This web site is intended to be a compendium of the research done on Jean Martin dit St-Martin and Marie Anne Banlier dit Laperle and their descendants. Much has been published on this family in various historical books and family histories, some of it accurate, some not so accurate. As is often the case with family histories, once something is in print, it often is considered to be "gospel". It is my hope that this web site will facilitate a critical examination and discussion of the facts, legends, and myths surrounding this St-Martin family and to allow us St-Martin researchers and descendants to learn more about our origins and our relatives' contributions to Quebec and the USA. The best way to separate fact from fiction and to resolve conflicting information is to go back to the primary sources (see Understanding Sources, Citations, Documentation and Evaluating Evidence In Genealogy, by Richard A. Pence ). These include records of marriages, birth and baptisms, deaths and burials, census listings, Bible records, tax lists, probate and land records, etc. The information in the descendant listings on this web site will include documentation of the primary sources as much as possible, and transcriptions of many of those sources will be presented in links below. This is a working document and not necessarily definitive, since much of it is based upon information found on the Internet or in published secondary sources. It will be modified and (hopefully) improved as more researchers provide input and, most importantly, evidence.
The marriage of Jean Martin to Anne Banlier occurred on 26 February 1709 in Contrecoeur, Vercheres County, Quebec. Contrecoeur is located along the St. Lawrence River, just upstream (southwest) of Sorel, Richelieu County, Quebec. (See maps below.) Jean Martin, a soldier, had been granted permission by his general to proceed with the marriage. He was born about 1683 (according the date on his burial record), but his baptism is not found in a Quebec parish. Therefore, he may have been born in France. In the marriage record, it says that Jean is the "fils de Jean Martin soldat" (son of Jean Martin soldier). The occupation of soldier probably refers to Jean Martin, not to his father, as Jean Martin dit St-Martin is known to have belonged to the military regiment serving in the part of Quebec.
Some secondary sources give Jean Martin's mother's name as Marie Louise Jeanval, but I am not aware of any evidence to support that. I suspect that the phrase "M[onsieu]r le general" in the marriage record (in the sentence where he is described as asking his commanding general's permission to marry) has been mistranslated as "M[a]r[ie] l[ouis]e jeanval". (I'd love to be proved wrong on that point, but we need another primary source.) There is another phrase in the marriage record regarding the omission of third ban (announcement) of marriage to a place (perhaps Jean Martin's home town in France), but the name of the place is not clearly written and not has, thus far, been successfully translated.
Marriage of Jean Martin to Anne Banlier
"fils de Jean Martin soldat"
Jean Martin's wife Marie Anne Banlier dit Laperle was born 13 November 1684 and baptised in St-Ours, Richelieu County, Quebec, a daughter of Mathurin Banlier dit Laperle and Francoise Vernin (French immigrants from Poitiers and Angouleme, respectively).
Baptism of Anne, daughter of Mathurin Banlier dit Laperle & Francoise Vernin
The "dit name" of St-Martin may not have been used by Jean Martin himself (as he signed his name simply "Jean Martin"), but his burial record shows Martin dit St-Martin. The surname St-Martin was adopted by each of his sons and became the standard surname of their families. The surnames Martin and St-Martin appear interchangeably in the records of the 1700s, but eventually the surname Martin is no longer used.
The baptisms of the 12 children of Jean and Marie Anne were recorded in several towns and parishes in the local area on both sides of the St-Lawrence River from 1709 to 1729:
Contrecoeur, Vercheres County - 1709
St-Sulpice, L'Assomption County - 1713
Dautray, Berthier County - 1716, 1717, 1719
Sorel, Richelieu County - 1721, 1723, 1725, 1726, 1729
Berthier-en-Haut [Berthierville], Berthier County - 1727
In 1716, Jean Martin was a fermier (tenant farmer) in the seigneurie (manor) of Dautray (near Lanoraie, Berthier County) on the estate of Sieur Neveu (lord of the manor). Later he appears to have lived across the river in Sorel. Jean died in Lanoraie on 10 March 1756 at age 72. Marie Anne died in Lanoraie on 27 March 1758 at age 73.
Burial of Jean Martin dit St-Martin
Burial of Marie Anne [Banlier dit] Laperle
Their 12 children included sons Pierre Antoine, Jean Baptiste, Francois Denis, Joseph, and Ambroise, and daughters Marie Angelique, Marie Catherine, Marie Francoise, Genevieve, Marie Madeleine, Marie Anne, and Louise. The children who survived infancy (at least six of them) married and raised families in Berthier County and across the river in Richelieu County (primarily in the parish of Sorel, as well as in Ste-Victoire, which was formed from Sorel in 1843). The families of the sons were all in Richelieu County. There was another St-Martin family of Berthier County in the second half of the 1700s and later that were, apparently, not related to the family of Jean Martin dit St-Martin. A member of this other St-Martin family, Alexis St-Martin, gained notoriety as a subject of medical experiments on the functioning of the human stomach.
