Marguerite Langlois

Marguerite Genevieve Langlois was born about 1602 in St. Xiste,  Montpelliers, France; one of four children to Guillaume Langlois and Jeanne Millette.
In 1619, Henri De Montmorency II and Samuel Champlain were recruiting workers for New France, and preference was given to young men with families.  At the time, many French people were becoming disillusioned with the way things were at home, in the aftermath of the costly Religious Wars. Unemployment was high and the cost of living even higher, so when her brother-in-law, Pierre Desportes, a director in the Company of 100 Associates, announced that he would be going to the New World, the seventeen year old Marguerite and her nineteen year old sister, Marie; decided to go with them.

Both were single at the time,  with few prospects, and since it was reported that there were many bachelors in the new colony, but a shortage of eligible women, they felt they had nothing to lose.  Besides, Francoise had just given birth to her first child, a girl by the name of Marie Helene, and they would be able to give her a hand.  Coincidentally, the little girl would grow up to marry Guillaume Hebert, son of Louis Hebert and Marie Rollet.

The little group arrived at Tadoussac aboard the ‘Le Sallemande’, on August 30, 1620; and from there were transferred to the Kebec Habitation, where Pierre would be engaged.   Also on board were Abraham Martin, who had been to the area before; his wife Guillemette Couillard; whose brother was already there; and their six year old daughter Anne.

Abraham’s wife died soon after they reached their home, and Marguerite and he would be married on October 24, 1621 in Kebec.  It is said that their son  Eustache Martin, was the first French child born in New France.  When he was baptized on October 10, 1622; his godfather was Eustache Bouille, the brother of Helene Bouille;  wife of Samuel de Champlain.  When their daughter Helene Martin was born in 1627, Champlain himself, acted as her godfather.

Helene Bouille would spend a great deal of time with the Langlois sisters, during the four years she spent at Kebec.  It was clear that she was miserable in her current situation, and often confided in them, so when she returned home to stay, it came as no surprise.
Marguerite’s husband also had a personal friendship with Champlain and in his will, he left a legacy to Marguerite Martin, their second child, “to help her to marry a man of Canada.” and additional monies to Abraham himself “to be spent for clearing land.”

The land that they had to clear would become an important historical site, known as the “Plains of Abraham”, after British Forces led by General James Wolfe and the French under the Marquis de Montcalm sealed the fate of New France in 1759.  However, the land where Abraham Martin and Marguerite Langlois raised their children; was 32 acres of meadow on the St. Charles River, and the famous  “Côte d’Abraham” was the path that they used to water their animals.

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