Effie Inez Chapman born 17 July 1894

Effie Inez Chapman was born 17 July 1894, in Meriden NH, the daughter of Darwin Newell Chapman and Cynthia Edna Picknell.  In 1900, the family lived in Newport.  Her father was a weaver in a woolen mill.  Effie had two older brothers – Morton and Morrill, and the three children attended school. 

Effie’s parents divorced, and Cynthia married John Emerton in 1908.  In the 1910 census, Effie was counted in the census with her mother and stepfather in Lebanon.  Effie’s occupation was housekeeper, at home.  Effie was also counted in the 1910 census with her father and his housekeeper in Plainfield. 

On 16 June, 1911, Effie had a son.  The Lebanon vital records did not list the son’s name, nor the father, but later records show he was known as Howard D West. 

On 1 July 1912, Effie married George Henry Laber, son of Frank T Labor and Lizzie LaClair.  This was the first marriage for both.  They were married in Thetford VT.  George had gone to the area to work in the mica mines when he was 18.  George discovered that she was being unfaithful and was pregnant with another man’s child, and he divorced her.  George married twice more, and died in 1944.

The index of vital records in the library at Plainfield lists Edna Irene Labor as the daughter of George and Effie.  However, the Plainfield Historical society published Plainfield Genealogies and that source says that Effie married Howard Emerton, and that they are the parents of Irene, who was adopted by Effie’s brother Merrill Chapman and his wife Viola. I have not been able to find a marriage record for Howard, nor original birth record for Irene.  I have not been able to find any other reference to Howard Emerton in vital records nor census records.  I do wonder, however, if Howard Emerton might also be the father of Effie’s first child who she named Howard.  I also wonder what relation Howard is to Effie’s step-father John Emerton.

On 15 September, 1914, in Plainfield, Effie married Elmer Earl West, son of Scott J West and Maude M Woodward. The marriage record lists her as Effie Labor (not Emerton) and says this is her second marriage, she is divorced. It is Earl’s first marriage.  In the 1920 census, Effie and Elmer and their two daughters were living with Effie’s father in Newport on River Road.  Elmer and Effie were weavers in a woolen mill.  Her son Howard was living with Chester and Edna Mason in Newport.  This was Edna’s second marriage, she was previously a Chapman.  I suspect that this is Effie’s mother Cynthia Edna and a third marriage for her.   Unfortunately, the marriage record for Chester Mason and Edna Chapman does not name her parents although they were born in Plainfield and Meriden, which is consistent with Cynthia’s family.  In addition, Edna’s occupation in 1920 is scrubwoman for private family, which is consistent with her occupation in 1910 where she was listed as a servant for a private family.

Besides the girls, Effie and Elmer had a son Gordan who died at age 2 days, and another son Earl.  Effie and Earl divorced, he remarried, and died in 1969.

On 19 May 1923, Effie married Wilfred Gonyea.  This was his first marriage.  He was of French-Canadian descent, and records vary as to whether he was born in Lebanon or in Canada.  Effie and Wilfred had a son Harold.  The 1927 Newport directory says Wilfred was a laborer, and they lived in Guild.  In 1930, the Gonyea family lived in Plainfield.  Wilfred was a stone mason.  Effie’s children Howard, Beatrice, and Erma are listed as his adopted children.  Effie divorced Wilfred.    I do not know his death date, but he was listed in the 1956 Newport directory as living at Ryder Corner.

On 6 February 1932, in Lebanon, Effie married George Edward Canfield.  He was born about 1883 in New York, son of Charles Canfield and Mary Walker.  He was divorced and this was his third marriage.  Effie claimed this as her third marriage as well, but it is at least her fourth, not counting Emerton.  I have no record of children for Effie and George.  He died in 1938 in Sunapee. 

On 3 August 1940, Effie married Walter John Arnold in Enfield.  He was born about 1880 in Haverhill NH, the son of Robert Arnold and Marilla Pike.  He was a farmer and his first wife Blanche died in 1939.

According to the Plainfield Genealogy records, Effie died 15 March, 1963, but they did not list a location.


  1. Daniel Patrick Brown said,

    March 26, 2012 at 11:58

    Thank you for this story. I was researching Erma West, who married Albert Camber, and this biography was very enlightening.

    • sooze471 said,

      May 10, 2012 at 09:47

      Have you seen the family in the 1940 census yet? Albert and Erma were living with her mother, Effie Canfield. George Canfield died in 1938, and Effie was a housekeeper for Walter Arnold, her next husband. When I write for my blog, my sources are usually census and vital records. So I can tell you where someone lived, but (usually) not what kind of person they were. I hope that Effie’s children thrived in spite of what must have been a somewhat unsettled upbringing.


  2. elwin west said,

    October 13, 2012 at 10:01

    effie arnold was living in sunapee nh when she died.

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