Martin Luther D'Ooge was born on July 17, 1839 at Zonnemaire in the Netherlands. His father, Leonard D'Ooge, was of Huguenot extraction and his mother, Johanna Quintus D'Ooge, came of a Dutch family whose men had for several generations followed the teaching profession. His brother, Prof. Benjamin Leonard D'Ooge, was the well-known Latinist.
On September 28, 1847 at 8 years of age, Martin arrived in America with his parents through the port of New York. By 1850 the D'Ooge family was residing at Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Leonard D'Ooge was a grocery dealer and later a real estate broker.