Laura Alice West died 19 October 1964

Laura West was born 18 November 1865 in Morristown, Kings County, Nova Scotia, the second of two children of William Henry West and Abigail Vroom.  William’s parents were from England.  Abigail’s parents were descendants of Dutch Loyalists from New Jersey and New York. 

The 1871 census lists the Wests in Aylesford South, which included the small towns such as Morristown, near Berwick.  The family was Baptist, and William was a farmer.  The family included Laura’s older sister Charlotte, who was listed as a student, Rachel (William’s sister) and John, William’s father. 

The family in 1881 was still in the Morristown area.  William was still farming.   Charlotte was 18 and a music teacher.  Laura was 15, and her aunt Rachel was still living with them.  Another family member was John Christianson, age 13, listed as adopted son.  John was part of a group that became to be known as English Home Children.  They were orphans, or were in some way in need of care or supervision, and authorities had determined that their parents, if still living, were not able to care for them.  These children were shipped to Canada, and adopted, formally or not.  To read John’s story, go to  http://longagofamily.wordpress.com/naylor/john-christianson/

Laura married George Henry Vroom on 16 December 1884 at the Baptist Church in Aylesford.  He was listed as a bachelor yeoman, born and living in Wilmot.  Laura was listed as Lavinia (but the correct parents are listed for both).  George was the son of Cornelius Hennigar Vroom and Havilah Jane Pearce.  Laura and George were first cousins, once removed. 

The family was listed in the 1891 census in Middleton, just over the county line into Annapolis County.  George was a farmer.  George’s father had died in 1887, and his mother Jane lived with them.  Laura’s son Fred was one year old.  Sadly, he drowned at the age of eight, in 1898.  He was their only child. 

The 1901 census lists Laura living in Middleton, with her husband George, farmer, and Havilah her mother-in-law.  George’s mother died in 1904, and Laura and George still lived in Middleton in 1911.  George was a farmer and fruit merchant.  Also in the family was Laura Palmer, daughter of Laura’s sister Charlotte Vroom Palmer.  George became the president of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association, and dominion government fruit inspector in Nova Scotia. 

In 1911, Laura’s father died of stomach cancer.  Laura’s mother came to live with her, and she died at Laura’s home in 1926.  Wests are buried at Pine Grove in Middleton.  George died in 1943 in Middleton.  Laura died 19 October 1964, just one month short of her 99th birthday.  She was buried with her family at Pine Grove. 

Halifax Herald 20 Nov 1964                 MRS. LAURA A VROOM MIDDLETON –

Funeral services were held here recently for this town’s oldest citizen, Mrs. Laura A. Vroom, widow of George Henry Vroom. She was born in 1865 at Morristown, daughter of the late William H. and Abigail Vroom West. She was known in the town as a skillful seamstress. She came to Middleton as a bride in 1884. Her only child was drowned in 1898 at the age of eight years. Her husband predeceased her in 1943. During her younger years, she took part in church and missionary work and community projects. When failing health prevented her from attending church, she listened to services on the radio broadcasts. During World War I and II she was active in Red Cross work, and took an active part in Red Cross activities well into her nineties. In 1954 she received a badge and certificate of merit from the Provincial Red Cross Society. Burial was in the family lot, Pine Grove Cemetery.

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