APRENDESTIGUY (Daprandesteguy, Arpentigny), MARTIN D’, Sieur de MARTIGNON, furtrader and Acadian seigneur; b. c. 1616 at Ascain, in the Basque country of France, probably the son of Joanis d’Aprendestiguy; d. probably c. 1686–89. The Basque form of the name, “Aprendestiguy, “ often appears in official French documents as “Arpentigny.”
In the 1650’s in partnership with merchants of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Aprendestiguy equipped a vessel which annually traded and fished on the Acadian coast, with the permission of Guillaume Lebel, the guardian of the late governor Menou d’Aulnay’s children. On such a trip in August 1656 Aprendestiguy’s ship, the Saint-Jean-Baptiste, was captured and he and the crew taken prisoner by order of Nicolas Denys, who had purchased the fishing rights to the coast in 1653 and was subsequently appointed lieutenant-general of the region. Aprendestiguy was taken to Denys’s headquarters at Saint-Pierre, Cape Breton, and then to France, where he was involved in legal proceedings. Two members of his crew escaped to Saint-Jean-de-Luz on a Basque fishing vessel and Aprendestiguy’s associates then successfully took legal action to regain their ship and its cargo of furs and cod, on the grounds that notice of Denys’s monopoly had not been posted in their port.
Aprendestiguy’s relations with Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour were close, for he married Jeanne, La Tour’s daughter by his first wife, and Aprendestiguy lent his father-in-law considerable sums of money. We may conclude, then, that Aprendestiguy probably settled in Acadia near La Tour – either at Cap de Sable or on the Saint John – in about 1660–62. In 1672 he was granted a seigneury at the mouth of the Saint John River and the title “Sieur de Martignon.” The grant was extensive, but it yielded only a modest living by the fur trade. In fact, Perrot, in his Relation of 1686 said that there were only three people in the Saint John region, who lived miserably by the fur trade. Martignon repaired Menou d’Aulnay’s fort at the mouth of the Saint John; it was then called Fort Martignon.
In 1686 Martignon’s daughter, Marianne, aged 24, married Guillaume Bourgeois, a Port-Royal merchant who was the son of Jacques (or Jacob) Bourgeois*. It is probable that Martignon died between 1686 and 1689, for he was 70 years old at the time of the 1686 census and was not mentioned in that of 1689.
AN, Col., C11D, 2, f.20; E, 298A, ff.440–41. Recensements (Acadie). Pièces et documents relatifs à la tenure seigneuriale, demandés par une adresse de l’assemblée législative, 1851 (2v., Québec, 1852), II, 254. René Baudry, “Quelques documents nouveaux sur Nicolas Denys,” RHAF, IX (1955–56), 14–30. Ganong, “Historic sites in New Brunswick,” 277–78, 309, 352. Placide Gaudet, “Acadian genealogy and notes/Généalogies des familles acadiennes accompagnées de documents,” PAC Report, 1905, II, App. A, pt.iii. Rameau de Saint-Père, Une colonie féodale, II, 403. Webster, Acadia, 210.