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Mathieu MARTIN
1689 - Seigneurie of Wagobagitik



In late March 1689, Mathieu Martin, perhaps the first Frenchman born in Acadia, had secured a seigneurie at the extreme northeast end of the Minas Basin, where he engaged in the fur trade. Martin's seigneurie, called Wagobagitik or Wecobequitk (Mi'kmaq for "end of the water's flow," which refers to the present-day Salmon River), also Ouëcobeguy, St.-Matheiu, and eventually Cobeguit, lay 50 miles northeast of Grand-Pré and 55 miles southeast of Beaubassin. Decades later, a governor of British Nova Scotia noted that "The seigneury of Cobeguit had always been separate from the lands of the La Tour family...." Although Mathieu Martin married, he and his wife, a fellow Acadian whose name has been lost to history, had no children. In 1701, while Martin remained at Port-Royal with his wife, he allowed fellow Acadians Martin Bourg, Jérôme Guérin, and Martin Blanchard, also from Port-Royal, to move their families to his seigneurie, which, because of the limited numbers of salt marshes and the distance from access to the New English market, grew slowly at first. But after construction of the French fortress at Louisbourg in the 1710s, an accessible market opened up to the community, and Cobeguit, like nearby Chignecto, soon became an important cattle-producing area. The church parish at Cobeguit was dedicated to SS. Pierre-et-Paul. Mathieu Martin, who was not counted at Cobeguit until 1714, died a decade later, 24 years a widower, perhaps at Cobeguit. In October 1731, settlers Noël Doiron, Jean Bourg, Louis Bourg, and Joseph Robichaud, having been named as heirs in Mathieu Martin's will, claimed his seigneurie. Settlers at Cobeguit also bore the names Aucoin, Benoit, Breau, Carret, Dugas, Gautrot, Guédry, Guillot, Hébert, Henry, Lejeune, Longuépée, Naquin, Pitre, Thériot, and Turpin.

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