1900 Storm Victim Database

 1900 Storm Victim Database

The 1900 Storm Victim Database is a forthcoming feature of the Galveston and Texas History Center’s website. The database commemorates thousands of people who died in the hurricane. Their sacrifice led Galveston to become prepared in protecting its citizens in future storms.

The 1900 Storm Victim Database is under development and will be made publicly available soon. In the meantime, please contact Casey Edward Greene by email with inquiries or descendant-supplied information. You may also consult an older version of the list of recorded deaths as a starting point.

The hurricane of September 8, 1900, was an intense, compact event which resulted in the largest number of deaths of any natural disaster ever to befall the United States. An estimated 8,000 people died on Galveston Island; up to several thousand more were casualties on the mainland. Books and newspapers published lists of the dead after the cataclysm. The lists are incomplete and often contradictory. They serve as a beginning point for victim identification. In many cases, names are misspelled or rendered phonetically, making identification problematic. In some instances, victims were entered several times.

In September 1900, Galveston’s population was much larger than the 37,800 residents the federal census had enumerated during the previous summer. At the time of the Storm, the city was in beach season, drawing excursionists to its attractions. Migrants arrived in search of work during the days and weeks leading up to the hurricane. Other people were in town on business or visiting friends and families. These circumstances all contributed to difficulty in identifying victims.

Names have been checked against the 1899-1900 Galveston City Directory, the 1900 Census, and other genealogical sources. Victim profiles include such data as residential location, street address, occupation, birthdate, birthplace, and the names of family members. Names are also being checked in the 1901-02 Galveston City Directory and the 1910 Census to determine whether the persons actually died in the 1900 Storm or survived.