The Martyn family were one of a group of fourteen families of mixed descent 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 been based in Co. Galway, Ireland, since the mid-14th century but have many cadet branches in the U.K., Canada, USA, France, Hungary, and several other countries. Most of these branches were emigrated during and in the aftermath of the Wild Geese and Great Famine eras.
Many branches of the family use the spelling Martin. As Martin is the most common spelling for bearers of the name regardless of descent, the form Martyn is used to distinguish all of this kindred from other thus surnamed but unrelated. Martin, Martyn and its variants can be considered some of the most common names in the Western world - such as Smith, Jones, Baker, Wilson. It is not always the case that any two bearers of the name are related, even distantly.
There is a worldwide internet based society for people with the family name Martin and Martyn.;
Notable Martyns of Galway
- Thomas Martyn (fl. 1365-87), earliest known member of the family in Galway
- Wylliam Martin (fl. 1519), builder of the Spanish Arch
- Thomas Óge Martyn (fl. 1533-1577), builder of Galway's West Bridge
- William Óge Martyn (fl. 1566-1593), notorious Sheriff and Mayor of Galway
- Richard Óge Martyn (1602–1648), lawyer and Irish Confederate leader
- Francis Martin, (1652–1714), theologian
- Richard Martin (1754–1834), member of Irish Volunteers, supported Catholic Emancipation, founded RSPCA
- Peter Martyn 1772-1827 (soldier)
- Andrew H. Martyn, (1784–1847, parish priest, died during the Great Famine
- Thomas B. Martin (1786–1847), MP and landlord, died saving his tenants during the Great Famine
- Mary Letitia Martin (1815–50), novelist
- Edward Martyn (1859–1923), arts patron and political activist; co-founded Abbey Theatre
- Violet Florence Martin (1862–1915), novelist and short-story writer
- Congressman John Andrew Martin (1868–1939), American politician
- Ferenc Martyn (1899–1986), Hungarian artist
- D'Arcy Argue Counsell Martin (c. 1899-1992), Canadian lawyer and politician
- Malachi Martin (1921–99), theologian, religious writer and novelist
- F. X. Martin, (1922–2000), historian
- Adrian James Martyn (born 1975), historian
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". In the 1569 Muster Roll  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 
- Martin (name)
- Lists of most common surnames
- Family name etymology
- Family name affixes
- Family history
- Personal name
- "Family History Society of Martin". Fhsofmartin.org.uk. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
- Edited and published by T.L.Stoate, 1985
- H.L.Douch, 1984
- "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
- Official genealogy site; accessed 10 February 2015.
|This section lacks ISBNs for the books listed in it. (April 2015)|
- Ó Flaithbheartaigh/Roderick O'Flaherty, Ruaidhrí (1843) . Iar Connacht.
- James Hardiman (1820). History of Galway.
- Mary Donovan O'Sullivan (1942). Old Galway.
- Moran et al., eds. (1984). Galway: Town and Gown.
- Nex, Lionel (1987). The Baronial Martins.
- unknown, ed. (1996), Galway: History and Society
- Miles, Dilwyn (1987). The Lords of Cemais. Haverfordwest.
- Martyn, Adrian J. (2001). The Tribes of Galway.
- Phillips, Peter (2003). The Man for Galway: Richard 'Humanity' Martin.
- Henry, William (2003). Roll of Honor: The Mayors of Galway 1485-2002.