16 January 2021

Ida Dixon and Stephen Bruggy

What I Know So Far...

As I've been moving files and adding data into my new genealogy software, it seemed like a good idea to take time to summarize some of the research I have to date on various individuals and families. This will hopefully clarify those branches that require more research, and those that I can set aside, as least for now. If I come across more information, or decide to do further research, I'll update this page.

I'm starting this series with Ida Francis Dixon and her husband, Stephen Bruggy. Sources are noted in parentheses, with the citations at the end of the page. I have created tables for those facts with conflicting data to, hopefully, make sense of things. There is also a timeline in table form at the end of the narrative, with sources for each event listed. 

If you have any information about this family that you would like to share, please let me know. Of course, photographs are always welcome!

Ida Francis Dixon was the daughter of John Dixon and Isabella Porter. (2,3,16) Information in the currently available records vary as to the date of her birth, which may have been June 1864 (5) or 1865 (19); 1866 (2, 3, 16); or 1867 (6). 1875 (7) seems unlikely. Most of these sources agree that she was born in New Jersey, and her marriage certificate states specifically that she was born in Elizabeth, which seems likely, as her parents lived there from the time of their marriage until their deaths.

Birth Date

Stated or Calculated

Birth Place

Document Date





June 1870

US Census




7 Jun 1880

US Census



Elizabethport, NJ

31 Mar 1889

Marriage Certificate

June 1864



4 June 1900

US Census

June 1865



10 June 1905

New Jersey State Census




29 Apr 1910

US Census




8 Jan 1920

US Census

Stephen Bruggy was the son of Patrick Bruggy and Eliza Grady.(16) He was likely born in Ireland in July of 1866 or 1867.(19,5,16) I disallow the information in the 1920 US Census in regards to birth information for both he and Ida, as the calculations seem to be off for both of them. Likewise, the 1930 census, when he was boarding with a woman in Texas, and there is no way of knowing who the informant was.

In the year prior to his marriage to Ida, it appears that Stephen enlisted in the U.S. Army. His enlistment date is recorded as October 29, 1888. According to that same record, he deserted the following day.(1)

Birth Date

Stated or Calculated

Birth Place

Document Date


July 1866



10 June1905

New Jersey State Census



Elizabethport, NJ

31 Mar 1889

Marriage Certificate

July 1867



4 June1900

US Census




29 Apr 1920

US Census




10 Apr 1930

US Census

Marriage Return for
Stephen Bruggy and Ida Dixon, March 31, 1889.(16)

Stephen and Ida were married on 31 March 1889 in Elizabeth, New Jersey by the pastor of East Baptist Church. Witnesses were Mr. & Mrs. W. A. Dixon [William A. Dixon, the bride’s brother, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth (Klein) Dixon].

At the time of their marriage, Stephen, age 22, a boiler maker, was living at 222 Bond Street, Elizabethport. Ida, age 23, was living with her parents at 107 Elizabeth Avenue. It was a first marriage for both of them. (16,20,5,6,7)

Family Events

Stephen and Ida’s first child, Lawrence, was born in December 1889, 9 months after they married. (19,17,5,23) Their second child, John, was born in January 1894 (5,19,6,7), and their daughter, Mildred Amelia was born on September 25, 1898. (18,19,22,5,6,7,8)

In 1919, daughter Mildred, about 21 years old, is listed among the participants in the Mary Pickford look-alike contest being held at the Broad Street Theater during “Pickford Week.” Mary Pickford was starring in “The Hoodlum.” There is no indication that I could find that a list  of winners were printed in the newspaper. (12) [I have written a blog post about this event.]

At some point before 1920, Stephen and his sons are working in a second-hand store. In the 1920 census Stephen is listed as “proprietor” and the boys as “handymen.” (7) It is possible that this is the second-hand/antique furniture store that Ida’s father, John Dixon, owned.

