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MARTELL Family HistoryMartel or Martell is one of both Britains and Frances most famous and historic surnames. It derives from the French word 'martel' meaning 'hammer', a spelling found in the earliest known records of the pre 8th century. The hammer in this case is one wielded by a warrior, and was originally described 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, but this is probably apocryphal. What is certain is that nameholders have always been associated with war and warlike deeds.
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