04 August 2011

Researching the Tornado

     I'm just home from a two day road trip fully of genealogy. I didn't have a lot of time to spend doing any one thing or in any one place, but I was able to drop into the Hart County Public Library in Hartwell, GA. They were supposed to have the local newspaper on microfilm, which they did.

     There were tons of things I could look up in the weekly county newspaper, but I was most interested in a tornado. The tornado was one of many that hit the region on 16 April 1944. This one destroyed the home of my Grandparents, Thomas and Sarah (Britt) Craft. I'd already found the tornado in regional newspapers, but there was no mention of my family. I was hoping that the local paper would mention them. 
I'd heard the story of the tornado from two sources, both of them second-hand. A distant cousin related that the family hid under a bed, which was the only thing left of the house once the tornado passed. Hearing the story, I'm always very thankful the family survived.
"Thomas Craft, home, furnishings, clothing, four outbuildings and contents destroyed; Mr. Craft back injury; Mrs. Craft and two children bruised"

tornado in the montevideo community

"Resume of Damage," The Hartwell Sun, Hart County, GA. 21 Apr 1944.


Susan Clark said...

What a find! Was Charles Craft related? One would hope nearby relatives could help out, but when these storms tear through a community that's not always possible.

Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

How scary! I had the same question as Susan, wondering if Claude Craft was a relative.

Unknown said...

This is a small rural area, so pretty much anyone with the same name is related. Claude was Thomas' uncle, who I think he bought the land from. The Moore family (who lost the baby) were cousins. I think the Evans family was probably related somehow as well. And if they weren't related, they all knew each other. Part of the way I was able to find correct article was my aunt remembering some of the names of those who were injured.

Rob said...

This stuff is pretty amazing to see. Fay Seawright was my mother. She was around 14 at the time of the storm.


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