Thursday, March 8, 2012

On the First Ship of Settlers to Acadia – Pierre Martin

B. about 1601 in St-German de Bourgeuil, France
M. June 1630 in France
Wife: Catherine Vigneau
D. after 1679 in (probably) Acadia
Emigrated: 1 Apr 1636 on the ship St. Jehan

Pierre Martin was born in about 1601 in St-German de Bourgeuil, France, located in the Loire valley. His parents were René Martin and Étiennette Porier. In June 1630, Pierre married Catherine Vigneau. They had three sons born in France, two of whom died young.

On April 1, 1636, Pierre boarded the ship St. Jehan with his wife and son, bound for New France. They landed at Port-Royal, Acadia on May 6th, the first ship to bring settlers there. Later that year, Pierre's wife Catherine gave birth to a son Mathieu and he was credited as the first European born in the colony. Between 1639 and 1642, Pierre and Catherine had three more children, all daughters.

Pierre was a farmer and was said to have brought apple trees with him from France. This would become a significant part of the agriculture of Port-Royal and by 1698, there would be 1200 apple trees in the town. Pierre's farm wasn't large, though — in 1671, he was listed as having 2 arpents of land with 7 cattle and 8 sheep.

It isn't known exactly when Pierre died; the last record of him was a 1679 land grant awarded for property he was already living on. His two surviving sons and three daughters all married, with only Mathieu having no children. In 1684, Matheiu was granted a title as granted the seigniory of Cobequid. This was in honor of being the first child born in the colony.

Famous descendants of Pierre Martin include Céline Dion.

1.  Étienne Martin – B. Jun 1631, St-Germain de Bourgeuil, France; D. before Apr 1636

2. Pierre Martin – B. Oct 1632, St-Germain de Bourgeuil, France; D. after 1693; M. (1) Anne Ouestnorouest (~1644-bef 1686); (2) Jeanne Rouselier (~1637-?)

3. Urbain Martin – B. Mar 1634, St-Germain de Bourgeuil, France; D. before Apr 1636

4. Mathieu Martin – B. 1636, Port-Royal, Acadia; D. 1733, Cobequid, Acadia

5. Marguerite Martin – B. 1639, Port-Royal, Acadia; D. 24 Apr 1707, Port-Royal, Acadia; M. Jean Bourg (1647-1695), 1667, Port-Royal, Acadia

6. Andree Martin – B. 1641, Port-Royal, Acadia; M. (1) François Pelerin (~1636-~1680); (2) Pierre Mercier (~1646-?), about 1680

7. Marie-Madeleine Martin – B. about 1642, Acadia; D. 16 Sep 1714, Montmagny, New France; M. Pierre Morin dit Boucher (~1634-~1690), about 1661, Port-Royal, Acadia

"The Passenger List of the Ship Saint-Jehan and the Acadian Origins," French Canadianand Acadian Genealogical Review, 1600-1700, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1968
From Migrant to Acadian: a North American border people, 1604-1755, Naomi Elizabeth Saundaus Griffiths, 2005
Old Families of Louisiana, Stanley C. Arthur and others, 2009
Wikipedia article on History of the Acadians
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

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