Events that may have had a hand in shaping the character of our
ancestors don’t always necessarily happen to them, or about
them, but also around them. When you read a good book, it is not
just John Smith did this, or said that. The author describes the surroundings.
The scent in the air. The sounds of the night. The chill off the snow. Why does
he do this? So you, the reader, can see, hear and feel what John Smith is
experiencing at that moment, and get a better sense of his life.
Our ancestors did not live in a bubble or a box. They lived, loved, laughed, and experienced the hardships of life.... and some lived through the most terrifying disasters. We also have to remind ourselves that in earlier days some of these disasters occurred for the first time in their isolated lives and people had no clue what was happening or what to do about it.
Did your ancestor (or you) live through an event that was terrifying?
List of disasters by death toll
Le tremblement de terre de 1663 dans la Nouvelle-France
Jan Kozak Collection: Historical Earthquakes
GenDisaster website - Canada and US
List of Historical Tsunamis
Great Blizard of 1888
San Francisco Earthquake and Fire 1906
Eyewitness reports of San Francisco Fire
Great Chicago Fire – 1871
Eyemouth Fishing Disaster – Scotland 1881
Eruption of Volcano Krakatoa 1883 - eyewitness accounts
Search media and photos of Canadian disasters at LAC
The Pemberton Mill Disaster, Lawrence, Mass: List of names of killed and wounded, list of contributions to relief fund, report of coroner's inquest - 1860