|NASA satellite photo|
They lived through terrible storms and droughts and floods and hurricanes, without the advance warnings that we have today. But have you ever looked into exactly what storms they endured? And how they coped? They didn't have the warning systems we take for granted. Great-grandpa looked to the clouds and the animals and birds to predict bad weather coming. So he likely didn't have much time to prepare, nor would he know how bad a storm might be.
We run around stockpiling enough food and water for 72 hours. We gas up our cars in case we have to evacuate. But is this something you think your ancestor might have done? Depending on the year and the location, probably not.
For example did you have ancestors who were living in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635? There was a bad hurricane that year and if your ancestors were there, you might want to imagine what they went through.
What about Miami Florida in 1926? Or the 1938 New England hurricane that killed 600 people? This site has lists of historic hurricanes to help you figure out if your ancestors experienced a bad hurricane. And these are only hurricanes. There would be droughts, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and other catastrophic natural events that our ancestors experienced.
One way you could check to see what your ancestors might have gone through is to find records of historical natural disasters. Then if you had an ancestor living in that location in that time period, consult Online Historic Newspapers for more in-depth detail of what occurred.
Adding detail to your ancestors helps make them more "real" to us, more alive and also reinforces that your ancestors were just like you - they lived, loved, suffered, laughed and had all the human emotions that we have today.
It's easy to forget that they were real people just like us. They lived through their own Frankenstorms.