1920 appears to be the last year that the family is together. By 1921, Stephen is found in the Galveston, Texas city directory. (15) It is unclear what happened to cause his move, but in 1924 Ida is listed as “widow of Stephen” in the Elizabeth directory.(24)

Sometime around 1924, younger son John marries. By 1930 he is living in Linden with his wife and their first two children.(25)

In 1930, Ida is living with Mildred and her husband, William Hance, at their home in Elizabeth. Her marital status in the census is first marked “widow,” but that is crossed out and replace with “married.”(8)

Meanwhile, Stephen is still living in Galveston, Texas in 1930, at the same address he is listed at in 1921. This is the home of Minnie Butterawe, a widow. Stephen was a boarder there.(9)

In 1932, Stephen is admitted to St. Mary’s Infirmary in Galveston. He dies there of pneumonia on October 1. The death certificate indicates also that he was “insane.” He is buried in the Paupers’ Field, Oleander Cemetery. There is no indication that his family is notified of his death, or that they learned what had happened to him. He had been gone from Elizabeth for eleven years.(20)

At this time, January 2021, I do not have a date of death for Ida.

Timeline of Family Events






March 31

Stephen and Ida marry.



Dec 15

Lawrence Bruggy born, Elizabeth, NJ

19, 17, 5, 23



John Bruggy born, Elizabeth, NJ

5, 19, 6, 7


Sept 25

Mildred Amelia Bruggy born, Elizabeth, NJ

18, 19, 22, 5, 6, 7, 8


Sept 25

Mildred participates in Mary Pickford look-alike contest at the Broad Street Theater.



Jan 8

Stephen and his sons are working in a second hand store; Stephen is listed as propriety, the boys are handymen. It is possible that this is the antique/used furniture store owned by Ida’s father, John Dixon.



Stephen is living in Galveston, Texas, where he is boarding in the home of Minnie Butterawe



Ida and her two sons are living at 1085 Elizabeth Ave. She is listed in the city directory as “widow of Stephen”



Sometime around 1924 John Bruggy marries



Apr 12

Ida is living with her daughter, Mildred and her husband, William Hance; 1082 Anna St. Elizabeth, NJ. Ida’s marital status is first marked “Widow” but is crossed out, and “married” is written in its place.



Stephen is still living at the same address in Galveston, working as a laborer doing roofing.



Oct 1

Stephen dies at St. Mary’s Infirmary in Galveston. Cause of death is listed as pneumonia/insane. He is buried in the Pauper’s Field/Oleander Cemetery.


Further Research

As soon as the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, I will request a search for Ida's death certificate. 

Unless something comes up requiring further research into this family group, I think I'll consider this family group done for now. If any additional material comes my way, I'll update this page.


  1. "U.S., Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 [database on-line]", digital image, The National Archives (http://www.ancestry.com), page 109, 1888 enlistments. 670, 2. Bruggy, Stephen, Enlisted 1888, Oct 29, New York City.

  2. 1870 U.S. census, population schedule, New Jersey, Union, “1870 United States Federal Census” [database on-line] ; Elizabeth Ward 1; Page No. 7. John, Isabella, William, Ida, Larra, and John Dixon..; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll M593_890; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com). 

  3. 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, New Jersey, Elizabeth, 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Page: 40C; Enumeration District: 164. Original data: Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. Page No. 23, Lines 49-50, John and Isibela Dixon; Page No. 24, Lines 1-8, children: William, Ida, Laura, John, Mary, Lillia, Maybell, and Maud..; NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 

  4. 1885 census of New Jersey, New Jersey State Archive; Trenton, New Jersey, United States; State census of New Jersey, 1885; Film Number: 42. Union County, First Ward, Elizabeth, page 52. John, Isabella, Ida, Laura, Jakob, Mary, Lillie, Mabel, Maud, Alfred Dixon; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com). 

  5. 1900 U.S. census, population schedule, New Jersey, Elizabeth, Sheet No. 8 A; Precinct 1, Elizabeth, New Jersey, 4th Ward. SD 4, ED 99. Lines 42-47, dwelling 111, household 155, Stephen Bruggy..; NARA microfilm publication T623, roll FHL microfilm: 1240996; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com). 

