29 October 2012

Disasters and Genealogy -- our ancestors were greatly affected by natural events, like "Sandy," also!



With “Sandy” approaching and many taking important safety precautions ... I thought it appropriate to post about past disasters and related and how they impact our search for our ancestors.  It might be that records are missing due to a natural disaster.  Or maybe crops were destroyed, factories ruined or livelihoods otherwise impacted.  This may have cause families to move, prematurely filled cemeteries, etc.  Unfortunately, disasters do give us records about our family – often not records of the warm and fuzzy kind and yet how they were affected by a disaster tells us a lot about their lives and our heritage!

Though, I have to laugh as I went to visit my favorite “disasters” site, GenDisasters, since it has a genealogy focus to find that the message on the home page reads ...

This page has gone missing. It could have been lost at sea, swept away by a storm, or been buried under a landslide.

The page may be here hiding under a different name. So, there's a good chance that we have the article on that train wreck, hurricane, fire, etc.

Please click below to go to the main page of the site - from there you can use the search engine or browse the articles by state or province, type of disaster, and year - to see if you can locate the material.

And, if you just do a Google (or similar) search on GenDisasters – the sub-pages are listed and you can still use the site.  For example, this link takes you to the “browse by state” feature.

Here are some other articles and resources for incorporating “disasters” and related into your research as well as the stories of your ancestors:

  1. Diseases, Disasters & Distress: Bad For Your Ancestors, Good For Your Genealogical Research
  2. Top 10 Deadliest U.S. Natural Disasters
  3. Timelines of Historic Disasters & Epidemics

Do you have a favorite source for information about what disasters might have befallen our ancestors?

Were your ancestors affected by such?  My great grandmother died in the flu epidemic of 1918 and I have not yet uncovered any “natural” disasters in historical records though I will never forget hurricane Fran when it hit Raleigh in 1996 ...





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