Sunday, July 5, 2009
Abraham Martin bn 1589
Abraham Martin My 9th Grt Grandfather, ancestor of Anthoney Moses Genereau alias Jim Cummings was one of the first settlers in Arcadia and Kebec, personal friend of Samuel Champlain.
There is a lot of confusion over the origins of Abraham. He was born about 1589, probably at La Rochelle, his father probably was Jean Galleran Martin, known as “The Merchant of Metz”, he could have also been born at Metz, Lorraine, France. His mother was Isabel Cote. Throughout his lifetime, Abraham Martin L'Ecossais [the “Scotsman”], that nickname was often used at that time, as a derogatory term to describe a deserter or member of an illegal organization. It may have also meant that he had made several voyages to Scotland in his youth, or assisted the Scottish settlers who began arriving at Port Royal (then called Port Charles) about 1628, under the direction of Sir William Alexander. It's highly unlikely that he was actually of Scottish descent.
He is often called Abraham Martin a king's pilot, leading to the conclusion that he was the first river pilot of Canada. [French as the Indian tribes had been using the rivers for centuries] Although he was illiterate he associated with Champlain and Pierre Desportes, both literate and well born individuals. His first wife was a Huron-Wendat Indian living on Ile de Orleans, with whom he had three children Matchonon ("a Savage" according to the Jesuits) b. 1609 Kebek, [Quebec ] baptised 3 Nov 1634 as Joseph Martin; Anne Martin/Matchonon Metis b. 1614 (Kebek) d. 14 Dec 1683 (Kebek) m. Jean Cote' dit Coste' 1635; Eustache Martin b. 1621 Kebek
His second wife, a Metisse (half-breed woman) was Marguerite Langlois b. 1611 Kebek, married at Kebec, abt 1621, they had eight children, of which the 7th was Anne Martin Metis, born 23 Mar. 1645 at Kebek, she married Jacques Rate. The descendants of both of these Anne Martin's come down to Dennis Stanislaus Genereaux's father of our ancestor Anthoney Moses Genereaux alias Jim Cummings
There is also evidence that he had at one time been employed by Jean De Biencourt and Du Gua de Monts as navigator on the coast of Acadia, although he would have been very young at that time. Charles La Tour was also on that voyage, and it is clear that these two men remained good friends. When Abraham’s son, Charles-Amador, was born on March 7, 1648, his godfather was none other than Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, who was also the infant’s namesake. This too could explain why Martin was called the “Scotsman”, since La Tour’s father had accepted a Scottish Barony after being captured by the Kirke Brothers in 1629.
When the British took control of Kebec for the first time, everyone was shipped back home, where it is believed that Marguerite's sister, Francoise Langlois, and her husband Pierre, died so Martin's became guardians to little Helene, who was now almost nine. When the family returned after the British left, they brought along Marguerite's brother Noel [another of our ancestors], who would marry Francoise Grenier and have ten children, ensuring that the Langlois name from this branch, would live on.
The Martins would become one of the first three families to be granted land in Quebec City, when they were presented with 12 acres by the Company of New France in 1635. The additional 20 acres were a gift from Sieur Adrien du Chesney, ship's surgeon to Pierre Legardeur. Abraham and Marguerite's descendants later sold this parcel of land to the Ursuline nuns.
Marguerite and her husband played a major role in the development of French Canada, and in a culture that likes it's 'firsts'; a few can be added to their credit. Eustace Martin,(this one is questionable) the first wire of a French, born in News-France. It is the first baptism which is registered at Notre-Dame of Quebec, dated October 21, 1621. His daughter Helene Martin was the god-daughter of Samuel de Champlain. We know Abraham had two other children with first wife, but they were not recorded in church record.
Abraham drew up the first map of Quebec, even though he was illiterate. Champlain's wife Helene Boulle, did not adapt well to frontier living and only spent four years in Québec. She found solace and companionship with Abraham's wife Marguerite and her sister Françoise Langlois who bore the first French child born in New France, When Samuel de Champlain died he left a legacy to Marguerite Martin, another daughter to help her "marry a man of Canada", and he left money to Abraham Martin "to be spent for clearing land".
The ground that Abraham Martin cleared was the summit of the Cape Diamonds, Known now as the “Plains of Abraham”, site of the 1757 battle, between Wolfe and Montcalm, the “Coast of Abraham” was the path used by Martin, to go down to the river Saint-Charles to water his animals.
Today a monument features a column on a square base, topped by a terrestrial sphere supported by four thistles, emblems of Scotland. The base (or lower) relief depicts the French symbol of a fleur de lys (lily flower) emerging from flood waters to represent the pioneering role played by Abraham Martin as a king’s pilot. with a inscription engraved in the granite.
In February 1649 the little Québec colony had quite a shock when it was announced that 60 year old Martin Abraham, friend of Samuel de Champlain and the father of a large and respected family, was accused of having an affair with a 16 year old girl [i.e., “conduite incorrecte envers une jeune fille” in that Abraham had forfeited the honor of a young girl of 16, what today would possibly be statutory rape, although marriages in those days occurred as young as 10]. Certainly it would be said that this "old pig Abraham" had debauched a fine “young thing.” He spent some time in prison beginning on 15 February 1649 as a result of his improper actions. Guess the rich and powerful have not changed in 360 years, its a shock to us when our past Presidents or Governors disregard our moral codes, but its been happening for centuries. These facts appear in court records that have been preserved. Not all of our ancestors were saints.
Abraham Martin died on September 08, 1664 in Quebec city, at the age of 75; and Marguerite the following year on December 17, 1665, at the age of 63. A note made by Father Le Jeune, in 1632. Eustache Martin, Metis, b-1621 the eldest son of Abraham and Marguerite, were baptized in 1621 , were the second and third children of White men born at Quebec, the first having been their cousin Helene Desportes, born in 1620, to the marriage of Pierre Desportes and Francoise Langlois.
Jim Cummings [Moses Genereaux], Genealogy keeps expanding, he can count in his ancestral line many native Canadian Indians as well as the first original French settlers.