  6. 1910 U.S. census, population schedule, New Jersey, Union, Elizabeth Ward 9, Union, New Jersey; Roll: T624_910; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 0074; FHL microfilm: 1374923. Ida Bruggy, son John, and daughter, Mildred..; NARA microfilm publication T624, roll T624_909; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com). 

  7. 1920 U.S. census, population schedule, New Jersey, Union, 9th Ward, Elizabeth; SD 5th NJ; ED 93; Sheet 7A. Lines 2-7; Bruggy– Stephen, Ida, Mildred, Lawrence, John.; NARA microfilm publication T625, roll T625_1069; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com). 

  8. 1930 U.S. census, population schedule, New Jersey, Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey; Page: 19A; Enumeration District: 0075; FHL microfilm: 2341122. 

  9. 1930 U.S. census, population schedule, Texas, Galveston, page 10 A; ED 0015. Bruggy, Stephen, age 58, born New Jersey.; NARA microfilm publication T626, roll FHL microfilm: 2342068; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com). [Source citation includes media item(s)] 

  10. Cook & Hall's Elizabeth City Directory for 1883-84, Cook & Hall (1883), Page 87. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com). 

  11. Cook & Hall's Elizabeth City Directory for 1888-9, Cook & Hall (1888), Page 104. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com). 

  12. Elizabeth Daily Journal, Elizabeth, New Jersey, online images (http://www.elizpl.org/ LocalHistoryResources.html).
    Bruggy, Mildred; 25 Sep 1919 in Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, USA; Competes in Mary Pickford look-alike contest at movie theatre. 

  13. Elizabeth Daily Journal, Elizabeth, New Jersey (print edition). 24 May 1927, Evening Edition, p. 10, col. 3. William Dixon...born in Elizabeth, son of the late John and Isobelle Dixon; lists surviving siblings and children. 

  14. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave, digital images (https:// www.findagrave.com), Find a Grave Memorial No. 78330163, citing Ocean County Memorial Park, Toms River, Ocean County, New Jersey, USA. Lawrence S Bruggy (15 Dec 1889-26 Sep 1969).

  15. Galveston City Directory 1921, Morrison & Fourmy Directory Co., Inc. Publishers R.L. Polk & Co., Compilers (1921), Page 183. Bruggy Stephen L.; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com).

  16. New Jersey Vital Records, Marriage Records; [Stephen Bruggy, 1889] New Jersey Vital Records, May 1, 1848 to December 31, 1915. NJSA microfilm roll 64. Stephen L Bruggy and Ida Francis Dixon, 31 March 1889.; New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, New Jersey.

  17. "New Jersey, U.S., Births and Christening Index, 1660-1931 [database on-line]", database, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com), FHL Film Number 494215. Lorenz Bruggy, b. 15 Dec 1889; parents Stephan Bruggy, Ida F Dixon. 

  18. "New Jersey, U.S., Births and Christening Index, 1660-1931 [database on-line]", database, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com), FHL Film Number 494242. Mildred Bruggy, b. 25 Sep 1898, parents Stephen Bruggy, Ida Dixon.

  19. State Census of New Jersey, 1905 [database on-line] (Lehi, UT, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2017), New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, New Jersey, Reference Number: L-15; Film Number: 40; Sheet 13 B; Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey. Stephen Bruggy, Ada [Ida], Lawrence, John, and Mildred.

  20. Texas, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Certificates, Registrar’s No. 695; Galveston; #42234. Steven Bruggy, born New Jersey; wife Ida, died 1 Oct 1932.; Ancestry.com, Lehi, Utah.
[Source citation includes media item(s)]

  21. "New Jersey, U.S., Death Index, 1901-2017 [database on-line]", database, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), Mildred A Hance, d. 3 Dec 1993.

  22. "U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]", database, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), Mildred Amelia Hance; Mildred Amelia Bruggy; b. 25 Sep 1898, d. 3 Dec 1993. Bruggy, Mildred 

  23. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. "U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 [database on-line]", database, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), Laurence Bruggy, b. 15 Dec 1889, d. 25 Sep 1969.

