Quakes and Shakes

There was a mild earthquake a few hours ago in the vicinity of my home. It was a 3.8 quake, so very small for here in California. Still, fun to see the reactions of those who participate on Facebook, regarding the quake.

This event this evening has my mind roaming in several directions. Let me explain.

First, this evenings quake. My daughter and my husband had almost the same reaction when this quake hit. They each thought the dogs had come by and moved their chair or plopped down on the floor next to them. We live in two different houses, and we each own dogs that could have made this feeling a reality.

I knew when the quake started that it was a quake right off the bat. Most of the time it takes a few seconds before I realize an earthquake is going on. It doesn't matter how many I have felt or been through, each one of them makes my stomach jump and I tend to hold my breath to see how long it is going to last and if we will have aftershocks. Afterwards I need to take a deep breath or two, and I am back to my normal routine.

Tonight my daughter did call me after trembler. Her husband was not home and she needed to share her feelings regarding how she planned to handle the situation if it was a bad one, all by herself. Two children, three big dogs, and five cats. I am so glad she didn't have to "handle" this one!

Second, I am thinking about the Loma Prieta Earthquake which struck October 17, 1989. One of my sisters was at the San Francisco Giant's baseball game, they were hosting the Oakland A's. I can just imagine the chaos with so many people in one spot!

I was in a pick up truck and thought the whole frame of the truck had collapsed, never knew it was an earthquake until I returned home.

The person that sticks in my mind the most though, is my father. He worked close to the Bay Bridge, and was looking out his office window when the earthquake happened and watched a section of the bridge collapse. A section of the nearby freeway also collapsed and a friend of my father's died when this happened.

I remind myself, I was in a truck and didn't realize we had an earthquake, but many other people saw the damage and destruction and havoc it caused. I am glad I didn't have to deal with the emotions of this event in that way.

Third, I am now thinking of the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. I just can't imagine the destruction the city was left in after this one. I read the book "A Most Dreadful Earthquake" a couple of years ago. This book is a "First-Hand Account of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire." It gives "glimpses into the lives of the Phillips-Jones Letter Writers." In other words, it is transcribed letters written after the quake from these families.

Dorothy Fowler and The California Genealogical Society put this book together and published it. I am ready to read this one again, to remind me more vividly what these families went through, very good book.

Finally, which earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, volcano eruptions or monsoons and such did our ancestors live through?

Being a native of California, I would think many of my immediate relatives lived through an earthquake of some kind. The Great San Francisco Earthquake, surely one of my relatives lived through this! Actually no, I do not have a descendant that lived in San Francisco during the 1906 quake. San Francisco is only a forty five minute ride from where I currently live, but not one relation lived here?

In 1906, not one of my ancestral lines migrated to California yet. They all came to this state after 1906. So what did they live through? Eventually, these stories will come to life.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!


  1. So glad you are safe! I have cousins who live South of L.A.
    I always worry about them when there is a earthquake or fire. I enjoyed reading about your feelings about earthquakes. I am going to look for the book it sounds interesting even though I didn't have anyone in the 1906 quake.

  2. Hi Harriet, I can understand how you must feel about fires and quakes especially here in Ca! Funny, I guess last night my mind was real open, with nothing going on in it, because I suddenly thought of so much! Thank you for the comment!

  3. Cheryl

    Thanks for the reminder on the 20th anniversary of the Loma Prieta quake coming up this Saturday. I was living in SF at the time and I'll be posting my memories on my blog as well!

  4. Harriet, if you contact the California Genealogical Society I am sure they can help you with the book!

    Hi Thomas, I saw your very interesting post! I enjoyed reading about your experience! It wouldn't have dawned on me that you were in SF at that time!


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