Sliochd nan sionnach Cloinn Mhàrtainn              

                                      Children of the foxes, Clan Martin

The Tribe of Mairtine was definitely Proto-Celtic in origin, and among the ancient tribes wintering in Spain during the last Ice Age. They were part of the early Pictish, Celtic and Gaelic movements into the western Europe and the British Isles. 

The Tribe of Mairtine landed in Ireland roughly 2000 years ago near the Dingle Peninsula and established themselves in the areas of Kerry, Cork, and later in Tipperary. The Book of Munster associates the Mairtine with the Tribes of the Erainn, Benntraige, Ulaidhe, and the Eóghanacht. Associated is a key word, as the deep clade DNA signatures of all the tribes are slightly different.

The Mairtine began a 1000 year migrational track across Ireland to the Northeast and eventually occupied what we now know as Northern Ireland (Ulster) and Western Scotland (Argyll) and were an integral part of the Dal Riada Kingdom. 

The Dal Riadic Clan is named as MacMairtin, and eventually anglicized to MacMartin and finally Martin. Later migrations spread up the Great Glen and Clan MacMartin established themselves primarily around Loch Lochy to Stirling, Scotland, with others scattered throughout Scotland.

Clan MacMartin members were loyal to Scotland and suffered greatly during the Jacobite Uprisings;  losing land, title, and chieftainship. Many left during the Highland Clearances and settled in Canada and Australia. The ones that settled early in the United States fought in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 against the English and were granted lands further west.

Descendants of Clan Martin are organizing again and will bid for their true recognition as a separate clan. Although the Letterfinlay MacMartins were one of the progenitors of Clan Cameron, and other MacMartins were with MacDonald and McLeod, we are our own people.

The dog fox is one major symbol and icon of the Clan MacMartin (Cloinn Mhàrtainn), as they gained a reputation in Scotland of being very cunning.The origin of the Highland saying: "Sliochd nan sionnach - Clann Mhartainn" ("Race of the foxes - Clan Martin") comes from that.

A fox's nickname in Gaelic is a Gillie; more specifically a "Gille-Martainn" or Martin's Gillie.

The Celts regarded the fox as a noble messenger.

Another Martin symbol is the Arrow, and there is a connection with the fox there as well, both  known for being   "Straight and Tightly Aimed".

The first arrow in the Clan Cameron set of arrows on their crest is MacMartin.


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