If they are looking for a noble origin, the Martels will, without difficulty, by looking at the history of the ancient French, associate themselves to a prince, named Charles, and thus find noble warriors in their roots... But the small history of the Martels (one of pioneers) only offers one conquest: that of man over the forests and the land of a new and unexplored country. The Martels must have the humility to forget the prince and admire the soldier and the pioneer and accept on their crest the hammer or marteau, from which the name martel originates.
Several Martels came to New France. They came from Normandie, Île-de-France, Roussillon and Béarn. Raymond and Pierre- Gratien Martel de Berhouage (Brouage) were among the first. Raymond had no descendants past the second generation and Pierre, through his marriage with Marie-Charlotte Charest, had a son who had descendants through his daughters. Around 1695, an innkeeper from Normandie, Étienne-Joseph Martel, settled in Montreal and had several children from two marriages, one to Antoinette Boucher and the other to Marie-Anne Brabant. The father and the mother of most of the large Martel family in North America are Honoré Martel, aka Lamontagne, and Marguerite L'Admirault or Lamirault, both from Paris.
Honoré Martel was born in 1632, in the parish of Saint-Eustache de Paris. His parents were Jean Martel and Barbe Duchesne. It does not appear that he learned a trade, since he chose to come to Canada as a soldier. On September 30,1665, he lands in Quebec with the companies who followed the marquis of Tracy. Honoré Martel is now 33 years old. He spends the first winter in Quebec with the other men from the Company Alexandre de Berthier. The following year, he will travel to Fort Saint-Jean and Fort Sainte-Anne. He discovers all the difficulties of living in the new land during the first three years that he spends in New France. He also discovers that he has all the reasons to hope to build his future in this country. But, in this country, there are few available women and the men must rely on help from France, where women received grants from the king to come to New France and marry the settlers. Marguerite L'Admirault arrives in Quebec in 1668. She was born in Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois, Paris, in 1645.
During the period when Marguerite and her friends arrive in Quebec, Honoré Martel, aka de Lamontagne, lives in the parish of Saint-Louis de Sillery, in the seigniory of Gaudardville. He knows that he will not leave this area, so he promises to maintain the land of Jacques L'Archevêque. An extract from this contract was published in the Mémoires de la Société généalogique Canadienne-Française by Florence Fernet-Martel and describes the tasks which he will have to do. He will have to sow and harvest half of the three arpents of land in Gaudardville. One arpent is ready to receive the seeds and the other two need to be cleared and Honoré Martel, aka de Lamontagne, must help to burn and clean, and so on...
On November 17, 1668, the two fiances and several of their friends gathered in the house of Jean Soulard or Soullard where, before notary Romain Becquet, they signed their contract of marriage. The religious ceremony was held on November 26 of the same year. It is probable that, for the next two years, the Martels settled near the land of Jacques L'Archevêque, but on October 7, 1670, having decided to live on a land that they own, they bought a property with a house on Sainte-Geneviève hill measuring three arpents in width on the Saint-Charles River by 10 arpents in depth. This purchase proved to be premature, as was the modest transaction signed on July 5,1671 that had Martel rent, for three years, a milking cow. Charles Aubert de La Chesnaye, being the salesman and the landlord, it is to him that twice in 1672 and in 1673, Martel will admit not being able to honor his pledge. On September 23, 1673, Martel admits not being able to make his payments and begs Aubert de La Chesnaye to take back the said land and cancel the contract, offering to give him the improvements that he has done on the said house. According to Florence Fernet-Martel, the ancestor who had some goods in the seigneurie de Gaudardville sells these goods for two hundred pounds tournois.
Honoré Martel started on the wrong foot, but he did better on October 16, 1674 when he bought another property in Dombourg, where, this time, he had no real financial difficulties. This property, much larger than the first will keep the ancestor and his family there for many years. In 1688, for unknown reasons, Martel rents a house on Saint-Louis Street, in the upper town of Quebec. In a contract signed in 1693, for supplying wood planks, Honoré Martel is said to be living in Quebec as a wood cutter. In 1706, the Hôtel-Dieu hospital in Quebec records the death of "Marguerite Lamiro, wife of La montagne, aged 62". One year later, Martel, whose health had concerned many, married Marie Marchand, widow of Joseph Masse and of Jean Labbé. This union will of short duration, the ancestor dying between 1710 and 1712.
Honoré Martel and Marguerite L'Admirault gave birth to fourteen children. Two of their sons were named Jean and two of their daughters Marie-Anne. These children who were to be the roots of other families went to the Vanier, Desbiens, Groinier, Coureault. Dussault, Guillot, Rochon, Roulois, Ferret, Boucher and Huguenot.
Retour à l'index / Return to the index