Recorded as Martel and Martell (English & French), Marteau, Martelier, Martellier, Martelet, Marteret (French), Martelli, Martello, Martellio, Martellini, Martellino, Martelotti, Martelotto (Italian), this is an historic surname. It derives originally from the Latin (Roman) word 'martellus' meaning a hammer, a spelling found in the earliest known records. The hammer in this case is a battle hammer, as wielded by a warrior, and described in French as 'martel de fer' - the iron hammer. It is said that the first name holder was Charles le Martel, given at the battle of Poitiers in 732 a.d, but this is probably apocryphal. What is certain is that nameholders have always been associated with war and warlike deeds. Perhaps not surprisingly the coat of arms granted in France to Martel de Layet de Savoie, has the blazon of a black field, charged with a silver crescent, between three black battle hammers, although the Martello family of Florence have the blazon of a gold lion rampant on a red field, with no mention of hammers. It has been suggested that the name in England became occupational for a smith, but given the number of knights named Martel(l), this seems unlikely. Sir William Martell and Sir John Martel, were recorded in the Harleian Roll of Chivalry of King Edward 1st, (1272 - 1307). In England the name is associated with the Martello towers built in Napoleonic times (1792 - 1815) to provide defence against French attack. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Martello — La gare de Coldrano Martello Administration Nom allemand …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Martello — can refer these people: Cesar Martello, politician in Ontario Alfonse Martello D Amato, New York politician Charles Martel d Anjou, 13th century titular king of Hungary Leo Martello, pagan Martello can also refer to: a Napoleonic War defensive… …   Wikipedia

  • martello — /mar tɛl:o/ s.m. [lat. tardo martellus ]. 1. (tecn.) [utensile che serve per battere, costituito da un blocchetto per lo più di acciaio, munito di un foro in cui è infilato il manico] ▶◀ ‖ maglio, mazza, mazzapicchio, mazzetta, mazzuola, mazzuolo …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • martello — mar·tèl·lo s.m. 1. AU attrezzo costituito da una piccola mazza metallica, munita di un foro nel quale è introdotto un manico di legno, usato per battere, picchiare, rompere, conficcare e sim.: battere un chiodo col martello 2. CO estens., ogni… …   Dizionario italiano

  • martello — {{hw}}{{martello}}{{/hw}}s. m. 1 Utensile per battere, conficcare chiodi e sim., costituito da un blocchetto di acciaio con manico solitamente in legno | Martello da falegname, con la penna a granchio per levare i chiodi | Martello battifalce,… …   Enciclopedia di italiano

  • Martello — Para la localidad italiana, véase Martello (Italia). Martello es el nombre que se da a unas torres que servían en otro tiempo de observatorio para vigilar a los piratas y que se encuentran en las islas de Córcega; deben su nombre al ingeniero que …   Wikipedia Español

  • Martello — Martell (ital.: Martello) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Martello — noun Martello tower …   Wiktionary

  • Martello — [mα: tɛləʊ] (also Martello tower) noun (plural Martellos) any of numerous small circular forts that were erected for defence along the coasts of Britain during the Napoleonic Wars. Origin alt. of Cape Mortella in Corsica, where such a tower… …   English new terms dictionary

  • martello — s. m. 1. (est.) maglio, mazza, battente, battipalo, mazzuola, mazzuolo, mazzapicchio, piccozza □ picchio, picchiotto 2. (di campana) battaglio, battacchio FRASEOLOGIA trovarsi tra l incudine e il martello (fig.), trovarsi fra due situazioni… …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

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