COG 97: Researching "The Coldbrook Tragedy" (Part 2 of 4)

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) The assignment for the 97th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy was to spend between three and five hours researching someone's genealogy from scratch. I will admit I did spend a bit more time, about six hours, researching the Naramore family. I also wrote some of my notes by hand rather than printing everything off, so the note-taking process involved some extra time. I typed up my notes after I completed my research.

For my research I only used sources that I was able to access online from home. Its also worth mentioning that I do not have a subscription to Ancestry. Shocking I know. When I need to use Ancestry for my ongoing family research I use the Ancestry Library Edition at the Worcester Public Library, but the Library Edition is not available for home use. I do have a subscription to All of the other sources I used are free and available online either through the Worcester Public Library (WPL), the Boston Public Library (BPL), or the Internet. In general, when I'm working on my genealogy, I do as much research as I can from home, so I can make the best use of my time when I do go to the library.

Let me say I am surprised at how much I was able to discover working from home. I want to add the disclaimer that the resources I used are just the start of my research. The Internet provides lots of information, but most of the information needs to be verified elsewhere. In general I prefer original documents or copies of original documents, rather than transcriptions. Human error with transcriptions is always a factor. In part three of my series I will outline what my next steps will be as far as researching and accessing original material and records to support and further my research.

My main goal was to find out what happened to Lizzie Naramore after she was released from the state mental hospital. What became of her? Where did she go? My secondary goal was to trace the Naramore and Craig families as far as I could within the limited research time frame allowed by the COG guidelines and to learn a little about Frank Naramore and Lizzie Naramore to put crime into context.

I started my research with the Family Search Pilot database, because I knew I would probably find birth, death, and marriage information for Massachusetts for the time period I was researching. According to Massachusetts Marriages, 1695-1910 Frank Lucius Naramore (born 1864, age 26) married Elizabeth Ann Craig (age 25) on 25 Oct 1890 in Templeton, MA. The groom's father was Lucius Naramore and his mother was Minerva Warren. The bride's father was listed as Josiah Craig and her mother was Hannah E. Clark.

I easily found three of the Naramore children listed in Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915. Ethel Mario[n] Naramore was born 29 Jun 1891 in Templeton, MA. Interestingly, Ethel was born eight months after her parents' marriage. I also found birth records for Chester Irving Naramore (born 14 Jun 1896 in Oakham, MA) and Lina [Lena] Blanche Narramore [Naramore] (born 27 Mar 1900). My guess is another search trying alternate spellings would reveal results for the other three Naramore children.

Not surprisingly I found all six of the children's death records in Massachusetts Deaths & Burials, 1795-1910. The correct death date is listed for all of the children--21 Mar 1901. The death records list the place of death (Barre, MA), Frank Naramore's birthplace (Winchester, NH), and Elizabeth Ann Craig's birthplace (Eastport, ME). The birth dates for the children do not correspond with the dates listed on the birth records I found. The burial place for all the children is listed as Canada which is incorrect. All of the children were interred in the Riverside Cemetery in Barre, MA. Also, while Lizzie spent some time in Eastport, ME I believe she was born in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

Using a combination of sources--Family Search Pilot, Heritage Quest, and found U.S. Census information from the years 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, and 1930. I found the record for Frank, Elizabeth, and all of the children for 1900. I also found U.S. Census information for Frank L. Naramore and siblings in Winchester, NH for 1880. I also found census information for Frank L. Naramore, siblings, and parents in the 1870 U.S. Census and in the 1860 U.S. Census. Lizzie was listed as Elizabeth Craig (age 16, approximate birth date 1865), along with her father Josiah (age 54, approximate birth date 1827), and sister Hannah Craig (approximate birth date 1864) in the 1881 Canadian Census in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Most interestingly I found Frank L. Naramore living as a boarder with another family in Worcester, MA in the 1930 census. I was not able to find any mention of Lizzie in the census after 1900 or any mention of her at all after 1906.

I found two articles in PERSI (Heritage Quest) regarding the Craig family of New Brunswick listed in the references below. I also found a listing for Frank Naramore's brothers' sawmill in the Gazetteer of Cheshire County, Town of Winchester, NH, 1736-1885.

I also found some family tree information on RootsWeb, and a message on the message board from a woman who is also doing research on the Naramore family. I contacted the woman on the message board and we exchanged research information.

Given the sensational nature of the case I found numerous newspaper articles from across the country using Chronicling America and, as well as the Boston Globe (1872-1922) via the Access Newspaper Archive available through the BPL online. I discovered a lot of information from the newspaper articles, some of it conflicting, and much of it hear-say. One article from the Boston Daily Globe published a reporter's interview with Frank Naramore the day after the murders. Frank's interview paints a less than flattering portrait of Elizabeth, and mentions she had him arrested once. He also implies that Elizabeth accused him running around with women and spending money on rum.

Overall I have eight pages of typed research notes. Besides the children and Frank and Elizabeth I was able to find some information for a total 19 additional family members, as well as nine other people involved in the case in some capacity.

See Also:

COG 97: Researching "The Coldbrook Tragedy" (Part 1 of 4)
COG 97: Researching "The Coldbrook Tragedy" (Part 3 of 4)
COG 97: Researching "The Coldbrook Tragedy" (Part 4 of 4)


Craig Family, 1785-1985, New Brunswick. Loyalist Gazette. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Dec 1985. Vol. 23, issue 2.

Joel & Sara Craig's Colony, New Brunswick. Beaver: Canada's History Magazine. August 1998. Vol. 78, issue 4.

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