Reading List: Natural Phenomena and Genealogy

Following is a list of published books and articles dealing with natural phenomena that I think may relate to family history studies. More are presented in my book, Surviving Mother Nature’s Tests. Over time I will add to the list, particularly titles that relate to my blog posts or published papers. Those marked with an * are particularly recommended for an introduction into the subject.


Alfani, Guido & Cormac Ó Gráda (Eds.). (2018). The timing and causes of famines in Europe. Nature Sustainability, volume 1, pp. 283-288.

Appleby, A. B. (1978). Famine in Tudor and Stuart England. Stanford University Press.

Appleby, A. B. (1980). Epidemics and Famine in the Little Ice Age. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 10(4), pp. 643-663.

* Behringer, W. (2010). A Cultural History of Climate. (first published in German in 2007 as Kulturgeschichte des Klimas by C. H. Beck; translated by Patrick Camiller). Cambridge: Polity Press.

Beresford, M. (1954). The Lost Villages of England. Gloucester: Alan Sutton Publishing Limited.

Beresford, M & J. Hurst. (1990). Wharram Percy: Deserted medieval village. London: B. T. Batsford.

Beresford, M. W. & St. Joseph, J. K. S. (1958). Medieval England: An aerial survey (2nd Ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Blom, Philipp. (2019). Nature's Mutiny: How the Little Ice Age transformed the West and shaped the Present. Picador.

Brayne, Martin. (2002). The Greatest Storm. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing.

Bryant, E. (2005). Natural Hazards (2nd Edition). Cambridge University Press, 294 pp.

Brázdil, Rudolf, Andrea Kiss, Jürg Luterbacher, David J. Nash & Ladislava Reznícková. (2018). Documentary data and the study of past droughts: a global state of the art. Climate of the Past, 14, pp. 1915–1960.

Camenisch, Chantal & Christian Rohr. (2018). When the Weather Turned Bad: The research of climate impacts on society and economy during the Little Ice Age in Europe, an overview. Geographical Research Letters, 44(1), pp. 99-114.

* Campbell, Bruce M. S. (2016). The Great Transition: Climate, disease and society in the Late-Medieval world. Cambridge University Press.

Carr, P. (1991). The Night of the Big Wind. Belfast, Ireland: White Row Press Ltd.

Cole, G. A. & Marsh, T. J. (2006a). An historical analysis of drought in England and Wales. In Climate Variability and Change – Hydrological Impacts (Demuth, S., Gustard, A., Planos, E., Scatena, F. & Servat, E., Eds.). International Association of Hydrological Sciences, publication number 308, pp. 483-489.

Cole, G. A. & Marsh, T. J. (2006b). The impact of climate change on severe droughts. Science Report number SC040068/SR1. Bristol: Environment Agency.

Cunningham, A. & O. P. Grell. (2000). The Four Horsemen of the Apolcalyse: Religion, war, famine and death in Reformation Europe. Cambridge University Press, 360 pp.

* Defoe, Daniel. (1704). The Storm or, a Collection of the most Remarkable Casualties and Disasters which happen’d in the Late Dreadful Tempest, both by Sea and Land. Retrieved through University of Adelaide website 30 March 2014 under Creative Commons License from

Dansgaard, W., Johnsen, S. J., Moller, J. (1969). One thousand centuries of climatic record from Camp Century on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Science, 166(3903), pp. 377-381.

Dansgaard, W., Johnsen, S. J., Clausen, H. B., Dahl-Jensen, D. & Oeschger, H. (1984). North Atlantic Climatic Oscillations Revealed by Deep Greenland Ice Cores. In Hansen, J. E. & Takahashi, T. (Eds.). (1984). ClimateProcesses and Climate Sensitivity, AGU Geophysical Monograph 29, Maurice Ewing Vol. 5. Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union. pp. 228-298.

Dansgaard, W., Johnsen, S. J., Clausen, H. B., Dahl-Jensen, D., Gundestrup, N. S., Hammer, C. U., Hvldberg, C. S., Steffensen, J. P., Sveinbjornsdottir, A. E., Jouzel, J. & Bond. G. (1993). Evidence for general instability of past climate from a 250-kyr ice-core record. Nature, 364, pp. 218-220.

de Vries, Jan. (1984). European Urbanization 1500-1800. Methuen, 398 pp.

de Vries, Jan. (2008). The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present. Cambridge University Press, 342 pp.

Eddy, J. A. (1976). The Maunder Minimum. Science, 192(4245), pp. 1189-1202.

Eddy, J. A. (1977). Climate and the Changing Sun. Climate Change, 1(2), pp. 173-190.

Eddy, J. A. (1994). Solar History and Human Affairs. Human Ecology, 22(1), pp. 23-35.

Engler, S., Mauelshage, F., Werner, J. & Luterbacher, J. (2013). The Irish famine of 1740-1741: famine vulnerability and “climate migration”. Climate Past, 9, pp. 1161-1179.

