20 July 2016

Hazel (Dixon) Sullivan : Death Certificate

One of my ongoing mysteries has involved my Grandfather's youngest sibling, Hazel. In the post "Hazel Dixon, Where Did You Go?" I summarized what I knew about Hazel and what clues I had to follow. Two months and a little luck has made a world of difference.

I recently received a copy of Hazel's death certificate, Number 27268, from the New Jersey Department of Health.(1) This is the bounty of information I gleaned from that document:
  • Hazel died on 21 May 1957 at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
  • At the time of her death she lived at 534 South Broad Street, Elizabeth.
  • Her married name was Sullivan. [This has been confirmed by my Moore cousins]
  • Her parents were William Dixon and Mary Klein.
  • She was widowed at the time of her death.
  • She was unemployed at the time of her death.
  • She never served in the armed forces.
  • Hazel was buried on 23 May 1957 at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey.
  • On the document I received, the cause of death was redacted as per N.J.A.C. 8:2A-2.1. There was no autopsy.

Conflicting information

There is some information on the document that disagrees with other documents that I have. Hazel's birth certificate records 16 January 1909 as her birth date, making her 48 when she died. The death certificate claims that she was born on 19 February 1910.

The birth record was certainly made closer to the time of Hazel's birth, so one would expect it to have more accuracy. However, it was filled out by Therese M. Leyerer, Midwife. As we've seen in other birth documents, she wasn't always entirely accurate.

The informant on the death certificate was Mrs. Clara Greaves, who was in fact Clara Viola (Dixon O'Hare) Greaves, Hazel's older sister.(2) Clara was seventeen years older than her sister. It's possible that her memory was faulty, or that she was distraught at her younger sister's death.

I'm not going to worry too much about the conflicting birth dates right now. I will review the census documents to see if there's is any data there that leans one way or the other. Hopefully I will find a marriage record for Clara that will clear things up a bit.

Information still needed

  • Marriage record
  • Date of her husband's death
  • City directory data 
  • Marriage record for Clara (Dixon) O'Hare to Mr. Greaves

(1) Hazel Sullivan, death certificate 27268 (21 May 1957), State Department of Health of New Jersey, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, Trenton, New Jersey.

(2) Facebook correspondence with cousins who descend from another Dixon sibling confirm that Clara "Toots" Dixon did marry twice. Once to Jack O'Hare, and then to a man with the surname Greaves.

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