Bertha Edith Labor d 1 May 1947

Bertha E Labor was born 10 April 1896 in Barton VT, sixth child of Lewis Labor and Viola Downing.  Lewis was listed as a laborer, born in Canada, with her mother born in Barton.   Bertha was counted in the 1900 census in Barton, with her parents, and older siblings:  Agnes, Arthur, Cora, and Arved.  The oldest sister, Mary, was living elsewhere.  By 1910, the family had moved to Burke. 

On 14 October 1911, Bertha married Wayne Humphrey, son of Ira and Abbie Humphrey.  They had two sons – Russell (1912-2001) and Edwin (1913-1991).   This marriage ended in divorce on 9 February 1916.

Bertha’s sister Lila had been married to Ellsworth Heath.  Lila died 21 May 1914, two weeks after the birth of her second child, and Bertha married Ellsworth on 22 July 1916. 

The 1920 census for Sutton VT shows a blended family that includes Ellsworth 48, Bertha 22, Wilder 9, Viola 5 (children of Ellsworth and Lila), plus Kenneth Heath (child of Bertha and Ellsworth,) plus Russell and Edwin Humphrey (Bertha’s sons from her first marriage.) 

Ellsworth died 10 Jun 1921. 

Bertha married 26 May 1923 in Irasburg to William Joseph Tulip.  He had been previously married to Gertrude Huntoon, who died in 1922, and had four children with her.  Bertha and William eventually had seven children, three of whom died as infants or toddlers.  The family was counted in the 1930 census in Lyndon VT, and included Viola Tulip (from William’s first marriage, plus Louise, and the twins, Lawrence and (still living) Tulip. 

William died 12 September 1935 in Waterford VT.  In 1940, Bertha was living with her four youngest children in Irasburg, VT, and had no occupation listed.

Bertha Edith Labor Humphrey Heath Tulip died 1 May 1947 at St. Johnsbury, VT, and is buried at Willoughby, in South Barton.  Cause of death was myocarditis, chronic decompensation of three years and terminal hypostatic pneumonia of 22 hours duration.  She was 51.

The 1930 census for Lewis and Viola Labor lists a George Heath who is labeled as “son” of Lewis, plus five children labeled as grandchildren of Lewis:  Grace 20, Matie? 16, Carl 10, Maurice 8, and Pearl 7.  I had originally thought that if they were Lewis’ grandchildren, then they were children of Ellsworth Heath and Lila or Bertha, but I cannot find any birth records for any of the children.  I cannot find them in the 1920 census.  I thought that George might be Ellsworth’s brother, but I cannot make that link.  I know that Ellsworth’s sister Ella’s daughter was “adopted” by Lewis and Viola, so apparently there were close connections to the Heath family, but I just have not yet figured out who this family is. 

Did anyone keep score?  It appears that Bertha had two Humphrey children, one Heath child, plus two Heath step-children who were also her niece and nephew, and seven Tulip children of her own, plus four Tulip step-children.  That’s 16 children to raise during the Great Depression.

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