Martins History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The French duchy of Gascogne was the home of the family who first used the name Martins. 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 Martins family

The surname Martins 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 Martins family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Martins 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 Martins History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Martins 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 Martins 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 Martins 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 Martins Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Martins World Ranking

In the United States, the name Martins is the 4,044th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [3] However, in France, the name Martins is ranked the 231st most popular surname with an estimated 15,565 people with that name. [4] And in South Africa, the name Martins is the 902nd popular surname with an estimated 7,738 people with that name. [5]

United States Martins 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 Martins surname were

Martins Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Gerhart Martins, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754 [6]
Martins Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Johanne Martins, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1803 [6]
  • Frederick Martins, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1836 [6]
  • Terence Martins, aged 22, who arrived in New York, NY in 1855 [6]
  • Edward Martins, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872 [6]
  • Elizabeth Martins, aged 9, who arrived in Nebraska in 1874 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Martins migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Martins Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Abraham Martins, who landed in Manitoba in 1875
  • Cornelius Martins, who landed in Manitoba in 1875
  • David Martins, who arrived in Manitoba in 1875
  • Gerhard Martins, who arrived in Manitoba in 1875
  • Isaac Martins, who arrived in Manitoba in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Martins migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Martins Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Martius Martins, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 [7]
  • Eliza Martins, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 [7]
  • Maryanne Martins, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 [7]
  • William Martins, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 [7]
  • James Martins, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 [7]

New Zealand Martins migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Martins Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William J. Martins, (b.1856), aged 18, Cornish miner departing on 2nd May 1874 aboard the ship "Miltiades" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 23rd July 1874 [8]

West Indies Martins migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [9]
Martins Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Moses Martins, who landed in Jamaica in 1740 [6]
  • Leah Martins, who landed in Jamaica in 1743 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Martins (post 1700) +

  • Walmor Barbosa Martins (1931-2023), Brazilian politician, Mayor of Jundiaí from 1969 to 1973 and again from 1989 to 1992
  • Ângelo Gaspar Martins (1930-2020), simply known as Ângelo, was a Portuguese footballer who played as a defender for Benfica and the Portugal national team
  • Manuel da Silva Martins (1927-2017), Portuguese Roman Catholic prelate, Bishop of Setúbal (1975–1998)
  • Peter Martins (b. 1946), Danish dancer
  • Sandra Martins Cavalcanti de Albuquerque (1925-2022), Brazilian politician, linguist, and academic, Deputy from 1987 to 1995
  • Renan Martins Pereira (d. 2017), known as Renanzinho or simply Renan, a Brazilian footballer
  • Leonardo Martins Dinelli Zada (b. 1977), Brazilian footballer
  • Marcelo Martins Moreno (b. 1987), Bolivian footballer
  • Dinis Martins Vital (b. 1932), former Portuguese footballer
  • Eduardo Martins Nunes (b. 1984), Brazilian defensive midfielder

  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. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BABOO 1848. Retrieved from
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Auckland 1872-80 [PDF]. Retrieved from
  9. ^ on Facebook