The Bartholomew Family
The Martin/Martyn Connection
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.

The connection of the addition of the "alias Martyn" to many Bartholomew names will be explored here:

One branch of the Bartholomew family had a manor house called Westhill Manor in Fulbrooke. Oxfordshire, England. Many times "alias Martyn" or "als Martyn" was added to the name Bartholomew. Most of the Bartholomews with the alias Martin/Martyn lived in Warborough and Benson, Oxfordshire, England. Benson and Warborough were often listed together in records, because they are located in the same general area. Warborough had their own church, since 1140, but they were not a separate parish until 1642.

The addition of the "alias Martin/Martyn" meant that the family either inherited from or honors the family Martin/Martyn. I found many Martyn families that had connections with the Bartholmews, either directly or indirectly. This page will explore these possibilities.

Some think the Bartholomews connect to the Martyn or Martins of Dorset County. A Warryn Martin had a feudal coat of arms. Nicholas and Robert Martin took up the cross in the last Crusade in 1270 (Foster, 138). Holy Trinity Church has the remains of the Cloptons, the Martyns, and other great families who long presided over the village of Melfird, Suffolk, England.

George Martyn's home was burned at 4 p.m. on June 1684, in Beaminster, a "much sought after area." Beaminster was a market town, and formed one of the county's hundreds, and was held by Dorset's richest ecclesiastical landowners, the Bishop of Salisburg. No one, to date, has been able to make the connection, in regards to the addition of "Als Martyne" behind many Bartholomew's names.

For more information on these Bartholomews, go to People and Places Connected to the Name Bartholomew.


In Scottish history, the name MacMartin is associated with the Cameron clan of Erracht. Cameron is for the Gaelic "Cam-shron meaning crooked nose or crooked hill. Cameron was originally Canron, and was from the race of Mac'onuill Du, or the son of Donald the Black, from which the Locheil branch sprang. The Cameron clan had three branches:

  1. MacSorleys of Glen Nevis
  2. MacMartins of Letterfinlay
  3. MacGillones of Strone.

Is it simply coincidence that the the Bartholomew crest features three rampant lions (symbol of Scotland). The Camerons of Erracht were said to have descended from a marriage between a MacMartin of Letterfinlay heiress and a member of the Clan Cameron, and thus acquired their land in Lochaber. The Cameron crest features 5 arrows. Their motto is "Aonaibh ri cheile (unite). Aonghas, who married a sister of Bancho, slain by MacBeth, in 1030, is held to have been the ancestor of the line of Lochiel, and the family genealogies present a long series of succeeding chiefs who distinguished themselves in war. (R.R. McLan. The Clans of the Scottish Highlands. New York: Crescent Books, 1980).

There were Martyns in Edinburgh as early as the 14th century. Martin Martin of Bealach in Skye, was a graduate of Edinburgh and of Leyden, and wrote (in 1695) about the Western Isles, and this was a valuable source of contemporary Highland history. Abraham Martin (of Scotland) was the first king's pilot on the St Lawrence River. The Plains of Abraham, in Quebec, Canada, are said to be named after lands which he granted there in 1617. The Highland Martins, are an offshoot of the Clan Cameron, and are probably named after the Saint Martin de Tours, who was born in 316/7 in Sabria/Pannonia, the son of a Roman tribunal. Martin de Tours was revered throughout Gaeldom and had a large cult following.


Portrait by El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)
Spanish, 1541 - 1614
Saint Martin and the Beggar, 1597/1599
oil on canvas with wooden strip added at bottom,
193.5 x 103 cm (76 1/8 x 40 1/2 in.)
Widener Collection

Scottish Surnames: A Guide to the Family Names of Scotland by David Dorward. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995; states:

Martin de Tours was a highly venerated 4th-century saint. As a Christian name, Martin became very popular in every European country.

