Martin family name

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Martin is a family name of Swiss descent that is widely represented in the Mennonite Church (MC). The progenitor of many of these Martins was David Martin, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1727 and settled in what is now the Weaverland area of Lancaster County. Many of his descendants still live in that area, while others have moved farther west in Pennsylvania and to other states, as well as to Ontario. More than twenty Martins served in the ministry of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference in the two centuries after the family arrived in Pennsylvania. Some well-known Martins in the Lancaster area include Henry Martin (d. 1825), a bishop in Weaverland starting in 1809, Jonas Martin a Weaverland Mennonite, chosen bishop in 1881, who led a schism from the conference in 1893 to form the so-called Martinites (Old Order Mennonites), Abraham L. Martin of the Pequea district of the Lancaster Conference was ordained bishop in 1921 and was active for many years, Elmer G. Martin (b. 1894), was a bishop at Mellinger's beginning in 1946, and C. Z. Martin (b. 1893), a minister in Columbia beginning in 1923. In 1954 there were 16 ministers bearing the name Martin in the Lancaster Conference and only 14 from other areas of the Mennonite Church (MC); these fourteen were found in Ohio, Ontario, Virginia and Maryland. A. D. Martin (1878-1913) was a Mennonite preacher in Scottdale, Pennsylvania, and for a number of years was in charge of the Mennonite Book and Tract Society work, as well as serving as secretary-treasurer of the Mennonite Publishing House.

The Old Order (Wisler) Mennonite schism in Waterloo County, Ontario (1889), was led by Bishop Abraham Martin (1834-1902), who was ordained bishop in 1867 and served at the Martins meetinghouse. Many of the ministers in the Waterloo Old Order group have been Martins. In 1954 two of the three bishops of the group were Martins, as were four of the remaining nine preachers.

A leading historian of the Martin family was Isaac W. Martin (1861-1954).

Additional Information

Martin Genealogy & Family History Project

Author(s) John C Wenger
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Wenger, John C. "Martin family name." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 23 Feb 2024.

APA style

Wenger, John C. (1957). Martin family name. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 February 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 515. All rights reserved.

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