08 January 2021


 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks : Week 1 - Beginnings

Just start at the very beginning
That's a very good place to start...

This year, 2021, I'm participating in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks genealogy challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Hopefully, this will not only jump-start my research, but will also help me write up some of the research I've already done. Here goes...

"Beginnings" is a broad topic when it comes to genealogy. Every birth, wedding, or event signals the start of something. So rather than focus on one of my ancestors' beginnings, I thought I'd write a bit about my beginnings as a genealogist. Because, really, that is the crux of this proverbial biscuit that I call "Rooted in Elizabeth."

For this story, we need to go back to the 1970's, I think, and a reconnection of sorts between my grandfather, Wally Dixon, and some of his 1st cousins, once removed, on his mother's side of the family. Wally's mother, Mary Elizabeth (Klein) Dixon, had a sister named Ida (1868-1935) who married a man named Herbert Decker. Their grandchildren by their son, Daniel, are the cousins I'm writing about.

Younger than my grandfather by about 25-30 years, the siblings would have been children at a time when my grandparents had started their family and had children of their own. By their own account, the Decker children did not have an easy early life, but that is not my story to tell. My story starts, as I said, in the late 1970's when the Decker siblings reconnected with my grandparents, an event that, I know, pleased my grandparents greatly, and I hope was a happy reunion for the Deckers. I didn't see the Deckers often, but I recall them as good-humored and kind. They were certainly very kind to my grandparents and my mother.

Joanie, who I believe was the only sister among the six siblings, had an interest in genealogy and family history. My grandfather was pleased to share what he knew about the family with her, and Joan, in turn was pleased to share some of her research with me when I expressed an interest. Her family group sheets were the foundation of the very beginnings of my family history research when I finally decided to dive in to genealogy.

So Joanie planted the seed which, admittedly, took a very long time to germinate. I finished high school, headed out to Missouri for college, moved to Virginia, married, divorced, married again, and settled into everyday life, as one does. My grandfather died in 1984, but the Deckers stuck by my grandmother, and my mother too, when she moved in to help look after Gran. And when my grandmother died in 1996, the Deckers were still there. My gratitude, though no doubt poorly expressed at the time, is eternal.

In around the year 2000, my mother, her dog and 9 cats, moved to Virginia to live near us. As we were packing up for the move, we naturally came across boxes of old photos and some of the information Joanie had given to my grandfather. They got packed in a box, like everything else in the house. Sadly, my mother and her menagerie didn't get enjoy life here in the mountains for very long. She passed away in 2002.

I inherited the boxes. Also the cats and the dog - but that's a story for another time.

When I finally had the gumption to start sorting things out, I came across the boxes of photos, the scrapbooks, and all of the ephemera that had accumulated through the past two generations. Of course, the normal reaction, which I'm sure some of you reading this have had when finding yourself in a similar situation, was "what do I do with all this stuff?!?"

For me the question was more "Who are all these people?" There were so many unfamiliar faces among those photos, and for me, first and always, it's about the photos.

So, here is how it all started, in roughly this order:
  • I need to do something with these photos.
  • If I sort them by date, maybe I can figure out who these people are.
  • But I can't figure that out unless I know who the possible candidates might be.
  • I need to make a family tree, and look! Joanie already started one!
And that, my friends, was the beginning. The beginning of my very happy journey down the genealogy rabbit hole. The beginning of my new career as a personal photo manager. The start of what I know will be a life-long passion to tell the story of my family and continue to learn about those people in those photographs.
A handwritten note from cousin Joanie, found in the papers of Wallace B. Dixon.
John George Klein was his grandfather.
Now, if I could just find the source for that 1862 citizenship...

03 January 2021

Pickford Week!


If You Think You Resemble Mary Pickford Don't Hesitate --Enter the Contest Now

 It's odd how random bits of information about ancestors comes to you. 

I was working on the family of Ida Dixon and Stephen Bruggy, just going through the material I had and adding it to the new software when I came across Stephen's death certificate. I'll write more about that in another post. But the certificate raised some questions and I thought I'd just have a quick look in the Elizabeth Daily Journal through the Elizabeth Public Library's website.

