AMIOT (Amyot), dit Villeneuve, MATHIEU, donné, interpreter, seigneur; b. between 1627 and 1629 probably near Chartres (Orléanais), son of Philippe Amiot and Anne Convent; d. 18 Nov. 1688 at Quebec.
His father, who came originally from the neighbourhood of Soissons, was at Quebec from the summer of 1635 on. Mathieu, like his brother Jean, was for some years an interpreter for the Jesuits; he worked in their house at Trois-Rivières and perhaps also in the Huron country. Then he became a settler, and during the remainder of his life he managed to accumulate a fairly sizable number of properties. Thus, in 1649, Governor Louis d’Ailleboust made him a grant of land at Trois-Rivières; in addition, on the occasion of his marriage on 22 Oct. 1650, Marie Miville brought him as her dowry a property in the town of Quebec; in 1661 the Jesuits granted him a portion of land at Sillery, where he built a house for himself, whilst keeping his town residence; on 6 Sept. 1665 Jean Juchereau de Maur gave him an estate on Pointe Villeneuve, near Saint-Augustin de Portneuf, which he enlarged in 1677 and 1685; and on 3 Nov. 1672 Talon granted him another domain, as a fief and seigneury, at Pointe aux Bouleaux.
As his possessions increased, Mathieu became a more and more important person in the colony. A notable at Quebec, he had taken part in the election of a syndic in 1664, and three years later the king acceded to Talon’s request to grant him letters of nobility. However, when these letters arrived in 1668 the intendant did not know whether he should have them registered in the Conseil Souverain of Quebec or in the Parlement of Paris. While awaiting the reply from Versailles he learned that Louis XIV had abolished all titles not yet registered (1669). Three other settlers had received letters of nobility at the same time as Amiot. They or their descendants had them recognized despite the 1669 ruling. But as Amiot apparently made no claim in respect of his, they were finally annulled.
Villeneuve left his heirs more debts and worries than assets. In 1703 the debts encumbering the estate still amounted to 700 livres, and Marie Miville, who had sold the lands for 1,500 livres, had died (September 1702), a victim of the distress caused her by a lawsuit which her son Charles, the eldest of her 15 children, had brought against her.
Lionel Audet-Lapointe, “Famille Amiot-Villeneuve,” BRH, LX (1954), 121–35. Godbout, “Nos ancêtres,” APQ Rapport, 1951–53, 488. P.-G. Roy, “Les Amyot sous le régime français,” BRH, XXIII (1917), 164f.; “Mathieu Amiot Villeneuve,” BRH, XXV (1919), 321–31.