The story on my mom’s side of the family about my great-grandmother, was that she and her friend were hit by a drunk driver while crossing the street. My great-grandmother Signe suffered greatly before she died in 1936.  I figured that I could use local resources to find more information on her death. My mentor told me about how the Boston Public Library holds microfilms of tons of Massachusetts Newspapers. I went to the Boston Public Library to look at Microfilms of the Marblehead Messenger. I had previously confirmed the year of death for my great-grandparents Henry and Signe in the Massachusetts Vital Records Index, located at NEHGS. Unfortunately, I only had her year of death and based on what my family has told me, the accident happened in 1935.

This microfilm happened to be in poor condition and after an exhaustive look of Marblehead Messenger articles in January 1936, nothing about Signe was reported. I thought I could try Great-Grandfather Henry, who died 29 Jan 1965. No death notice appeared in the Marblehead Messenger.

On Saturday, I went to Marblehead with my mom, so we went to research more at the Abbot Public Library. I started reading more microfilms, but due to time, only looked at the front pages of Marblehead Messenger in 1935. No report of the accident made headlines. The library subsequently had a file, consisting of clipped articles from the Messenger only pertaining to accidents. However, the file also yielded a negative result. My line of reasoning determines I will probably need to order Signe’s death certificate to get a date of death, and continue to investigate this piece of our family history.


Copyright (c) 2008, last edited 2015 by Jake Fletcher