Monument to Abraham Martin on the Plains of Abraham
ARRIVED IN NEW FRANCE IN OR
ABOUT 1620. HE PASTURED HIS
LIVESTOCK ON LAND BELONGING
TO THE URSULINES, WHICH
WAS THENCEFORTH KNOWN AS
THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM. IN THE
COURSE OF THE 18TH CENTURY,
THIS DESIGNATION WAS MADE
OFFICIAL IN MILITARY
RECORDS AND IS THE NAME
STILL USED TODAY.
Picture courtesy of Don from his ancestry tree Avore21411
Abraham Martin dit l’Écossais was another 9th great-grandfather in the Girardin line, and one of my earliest ancestors to come to New France. There is no definitive explanation of his nickname of “the Scot”. It may indicate the street he lived on in Dieppe, Normandy, France. By the way, “dit names” or nicknames are a common occurrence in the population of New France. PRDH explains it this way:
“…the use of nicknames, often referred to as “dit names”, because they are introduced in French by the word “dit” meaning “said”, which abound in the nominative history of old Quebec. They have many origins: military nickname, sobriquet related to a physical characteristic, immigrant’s place of origin, name of fief for nobles, mother’s family name, father’s first name, and so on. Some go back to the ancestor, while others are introduced by descendants; some are transmitted, others not; some belong to an entire family line, while others concern only a single branch.”
He is believed to have been born about 1589 in Normandy, France. He and his wife, Marguerite Langlois, arrived in 1620, and became one of the first families to settle near Quebec City. Martin was a river pilot and high seas fisherman. Champlain was the godfather of their daughter Helene. Helene would later marry Medard Chouart Desgroseilliers, the famous Canadian explorer who, with Radisson, was responsible for convincing King Charles II of England to grant a charter to the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670.
Back in 1629 England and France were still fighting for control of the North American lands. In that year the Kirke brothers captured Quebec for England. Champlain, Letardif, Martin and Langlois sailed to France, returning to Quebec in 1633 when Quebec was once again under French control. PRDH has 9 children recorded for Abraham and Marguerite, but there is a gap between 1627 and 1635. Fichier Origine indicates that they also had a child in 1616 in France before they arrived on our shores, and then another in 1630 when they were back in France.
We descend from their daughter Anne.
Baptismal record from Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967, Québec, Notre-Dame (baptêmes 1621-1679) image 10 of 93, accessed on Oct. 15, 2013 at ancestry.ca
Abraham “The Scot” MARTIN DIT LESCOSSOIS (abt 1589-1664) + Marguerite LANGLOIS (?- 1665)
Anne MARTIN (1645-1717) + Jacques RATE (1630-1699)
Genevieve RATE (1678-1732) + Jean SICARD CARUFEL 1664-1750)
Louis SICARD CARUFEL DERIVE (1705-1783) + Marie Catherine TROTTIER DESRUISSEAUX POMBERT (1708-1788)
Genevieve SICARD DE RIVE (1728-1798) + Pierre LESIEUR (1700-1761)
Madeleine LESIEUR (1756-1841) + Joseph LESIEUR DIT LAPIERRE (1754-1813)
Josephte LESIEUR (1778-1864) +Charles GIRARDIN (1773- 1853)
Paul GIRARDIN (1801-1878) + Marie Louise BERNARDIN (1824-1912)
Napoleon GIRARDIN (1851-1929) + Onesime ALLARD (1852-1896)
Marie Emma GIRARDIN (1878-1979)
The famous Plains of Abraham, site of the battle between Montcalm and Wolfe, was adjacent to the land Martin owned, and was supposedly named after him. Find out more here .
The Dictionary of Canadian Biography’s entry for him is here. Don’t be confused by the mention of another Anne Martin. She is not our ancestor, just someone with the same name. Abraham Martin is one of those people for whom you may come across conflicting information on various websites. Some claim he was Scottish, some claim Marguerite Langlois was Métis, not French. I’m comfortable with the sources I’ve listed.