LINGSTRUM, Ola and Elsa Carlson Lingstrum
Starting in the 1860’s the Canadian Government undertook a vigorous advertising campaign to attract immigrants from Western Europe. The opening up of the Canadian Prairies needed homesteaders and many Swedes answered the promise of “160 acres Free” to immigrants. Swedish immigrants also came to settle in Ontario. Land agents at the ports of Montreal and Quebec City were actively promoting the opportunities available in the Ottawa Valley of Eastern Ontario.
This entry was made possible by the generosity of the Lingstrum descendants still living in the Westmeath Area. William and Hannah Lingstrum’s grand-daughter Noreen Conroy Desjardins and her eldest daughter Patti Desjardins supplied all the photos and much of the content. Thank you.
In 1880 the Lingstrum family of Stockholm, Sweden, decided to join the flow of immigrants. Immigrant ancestors Ola Lingstrum (1826-1909) and Elsa Carlson Lingstrum (1828-1895) came with their children William, Hannah and Annie. Ola was a stonemason by trade. Elsa died accidentally in 1895 but we have no details of the event. 1895 Elsa Lingstrum Death Registry.
Another prominent Westmeath Swedish family were the Carlsons whose story of immigration started with an extremely poignant story of suicide and infanticide. The familial relationship of Elsa to Lars Carlson is not established; – but by birth dates she could have been his older sister. See CARLSON entry.
Ola Lingstrum listing: 1889 Ontario Gazetteer
The Lingstrums settled in a log house, which still stands, at 1835 Gore Line, Westmeath Village. The property was surrounded by several fields where the milk cow and horses were pastured. The attractive log home is still occupied.
1.William Lingstrum (1856-1941) came to Montreal, Canada, first along with his parents and sisters in 1880. His wife Hannah Akesson (1854-1914), daughter of John Akesson & Sarah Peterson, came with their sons Nelson and Jon the next year in 1881. Unfortunately, when he met Hannah after the family disembarked in Montreal, he found that baby Jon had died during the crossing and was buried at sea. Hannah died of consumption twenty-six years before her husband. 1915 Hannah Lingstrum Death Registry
William Lingstrum was a stonemason who helped build St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Westmeath in 1899, (seen in photo at left). He was also a staunch member of the Loyal Orange Lodge and he proudly maintained that he had not missed marching in the July 12th Parade for over 25 years. He was a faithful Conservative Party member and took a keen interest in politics. He died on January 31, 1941 at Hazel and Ed Conroy’s home on Main St. At the time of his death at age 83, only four of his eight children were still alive: Emma, Maria, August, and Hazel. He left sixteen grandchildren.
William’s 1941 Death Certificate: 1941 Death Certificate WILLIAM LINGSTRUM.
William and Hannah had eight children:
i. Nelson Lingstrum (1876-1895), born in Sweden and accompanied his mother to Canada in 1881. Nelson drowned in the Ottawa River at Westmeath when he was 19 years old. He was working on log booms, a common feature on the river in that era. He is buried in Westmeath Cemetery.
ii. Jon Lingstrum (1878-1881) died on crossing and buried at sea
iii. Emma Lingstrum (1882-1950’s) m. Harry Fraser and moved to Calgary in 1909 and later, to Vancouver where she resided into the 1940’s. She had two children, Ken (died as an infant) and Margaret Fraser. The Fraser’s were a prosperous local Westmeath family and relations included several lumber barons who cleared farmland and floated logs down the Ottawa River to markets beyond. See FRASER entry.
Emma is listed with the occupation of weaver in the 1901 Census at age 18. Appropriately she is holding fabric in this photo.
iv. Anna Matilde (Tillie) Lingstrum (1885-1926), married 17 Sept 1902 to Fredrick Colsten Bidgood (1876- ) in North Bay, ON. On the marriage registration he is listed as a Cow Boy from Bristol, England. 1902 Bidgood-Lingstrum Marriage Registration. They lived in Northern Ontario in Temiskaming and she is buried there. The Bidgoods had 8 children.
v. Hannah Fernilla (Nellie) Lingstrum (1888-1910), m. Daniel Turner. Both were killed when a train trestle collapsed while they were honeymooning in the USA.
vi. Elsa Maria Lingstrum (1891-1978) married Patrick Andrew (Paddy) Mercier (1) (1871-1922) in 1916 and was widowed when their children, Jimmy Mercier and Eunice Mercier were very young. Several years later she married Alfonso George Fitzpatrick (2) (1885- ) in 1923 with whom she later separated. Their son was Joseph Ronald Donald Fitzpatrick (1924-1928) and died as a small child. She supported her family by working as a cook in lumber camps. Sometimes her sister Hazel went to her home near Chapeau, Allumette Island, Quebec ,and “kept house” while Maria was away. This is where Hazel met Ed Conroy. Maria retired to Westmeath and lived in the small house at the corner of Grace St. and Gore Line.
vii. William August Lingstrum (1894-1960). August served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in WWI. Upon his return, he operated a railroad depot at a grain elevator at Kindersley, Saskatchewan.
viii. Margaret Hazel Lingstrum (1897-1985) married Edward Conroy who she met while visiting her sister Maria Fitzpatrick. They settled in Westmeath and were shopkeepers. See Conroy’s Store . Hazel became very well known and active in the community. She kept some of the correspondence she received in these lovely Edwardian-era cards. Postcards
2. Hannah Lingstrum married David Davidson and moved to Seattle, Washington. They had two children, Sadie Davidson and David Davidson.
3. Annie Lingstrum’s (1872-1947) first marriage was to Daniel Morrison (1) of Morrison’s Island in the Ottawa River, east of Pembroke. His occupation was “Baggageman,” (- perhaps with the railroad?). After his death she married E. Foster (2) and moved to Bainbridge Island, Washington, in 1911. In 1917 they built Foster’s Pavilion, on Fletcher Bay, a popular picnic grounds and dance hall and operated it until their retirement in 1940. Annie is pictured below in the white dress.
In the 1901 Census, Annie’s widower father Ola Lingstrum and Annie’s niece Emma are living in Town of Pembroke in the Morrison household. Ola’s age is 76 although the census record mistakenly says 24. He lists his occupation as Stonemason and Emma is listed as a Weaver. 1901 Census Pembroke Town Morrison Household.