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Ask a Genealogist: Looking for Cambridge, Mass. residents in the 1930's

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Question:

Can you offer some assistance in locating what happened to John Edward and Georgiana (Bowman) Foster who were living in Cambridge, Mass. in the 1930's? 

Answer:

Reply from Jeanne Belmonte, NEHGS Genealogist

A brief search for John Edward Foster in the Massachusetts death index 1931-1935 and 1936-1940 did not have a listing for a John Edward Foster dying in or any of the surrounding towns of Cambridge. His wife Georgiana (Bowman) Foster appears to have died in Cambridge in 1939. Her death record in volume 29, page 509 for the year 1939.

The Cambridge City Directory for 1937 did have a listing for a John E. Foster, living at 9 Ivy Street, occupation Janitor and wife is listed as Georgiana Foster. I believe that this may be your ancestor. You may view the city directory record at http://search.ancestry.com. Since it does appear that John is alive in 1937, I checked a later volume of the Massachusetts death index.

John Edward does appear to have died in Cambridge in 1941. His death record is volume 29, page 505 for the year 1941. The death records are available at Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, located at 150 Mt. Vernon Street, Dorchester, MA 02125-3105. The Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records is open to the public for research. More information about research hours may be found at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/health-stats/vitals/genealogical-research.html . Death certificates issued in Massachusetts from that time period contain the name of the funeral director and the cemetery where the burial took place.

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