Explore the Family Name Martin

The meaning of Martin

1. English, Scottish, Irish, French, Walloon, Breton, Dutch, Flemish, German, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Italian (Veneto); Spanish (Martín): from a personal name derived from Latin Martinus, itself a derivative of Mars, genitive Martis, the Roman god of fertility and war, whose name may derive ultimately from a root mar ‘gleam’. This was borne by a famous 4th-century Christian saint, Martin of Tours, and consequently became extremely popular throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. In North America, the surname Martin has absorbed cognates and derivatives from other languages, e.g. Slovak and Rusyn (from Slovakia) Marcin, Albanian Martini, Polish surnames beginning with Marcin-, and Slovenian patronymics like Martinčič (see Martincic). Martin is the most frequent surname in France and one of the most frequent surnames in Wallonia. 2. English: variant of Marton. 3. Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Mártain, ‘descendant of Martin’ (compare 1 above). Otherwise, a shortened form of Gilmartin or McMartin; sometimes also spelled Martyn. History: As a name of Swiss German origin (see 1 above) the surname Martin is very common among the American Mennonites. The first Mennonite immigrants bearing this name came to PA in the first half of the 18th century. — The surname Martin of French origin (see 1 above) is listed in the (US) National Huguenot Society’s register of qualified Huguenot ancestors (along with its variant Martain) and also in the registers of Huguenot ancestors recognized by the Huguenot Society of America and by the Huguenot Society of South Carolina.

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Martin in the United States?

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Martin saw a slight decline between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, Martin was the 17th most popular surname, but by 2010 it had slipped to the 20th position, representing a 17.65% decrease in rank. However, the actual count of people with the surname increased from 672,711 in 2000 to 702,625 in 2010, marking a 4.45% rise. The proportion per 100,000 people also decreased slightly by 4.48%, moving from 249.37 in 2000 to 238.19 in 2010.

Proportion per 100k249.37238.19-4.48%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Martin

Discussing the ethnicity of people named Martin, according to the Decennial U.S. Census data, there were some notable changes between 2000 and 2010. The presence of the surname within the Asian/Pacific Islander community grew by 26.76%, while its occurrence among individuals identifying as two or more races increased by 27.04%. The Hispanic community saw the largest increase of the surname at 39.35%. On the contrary, the percentage of people with this surname who identified as White fell by 3.45%. The Black community experienced a slight increase of 3.01%, and the American Indian and Alaskan Native community saw an increase of 4.26% in the use of the surname Martin.

Two or More Races1.59%2.02%27.04%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.94%0.98%4.26%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.71%0.9%26.76%

Martin ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Martin is British & Irish, which comprises 49.2% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (23.7%) and Spanish & Portuguese (4.6%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Scandinavian, Italian, Nigerian, and Ashkenazi Jewish.

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British & Irish49.2%
French & German23.7%
Spanish & Portuguese4.6%

Possible origins of the surname Martin

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Martin have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom81.50%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom81.50%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom81.40%
Merseyside, United Kingdom81.20%
West Midlands, United Kingdom81.10%

What Martin haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Martin is R-P311, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-P311 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L21 and R-CTS241, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Brown, Clark, Smith, Wilson, Taylor, Thompson, Roberts, White, Davis, Young.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Martin surname are: H1, T2b, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

martinPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Marie Antoinette

Because it is so dominant in the general European population, haplogroup H also appears quite frequently in the continent's royal houses. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Hapsburg who married into the French royal family, inherited the haplogroup from her maternal ancestors. So did Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose recorded genealogy traces his female line to Bavaria. Scientists also discovered that famed 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus traced his maternal lineages to haplogroup H.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Martin have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Martin" Surname 42.3%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Martin" Surname 26.9%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Martin" Surname 22.6%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Martin" Surname 18.2%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Martin?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Martin are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

British & Irish 62.1%

23andMe Users 57.2%