I arrived home with big plans to get things done. You all know about that, I think. I wanted to enter all my data, transcribe all I found, enter correct sources, and see if I could reach any conclusions.
By the time Papa and I had emptied the car, I collapsed and fell asleep. Sunday, I did the wash, and we mowed the lawn. Now it is Monday. So much for getting everything done quickly.
Today, I am looking at the information I have for Mable Dickinson, of Brooklyn, New York. My mother said Mable was a lady that took in children. OK, so why am I interested a lady that did foster care in 1930’s in New York? My mother was raised in foster care, and had very little memory of her family. Mable Dickinson was the only name Mom ever gave me when I asked about care givers or foster parents.
A while back, I investigated the address Mom gave me, using an old photo and Google Maps Street View.
Last week, one resource I had looked forward to was the Brooklyn, New York City Directories and phone books. It did not take me too long to find Miss Mable B. Dickinson, residing at 256 Decatur, Brooklyn. She appeared in the phone books for the years 1939-1946, always at 256 Decatur, and always with a phone number of JE fferson 3-7551. Miss Dickinson was not listed in 1938, nor in 1947, 1948 or 1949.
Some people have noted that using a camera to capture something on a microfilm machine is tricky. When I find an item of interest, I take a picture of the page number, then one of the actual listing. In many cases, I also take a photo of the source information, in this case, it was a microfilm. It took me just a minute to crop, copy and paste, fatten the image and save it with a new name. I have one of these for each year I found Mable B. Dickinson in Brooklyn, this on is from the 1943-44 directory. If a microfilm contains a will or deed that I need to transcribe, I photograph the entire page, if possible. Even if that is possible, I also start at the top of each page and take a series of photos from top to bottom. I never use a flash to photograph a microfilm, and rarely use one to photograph a book.
There is not much in the way of a conclusion to draw from all this. I have resolved the information I have about Mom and Miss Dickinson as follows:
There is a photo of Mom and a young man standing outside of a house with the number 256.
Mom told me the address of her Brooklyn home was 256 Decatur and said the name of her care giver was Mable Dickinson.
It is possible to find the house at 256 Decatur today, and it looks similar.
Mable B. Dickinson lived at that address at least from 1939 to 1946.
Mother was in the care of non-related adults after 1931.
Mom filled out a Social Security card application on 22 April 1943, she home address was given as: 256 Decatur, Brooklyn, New York.
My conclusion is that Mom was correct in her memory of living with Miss Mable Dickinson in Brooklyn, NY
Mom lied about her birth year on the Social Security application, saying 1924, although she was born in 1926. She said she was working for “Northeast Waite Tower Sys. Inc”, located at 418 W 42 St, New York, NY. She gave her home address as: 256 Decatur St, Brooklyn, New York.
I sure wish I could call that phone number and find out a little more about Mom’s childhood. Like a lot of us, she kept much to herself, and didn’t share very much about her childhood.