Jean Martin dit St-Martin's first child, son Pierre Antoine, married in Sorel in 1735 to Marie Elisabeth (or Isabelle) Mandeville. They are my 6th-great-grandparents. Much of the information on this web site concerns their descendants, many of whom came to Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island in the USA, starting in the 1840s. I trace my ancestral line to this couple through their son Pierre Etienne St-Martin (#12 in my St-Martin database) and his wife Marie Rose Joly dit Pierre, who were married in Sorel in 1765. Two of their great-grandchildren, Francois "Francis" St-Martin (#12513) and Marie Rose de Lima Lataille (#12C45) (2nd-cousins to each other) married in the mid-1860s (probably in Massachusetts or Rhode Island); their oldest son Francis St-Martin (#125131, in photo below) is my great-grandfather. You will see a lot of Lataille information on this web site, since part of my St-Martin ancestry comes through the Lataille branch of the St-Martin family. Judith St-Martin (#12C) married Louis Taillon dit Lataille in Sorel in 1807.
Family of Francis St-Martin (#125131), 3rd-great-grandson of Pierre Antoine St-Martin (#1) - ca. 1912, Yakima County, Washington; my grandmother "Sally" is the oldest living daughter on the far left, second row
On this web site and in my records, I have chosen to omit the correct French accent marks (e.g., grave, acute, circumflex) since I am not fluent in the French language and am using an American English keyboard. My apologies go out to my French-Canadian cousins! I have hyphenated the compound surname (St-Martin) instead of writing it as "St. Martin" or "Saint Martin", for consistency. I have decided not to hyphenate given names, compound (Jean Baptiste or Rose de Lima) or otherwise (Pierre Antoine or Marie Madeleine). These given names rarely appear hyphenated in the parish registers or censuses.
Until the late 1900s, church registers in Quebec served as civil and vital records in that province. Throughout the years a second copy of church records, from all denominations, was sent annually to the appropriate courthouse. During the 1940s the vital record collections in courthouses throughout Quebec were filmed by the Institut Généalogique Drouin.Consequently, this filmed set of records became known as the Drouin Collection. This set of images of the Quebec parish registers is now available on Ancestry.com.
I have transcribed images of the Sorel registers for all entries relating this St-Martin family up to 1911, as well as Ste-Victoire (formed from Sorel in 1843) and other nearby area parishes in Richelieu County and in Berthier County on Ile-Dupas. In the descendant listings that follow, you'll see that I have enclosed some of the places (such as births or deaths) with parentheses and a question mark. This is because in the baptismal and burials entries the records rarely state where the actual birth or death, respectively, took place. In the case of infant baptisms, I have usually made the assumption that the birth took place in the same parish as the baptism. Sometimes in the early 1700s (when parishes covered a large geographical area), I have used the place of residence of the parents as the place of birth, when the place of residence was different than the place of baptism and was stated in the records. In later years, I stayed with the place of baptism, even if the residence of the parents was elsewhere. I figure that this approach will be accurate most of the time. For burial entries in the registers, I have put the place of death as tentatively the same place as the burial, indicating this with parentheses and a question mark. My reasoning is that a person who dies a few counties or parishes away (perhaps while traveling) will probably be brought back to the home parish for burial. In the case of infant deaths (within one month after birth), I have used the place of burial as the place of death (i.e., without the parentheses and question mark).
In Quebec, as in other places, county and administrative boundaries formed and changed frequently. For simplicity, I have tried to be consistent in using the county boundaries that were in existence at the time the Drouin Collection was created (the 1940s). However, I have used the contemporary parishes (at the time of the given event). For example, most of the St-Martins who lived in Ste-Victoire parish at its formation in 1843 lived in Sorel parish prior to that. They didn't move to a new place; the portion of the Sorel parish in which they lived was split off to form Ste-Victoire parish.
Here are listings of known descendants (through seven generations):
[Note: To view the Adobe Acrobat files, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader software. This can be downloaded free from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html. You can download the files to your disk to view them, or use your web browser with the appropriate plug-ins.]
