Martyn (surname)

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Martyn, variant of Martin, is a surname of Gaelic origin. In Scotland, Martyn is a sept of Clan Cameron in the West Highlands. In Ireland, it is one of the Tribes of Galway.


Family history

The Martyn family were one of a group of fourteen families who became the premier merchant and political families in the town of Galway during the late medieval and early modern eras. They traded with Scotland, England, Wales, France, Spain, and Portugal. Many were dispossessed by the Irish Confederate Wars and the subsequent Cromwellian conquest. The family have cadet branches in the U.K., Canada, USA, France, Hungary, and several other countries.

There is a worldwide internet based society for people with the family name Martin and Martyn. [1]

Notable Martyns of Galway

Martyns outside Ireland

The surname Martyn is common in the West of England, particularly in Devon and Cornwall, where the name spelling could be Martyn, Martin or Marten. In 1543 John Martyn, John Martyn and Joan Martyn are listed with reference to Davidstow (Dewstow) in the "Cornwall Subsidies in the reign of Henry Vlll". [2] In the 1569 Muster Roll [3] John Marten and William Marten are mentioned for Davidstow. In the Register for St Stephens by Launceston the baptisms are given for two sons of Richard Martin of Dewstowe – Nicholas Martin 24 May 1584 and John Marten 21 November 1586. Dated 27 July 1646 is a Davidstow Administration for John Marten the Elder, late of Davidstow and it is possible that this is the John baptised at St Stephens in 1586. [4]

Notable people from outside Ireland with the surname Martyn

See also

Related Research Articles

Tribes of Galway

The Tribes of Galway were 14 merchant families who dominated the political, commercial and social life of the city of Galway in western Ireland between the mid-13th and late 19th centuries. They were the families of Athy, Blake, Bodkin, Browne, Darcy, Deane, Font, French, Joyce, Kirwan, Lynch, Martyn, Morris and Skerritt. Of the 14 families, 12 were of Anglo Norman origin, while two — the Darcy and Kirwan families — were Normanised Irish Gaels.

Richard Óge Martyn was a Galway lawyer and member of the Catholic Confederates of Ireland. He was of the senior line of the Martyn family, one of the Tribes of Galway. He lived at Dunguaire Castle, Kinvarra. He worked with his brother-in-law and first cousin, Patrick Darcy, against the Plantation of Connaught in the 1630s, and served on the Supreme Council of the Confederate Catholics in the 1640s. Martyn also served as Mayor of Galway, 1642–1643. He and Darcy were part of a network of Catholic lawyers in Galway who contrived to continue in practice in defiance of the Penal Laws, which barred Catholics from the professions. Richard was admitted to the King's Inns in 1631: he was suspended from practice at the Irish Bar in 1635 as a known Catholic, but permitted to resume practice in 1637, apparently because he had sworn the Oath of Supremacy.

William Óge Martyn was the 101st Mayor of Galway.

Thomas Barnwall Martin was an Irish landowner and politician.

Oliver Óge Martyn, Irish Jacobite and landowner, fl. ca. 1630-ca. 1709.

Patrick Darcy (1598–1668) was an Irish Catholic Confederate and lawyer who wrote the constitution of Confederate Ireland.

Thomas Óge Martyn, Mayor of Galway, fl. 1533-c. 1577.

Wylliam Martin

Wylliam Martin was the 34th Mayor of Galway.

Dominick Lynch was mayor of Galway, Ireland.

Richard Huskard was an Anglo-Irish settler. He was an ancestor of the family of Skerrett, who later became one of The Tribes of Galway. Later bearers of the name included John Skerrett (Mayor) (fl.1491-1492) and John Skerrett (Augustinian) (c.1620-c.1688). An earlier Richard Huskard held land near Galway in 1278.

Dominick Kirwin was an Irish Confederate, fl. 1642–1653?

Meyler de Bermingham was an Anglo-Irish lord, founder of Athenry.

Rev Andrew Martyn (1785–1847) was an Irish Roman Catholic priest and activist. He was a staunch supporter of the Repeal Association.

Julia Nolan (1611–1701) was a prioress of the Dominican nuns in Galway, Ireland from 1686 to 1701.

John Óge Kirwan, fl. 1530–1531, Mayor of Galway.

William Ó Ciardhubháin, fl. 1488, was an Irish merchant and the founder of one of the Tribes of Galway.

Tomás Bobhdacing, founder of the Bodkin family of The Tribes of Galway, fl. c. 1300.

Sir Henry Lynch, 1st Baronet was an Irish baronet, knight, lawyer, and land agent. Lynch was among the first of his family to become a lawyer, and several of his younger sons followed him into this profession, as did, under his influence, Patrick D'Arcy, Richard Martyn, and Geoffrey Browne and many of the later generations of the Tribes of Galway.

James Riabhach Darcy was Mayor of Galway in Ireland 1602–1603.

Maire Lynch, Countess of Clanricarde, fl. 1547.


  1. "Family History Society of Martin". Archived from the original on 17 July 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  2. Edited and published by T.L.Stoate, 1985.
  3. H.L.Douch, 1984
  4. "From Davidstow (Dewstow), North Cornwall: A Martyn, Martin, Marten Family and its Descent" by Michael Martyn published in the Cornwall Family History Society Journal, June 1992 Issue.