So I ran a search on "Bruggy" for the years I was interested in. I got a lot of hits for Frank Bruggy, who was an athlete of some note, and nothing at all for Stephen. (I didn't stop to find out if Frank and Stephen are related in some way.)

But then the name of Ida and Stephen's daughter, Mildred Amelia, popped up in a result, and while I know you're not supposed to get distracted by the bright shiny objects, I followed this one down a delightful little rabbit hole that led to some fun bits of information, and an hour or so of silent film viewing. 

In this clipping from the Journal on September 22, 1909 we see that the Broad Street Theater is having "Pickford Week" featuring two films, The Hoodlum, starring Mary Pickford, and Burglar By Proxy, starring her brother, Jack Pickford.

But, more important to our glimpse into family history, the theater was also promoting a Mary Pickford look-alike contest. And what young woman wouldn't want to have her resemblence to Mary Pickford, the attractive young star of stage and screen, recognized? 

Miss Mildred Bruggy - a Mary Pickford Look-Alike?

To be clear, I have no idea what Mildred Amelia Bruggy (b. September 1898) looked like.  I've never seen a photograph of her, or anyone in her immediate family. I suppose the main point is that she thought she looked like Mary Pickford, and the manager at the Broad Street theater thought the resemblance was sufficient to allow her to appear on the theater stage in the competition.

I wonder if she did her hair up in Pickford-style curls? 
As you can see from the photo on the left, Pickford was a beauty. She was also a great talent, an astute business woman, and a philanthropist. I've included some links below if you'd like to know more about this cinema pioneer.
The manager of the Broad selected eleven young ladies to go on stage to be compared to the star of the show. According to the article that appeared toward the end of Pickford Week, the film program and the contest were a great success. Unfortunately, try as I might, I never did find out who won the contest!

The Hoodlum

The feature film for "Pickford Week" was the second made by Mary's production own company. In January 1919 Mary, Douglas Fairbanks, Chalie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith joined together to form United Artists Corporation, and Mary formed The Mary Pickford Company, producing films to be exclusively distributed through Unite Artists.

The Hoodlum is the story of a spoiled rich girl who ends up living in the slums of New York City, and learns to get along with the various residents, and, naturally, finds love. It is a charming film, which I watched without the musical accompanyment that theater goers would have enjoyed. Miss Pickford was a great actress, and I think, a comic genius. You can view the film here, but be advised that it is a silent film. 



Learn More About Mary Pickford

 Schmidt, Christel. "Mary Pickford." In Jane Gaines, Radha Vatsal, and Monica Dall’Asta, eds.  Women Film Pioneers Project. New York, NY: Columbia University Libraries, 2013.  <https://doi.org/10.7916/d8-nkzz-e525>.

Mary Pickford Foundation, https://marypickford.org.

Wikipedia contributors, "Mary Pickford,"  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mary_Pickford&oldid=995549713(accessed 22 December 2020).

Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Mary Pickford." Published 25 May 2020. <https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mary-Pickford>, accessed 22 December 2020.


Images on this page:

Pickford Week advertisement, Elizabeth (New Jersey) Daily Journal, 22 September 1919. Elizabeth Daily Journal Archive, images on-line; Elizabeth (New Jersey) Public Library. Downloaded 21 December 2020.

"Pickford Week Scores," Elizabeth (New Jersey) Daily Journal, 25 September 1919. Elizabeth Daily Journal Archive, images on-line; Elizabeth (New Jersey) Public Library. Downloaded 21 December 2020.

Mary Pickford Portrait; Wikimedia Commons contributors, "File:Mary Pickford cph.3c17995u.jpg," Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Mary_Pickford_cph.3c17995u.jpg&oldid=518451029 (accessed 22 December 2020).

 First National Pictures, advertisement for the film The Hoodlum (1919); 30 August 1919, page 25.  Exhibitor's Herald, June - September 1919 on the Internet Archive; https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Hoodlum_(1919)_-_9.jpg; viewed 22 December 2020.




