Yesterday in my stubbornness to find a Coroner's Inquest Report for 19th Century Massachusetts, and refusing to believe they were all destroyed, I stumbled upon an article in a 1996 issue of the American Journal Of Forensic Medicine & Pathology co-written by Elizabeth Bouvier. I recognized her name immediately as the Head of Archives in Massachusetts . In the article she discusses how coroners in early Massachusetts were general citizens (ie not doctors) & little is known about their functions. For the article she examined an unpublished set of 19th-century Massachusetts inquest records to discover coroner's function, social conditions, & the increasing use of medical and toxicologic information. So, from that I gathered she must have had the records, and I gave her a call.
Turns out she does have thousands of Coroner's Inquest Reports from across the state, although varied and incomplete by either time period or location. The process for finding out if she has what you need is to send a letter to her with the specific name of the deceased person, specific date & specific location. She does not except requests via email. You must fax or snail mail, and you must include your email address. She will then check to see if she has it and email you back to schedule an appointment for you to go see it at her office if she has it. This may take a few weeks.
The mailing address is:
Head of Archives
Supreme Judicial Court Archives
3 Pemberton Square, 16th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Her fax number is : 617 557-1088
Amylynne (Baker) Murphy