Marten was born in Rotsterhaule, Schoterland, the 3rd son & 4th child of the six children born to Berend Jogchums Ketellapper and Jantje Jelles Koopmans. He was descended from peat cutters. He married on 20 Jun 1886 in Schoterland and they had six children.
Marten died when he was 66 years old. His gravestone was most likely destroyed in the 1950s as is customary in the Netherlands where new burials take place on top of old ones every 20-30 years.