Friday, March 18, 2011

Genealogy and Weather

Genealogy and Weather

 O yes, weather is a key factor in much genealogy.  I suspect what we have just seen the world experience in this last year or so should key up the juices to learn more about the weather in our ancestors times.

 Having been teaching and lecturing about genealogy for many years I notice sometimes as speakers we tend to get in a rut or  maybe it is not us but our audience who forgets to check all things.

 In the mid west there were prairie fires and loss of life, there were dust storms and loss of life. There were tornadoes and hurricanes and floods and dry times that caused much to our early ancestors to have to make adjustments moves or changes.

I recall reading about the big freeze that happened in NYC and of the many that froze to death because of no heat, no food and no one could come check on them. They were depended on the milk man, the produce man, the coal or oil man to supply them with their needs. The papers indicated they thought the country people would all be dead instead their survival rate was much greater because they were more independent and was prepared for the storm.  Alas that big freeze happened in a larger area than just NYC but the paper I was scanning was from NYC and the aftermath that came from the situation.

 I was a personally exposed to some of the consequences of a very early prairie fire in Colorado. The little girl and 3 siblings survived, along with the father.  The mother and other family members perished.  She never knew her exact age because the Bible it was written in burned, the church burned and she always estimated how old she was.  In later years seeking medical attention, Doctors did not know if they would give her care due to her age for various conditions.  Eye surgery is what I am talking of, they did not want to treat her cataracts if she was over 85.  A great doctor ended up treating both eyes and her vision was excellent.  We later found a distant kin of her Mothers family who gave us her age she was 6 years older than any of us knew.  We shared with the doctor this information so he was able to document that age is not always a reason to not do surgery.  I  have always felt we were blessed by this great surgeon's  presence of  mind and attitude.  She lived 8 more years and was way over 100 at death.

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