Friday, January 16, 2009

Weathering the past

A column earlier this month on, "What does the weather have to do with genealogy," encourages us to examine how weather may have affected our ancestors. The article notes, the 1595 writings of a minister named John King, "Our years are turned upside down; our summers are no summers; our harvests are no harvests." The article continues: Something was happening to the earth which greatly affect our ancestors. Temperatures were getting colder. The article goes on to explore the "Little Ice Age," and what was happening during this time period. My own family lived through the 1930s dust storms and I remember my mother telling how she just cried trying to keep the dust out. Many suffered lung damage and died  -- those caught outside in the storm, if they didn't perish, may have been blinded. So, indeed, weather has something to do with genealogy.  Again, local area histories and local newspapers, in addition to family letters and journals, are a good place to begin exploring the weather in your ancestors' time and place.

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