Joseph Labor b 12 December 1832

Joseph Genest dit LaBarre was born and baptized on 12 December, 1832, at St-Frederic, in Drummondville, Quebec, the first of eleven children of Pierre Genest dit LaBarre, farmer, and Marie-Louise Manseau.   He was later known as Joseph Labarre then Labor.

I have not been able to find Joseph in the 1851 census.  It does not exist for Wotton. Joseph moved there, and married Marie-Célina Martin on 16 October 1855.  They had five children.   Son Joseph died at age 6 months, and daughter Marie-Delimas died at 5 weeks.  Three more sons, Louis, Téophile (Frank T) and Marcel (Marshall) lived into their seventies and had families.

In 1861, Joseph received a land grant of 50 acres in Wotton. The census of 1861 lists Joseph LaBarre, with Celina and Louis, in Ste-Camille. 

Joseph may have lived in Biddeford, Maine, as Frank T and Marcel generally named that as their birth place.  Frank T was born 27 March, and baptized 9 April in Wotton, Quebec.  If he was born in Biddeford, he would have had to make the trip, as a newborn, from Biddeford to Wotton, (210 miles on today’s highways)  in 12 days.  Marcel was born 24 October 1865, but not baptized until 16 Jan 1866, in Richmond, Quebec, also 210 miles away.  Since Catholic baptisms usually occurred the same or next day as the birth, it is more likely that when Marcel was born, the family was in an area that did not have access to a priest.  This baptism record is the last I have of Marie-Céline.  The record doesn’t list her as “defunct” so I am guessing that she was still alive in 1866. 

On 4 Aug 1870  Joseph Labor of Wotton, Wolfe County, bachelor son of Peter (Pierre) and Mary (Marie-Louise) Labor, same place, and Lydia Ann Degoosh of Sherbrook, spinster, a minor, daughter of Joseph and Betsey Ann Degoosh of same place, were married by special license at the  Congregationalist church in Sherbrooke.   It would have been unheard of for Joseph and Marie-Céline to have divorced, so it is presumed that she died between 1866 and 1870. But what does “by special license” mean?  Were they divorced?  Or was the special license needed because Lydia was under age?

Joseph and Lydia and their first child Luvia Ann are listed in the 1871 census in the Sherbrooke area of Quebec, near the Degoosh family. Joseph was a laborer. His older sons Louis and Theophile (Frank T) were living with his parents. I have not yet located his youngest son from his first marriage, Marcel.

Joseph is first known to have been in Barton when the 1874 town records show that Joseph paid taxes of $150 on land and a new house. It appears that he and Willis Salisbury were co-owners of land valued at $25, and a new house valued at $150.  In 1875, he had a horse valued at $20.  In 1876, he paid a $2 poll tax.  In 1877, he had two acres, a house, one horse and one cow. But in March of 1878, he sold his property.

Joseph and Lydia had four children together – Luvia, Nancy, Mary, and Joseph Henry.  Two more children have used last names Labor and Garey – William and Aaron.  In later records, William reverted to Labor, while Aaron stayed with Garey.  Records indicate that their father may be Thomas Garey.  At any rate, Joseph and Lydia were no longer together by 1880. Lydia and her children lived with her father in 1880, but I have not been able to find Joseph in that census.  No divorce papers have been located for Joseph and Lydia. 

The 1880 census for Helena MT does have a Joseph Labarre, born about 1835 in Canada, working as a laborer.   However, the name Joseph LaBarre is too common for me to believe that this is necessarily my ancestor.  There are a few more possible documents indicating Joseph’s whereabouts.  The 1883-1884 Gazetteer and Business Directory of Lamoille/Orleans Counties, Barton Village, VT lists Lafon, Joseph, laborer, h Main.  I haven’t been able to find any other references to the name “Lafon” so it is possible that this is a typesetting error and should be Labor.  I do know that the Joseph Labor, blacksmith in Burke, is not the same person. 

The next known documentation comes from town records in 1894, where Joseph and Frank were listed in the Barton property list.  They sold to AJ Wallard 3 1/2 acres lot 2, range 11, land and building, $225.  In 1894 Joseph owned the house on railroad land, Dist. 1, $150.  In 1895-1896, the Barton tax list has Labor, Joseph and Frank, 3 1/2 acre land and building, $225.  1897-1898 Barton tax list p 84 – Labor, Frank and Joseph, 3 1/2 acres, $225

At some point after 1878 and before 1897, Joseph married a woman named Anna.  Her name is mentioned on land records with Frank and Lizzie, and Joseph’s estate document says that they had no children together.  I have not been able to find a marriage or death record for Anna. 

The Orleans County Monitor, Barton VT Feb 13, 1899 published Joseph’s obituary:   Joseph Labor, father of Frank and Lewis Labor, died at the home of his son Frank, about one and one-half miles from this village on the road to South Barton, last Friday.  Mr. Labor was advanced in years and consequently was unable to stand a very hard illness, which accounts for his death after being sick but a short time.  The funeral was held at the house yesterday, Rev. Mr. Douglass officiating.

Joseph died 10 February at the large square house that he built with son Frank T Labor, next to Crystal Lake.  He was buried at Willoughby Cemetery in South Barton next to his infant grandson Joseph.


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