William Walter Labor d 7 April 1940

William Walter Labor was born 19 October, 1879 in Lyndonville, VT.  This is where I normally say “son of” but in this case I’m not sure.  It is accepted that his mother was Lydia Ann Degoosh.  But who was his father – Joseph Labor or Thomas Garey? 

The first probable record I have for this person is the 1880 census in Barton, VT.  In 1880, Lydia was living with her father and children, who are named Loula, (Luvia) Nancy, Mary, Joseph, and Gerry.  The first four names match the children we know as those of Joseph and Lydia.  The census lists November as this baby Gerry’s birth month.  This corresponds pretty well with the birth date found on William’s death certificate.  

William’s mother married William Paul, and the family was counted in the 1891 Canada in Compton.  Willie and Aaron were listed with last name Paul.

In the 1900 census, Lydia is with her final husband, William Paul.  Son William is listed as William W Geery, father born Vermont (Joseph wasn’t but Thomas Garey was) and mother born in Canada Fr (Lydia was).   Another son, Aaron Geery, is also in the family. 

On 11 September 1907, William Walter Labor married Adelaide Mary Bowden, in Providence RI.   He reported his parents to be Joseph and Lydia (no last names.)  From this record on, William uses the surname Labor.

When Aaron Garey was married in 1909, he listed his parents as Thomas Garey and Lydia DeGooch.  His age was listed as 28 in 1909, which means born about 1880 – but if he is the “Gerry” in the 1880 census, then where was William, who should be a year older?  I don’t have the birth records for either Aaron or William.  Aaron’s WW1 registration card lists his birth year as 1881, but sometimes those are a year off.

In 1910, William’s family was counted in the census in Barton VT.  The family included his wife, first child, his mother Lydia and step-father William Paul, Lydia’s brother Thomas and her father Joseph.  They lived on Maple street.  William was a laborer in a mill. 

Lydia died in 1914.  Her obituary says that she was married three times, and while the story didn’t name them, they would presumably be Joseph Labor, Thomas Garey, and William Paul.

By 1917, William’s family was living in Brownington, and he registered for the draft.  He was a mill hand, employed by Pike Manufacturing Company.  Pike Manufacturing made grinding stones and whetstones.  If you own a grindstone, whetstone, or scythe-stone with the brand name of Lamoille, Black Diamond, Willoughby Lake, or Green Mountain, it may be an item created by cousin William. The draft registration card reports that he was short and slender with gray eyes and brown hair. 

I was not able to locate the family in the 1920 census, but have children recorded as born in Brownington in 1920, so I suspect that they were in the area.  William and Adelaide eventually had 12 children.   Most lived to be adults.  A daughter, Muriel, died at birth.  A son, William Walter, was born in 1920, but is not with the family in the 1930 census, so may also have died young.   

The 1930 census shows the family living in Brownington. It includes the eight youngest children.  At this time, William’s occupation was night laborer in a whetstone factory.   

William died 7 April 1940 in Evansville VT, and is buried at Lakeview Cemetery in Westmore.  His death record lists his father as Joseph Labor.  He died of a ruptured aneurism of the innominate artery. This artery supplies blood from the heart to the right arm, neck, and head.

Technically, the 1940 census was taken on 1 April 1940, and William should have been counted.  However, Adelaide and the children were counted on 12 April, on Barton Mountain Street in Brownington, and she was listed as a widow.

So was his father really Joseph Labor or Thomas Garey?  Lacking a birth record, probably a DNA test would give the answer.  But William used the name Labor for the last two thirds of his life.   And so I’ll leave him recorded as such, pending the discovery of information to the contrary.



  1. mroyer04 said,

    April 15, 2016 at 21:22

    My Grammy is Bevery C Labor (William and Adelaide’s youngest daughter). She’s the last child left and resides in Newport. She was born in 1930 and I remember her telling me her father died when she was only 10.

    • mroyer04 said,

      April 15, 2016 at 21:23

      Correction her brother lives in Florida, I forgot about him! Oops!

  2. sooze471 said,

    April 16, 2016 at 09:39

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post and comment. It is always nice to meet new cousins.

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