Lizzie LaClair b 21 Nov 1867

The record of Lizzie’s birth has not yet been found, but the date has given as 21 Nov 1867, and in the marriage record of daughter Lana, she lists her place of birth as Compton.   The 1871 census of Canada shows her as Isabel, born in Quebec, a Methodist of French descent.  She is with Barnabus and Sarah, and her siblings:  Josephine, Anne, and Philip, and they lived in Compton.  In French, the  names Isabel and Elizabeth are sometimes interchanged. Other records show her as Lizzie Belle.  Her headstone, as arranged for by daughter Bessie, lists her birth year as 1859, but that doesn’t match the 1871 census, and since the date of the census is closer in time to her birth, than the ordering of the headstone, the census is more likely to be accurate.  There is a family story that Lizzie had a twin who died at birth, but again, without the birth records, that cannot be confirmed. 

The LaClair family (LeClare, LeClerc) moved to Vermont.  By 1880, her parents were divorced.  Her sisters were married.  Lizzie lived in the household and worked as a servant for the Thomas Wilkey family.  She also attended Barton Academy, and in 1880 was listed in the Intermediate Level. 

Family lore is that Lizzie and Frank were married 9 April 1882 in Westmore VT.  A stop at Westmore did not turn up that record.

In 1900, the family lived in Barton.  Sometime before son Wilmer’s birth in April 1902, the family moved to Lebanon.  I have not been able to find the family in the 1910 census.  In 1920, they were still in Lebanon.  The census indicates that she could read and write.  

Agnes (Mrs. Ralph) Laber remembers that Lizzie would bake a big dish of beans every Saturday night, and would cook all night and make bread. It appears that Labor family reunions were more frequent than they are now.  In a letter from December 1919 to her sister Josephine, Lizzie talked about how busy she was with all her children home for Thanksgiving except Eugene, because Jessie’s health was too poor to allow her to travel in cold weather.  Lizzie wanted Josephine to shut up her house and come live with her for the winter, or at least come for Christmas.

Another item of family lore is that it was Lizzie who shortened Frank’s name from Labarre to Labor, then again to Laber to give it an American look and sound.  This is probably not true, as Frank’s father Joseph was known as Labor well before Lizzie was part of the family. 

Lizzie died suddenly on 17 Oct 1924, age 56, after one day in the hospital.  The death certificate lists chronic nephritis and pulmonary embolus. Frank D thought his mother had died from complications of sugar diabetes. This was before much was known about diabetes.  Although she lived in Lebanon at the time of death, she was buried next to her infant son Joseph, at Willoughby Cemetery in South Barton.


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