CONROY, Martin & Betsy Conroy
Two sizable islands are formed west and east of the Westmeath Peninsula when the mighty Ottawa River is split into channels. The most westerly L’Isle-aux-Allumettes (Allumette Island) in the Pontiac Regional County Municipality, Quebec, is located just to the east of much smaller Morrison Island. The one to the east – downstream – is Grand-Calumet or Calumet Island. Both islands were populated by early incoming settlers and noted as good hunting and fishing areas. The indigenous peoples knew the strategic importance of the islands to the travel and trade routes up and down the river.
Allumette Island is 22 kilometres (14 mi) long and 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) wide, making it the largest island within the Ottawa River along its entire course. At its south side, the river channel broadens to form Allumette Lake. Historic Westmeath Township has shoreline on Allumette Lake all along its western side.
This entry was made possible by the generosity of the Conroy descendants still living in the Westmeath Area. Edward and Hazel Conroy’s daughter Noreen Conroy Desjardins and her eldest daughter Patti Desjardins supplied all the photos and much of the content. Thank you.
Martin Conroy (1831- ) and Betsy Conroy (1836- ) were both born in Ireland and became the Immigrant Ancestors of this Canadian Conroy family. They first appear in the 1861 Census as a young couple with 3 little ones – Patrick Conroy aged 7, James Conroy aged 2 and Margaret Conroy aged 1. Martin is listed as a Tavern-Keeper in the Town of Pembroke.
The Irish Conroy family later farmed in Chapeau, Chichester Township, Pontiac, Quebec, in the 1871 Census.
James Conroy (1859-1932) married Mary Jane Boisvert (1864-1923) in June 1885 1885 June – James & Mary Jane Marriage, daughter of Joseph Boisvert and Mary Ann Carroll, all of St. Alphonse Parish, Chapeau.
Children of James Conroy (1862- 1935) and Mary Jane Boisvert Conroy (1867- ):
1.Thomas Conroy (1887- )
2. Mary (Minnie) Conroy (1888- )
3. Joseph Conroy (1889- )
4. Alfred “Alphie” Conroy (1891–1957)
5.William Edward Conroy (1895- ) He was conscripted for WWI in 1918 but the war was over before he finished training.
Canada, WWI Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel File: WILLIAM EDWARD CONROY DISCHARGE FILE
Ed Conroy married Margaret Hazel Lingstrum (1897-1985) on April 24, 1923, youngest daughter of William Lingstrum and Hannah Akesson. See LINGSTRUM entry.
They set up house in Westmeath and joined in the Westmeath Meat Market business with her father William Lingstrum. The business evolved into Conroy’s General Store. Ed Conroy received a plaque from British American Company for being the longest service operator for automobile gasoline in Canada. That same little general store is still a landmark in the Village of Westmeath and the Main St. and Gore Line corner.
Hazel Lingstrum and Ed Conroy had five children:
i. June Conroy (1924-2018) married William McLeod, Vancouver
ii. Phyllis Conroy (1926—-) married Peter Meloche, Ottawa
iii. Iris Conroy (1927—-) married Daryl McLaren, Pembroke
iv. Edison Conroy (1932-1993) married Annette LeBrun, Copper Cliff
v. Noreen Conroy (1934—-) married Reuben Desjardins, Westmeath, in 1954. See DESJARDINS entry.
6. Martin Conroy (1898–1983) married Edna Mae St. Martin ( 1902-1996).
Youngest son Martin and his wife Edna Mae took over the family farm and had nine children. Their son, Mickey Conroy continued farming after their retirement to the village of Chapeau. Martin and Edna Mae’s son Francis continues to operate Conroy’s Store in Chapeau.