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Genealogy Resources

Weather

Weather information was not really kept in the 18th century. Weather information is most likely only found in personal journals. In the late 1800s, the military was keeping some documentation of the weather, but not until the late 19th century were regular weather reports kept.

You may find evidence of how the weather affected your ancestor through home sources, maybe journals, insurance claim papers, and newspaper clippings. Beyond that, newspapers, the journals and diaries written by community members and weather-related sources like monthly weather reviews might assist you.

As you research your family history, start thinking in terms of what your ancestors' everyday lives were like and how all aspects of life, including weather, may have affected them.

  • Egan, Timothy. The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, 2006.

  • GenDisasters. Provides a look at how disasters, including weather disasters, impacted our ancestor's world. The website includes over 15,000 disaster-related articles as well as message boards. You can even add information that you know about a disaster to the website.

  • Kohn, Edward P. Hot Time in the Old Town: The Great Heat Wave of 1896 and the Making of Theodore Roosevelt. New York: Basic Books, 2010.

  • Laskin, David. Braving the Elements: The Stormy History of American Weather. New York: Doubleday, 1996.

  • Laskin, David. The Children's Blizzard. New York: HarperCollins, 2004.

  • Meyer, William B. Americans and Their Weather. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

  • Weatherforyou.com. One way to learn more about what was happening with the weather historically is something called "On this day in weather history" on this site. This weather summary provides information on significant weather events during various years, including any related death counts and provides the name of the website where the information was found.