Martain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The French duchy of Gascogne was the home of the family who first used the name Martain. The surname was derived from the patron saint, Saint Martinus, a Bishop of Tours and Evangelist of la Gaule who was very popular in the Middle Ages.

Early Origins of the Martain family

The surname Martain was first found in Gascony (French: Gascogne), an area of southwest France bordering Spain, that was part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution, where the family has held a family seat from ancient times.

Another source claims the name is from St. martin in Normandy. "This family descends from Walter, Lord of St. Martin, who about 980 married a niece of Duchess Gunnora. William his son was father of Roger, Lord of Mortemer, and of Ralph, Sire de Garenne, and of the Sire de St. Martin, from whom came the family of St. Martin in Normandy and England." [1]

Abraham Martin was born in France in 1589 and died in Quebec on 8th September 1664. He arrived in New France, along with his wife and daughter, on the boat "Le Sallemande" on 30th August 1620. Abraham received a plot of land that eventually became the location of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, fought between James Wolfe and Louis-Joseph de Montcalm. This land is still known as "Les Plaines d'Abraham", or in English, "The Plains of Abraham". [2]

Early History of the Martain family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Martain research. Another 486 words (35 lines of text) covering the years 1345, 1370, 1445, 1500, 1550, 1560, 1605, 1673, 1676, 1689, 1710, 1717, 1742, 1743, 1755, 1789, 1800, 1803, 1810, 1818, and 1820 are included under the topic Early Martain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Martain Spelling Variations

French surnames were subject to numerous spelling alterations depending on the region and time it was used. The early development of the French language relied heavily on borrowing elements and grammar from other languages. For example, Old French was infused with Germanic words and sounds when barbarian tribes invaded and settled in France after the fall of the Roman Empire. Middle French also borrowed heavily from the Italian language during the Renaissance. As a result of these linguistic and cultural influences, the name Martain is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include Martin, Martine, Lamartine, Martinat, Martinaud, Martinault, Martinot, Martineau, Martinet, Martiné, Martinon, Martinesque, Martet, Marthet, Marté, Martaud, Martault, Martot, Marti, Marty, Martinenche, Martiena, Martirena, Martens, Mertens, Saint-Martin and many more.

Early Notables of the Martain family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was François Martin (1634-1706), the first Governor General of Pondicherry, Commissioner of French India (1681-1693), Governor-General of French India (1699-1706); Charles-Amador Martin, (1648-1711), Canadian clergyman, the second Canadian to be ordained a priest; Jean-Baptiste Martin, an officer and...
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Martain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Martain migration to the United States +

French settlers came early to North American, following in the wake of the explorers, and creating New France. Quebec City, founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain is said to have been the first American site founded as a permanent settlement, rather than as just a commercial outpost. But emigration was slow, in 1643, 109 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 French people in Quebec, and by 1663, when the region was officially made The Royal Colony of New France, by Louis XIV, there still only around 500 settlers. Over 2,000 would arrive during the next decade. Early marriage was desperately encouraged amongst the immigrants. Youths of 18 took fourteen-year-old girls for their wives. The fur trade was developed and attracted immigrants, both noble and commoner from France. By 1675, there were around 7000 French in the colony, and by that same year the Acadian presence in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had reached 500. In 1755, 10,000 French Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance to England and were deported to Louisiana. Despite the loss of the Colony to England, the French people flourished in Lower Canada. Among settlers to North America of the Martain surname were

Martain Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jean Martain, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [3]
  • James Martain, who arrived in Maryland in 1719
  • Francis Martain, who landed in New York in 1756 [3]
Martain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Martain, aged 42, who landed in New York, NY in 1812 [3]
  • Henry Martain, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Martain (post 1700) +

  • Capt. Martain H. Insley, American Confederate officer, eponym of Fort Insley in Fort Scott, Kansas


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
  3. ^ 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)


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