1 Reply Latest reply on Sep 15, 2020 2:02 PM by Joshua Schroeder

    Seeking weather information between 1850-1900

    Shellie Baxter Newbie

      I am trying to research about life and weather in Choctaw County, AL in the 1800s. Not sure where to find primary source documentation. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

        • Re: Seeking weather information between 1850-1900
          Joshua Schroeder Wayfarer

          Dear Ms. Baxter,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          During the 19th Century, federal weather records come from three sources: medical personnel on military posts via the Surgeon General’s office, through the Smithsonian Institute via volunteer observers, and by the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Therefore, weather information specifically for Choctaw County may be difficult to find, but records for Alabama more generally may yield results.


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series  Climatological Records of the Continental United States, 1883-1902 in the Records of the Weather Bureau (Record Group 27) that is a compilation of most of these 19th Century records. Specifically, all observations originating with the Surgeon General's Office (marked with the symbol "SG-1"), all monthly reports of voluntary observers for the Smithsonian Institution (marked "SI"), all monthly reports of voluntary observers for the Signal Office (marked "VO"), and all weekly and monthly reports of regular stations of the Signal Office (marked "Reg Sta") have been microfilmed as part of National Archives Microfilm Publication T907. For a roll/disk listing, please click on Request & Order Reproductions Online and search for T907.


          We also located Meteorological Abstracts and Diaries Made in the United States, 1866-1881 in Record Group 27 that contains weather records for Alabama (Boxes 1 & 6). In addition, we located the General Records, 1842-11/20/1974 in Record Group 27 that contains weather records from Mobile, Alabama (Box 1). For more information about these records and T907, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at archives2reference@nara.gov.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          You also may wish to consult the Midwestern Regional Climate Center’s website that includes information about 19th Century weather records as well as information on accessing weather reports.


          We hope this information is useful. Best of luck with your research!


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