While discussing Project Lizzie with a friend recently, he said something that really stuck with me.
“The problem with stories like this is that we know how they end.”
On an intellectual level, I’ve always known this fact. Lizzie was born in 1868, so if she were alive today, she’d be…umm…146 years old! But for the first time it hit me on an emotional level. All of the records that I’ve found show Lizzie as a vibrant woman, mom, and lady boss. And therefore, unless Lizzie is the oldest living person on earth, it’s time to look for her death records. But where does one look for those?
After a little research, I learned that death certificates are recorded in the town that a person dies in. We just need to figure out where that may be. Perhaps the data that we’ve collected so far can help narrow our choices?
- Most of Lizzie’s postcards were addressed “c/o M.C.A. at 149 Staniford Street, Boston,” but it’s highly unlikely that she lived there.
- We can also rule out vacation spots, such as George’s Mills, NH and Peaks Island, Maine
- The 1900 United States Federal Census lists one address at 93 Terriss Street, Charlestown, Massachusetts
- Between 1906 and 1907: postcards were addressed to two addresses in Everett, Massachusetts: 28 Wedgeworth Rd and 73 Cleveland Ave
- And in 1907 and 1925: two addresses in Boston, Massachusetts are used: 75 Mercer Street and 116 Merrimac Street
But, one address stands out above all. Combining postcard addresses with census records, Lizzie likely lived at 5 Robinson Road in Malden, Massachusetts from at least 1914 to 1940–where she’d be 72 years old. Therefore, let’s reach out to the City Clerk of Malden, Massachusetts to see if we can find Lizzie’s death certificate.
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