Abraham Martin was not a significant personage in the settlement of the Quebec colony. However, his name is remembered in the Plains of Abraham in old Quebec City. This is where the battle of September 13, 1759 between the French and the British and their Generals Montcalm and Wolfe was fought. This led to the defeat of the French by the British and the loss of the Quebec colony by the French.
Abraham Martin arrived in Quebec about 1617. His wife, Marguerite Langlois, and her sister, Francoise Langlois and her husband, Pierre Desportes, accompanied him. The Desportes had one daughter, Helene, who was born in Quebec in 1620 and in 1634 married Guillaume Hebert, the son of
Louis Hebert, the first Quebec colonist.
Abraham's origins are unknown. He was called "L'Ecossais" which means "the Scotsman". Abraham was not a common French name but most genealogists believe that he was of French origin. Some speculate that he may have been from the area of Metz in Lorraine, France. He may have spent some time in Scotland before his aarival in Quebec. The reason for this speculation is that in Dundee, Scotland there is a burial record of an Abraham Martin, the lawful son of Abraham Martin, a Frenchman from Metz, Lorraine, France. The records from Metz of the years when Abraham would have lived there have been lost or destroyed. Since Abraham was called the Scotsman some researchers deduce that he may have spent time in Scotland and fathered a son while there.
Abraham was a "royal" master pilot on the St. Lawrence River. Local boats went up and down the river carrying people and goods to the various settlements along the banks of the river. This must have been Abraham's trade.
In 1635 Abraham received from the Company of New France 12 "arpents" of land on the heights in Quebec City. In 1645 he received 20 more "arpents". An arpent was an old French measurement somewhat similar to an acre. Today this is the area known as the St. Genevieve Hill. Abraham did not own the land known today as the Plains of Abraham. He did graze his animals on the fields and walk them to the S. Charles River to drink. The hill down which they walked was known as the "Cote d'Abraham".
Abraham and his wife, Marguerite, had 9 children. Only one male child survivied to adulthood. His name was Charles-Amador. He was born in 1648. He became a Catholic priest and died in 1711 in Ste. Foy, Quebec. The numerous progeny of Abraham come through his daughters who married very young. Marguerite was born in Quebec in 1624. She married Etienne Racine in 1638. They had 10 children. Helene, born in 1627, married Claude Etienne in 1640. She had one child by him before he died and then she married Medard Chouart with whom she had one child who survived. Marie, born in 1635 married Jean Cloutier (his second marriage, the first was to
Louise Belanger) in 1648. They had 14 children. Madeleine, born in 1640 married Nicolas Forget in 1653. She had 8 children with Nicolas. When he died she married Jean Baptiste Fonteneau with whom she had one daughter. Madeleine's sister, Barbe, was born in 1643. In 1655 she married Pierre Biron. She died in 1660 at age 17, 2 months after giving birth to her only child. Anee, born in 1645 married Jacques Rate in 1658. This couple had 12 children.
In November 1635, 2 months before his death, in a will written by Samuel de Champlain he left 600 pounds to Abraham and his wife to use to clear land of trees. He also left 600 pounds to their daughter Marguerite to use to marry a man in Quebec. Marguerite would have been only 11 at the time. This was probably given to encourage her to stay in Quebec to help populate the colony. She was not to get the money if she left Quebec to marry. The Martin sisters certaily contributed their share to the early development and population growth of the Quebec colony.
In February 1649 the little Quebec colony had quite a shock when it was announced that 60 year old Abraham, friend of Samuel de Champlain and the father of a large family, was accused of having an affair with a 16 year old girl. He spent some time in prison as a result of his actions. These facts appear in court records that have been preserved. Not all of our ancestors were saints.
Abraham died in Quebec in 1664 and his wife Marguerite died there the following year.
Proceeding written by Carole Martin
On New Years day of 1646 the Jesuit Father, Jerome Lalemant, states that he gave Marguerite Langlois, the wife of Abraham Martin, four handkerchiefs and to him a bottle of Brandy. Other gifts were given this day but one is most worth mentioning. He gave Jean Bourdon a Galilean Telescope. This was taken from the Jesuit Relations Vol. Number 28. It also states that the Martins had ten children, all save one were girls. He was married to Marguerite Langlois in 1620 in France.