Recorded in many spelling forms ranging from Mars, Martin, Marti, Martini, Martineau and Meert, to Mertin, Marty, Martensen, Marcinowicz, and Martonfli, and found in every surviving European register in the relevant spelling, this interesting and long-established surname is of Roman origins. It derives from the Latin "Martinus", a derivative of "Mars", the name of the Roman god of fertility and war. The ultimate meaning is believed to be 'to gleam'. The name was borne by the famous 4th Century saint St Martinus, who became Bishop of Tours in France. In the religious fervour of the early Christian period, the name became extremely popular throughout Europe. It was given a further boost in the 12th century, when the famous Knights Templar, otherwise known as 'The Crusaders' returning home from their many expeditions to free the Holy Land gave their children biblical names in honour of their fathers 'pilgrimage'. Martinus was one of the chosen names. Early examples of the surname recordings taken at random include: Chuonrad Martini of Konstanz in the year1200, and Ruodolfus Martinus of Dorf in Zurich, in 1250. Later examples include: the birth of Filippo, son of Giovanni Martini and Elisabetta Merighi, at Lecco, Como, Italy, on June 22nd 1557, and the christening of Maria, daughter of Thomas Martinie and Charlotte Barton, at Cond-sur-L'Escaut, Nord, France, on February 24th 1647. The marriage of Nicolaus Martin to Anna Maria Henegen took place at Liersberg, Rheinland, Germany, on November 19th 1657. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Berchtoldus Martini of Reichenau, which was dated 1165, in "Medieval Records of Germany". This was during the reign of Emperor Frederick 1st of the Holy Roman Empire, 1152 - 1190. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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