11 May 2016

Hazel Dixon, Where Did You Go?

My grandfather's sister, Hazel, remains elusive. It seems to run in the family.

I thought I was doing really well when I got her birth record in the mail. I wrote about that back in February. Other details about her life remain unknown. Marriage, children, death record? Simply not found. Yet.

To recap, here's what I know.
  • 1909: Hazel Dorothy L. Dixon was born on 16 January in Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey. Her parents are William A. Dixon and Mary E. Klein.
  • 1910: The entire family is so far undiscovered in the Federal census for this year.
  • 1915: Hazel appears in her parents household in Elizabeth in the New Jersey State Census.
  • 1920: Hazel appears in her mother's household [Mary E. is listed as head of household, William is not listed there.] in Elizabeth in the Federal Census. Also living in the house as a boarder is Thomas Payne, Hazel's future step-father.
  • 1930: Hazel appears in the Federal Census living in the household of Thomas Payne and his wife, Hazel's mother, Mary Elizabeth (Klein Dixon) Payne in Elizabeth, NJ. Hazel is 21 years old, single, and working as a clerk in an insurance business.
  • 1936: Hazel poses for this photograph, identified as "Hazel @ 120" with writing on back. I don't know where "120" is. At first I thought it said "130" but then I found other photos with similar inscriptions and confirmed that it is "120."

Hazel Dixon, youngest child of Wiliam A. Dixon and Mary E. Klein. Born 1909. This photo shows Hazel sitting on a porch railing "@ 120." Exact location unknown. The photo was taken in April of 1936 according to the inscription on the back. Colleciton of E. Ackermann.
Hazel Dixon in April of 1936 on the porch of "120."

Finally, a photo with an inscription. This is the back of a photo of Hazel Dixon.
Inscription on the back of the photo.

For comparison purposes. An inscription in the same handwriting as the appears on the back of a photo of Hazel Dixon. Buddy is a dog.
Inscription from the back of a photo
of Buddy, the dog.
A review of city directories for the years around 1936 don't show the Dixon or the Payne family at a "120" address. The timeline of what I know about Hazel ends right there. If she married it would have been after 1930.

A few leads

I have two possible leads on more information. Both are from Family Group Sheets that were created by a cousin of Wallace Dixon, my grandfather. The first sheet is not dated, it simply gives Hazel's birth year and month, and for the name of spouse it says "Wimmer." A second form adds the name "Louis" to "Wimmer." A third family group sheet, dated 21 Oct 1996,  has a little more information written in for some of the children in the family. For Hazel it again just lists her birth month and year. But for spouse it records "James Sullivan" and it gives a death date for Hazel: 21 May 1957. There are no sources cited for any of this information.

Database searches for Hazel with either of these possible spouses has turned up nothing. I have sent to the NJ Department of Health Vital Statistics and Registry in the hopes that I can get a death certificate for her and that it will shed some more light on Hazel's life after 1930.

So now we wait.


Hazel Dorothy L. Dixon, birth certificate 79 (16 January 1909), Elizabeth, Union county, New Jersey. New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, New Jersey.

"New Jersey State Census, 1915", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV9W-WW8H : accessed 15 February 2016), William Dixon, 1915.  

"United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org). Mary E Dickson, Elizabeth City Ward 10, Union, New Jersey, United States; citing sheet 10A, NARA microfilm publication T625.  

 "United States Census, 1930", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 15 February 2016), Thomas Payne, ED 61, sheet 7B; household 166. Citing The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. GS Film Number 2341121, digital folder 004951973, image number 00896.

Hazel Dixon , Photograph, Hazel Dixon sitting on porch railing of house. Inherited from Wallace B. Dixon, brother of Hazel Dixon. Privately held 2016 by Elizabeth Ackermann.

[author's name withheld] Family Group Sheets for family of William A. Dixon. Privately held 2016 by Elizabeth Ackermann.


  1. Hazel Dixon was married to a Sullivan

    1. Thank you for confirming that. If you have any memories of Hazel I would love to hear them. Do you know if she had any children?