* Fagan, B. (2000). The Little Ice Age. New York, NY: Basic Books.

* Fagan, B. (2004). The Long Summer. New York, NY: Basic Books.

* Fagan, B. (2008). The Great Warming. New York: Bloomsberry Press.

Fagan, B. (1999). Floods, Famines and Emperors. New York: Basic Books.

Fagan, B. (2013). The Attacking Ocean: The past, present, and future of rising sea levels. New York: Bloomsbury Press.

Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A chronology and analysis of events. Environmental Films, 1326 pp.

Grove, J. M. (2004). Little Ice Ages (Volume 1, 2nd Edition). London: Routledge.

Grove, J. M. (2004). Little Ice Ages (Volume 2, 2nd Edition 2). London: Routledge.

Harper, Kyle. (2017). The Fate of Rome: Climate, disease and the end of an empire. Princeton University Press, 419 pp.

Kershaw, I. (1973). The Great Famine and Agrarian Crisis in England 1315-1322. Past & Present, 59(May), pp. 3-50.

* Klingaman, W. K. & Klingaman, N. P. (2013). The Year Without Summer. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Lamb, H. H. (1965). The Early Medieval Warm Epoch and Its Sequel. Palaeogrography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 1(1), pp. 13-37.

Lamb, H. H. (1972). Climate: Present, Past and Future (Volume 1, Fundamentals and climate now). London: Methuen & Co. Ltd.

Lamb, H. H. (1977). Climate: Present, Past and Future (Volume 2, Climate history and the future). New York: Methuen & Co. Ltd.

Lamb, H. & Frydendaho, K. (1991). Historic Storms of the North Sea, British Isles and Northwest Europe. Cambridge University Press.

* Lamb, H. H. (1995). Climate, History and the Modern World (Second Edition). London: Taylor & Francis

* Le Roy Ladurie, E. (1967). Histoire du Climat depuis l'an mil. Flammarion, Paris. (translated by B. Bray as Times of Feast, Times of Famine: A History of Climate Since the Year 1000, Doubleday and Co., 1971).

Luckman, B. H. (2018). Reconstruction of Little Ice Age events in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Géographie physique et Quaternaire, 40(1), pp 17-28.

Ludlum, David McWilliams. (1963). Early American Hurricanes 1492-1870. American Meteorological Society, 198 pp.

Milankovic, M. (1941). Kanon der Erdbestrahlung und seine Anwendung auf das Eiszeitenproblem Royal Serbian Academy. (translated into English under the title Canon of Insolation of the Ice-Age Problem, in 1969 by the Israel Program for Scientific Translations and published for the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C.).

Munoz, Samuel E., Kristine E. Gruley, Ashtin Massie, David A. Fike, Sissel Schroeder & John W. Williams. (2015). Cahokia’s emergence and decline coincided with shifts of flood frequency on the Mississippi River.  PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Retrieved 22 April 2018 from   

Ó Gráda, C. (2009). Famine, A Short History. Princeton University Press, 327 pp.

Parker, Geoffrey. (2013). Global Crisis: War, climate change and catastrophe in the seventeenth century. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 871 pp.

Perley, S. (2001). Historic Storms of New England. Memories Unlimited, Inc. (originally published in 1891 by Salem Press Publishing and Printing Company, available online at

Rosen, W. (2014). The Third Horseman. Penguin Books, 302 pp.

Ryan, William & Walter Pitman. (2000). Noah’s Flood: The new scientific discoveries about the event that changed history. Simon & Schuster, 320 pp.

Schwartz, Stuart B. (2015). Sea of Storms: A history of hurricanes in the greater Caribbean from Columbus to Katrina. Princeton University Press, 439 pp.

Scott, S. & Duncan, C. J. (1997). The mortality crisis of 1623 in north-west England. Local Population Studies, 58(Spring), pp. 14-25.

Scott, S. & C. J. Duncan. (2002). Demography and Nutrition: Evidence from historical and contemporary populations. Blackwell Science, 369 pp.

* Shepheard, W. W. (2018). Surviving Mother Nature’s Tests: The effects climate change and other natural phenomena have had on the lives of our ancestors (with examples from the British Isles). St. Agnes, South Australia: Unlock the Past.

Sheppard, T. (1912). The Lost Towns of the Yorkshire Coast. London: A. Brown & sons, Limited.

Slonosky, V. C. (2018). Climate in the Age of Empire. American Meteorological Society.

* White, S. (2017). The Little Ice Age and Europe’s encounter with North America. Harvard University Press.

* Winchester, S. (2003). Krakatoa, The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.

Wrigley, E. A. & Schofield, R. S. (1981). The Population History of England, 1541-1871: A reconstruction. Harvard University Press.

Wrigley, E. A. (1969). Population and History. New York: McGraw-Hill

Wrigley, E. A. (2004). Poverty, Progress and Population. Cambridge University Press.

Wrigley, E. A. (2016). The Path to Sustained Growth: England’s transition from an organic economy to an industrial revolution. Cambridge University Press.

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