Children of Jean Martin dit St-Martin & Marie Anne Banlier dit Laperle
Descendants of Pierre Antoine St-Martin (#1) & Marie Elisabeth|Isabelle MandevilleIndex of Names
Descendants of Jean Baptiste St-Martin (#2) & Marie Josephte Lavallee
Descendants of Francois Denis St-Martin (#3) & Catherine Charlotte Hus dit Cournoyer
Descendants of Marie Angelique St-Martin (#4) & Pierre Fortin dit Paris
Descendants of Marie Catherine St-Martin (#5) & Pierre Louis Martin dit Pellant
Descendants of Marie Francoise St-Martin (#6) & Francois Nicolas Marion
Descendants of Genevieve St-Martin (#7) & Louis Hetier
There are a number of St-Martins who have not yet been placed in this St-Martin family. If you know where they belong, please let me know.
Miscellaneous St-Martin Descendants [Note: The prefix for these individuals is "z".]
Explanation of Format of Descendant Listings
Sorel, Richelieu County (Baptisms)
Sorel, Richelieu County (Marriages)
Sorel, Richelieu County (Burials)
Ste-Victoire, Richelieu County
Canada World War 1 Attestation Papers
World War 1 Draft Registrations
World War 2 Draft Registrations
GenForum - St-Martin
RootsWeb - St-Martin
St-Martin DNA Project
A new tool in genealogical research is the use of genetic markers in DNA to establish family relationships. See Genetics, DNA and Health History. The Y-chromosome is passed down from father to son to grandson to great-grandson, etc. along the male line (as are surnames in many modern western societies). Occasionally, due to random mutations, one or more of the genetic markers may change in an individual and be passed down to his son that way (similar to a surname changing from Martin to St-Martin). Standard tests are available (based on a cheek swab) to identify 12, 37, 67, or 111 markers on the Y-chromosome. (The more the markers, the more precise the idenfication; I strongly suggest 37 or more markers, in order to be useful for genealogical purposes.) All direct male descendants of Jean Martin dit St-Martin would have a very similar, if not identical, set of markers (or haplotype). Someone with a surname of St-Martin (or some variation), whether or not they had done in-depth genealogical research, could compare their haplotype to known Jean Martin dit St-Martin direct male descendants see if they were likely to be a direct male descendant of Jean Martin dit St-Martin. Likewise, the Jean Martin dit St-Martin haplotype could be compared to haplotypes of other St-Martin families in the USA, Quebec, France, or elsewhere to see if these families were closely related. I would like to establish a confidential database of haplotypes of Jean Martin dit St-Martin's direct male descendants to (1) see if they match, and (2) give us a tool to identify other Jean Martin dit St-Martin descendants and to find closely related St-Martin families. Ideally, we would need several samples from direct male descendants of each of Jean Martin dit St-Martin's sons. The Family Tree DNA testing service is one of the most well-known. If anyone is interested in helping to start a DNA project for this family, please contact me by e-mail. The tests range in price, depending upon the number of markers, when ordered from Family Tree DNA as a part of the St-Martin DNA Project.
This DNA project is open to other St-Martin families with French heritage. It will establish if there is any relationship between these families and ours prior to Jean Martin dit St-Martin. In addition, it will help differentiate between the various St-Martin families in Canada, especially where the documentary evidence (e.g., parish registers) is lacking.
To help defray the cost of the testing, I have set up a St-Martin DNA Project fund that will allow those of us without the St-Martin Y-chromosome (such as females born with the maiden name of St-Martin) to jointly share in the cost of this project. If everyone interested in this avenue of research can contribute a little from time to time, it will greatly help to increase the level of participation by direct male descendants with the "right" DNA. If you would like to take advantage of the fund for your test, let me know. Those of us not fortunate enough to have the St-Martin Y-DNA chromosome may help others out by contributing. Pick the letter "S" on the menu and indicate that you wish to contribute to the "St.Martin" project.
French-Canadian & Acadian Genealogy Sources
If you find this information useful and would like to contribute a small (or bigger) amount to help fund this research, please consider selecting one of the options below. This helps me pay for subscriptions to web sites (e.g., Ancestry.com), reference materials (maps, books), supplies (paper, ink, binders, folders), time, and travel.
If you would like to comment on any information contained within, or wish to correspond with me about this family, please send me an e-mail message at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Additions and corrections are greatly appreciated. I am especially interested in receiving information obtained from primary sources (census listings, Bibles, cemeteries, vital records, probate and land records, etc.) and photographs and digital images relating to this branch of the St-Martin family so that I can incorporate them into this page. Also, I would like to provide links to other pages on the Internet that deal with St-Martin genealogy.
Mark B. Arslan