01 January 2021

Family Legends

 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 2 - Family Legends

This year, 2021, I'm participating in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks genealogy challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Hopefully, this will not only jump-start my research, but will also help me write up some of the research I've already done. Here goes...

Honestly, I'm stumped on this topic. I haven't researched any new family legends, mainly because we just don't have that many. That I know of, anyway. Neither my mother's family (Dixon) or my father's (Traina) were big talkers about their past.

I guess what happens in Elizabeth, stays in Elizabeth.

I sort of feel like I'm underachieving here, but I've got enough current research that needs writing up, so I don't feel like I need to go looking for new stories just now.

Anyway, I've already written about all the legends I can think of, so I'll link back to those here in case you missed them the first time. Also, I've added a short list of stories that I've uncovered that should have been family legends, but weren't. Granted, two of those aren't from my direct line, but hey, cousins count, right?

First, a recap on the family legends I've already covered:

Wallace B. Dixon: Name Changer, pt. 1

Wallace B. Dixon : Name Changer, pt. 2

Here are some stories that should have been family legends, but were never spoken of, as far as I recall:

Captain Kid's Treasures (not my direct line)

Asa Dixon, "Rogue or Angel?" contest winner (also, not my direct line)
Do you know any family legends? Feel free to share in the comments!

Happy New Year!

Lets Make 2021 a Better Year.

No pressure, kid. It's a pretty low bar.

Old photo of a baby wearing a bonnet.
I'm told that this is my father, Frank Joseph Traina.
He was born on June 14, 1925, in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

I like to start each year here on the blog with a baby photo from my collection. It's out with the old and in with the new! 

Wishing everyone a happy, HEALTHY, and prosperous New Year.

With warm regards,


28 December 2020

54 Marshall Street : Won't You Be My Neighbor?

I started writing this post back in May of 2016 while I was searching for the family of William and Mary E. (Klein) Dixon in the 1910 census. If you'd like to read those previous posts, you'll find them here:

54 Marshall Street
54 Marshall Street : A Room With a View?

Since then, I've found more information about the Dixon family during that time period. They moved quite often. This post is, primarily, a look at the residents of one block of Marshall Street in 1910. 

But first, a word about the census...

The block that my great-grandparents lived on in 1910 was visited twice by the Enumerator. The visits were a week apart. (1) I was surprised to see that he missed so many families on his first pass down the block. Equally surprising is the fact that he missed the Dixon household twice! This brings their residence in 1910 into some question, but the City Directory for both 1909 and 1911 list William A. Dixon at that address. In any case, here's a little glimpse into what I believe was their neighborhood in 1910.

These are the people in your neighborhood

The neighborhood that William A. and Mary E. (Klein) Dixon lived in around 1910 was full of immigrants, with a minority population of adults who's American roots went back farther than one generation. Most of the children in the neighborhood had been born in New Jersey or New York. Nationalities represented were: Italian, German, Irish, Austrian Jews, English, Scottish, and Swedish.

None of the adult women worked outside the home. Two were partners in running a boarding house within their residence. One of the young women on the block worked as a milliner in a department store, one worked in a shirt factory. There was a daughter who worked as a laundress in another household, and one young woman who was a live-in cook with a family on the block.

Most of the men worked in local industry. We find laborers, toolmakers, and machinists. Several of the men work at the Singer Sewing Machine Factory. We find a fireman at a steelworks and a fireman with the fire department. One, I suspect, was responsible for keeping the fires going, and the other for putting the fires out. A few career standouts were the undertaker's coachman, the trolley car conductor, the chemist, and a liquor salesman. A few of the men were self employed or owned their own businesses. In this category, we find an oyster dealer, the owner of a drygoods store, and a man who runs an express company.

Door to door

This next bit is kind of long, so I won't be offended if you decide not to read it. I wanted to really dig in and study the neighbors, so I'm including a brief sketch of the families on the block. 

There is a nice surprise down the page a bit. Scroll down and you'll find it.

