McMartain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Dalriadan kingdom of ancient Scotland was the home of the ancestors of the McMartain family. Their name indicates that they lived in either Cameron near Edinburgh, Cameron in Lennox, or Cameron in Fife. Thus, the name Camerons of the Lowlands is of territorial origin, from one of the three places so called. The Highland Clan name Cameron may come from the Lowland name, but it is also derived from the Gaelic word cam-shron, which means wry or hook-nosed.
The Cameron Clan was described as 'Fiercer than fierceness itself' and it was reputed to be one of the most ancient clans of Scotland. The hereditary name of the chiefs of the Clan is MacDhomnuill Duibh, from their ancestor "Black Donald".
The first assured chief of the clan was not found until 1411, when Donald Du reigned in that year. Following this date, the clan split into three separate branches, one each at Letterfinlay, Strone and Glen Nevis, with the clan seat at Lochaber.
Early Origins of the McMartain family
The surname McMartain was first found in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, formerly known as Forfar or Forfarshire, among the hills which surrounded Lochy, Arkaig, and Ely.
The Camerons are said to have traditionally descended from the Kings of Denmark and probably assisted in the restoration of King Fergus II in 404. The first written records of the Cameron Clan date back to the 13th century.
In 1214, Adam de Kamerun was witness to a charter to the monks of Cupar. In 1219, Hugh Cambrun was the sheriff of Forfar and in 1233, Johannes Cambron was a charter witness in Moray. In 1360, the Cameron Clan received the first official grant of the lands of Lochaber and they were later granted Locheil, and Locharkaig, by the Lord of the Isles.
In 1360 they received the first official grant of the lands of Lochaber. They were later granted Locheil, and Locharkaig, by the Lord of the Isles. The Camerons were continually at feud with the Clan Chattan, and notable amongst the battles was that of Charles Hill. Suffering defeat in 1370 they rose to prominence at the Battle of Harlaw, but again were forfeited. King James IV restored their lands in 1493.
Early History of the McMartain family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMartain research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1695, 1748, 1793, 1446, 1422, 1423, 1579, 1625, 1579, 1680, 1629, 1719, 1647, 1693, 1748, 1715 and are included under the topic Early McMartain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McMartain Spelling Variations
Translation in medieval times was an undeveloped science and was often carried out without due care. For this reason, many early Scottish names appeared radically altered when written in English. The spelling variations of McMartain include Cameron, MacGuillonies, MacSorlies and many more.
Early Notables of the McMartain family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan from early times was John Cameron (d. 1446), Bishop of Glasgow and chancellor of Scotland, said to have belonged to a family of Edinburgh burghers, and to have drawn his name more remotely from the Camerons of Craigmillar, and not, as was formerly asserted, from the Camerons of Lochiel. In 1422 he was appointed official of Lothian by Archbishop Wardlaw of St. Andrews (Crawfurd). Two years later he was acting in the capacity of secretary to the Earl of Wigtown (December 1423), who gave him the rectory of Cambuslang in Lanarkshire. 
John Cameron (1579?-1625), was a Scottish...
Migration of the McMartain family to Ireland
Some of the McMartain family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Migration of the McMartain family
The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name McMartain or a variant listed above include: the group who arrived on the ships, the "Sarah" and the "Dove" in Upper Canada in 1801; their holds filled with 700 Camerons and Frasers from the Lochaber country. The Camerons also settled in the U.S.A. in Carolina, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, St. Christopher, Virginia, New York, Georgia, and California, in the 18th and 19th centuries. In Newfoundland, Alexander Cameron settled in St. John's in 1744.
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: Aonaibh ri cheile
Motto Translation: Unite