Martha E Josephine Cota died 23 June 1941

Martha Cota was born 6 October 1866, probably in Essex VT, although some records give her a birthplace of Canada.  Her parents were Henry Cota and Elizabeth LaClair.  Elizabeth Laclair was sometimes called Lizzie, which caused some confusion in sorting out family stories relating to Lizzie Laclair Labor.  They are not the same person, this Elizabeth is 30 years older, but I haven’t researched her family to see how far back I would have to go before I found them to be related.  Martha had seven brothers and sisters, and probably most or all were born in Vermont.

Martha’s sister Cora was born in 1869 in Essex, and sometime after she was born, Henry moved the family 100 miles northwest to the parish of Ste Cécile de Milton in Quebec.  Henry was a farmer, and the family members were listed as Henry Cóté 34, Félisité Coté 32, Elizabeth Coté 13, Mary Jane Coté 11, Wm Henry Coté 6, Martha Coté 4, and Cordélia Coté 1.  Milton Corner had been established by British colonists about 1825, but they were soon replaced by a tide of migrating French Canadians. Settlers arrived from neighboring parishes, and the States, and in 1864 they founded the municipality of Sainte-Cécile-de-Milton, which became the first Catholic parish in the Shefford county.  

Martha’s parents moved back to Vermont, and her brother George was born in 1872, sister Etta in 1875, both in Vermont, and Lilla in 1878 in Bartlett NH.  The family moved to Hartford VT and was counted there in 1880. 

At age 16, Martha married Charles H Nye on 18 January 1883 in Hanover NH. On the record, she stated that she was a residence of Hartford, and that she was 21 and he was 22. He was the son of Charles D Nye and Emma Laura Bishop and born in Norwich VT.   It was the first marriage for both.  According to the 1870 census, he was actually born in 1863, so was only 20.   

That marriage was short-lived, and at age 17, Martha (called Mattie in the record) married William John on 20 May 1884 in Concord NH.   He was 31, she claimed she was 19, both were residing in Concord, and this was the second marriage for both. He was a laborer, she did not list an occupation. The index card did not say whether the bride or groom were widowed or divorced. William was the son of Charles and Sophia John. This may be the same family as William St John, born in 1849, living in Granville VT in 1860, with parents Charles and Sophia St John.  If this is the same person, then he was actually 35 when he married Martha. 

I am not aware of any children born from either marriage. 

About 1893, Martha married Harrison Woodward.  His wife had died in October of 1893, leaving him with seven children, the youngest being Timothy who was only 3 when his mother died.  I have not yet found a marriage record, but they were probably married in Lebanon as that is where Harrison’s first wife died. 

The 1900 census shows the family in Lebanon.  Harrison and 18-year-old son Thomas were peddlers although the census doesn’t say what thet sold.  Martha kept house, and Tim was at school.  This census says that they were married seven years, and she had had no children.   

In 1910, the family was living on Mehan Flat in Lebanon.  Harrison was 73, and did not list an occupation.  Martha was 43 and working as a seamstress in an overall shop.  Also in the family was Etta Woodward.  Etta was Martha’s younger sister, and she had married Harrison’s son Leon, thus becoming Martha’s step-daughter-in-law as well.  Etta’s daughter Eva was in the household (Martha’s niece and step granddaughter).  Tim Woodard, Harrison’s youngest child, was the final family member. 

The 1920 census shows the family still on Mahan Street.  Family members include Harrison age 80, Martha age 53 and a stitcher in an overall shop, plus Mary Sloan (Martha’s older sister) and a boarder named Peter Rolly.  Next door to Martha is her sister Elizabeth with third husband Willis Nash.  The Nash household at 11 Mahan Street included Harrison’s son Tim, with his wife Lana (Labor) and their three children.  Coincidentally, Elizabeth and her first husband Nelson Brooks had a daughter Helen, who married Lana’s brother George Laber. 

Harrison died 12 December 1925, at age 85 in Lebanon from bronchitis and general arteriosclerosis. He was buried at Glenwood, in Lebanon. 

The 1930 census shows Martha living alone at the house on Mahan Flat.  The house was valued at $2000, and she owned a radio set.  She still worked as a stitcher in the overall factory.  It appears that she reported her age at first marriage as 18.  Her sister Elizabeth Tibbets, married for the fourth time and now divorced, lived a couple houses away.   

Martha died 23 Jun 1941 in Lebanon at the age of 74.  Cause of death was coronary thrombosis and arteriosclerosis.  Informant for the death certificate was her sister Etta (now Plastridge).  She was buried at Glenwood, in Lebanon.

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