In the 1903 Sanborn Map, the building on the corner, 50 Marshall Street, is designated as a saloon. In 1918 it is classified as a store. In the 1910 US Census, it appears that there are a number of single men living there as boarders. One of the men is a William Dixon! He is an oysterman, aged 46 and a widow. He was born in New Jersey, his father from Ireland and his mother from England. He is also nominally listed as the head of the household/boarder. I haven't yet looked for a connection with my Dixons.

Also living at number 50 are: James Kent, hotel janitor; John Kent, roofer; Terence Walsh, longshoreman; John T. Boyle, house painter.

Number 52 was a dwelling in 1903, and a store in 1918. No residents are listed on the population schedule at that address in 1910, so perhaps it had been converted to a store by then.

We've seen that the Dixon and the Marchesi families lived at number 54. Mr. Marchesi and his two oldest sons worked at the Singer Sewing Machine factory. Mr. Marchesi is listed as a laborer. Harry, age 17, was a tool maker. Albert, 15, worked as an office boy. [Sheet 11B to the Phillips family]

56 Marshall is not on the census page. Neither Sanborn map shows a dwelling at that address although there are structures on the lot.

Charles Mayer, his wife, Cecilia, and their son, Charles lived at number 58. The Mayers owned their home. Charles and Cecilia had both been born in Germany. Charles had immigrated in 1854. Cecilia had come over to America in 1872. Charles was an "Expressman" and was self-employed. Their 29 year old, American-born, son worked as a driver for an express company, possibly his father's.

Number 66 held two flats, both with young families. Thomas Curley, 30, and his wife, Mary, 26, had both been born in Ireland. They had immigrated to America in 1904 and 1903, respectively. Mr. Curley worked as a fireman at the steelworks. Their son, John, had been born in New Jersey and was just one year old at the time of the census.

The second flat was occupied by the Middlestead family. Frank Middlestead was 33 years old, had been born in Germany, and immigrated in 1885. His wife, Minnie, was a New Jersey native, daughter of parents who were also born in New Jersey. Minnie was 23. The couple had a two year old son, Milford. The newest addition to the family was Edger, who was just six months old.

Further down the street at Number 68 we find two Yiddish families with roots in Austria. Mr. Beck worked as a presser in a tailor's shop, while Mr. Borkan was a retail merchant who owned a dry goods store. Both families had children who were born in New York.

Number 74 was owned by Maria Anderson, age 51. She lists herself as single. Her cousin, Annie Grant, and her mother, Cheria Keith, also lived there. Maria ran a boarding house in her home, and Annie was her partner. Six men lived there ranging in age from 24 to 39 years old. Five were single.  All but one had been born in Ireland, as had Maria and her family members. The fifth man had been born in New York. Four of the men were machinists, one was a moulder at Singers, and one was a coachman for an undertaker.

Charles Linn owned the two-flat building at 72 Marshall. He and his wife, both in their 60's occupied one flat with three of their adult children, Mary, William, and Clarence. Mr. and Mrs. Lynn were New Jersey natives, though their parents had been born in Germany. Mr. Linn was a driller at Singer. His daughter, Marie, was an operator in a shirt factory, William was a trolley car conductor, and Clarence was a "filler" at an oil company.

The second flat was occupied by the Linn's son, Charles J. and his family. The five children ranged in age from five to fourteen years old. All were born in New Jersey. Charles's wife, Margaret was also born in New Jersey, but her father came from Pennsylvania and her mother was from Virginia. Charles J. was a fireman with the fire department.

Moving on down the block we come to number 80. It was a two story dwelling that housed two families. The first was the family of Dayton and Ida Van Pelt. Dayton and his family were from New York, while Ida and her family were from New Jersey. Dayton was an oyster dealer, and had his own business. The couple had four children between the ages of nine and eighteen.


I had a big surprise when I was looking at the second family that lived at number 80. David Lissenden, a carpenter at the ship yard, lived there with his wife, Gertrude, and their children. The Lissenden name seemed familiar so I checked a family group sheet given to me by a relative. Sure enough Gertrude Kelin, my great-grandmother's sister, had married David Lissenden. The name was unusual enough that I was pretty sure this was "my" great-grand-aunt Gertrude, but the census record confirmed it. Gertrude, 29 years old, was born in New Jersey. Her father was born in Germany and her mother was born in Ohio. This aligns with the information I have about Gertrude, although some of it still needs to be verified.

