13 April 2016

Gettin' Hitched : William A. Dixon and Mary Elizabeth Klein

It's always a happy day when I get an envelope from the New Jersey State Archives in the mail. This week brought me a flurry of papers, but today I want to focus on just one.

Marriage Document for William A. Dixon and Mary Elizabeth Clyne [Klein] 1883, Elizabeth, NJ. From N.J. State Archives, Trenton.
From NJ State Archives, Trenton.
Marriage Return for Dixon & Clyne.

This is a Marriage Return for my great-grandparents, William A. Dixon and Mary Elizabeth Klein. At first glance there aren't any real surprises. William's name, his parents' names and places of birth, and his occupation all fit right in with what information I have about him so far.

Aside from the misspelling of Mary Elizabeth's surname, Clyne rather than Klein, and her mother's name, Halley instead of Hawley her information rings true as well.

Most of the significant data is right in line with what I have seen in other documents. I have every confidence that these are my great-grandparents, documented for the first time as a family. [I'm working on a proof argument right now, and will post as soon as I can make it comprehensible.]

The Transcription

[I have not used all caps for those bits of text that appear in the original in that way. I find I find all caps "shouty" and difficult to read.]

State of New Jersey
Marriage Return
See Penalty for Non-Report.

1. Full Name of Husband ... William A. Dixon     (if Col. so state.) [blank]
Place of Residence... 107 Elizabeth Ave  Elizabeth N.J.
2. Age, nearest birthday... 22     Number of his Marriage...First
3. Occupation...Oysterman     Country of Birth...America
4. Name of Father...John Dixon     Country of Birth...[ditto]
5. Maiden name of Mother...Isabella Porter     Country of Birth... Ireland

1. Full Maiden Name of Wife...Mary Elizabeth Clyne    Country of Birth...America
 (if Col. so state.) [blank]
2. Place of Residence... 47 Third Ave Elizabeth N.J.
3. Age, nearest birthday...17  {If in any trade or business, so state.} [blank, space crossed through]
4. Last name, if a Widow... [blank, space crossed through]   Number of Bride's Marriage...First
5. Name of Father... John George Clyne     Country of Birth... Germany
6. Maiden name of Mother... Rachel Halley     Country of Birth... America

1. Date (in full)... August 22nd 1883     Place... 29 Third Street...Elizabeth N.J.
2 In presence of (Add P.O. Address) { Mrs. Heywood, 29 Third Street...Elizabeth N.J.
                                                            { Miss Odner 302 W 32nd Street...New York
3. Signature of Minister, (what Church Pasor of) or person officiating, }
                                              Thos Heywood...Pastor...1st Congl. Church
                                               Elizabeth N.J.

Some Questions

  1. 1st Congregational Church? Huh? Were either of them members?
  2. Who is Miss Odner? I would have expected some of the couple's siblings to appear as witnesses.
  3. Since the place of the marriage was the same address as Mrs. Heywood's P.O. address, did they get married in the Pastor's house rather than the church?
  4. William's address matches up with what I found in the 1883 City Directory. Mary E.'s address makes no sense. Looking at contemporary maps, she would have been living very near the ropeworks and the river. There don't appear to be any residences there. In fact, Third Avenue doesn't appear in any of the City Directory street guides for any of the years around 1883. Now Third STREET, on the other hand, puts her on the same street as the Congregational Church, which makes slightly more sense. This requires some investigation.

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