Martin de Tours (316-397) was born in Sabaria, in the Roman province of Pannonia (Hungary) and raised in Pavia (Lombardy). Martin died in Candes, Touraine; on November 8, 397. Martin's friend Sulpicious Severus, began a cult of Saint Martin in medieval France. Martin was made Bishop of Tours in 371, and served for twenty-five (25) years before his death. He was originally a cavalry officer in the Roman army of Constantine. His service in the Roman army is what brought him to France, where he was honored by Constantine the Great. However, when he wanted to leave the army, he was labelled a coward. Martin lived on an island near Genoa, Italy; until he was called back to France, to be Bishop of Tours. Martin lived a hermit monk's life, for about ten (10) years, before founding the first monastery in Gaul at Liguge. When Martin died, his coffin was followed by 2,000 monks, and it was said that trees came into leaf as they passed with his coffin. Martin was educated in Pavia in northern Italy.


One possible connection brings us to the family of Sir William Martin . Since a John Bartholomew had a connection to Henry VIII, as his envoy to Spain, perhaps he was a relative of Sir William Martyn who received a license from Henry VII: "to enclose 160 acres of a deer park and to build a battlemented house with towers."

(see the Burghhersh Manor page, for more information on John Bartholomew envoy to Henry VIII.

1483 Sir William Martyn was a wealthy merchant and Lord Mayor of London in 1492. He built his estate of Athelhampton , sometime after 1485. There is an interesting write-up regarding Sir William's pet ape on the Internet. CLICK HERE to read this article about the hauntings at Athelhampton. (The General Armoury by Mabball-Mytton. FTM CD367-"Notable British Families").

1503 Christopher Martyn was Sir William Martyn's son. He was said to have built the west wing of the Great Chamber at Athelhampton.

1524 Robert Martyn added the gate-house to Athelhampton, sometime before 1550.

1550 Sir Nicholas Martyn was the last male heir of the Martyne line. He was buried in 1595 in Athelhampton Aisle. Nicholas was said to have had ten (10) daughters, but only four of them were given equal shares to the estate. The eldest daughter married Henry Brune. Another daughter married a Tichborne (who sold his part to Henry Brune), another daughter married a White (who also sold her part, in 1645, to Brune, and the last daughter married a Floyer who keep their interest until 1848.

1661 Sir Ralph Bankes of Corfe Castle and Kingston Lacy inherited Athelhampton from a daughter of the Brune family.

Sir Robert Long bought the estate from Sir Ralph Banks in 1665.

In 1794, Sir James Tylney-Long was the eighth Baronet, and a descendant of James Long. Sir James died at age 11 years in 1805. His sister then inherited the estate when she was only 15 years of age. Catherine Tylney-Long was the daughter of Sir James Tylney-Long.

In 1848 Athelhampton was sold to George Wood by the 5th Earl of Mornington: William Richard Arthur Wellessley-Pope-Tylney Long. At this time the Great Hall's roof, at Athelhampton, was repaired.

1848 George Wood added St. John's Church, which was begun in 1861. Finally the Floyer share was acquired and George Wood now had all four shares of the estate. In 1862 the gatehouse was demolished.

This family had many branches, all of whom seemed to be left without male heirs.


(Source: Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland New York: The New York Public Library, 1999, 584).

Martin was clerk to the chancellor of William the Lion in Angus ( Registrorum abbacie de Aberbrothoc I, 80 Pars prior, Registrum vetus minimentaque).

1178-1329 William filius (son of) Barth/Bartholomew was burgess of Edinburgh in 1328 (Egidii 23).

Walter Martyn was burgess of Edinburgh in 1386 (fifty years after the above).

Lawrence Martyn, a native of Jedeworth had *letters of denisation in England in 1463.
(* denizen=legal resident of)

Robert Martyne was vicar of Garwok in 1497.

Florentyne Martyn, of Gybleseoune was juror on assize at Cupar, Fifeshire, Scotland in 1520; and an old family of Martyn was in St. Andrews, Fifeshire, Scotland in the 15th and 16th century (MacFarlane II, 183). A George Martine of this family was secretary to Archbishop Sharp.

The Martins of Marshadder are descended from the eldest son of Aonghas na Gaoite (Clan McDonald). Martinus, the Saint, was revered in Scotland. Ninian's church of Whithorn is dedicated to him (Black).


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