GenDisasters.com sassy jane genealogy

SS Eastland rescue efforts, 24 Jul 1915. Courtesy Wikipedia.

GenDisasters is an online database of “information on the

[U.S. and Canadian] historic disasters, events, and tragic accidents our ancestors endured,” as well as information about their lives and deaths.

I was working on a client’s tree and she needed more information about a family member who died in a civilian airplane accident in 1942 and I discovered GenDisasters in the course of my search. The site had a transcript of a United Press wire story, confirming the loss of this family member and providing enough detail to find more records.

What can you find at GenDisasters? Browse this database by disasteryear, or state, or you can search the content by name or other keywords. Newspaper articles and photographs about train wrecks, fires, floods, shipwrecks, plane crashes, accidents and other disasters.  Most of these articles list the dead and injured or missing. Individual accidents and deaths are included, together with well-known disasters, such as the 1942 Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire in Boston or the SS Eastland that sank in 1915 at a dock in Chicago, killing 884 men, women, and children.

I suspect the very competent manager of this site would welcome new content. Contact the owner here. It’s my hope you never find an ancestor in this database, but if need more information on tragedies that may have befallen your ancestors, GenDisasters is the place to start.