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The Four Matte Sons


Léonard, their first born died in 1698 at the Hotel Dieu in Quebec from injuries suffered in an Indian battle. He was a member of the Iberville Regiment. This Regiment was responsible for the founding of Biloxi, Mississippi in 1700. Leonard left no descendants. This left three Matte sons: Laurent, Nicolas and Alexis to ensure the Matte name would be passed down through present day. Nicolas was the only Matte to have immigrated to Canada. It is almost certain that all Mattes who originated in Canada are descendants of this couple.


Laurent Matte was the only son to stay in Neuville. As the oldest son, he was probably the one who inherited the Matte family land. Laurent was one of the founding fathers of Neuville. Today, Laurent's descendants number in the hundreds in the Neuville area. One of his modern day descendants has made the comment that "it is like a big boat came and dropped them all there" to which my reply was "it was one person on a big boat who "dropped " them there.

Alexis – the Ancestor of Many Voyageurs

Alexis' descendants seem to have been the most adventurous of the Matte descendants. Alexis' grandson, Jean Pierre Matte, born in 1765 in Cap Sante, Quebec and died April 16, 1840 in Opelousas, Louisiana. He married Esther Bellard in Opelousas, Louisiana in 1796. He has many descendants in St Landry Parish, Louisiana. How he came to be in Louisiana has never been discovered. One theory suggests that he came as part of the Northwest Fur Trading Company who often wintered in New Orleans before heading out to the Northwest. Jean Pierre might have decided to stay on in New Orleans instead. Many of Jean Pierre's descendants fought in the Civil War for the Confederate Army.



Nicolas' descendants are scattered throughout North America, and did migrate from Neuville to other Quebec towns during the 1700s. Most did not venture out of Quebec until the mid-1800s. Many of his descendants are in the Montreal Area, Ontario as well as New England. Several of Nicolas' descendants, fought in the Civil War for the Union Army.

About Leon and Francoise Matte

Leon Matt Jr. served in the Michigan Company D, 8th Calvary along with his brother Francois during the Civil War. He was wounded in battle and was taken to the Camp Nelson Hospital in Kentucky. He died there on October 7, 1863 of dysentery. Camp Nelson is now a National Cemetery located just south of Lexington, Kentucky. Leon is buried there in grave 127.


Matte Descendants

The descendants of Nicolas Matte and Madeleine Auvray eventually spread out throughout North America. There are Mattes in Louisiana who are descendants, Native Americans in the Bitter Root Valley of Montana, some of the first pioneers of the Northwest such as Oregon, Saskatchewan, Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba are also among his descendants, as well as throughout New York and the New England states. Some are in Michigan, California, and Florida.

Mattes have fought in every major war ever fought in North America as Canadians, Americans, Union Soldiers and also Confederates. They fought in the Revolutionary War, World War I and World War II, and Vietnam. A Jean Baptiste Matte was at Fort Duquesne (now known as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) in 1756, and it is rumored that he fought against Daniel Boone. One of their descendants, Pierre Matte, born at Les Ecureuils on February 7, 1774, distinguished himself as a captain in the war of 1812.

Matte descendants are closely related through the Matte females to families with the last names Pelletier, Grenon, Letourneau, Petit, Mongrain, Desjardins, Mercure, Gariepy, Sylvestre, and Charpentier among others. See the section on the Matte Daughters for more information.

Mattes in Oregon

This information was provided by Darlene Martin. Great-great granddaughter of Joseph Matte.

Joseph Matte was born about 1820 in Ancienne Lorette, Quebec. Joseph Matte was from Quebec and went to the Oregon Territory in 1840. He had 13 children and worked for the American Fur Trading Company for one year and then settled on a farm in St Paul. He was the son of Jeremie Matte and Louis Beaudin and the grandson of Alexis Matte and the great, great grandson of Alexis Matte and Marie Francoise Carpentier.

Joseph & Harriet (Biscornet dit Caille) Matte are shown in the US Land Management Office records as having been granted land in Oregon on 12/14/1866. There were two other Mattes granted land during those years also. They were Louis & Therese Matte in 1/18/1859 and Mary Ann Matte (Kendall) in 8/2/1875 the daughter of Louis & Therese.

From the Oregon Statesman Newspaper, Dated Friday, February 17, 1888 p.8 col.3

Mr Thomas Moisan, who departed.... was born and raised in St. Jacques,

Canada, near Montreal...He left Canada in the year 1838, and in the company

with Joseph Matt (who now lies at the point of death at Gervais) wintered in

New Orleans. In the spring of 1839, they engaged with the North American Fur

Company and crossed the Rocky Mountains, remaining in the employ of the

company one year..

Joseph Matte died Feb. 18, 1888. In the 1880 US Census, Joseph listed his occupation as a Hotel Keeper. He also stated that his parents had been born in Canada. His wife Harriet (her father was Pascal Biscornet dit Caille and her mother was Louise Kowitchin) claimed that her father was born in Canada but her mother was born in Oregon. Harriet’s father was one of the first settlers in Oregon.


Many thanks to Darlene Martin for this great discovery!!

Mattes in Montana

In the 1880 Census, an Alexander Matte and Suzanne Prudhomme (although I have seen her called Finley) are residing in the Bitter Root Valley, Montana. Alexander was the son of Peter Matt/Matte.

Louis and Teresa Matte. Louis (who listed his birthplace as Canada) founded a mine in Montana, and has descendants of Native American ancestry. Louis is definitely a descendant of Nicolas and Madeleine, his parents were have not been positively linked.

Peter G. Matt (aka Pierre Matte & Louis were half brothers as there were no other traces of Mattes in that part of the country at that time.


Louis’s descendants claim that he stayed on in Montana while his brother went West to Oregon.


Cyprian Matt – Where does he fit in?

So far all I have discovered about Cyprian is as follows:

In the 1880 US Census, Cyprian Matt was 48 years old, living in Fort Benton, Montana. He listed his occupation as a miner. He also listed that he was born in Canada as were his parents. He was married to Kills in the Brush and had two children - James who married first to Sarah O’Connell and his second wife Agnes Shortman. They also had a daughter named Mary who married Charley Hawley.


I wondered if he might have been related to Peter and Louis - perhaps a nephew? So far, I have not located Cyprian’s parents. If Cyprian had been born in Montana or Oregon that might have indicated that he was part of the Matt family already in the Northwest, but where he stated he was born in Canada makes it more difficult to find him as there are no Cyprian Mattes born in Canada before 1848 that I can locate.


Mattes in Louisiana

Jean Baptiste Matte, son of Francois Matte and Marie Ann Petit, and the grandson of Nicolas and Madeleine through their son Alexis, arrived in Louisiana sometime around 1795. He married Esther Bellard who was Acadian. They have hundreds of descendants in Louisiana who are located mainly in Opelousas and surrounding towns in Saint Landry Parish.


Mattes in Lowell, Massachusetts

I remember growing up in Lowell and asking my father if I was related to a neighbor with the last name Matte. My father said they we weren't. Because Matte is not a very common name, and I tend to be a curious person, I decided to find out. Here is what I discovered:

There were three Mattes who arrived in Lowell between 1880 - 1890: Sinai, Francois and Pierre. Curiously enough Sinai and Francois were descendants of Alexis, and Pierre was a descendant of Nicolas. Two of the first three Matte sons each had a descendant who came to the same US city. None of the three families thought they were related.

This is a recent discovery. I have been in contact with Sinai's and Francois' descendants who had also gotten curious about their ancestry. I am a descendant of Nicolas, so when we put all of our pieces together. We were able to connect the dots.


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