Friday, March 16, 2012

One of the First Women in Quebec – Marguerite Langlois

B. about 1599 in France
M. before 1620 in France
Husband: Abraham Martin
D. December 1665 in Quebec City, New France
Emigrated: before 1620

Marguerite Langlois is of unknown origins. Some have said she was born in 1599, the daughter of Guilame Langlois and Jeanne Millette in Calvados, France which is in Normandy, but this is not proven. Marguerite married Abraham Martin in France, then migrated to Quebec sometime between 1617 and 1620. She and her sister Françoise were among the first women in the colony.

It is said that Marguerite was a midwife; certainly someone had to help when the women of the colony gave birth. She herself had a son, Eustache, born on October 24, 1621 and he is said to be the first white male born in Canada. She had two more children during the early years, in 1624 and 1627. The child born in 1627, a girl named Hélène, was the god-daughter of Samuel de Champlain. The baby was likely named for Champlain's wife, Hélène Boullé. Marguerite and her sister Françoise were said to have kept company with Hélène, as she did not adapt well to living in Quebec and returned to France after a few years.

In July of 1629, the colony was taken over by an Englishman, David Kirke, and most of the French settlers were forced to return to France. It's assumed that Marguerite left, but with a gap in birth records of her children, her husband Abraham may have stayed in Quebec alone. It's certain that the family was together there by October 1634 after the French reclaimed the colony. Between 1635 and 1648, Marguerite and Abraham had six more children.

The Martins lived out their lives in Quebec City. Abraham died in September 1664. The records show that Marguerite married a second husband, René Branche, on February 17, 1665, but this seems unlikely given that his age was about 24 at the time. Marguerite died later that year in December.

Famous descendants of Marguerite Langlois include the Dionne Qunituplets, Madonna, Céline Dion and Alanis Morisette.

1. Eustache Martin – B. 24 Oct 1621, Quebec City, New France; D. before 1663

2. Marguerite Martin – B. 4 Jan 1624, Quebec City, New France; M. Etienne Racine, 22 May 1638

3. Hélène Martin – B. 21 Jun 1627, Quebec City, New France; M. (1) Claude Etienne, 22 Oct 1640, Quebec City, New France; (2) Medard Chouart dit Gorseillers (1618-?), 3 Sep 1647, Quebec City, New France

4. Marie Martin – B. Apr 1635, Quebec City, New France; D. 25 Apr 1699, Quebec City, New France; M. Jean Cloutier (1620-1690), 21 Jan 1648, Quebec City, New France

5. Adrien Martin – B. Nov 1638, Quebec City, New France

6. Madeleine Martin – B. Sep 1640, Quebec City, New France; D. Feb 1688, Lachenaie, New France; M. (1) Nicholas Forget (?-1680), 6 Feb 1653, Quebec City, New France; (2) Jean-Baptiste Fonteneau dit Saint-Jean, 1 Feb 1681, Lachenaie, New France

7. Barbe Martin – B. Jan 1643, Quebec City, New France; D. 4 Oct 1660, Quebec City, New France

8. Anne Martin – B. 23 Mar 1645, Quebec City, New France; D. 14 Jan 1717, Ile d'Orleans, New France; M. Jacques Ratté (~1630-1699), 12 Nov 1658, Quebec City, New France

9. Charles-Amador Martin – B. 6 Mar 1648, Quebec City, New France; D. 19 Jun 1711, Ste-Foy, New France

The Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. 2, William Stewart Wallace, 1945
Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles du Quebec, Jette, Rene, 1730
A Social History of Canada and Its People [website]
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

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