Mary Elizabeth (Klein) Dixon was living just down the block from her younger sister!

David and Gertrude had five children living with them: David (13), Ethel (10), George (8), Kenneth (3), and Gertrude (11 months). The census records that Gertrude had given birth to nine children, with seven surviving. The couple had been married for 14 years, and the oldest child living with them was thirteen, so something doesn't add up. Still, that's a mystery for another time.

It looks like the Dixon children had cousins to play with just a few doors away!

Next we find the family of Augustus and Mary Van Hart at number 82. Augustus worked as a "filter" at the tar company, which sounds like a wretched job. The three oldest sons, Chester, Roy, and Charles worked as splitters at the leather company. Mary and her eldest son had been born in Kentucky. Her parents were from England and Maryland. Augustus was born in New Jersey, as were the rest of the children. His parents were from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The Van Hart's are unique because they have a servant living with them. The only one found on this block. Emma Heyer is a nineteen year old girl from New Jersey, although her father was born in Germany. She works for the Van Harts as a cook. [Sheet 11B]

Cornelius and Matilda Phillips lived at number 84 with their eight children, ranging in age from two to twenty-one years. The oldest daughter, Sophia, was a milliner at a department store. Her younger brother, Hartford, was a "machine hand" in a machine shop. Mr. Phillips was a machinist, perhaps in the same machine shop as his son. [Sheet 11A through 86 Marshall]

Finally, we come to the three flat building at number 86 Marshall Street. It houses four families. The building is owned by Benjamin Pinner, a 58 year old immigrant from England. His wife, Agnes, also 58, is from Scotland. Mr. Pinner is a blacksmith, and owns his own shop. Their eighteen year old son, Ruben, lives with them, and works as a machinist.

Benjamin Pinner, the younger, also lives at this address with his wife and children. This Benjamin is thirty-three years old and appears to have been born in England. His wife, Bertha, is a Jersey girl, though her mother comes from Germany. The couple has three daughters, Bertha (8), Adele (3), and Hazel (1). All the girls were born in New Jersey.

These Pinners are also housing four boarders, single men between the ages of thirty and fourty-five. They are a mixture of English, Irish, and Scottish. Three of the four are immigrants, one was born in New York. They all work in industrial settings. Charles Crane is a chemist at a chemical company. William Hart is a machinist at Singer. Hector McIntyre is a tool maker in a machine shop. Thomas Boland is a wire worker at a wire company.

In the same building we find Rose Kenah from Ireland. Rose is widow. Living with her is her son, Joseph, 28, who is a moulder in a foundry. Also in this household is Rose's thirty-six year old daughter, Nellie Brennan and Nellie's daughter, Annie, age fifteen. Nellie works as a laundress for a family.

Last, but not least, we find a Swedish couple, Otto and Ellen Sandburg, and their four daughters. The three oldest were born in New York, while the youngest, who is a year and a half old, was born in New Jersey. Mr. Sandburg is an engineer at an oil company.


(1) Elizabeth Directory 1909, Volume III. Newark, New Jersey: Price and Lee Company,  p. 193.  Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line: accessed 14 May 2016]. Image 101 of 417. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Entry for William A. Dixon.

(2) Elizabeth Directory 1911, Volume IV. Newark, New Jersey: Price and Lee Company,  p. 201. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line: accessed 14 May 2016]. Image 102 of 418. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Entry for William A. Dixon.

(3) 1910 US Census.
House Numbers 86, 84 [Sheet 11 A] and 82, 80, 76, 74, 68, 66, 58, 54 [Sheet 12 A] were all surveyed on 21 April 1910. The data for numbers 70, 72, 88, 90 [all on Sheet 20 B], 87, 85, 79, 64, 50, and 74 [all on Sheet 21 A] were taken on 28 April 1910.