Martin.

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: Auxilium meum a domino
Motto Translation: My help is from the Lord.


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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  4. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  7. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  8. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  11. ...

The Martin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Martin Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 23 July 2014 at 12:55.

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