This interesting surname is the patronymic form of the male personal name Martin, i.e. "son of Martin". This given name is of Roman origin from the Latin "Martinus", a derivative of "Mars", the Roman god of fertility and war, whose name may derive ultimately from "mar", to gleam. A famous early namebearer was the fourth Century Saint, Martin of Tours, which resulted in the increased popularity of the name throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, and is one of the few saints names other than the Old English found in England before the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below). In Scotland, John Martynson was burgess of Glasgow in 1463. Other early recordings of the surname from the Whitgift church records, Yorkshire, include; Anna martinson, who was christened on May 13th 1569; on March 20th 1571, Richardus Martinson was christened; Thomas, son of Robtus Martinson was christened on February 27th 1580; and Henricus, son of Robte Martinson was christened on March 28th 1589. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes Martynson, which was dated 1379, Poll Tax Returns of Howdenshire, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11, "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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